Want to know all about Valentine’s Day in Japan? Check out this ultimate guide for all things Valentines in Japan!
So as we all know, Valentine’s Day is not a traditional Japanese holiday. It was not even really celebrated until the 1970s when department stores realized they could market the holiday to young girls. Relatively inexpensive and definitely really cute chocolate could be purchased and given out by teens to the objects of their affection without the need of an embarrassing and potentially shameful love confession.
Once Valentine’s Day became mainstream, Japanese citizens realized the need for another special day to go along with it. If Valentine’s Day was a day marketed towards girls, then there needs to be a day that allows men to also give out gifts, and of course to spend their hard earned money at those department stores.
Thus traditions in Japan shifted, and a new holiday was born, White Day. On March 14th, exactly one month after Valentine’s Day, men would have the opportunity to repay the kind gesture that a woman might have shown him through her chocolate gift a month beforehand.
Check here to learn more about the history of Valentine’s Day in Japan and the tradition of White Day.
Chocolate is taken very seriously in Japan in regards to Valentine’s Day. Although the true goal of chocolate giving is to let your feelings be known by those that you like, if you are too obvious about it, it could still end up being embarrassing. So, for a relatively shy population that prefers group harmony, many types of chocolates were introduced. Obligation chocolate, friend chocolate, and true love chocolate are just three of the main types of chocolate given out by girls on Valentine’s Day.
If you are thinking that buying all of these different types of chocolates for Valentine’s Day seems a bit expensive and impersonal, you aren’t wrong. This is why Japan also has a long tradition of giving out homemade chocolates and handwritten notes for the romantic day. Usually Japanese girls and their female friends will get together to make and decorate the chocolates together, so it can end up being a fun experience. If you want more information on Japanese Valentine’s Day chocolate, like the different types of Valentine’s Day chocolate or methods of making your own, we’ve got you covered.
It’s true we just said that Japan has a tradition of making homemade chocolates to give out on February 14th, but that doesn’t stop candy companies from making the absolute cutest chocolates and treats for the holiday. For those who are fans of kawaii culture, it is always fun to see what popular kawaii brands have collaborated with chocolate companies to come up with ridiculously cute and creative designs.
There have been many notable Valentine’s Day collabs that can be found with our favorite characters. For the recently released movie, Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Eternal, a limited edition makeup theme candy set was released with chocolate lip sticks and candy blush in Sailor Moon compacts. This collab takes the idea of, “Moon Prism Power Make Up” to a whole new level. This is the best Valentine’s gift for any Sailor Moon fan in Japan!
Read here for more kawaii chocolate collabs like Pokemon and Starbucks!
Whether you are staying in or going out for Valentine’s Day, in Japan there are many fun activities you can do with the special people in your life.
Now that we have sorted out the chocolate part of Valentine’s Day, time to move on to the activities. Japanese winters are on the colder side, but that doesn’t stop many couples from venturing out on Valentine’s Day for a romantic date night.
Sanrio Puroland in Tama City, Tokyo and Tokyo Disneyland are two popular theme parks to visit for a kawaii date. A common Japanese aesthetic is for couples to wear matching clothes, especially to places like theme parks. So pick out your matching kawaii outfits and head down to the parks. But be careful, you might have to get a ticket in advance due to the popularity of the parks!
Check here for a list of more places for your kawaii Valentine’s date!
Another very Japanese activity to do any day let alone Valentine’s Day is karaoke. Karaoke booths in Japan are great for groups and couples so no matter how you roll on Valentine’s Day, sing your heart out. Here is our pick for the top 5 J-pop Valentine’s Day songs to add to your karaoke lineup.
Staying in for the night? Whether it’s alone, with friends, or with a romantic partner, anime could be your go to enjoyment for the night. From an almost endless list of cute and romantic titles, here are our picks for your anime Valentine’s Day playlist.
Whether you have a kawaii and fun Japanese inspired Valentine’s Day or not, make sure you enjoy yourself and have fun!
Kawaii culture lover since birth, I am beyond excited to share my passion for cute with the world!
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