Valentine’s Day in Japan Means Chocolate Day!

Valentine’s Day in Japan is a day when women give gifts to men. Typically the gifts are chocolates.

In February before the Valentine’s Day in Japan, you will find all kinds of chocolates wrapped in special Valentine’s Day packages. Popular chocolate shops and department stores’ chocolate section get very crowded during the week of Valentine’s Day.

If you are going to be in Japan during the season, you will get a chance to witness this unique Valentine’s Day culture of Japan.


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Different chocolates given on Valentine’s Day in Japan

There used to be only two kinds of chocolates given on Valentine’s Day from women to men, which were Honmei-choco and Giri-choco. But nowadays, Tomo-choco is also common. So, what are those “-choco” thing? (“Choco” is the abbreviation of chocolate.)


Honmei means the favorite. Honmei-choco are the chocolates given to their loved ones such as their partners or secret crushes.

It is common among the Japanese teenagers to take the advantage of Valentine’s Day to express their feelings to their secret crushes with a gift of chocolate. Those chocolates given to their secret crushes are categorized as Honmei-choco.


Giri means an obligation. Giri-choco are the chocolates given to any men with no romantic attachment. They are typically given to colleagues and bosses. Usually, the type of chocolates given as giri-choco are less expensive than honmei-choco.


Tomo means friends. Tomo-choco are given usually between girl friends but some give to all friends including male friends.


Japanese Chocolate Brands

Japanese chocolate brands are as popular as foreign brands in Japan for their high-quality products. There are high brand chocolates sold in department stores to cheap everyday candies sold at convenience stores.

Some of the popular Japanese chocolate brands are as below.

Rokkatei (Hokkaido)
ROYCE (Hokkaido)
ISHIYA (Hokkaido)
OGGI Meguro (Tokyo)
Wako (Tokyo)
MARY’S (Tokyo)
Goncharoff (Kobe)
Chocolat BEL AMER (Tokyo)
ERICA (Tokyo)

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