“Will you be my Valentine?” Let’s enjoy delicious chocolate treats, spicy noodles, and delightful strawberry shortcakes while learning important Japanese phrases to express your love. It’s time to unlock the secrets of Valentine’s Day in Japan with our guide to the best snacks and romantic traditions!
70 years ago, Japanese sweet companies boosted sales by introducing Valentine’s Day candy. They popularized the holiday in Japan, leading to the current Valentine’s Day culture. In February, stores have pink, red, and chocolate-themed displays. Women give chocolates to their loved ones, from local Japanese chocolates to high-end foreign brands, and exchange “giri” (obligation) chocolate with coworkers and friends.
Valentine’s Day in Japan is celebrated with a spending spree on candies. Businesses offer unique treats and deals! The culture has evolved to include self-love, with women buying “jibun” (yourself) chocolate. Valentine’s Days have also become a part of the Japanese tradition of “kokuhaku” (confession of love), where women initially gave homemade “honmei” (favorite) chocolate to express romantic interest.
On the other hand, March 14th is Japan’s White Day, a romantic tradition started around forty years ago as a response to Valentine’s Day. On this day, men give back for the gifts received from women on Valentine’s Day, showing thanks. The tradition has become widespread in Japan and other Asian countries like China and Korea. White Day shows “Okaeshi,” or “give and take,” building relationships and emotional bonds.
White Day is an opportunity for men to show their appreciation. The gift-giving culture has various levels, from friends to romantic partners. Men are expected to follow the tradition of “sanbai gaeshi,” returning gifts on White Day with a value two to three times higher than they received on Valentine’s Day. White-themed gifts, such as white chocolate, cookies, or flowers, add a cultural touch to this special occasion.
Chocolate is one of the best things you can have on Valentine’s Day! It was introduced to Japan during Edo but became popular in the 20th century. Meiji was influential in introducing chocolate snacks to Japan, while Morinaga transformed chocolate production and helped establish Valentine’s Day as a tradition. Popular brands like Royce are famous for high-quality chocolate from Hokkaido!
There are also other sweet treats! The chocolate hamburger in Lotteria features sweet biscuits with a chocolate patty. Chocolate ramen, introduced by Kourakuen on Valentine’s Day, combines savory shoyu ramen with cacao oil and chocolate for a wild flavor! Chocolate karaage, a fusion of Japan’s famous fried chicken dish with chocolate, is sweet and crunchy!
Are you looking for some indulgent snacks for Valentine’s Day? Check out TokyoTreat! TokyoTreat delivers the best Japanese snacks, drinks, sweets, and noodles straight from Japan to your door so that you can have a fun Valentine’s Day at home!
Spicy noodles are also an option! There are many options, from the iconic dandan noodles to Nagoya’s “Taiwan” noodles! Experience rich, spicy miso ramen or indulge in the Muroran curry ramen from Hokkaido. Challenge your taste buds with spicy tsukemen or dipping noodles. Discover the creativity and range of flavors in Japan’s spicy ramen scene and savor these bold culinary experiences with your loved ones!
For those looking for something sweeter, strawberry shortcake is perfect for you! The Japanese version focuses on fresh strawberries and light cream! Introduced to Japan in the early 20th century, the cake became popular and is now associated with Christmas and Valentine’s Day holidays. There are specialty dessert shops in Tokyo, like Ginza Sembikiya, that offer masterfully crafted versions for every occasion!
It’s almost Valentine’s Day! Why not learn some Japanese words to help you in your quest for romance? When you find that special someone, you must first “kokuhaku,” or confess your feelings. Saying “suki” or “daisuki” will help them understand your feelings! These words mean like or really like, as in you like like someone. These confessions are often sealed with a handshake, hug, or kiss!
If they accept your feelings, congratulations, you now have a “kareshi” (boyfriend) or “kanojo” (girlfriend).” Of course, you’re still fresh in your relationship, but one day that “suki” or “daisuki” will change into an “aishiteru” or “I love you.” At that time, you can also switch from using “kareshi” or “kanojo” to the more formal term, “koibito,” or lover. It’s time to gather up your courage and meet that special someone!
From Valentine’s Day candy to White Day, the celebrations are full of history and symbolism. Eating chocolate treats, savory noodles, and delightful strawberry shortcakes while learning Japanese phrases adds charm to the celebrations!
If you want to enjoy culinary experiences, our guide to the best snacks and romantic traditions is your ticket to Valentine’s Day in Japan! Have you eaten any of these foods mentioned? Which one did you like the most? Let us know in the comments below!
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