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YumeTwins Kawaii Culture BlogWhite Day in Japan

White Day in Japan

By Anna Ayvazyan
February 28, 2023
A man giving a woman a gift on White Day.

There are many holidays in Japan, and many of them revolve around food, sometimes sweets. One such holiday is White Day! Like Valentine’s Day, White Day is when you receive gifts, especially delicious candy, cookies, and, most importantly, chocolate from your best friend or loved one!

White Day is the opposite of Valentine’s Day in Japan; people celebrate it on March 14th. Traditionally this was the day girls would receive a gift back from the boys they gave sweets to on Valentine’s Day. 

A plate of heart-shaped chocolates.
Chocolate in Japan is serious business! Image via Shutterstock

This is because, traditionally, on Valentine’s Day, girls give chocolates to their friends and superiors. Giving chocolate out of a send of duty is giri choco, meaning obligation chocolate. It is still widespread to see giri choco sets on sale in shops today; some of them have very adorable designs and sweet tastes. 

If a girl wants to give chocolate to her true love, it is honmei choco (true feeling chocolate). These chocolates are often handmade. Nowadays, many shops sell “make at home” chocolate sets making it an effortless and fun activity to make at home! 

A man hiding a bouquet of flowers behind his back on White Day.
White Day is when men return the favor for Valentine’s Day! Image via Shutterstock

Recently more people have gotten jibun-choko, which means they buy chocolate for themselves. So even if you don’t have anyone to provide chocolate to, it’s totally ok to treat yourself to some sweets too! 


White Day traces back to 1977 when the Fukuoka-based confectionary company Ishimura Manseido. He thought it unfair that only boys receive chocolates from girls. One day, he was reading a women’s magazine and saw that many girls wanted something in return for Valentine’s Day. 

Some comments in the magazine mentioned how they’d be very delighted if they got a marshmallow as a gift from their partner. This was a very inspiring moment for the owner, leading to them revolutionizing Japan’s confectionary industry. 

Ishimura Manseido started producing and selling marshmallows on March 14th – marketing the goods to men as something to give back to girls. From there, March 14th was affectionately called “Marshmallow Day.” Various marshmallows were sold on that day, particularly chocolate-covered marshmallows.

A plate of delicious macarons on enjoy on White Day!
Macarons are very popular in Japan; they are soft and light. Image via Shutterstock

These marshmallows represent the girl’s love (the chocolate) returned with pure love (the marshmallow). With marshmallows being white and the color white symbolizing purity, the National Confectionery Industry Association of Japan decided to rename March 14th to White Day.

Basically, Ishimura Manseido successfully created a modern cultural holiday that white day is still practiced today. The popularity of white day reached other countries such as South Korea, China, and Taiwan, where many confectionary shops also sell White Day presents.

Are you looking to enjoy something cute just in time for White Day? Check out YumeTwins! YumeTwins sends everything from kawaii Japanese plushies to stationery and other goodies every month to help you unleash the power of magic wherever you are! 

Gifts to give on White Day

In modern times, people avoid giving marshmallows as presents for White Day. Nowadays, giving marshmallows is a metaphor for rejection because they dissolve quickly. But if you know someone who is a marshmallow lover, don’t let that stop you from gifting them some marshmallows!

Chocolate=filled marshmallows for White Day.
Marshmallows are very passe these days and should generally be avoided! Image via Shutterstock

Generally, cookies are the best gift if you want to give something to a close friend. The value of cookies depends primarily on whether you buy store-bought or homemade ones. 

Cookies and Candy

Homemade cookies may be seen as a gift of love or affection since much care and effort goes into them. Many supermarkets sell easy-to-make kits in different flavors and styles!

A pile of crispy chocolate chip cookies.
Cookies are best suited for friends. Image via Shutterstock

These kits make baking fun; you don’t have to worry about confusing instructions or ingredients. You can also buy unique bags to put the cookies in to make the gift special! 

Hard candies represent a gift that best represents a love confession or affection. They can stay sweet in one’s mouth for a long time, symbolizing a long-lasting sweet relationship. 

A rainbow assortment of colorful hard candies including lollipops.
Hard candies symbolize long-lasting love! Image via Shutterstock

If you receive hard candies from someone, you can be especially sure they love you. If you want to give hard candies as a gift, every major city has several places to buy them!. You may undoubtedly even find some sakura-flavored hard candy if you’re lucky! 


Chocolates are also an excellent gift on White Day if you are unsure what to give. Many stores often have special White Day chocolate boxes with cute motifs to give to girls. Therefore, if you’re looking for unique chocolate – look out for strawberry, green tea, or vanilla-flavored chocolates, which are famous for girls! 

A White Day assortment of delicious gourmet chocolate.
Gourmet chocolate is a must for White Day! Image via Shutterstock

Many delicious chocolates and sweets are on sale during Valentine’s Day and White Day, so if you’re in Japan, keep your eye out for them! You can even take some home as souvenirs for your family and friends! What White Day gift do you want to receive? Let us know in the comments below!

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Anna Ayvazyan

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