Valentine’s Day, Japanese Style!

Cultures around the world express love in different ways. Valentine’s Day is often thought of as a day of love and appreciation for those you care most about. On this day, we have a chance to express our affection and gratitude for our loved ones, whether that be our significant other or best friends. Japan has its own way of celebrating Valentine’s Day, so if you’re curious to know how, continue reading to find out more!


Japan is unique in the sense that there are two separate holidays back-to-back: Valentine’s Day and White Day. In Japan, traditionally women give their significant others and friends chocolates on Valentine’s day, February 14th. Then, on White Day, March 14, those who received chocolates the previous month are expected to return the favor either in the form of chocolates, or with other gifts such as flowers and various sweets.

Additionally, on Valentine’s Day, there are different types of chocolates. Chocolates that you give out non-romantically are called “giri choco”, whereas chocolates you give to your crush are called “honmei choco”. If you go to any department store or chocolate shop, you will find all sorts of chocolates being sold according to whom you intend the receiver to be.

An interesting and unique Valentine’s Day chocolate idea you might want to either purchase or try making yourself is baked matcha-flavoured chocolate!

As delicious matcha powder can easily be bought in any supermarket, matcha chocolates might be a surprisingly fun way to decorate your sweet gifts for Valentine’s Day.

How does your country celebrate Valentine’s Day? Let us know in the comments below!


– Written by Jado Kono, Resident Assistant at HAKUSAN HOUSE