Friday, February 13, 2009

"All you need is love" (and chocolate!)

Although I haven't heard or seen anything about Cupid or conversation heart candies, it's apparent that Valentine's Day is celebrated in Japan.

Walk into the Universe grocery store, and this is what you'll see:

You can't miss the miles (err, I mean kilometers) of giant red ribbon hanging from the ceiling. This marks the area where Valentine's chocolates are being sold. Just like in America, chocolate is a popular present to give on Valentine's Day. But there's a big difference in Japan...

Chocolates--and any other gifts--are given by girls only!

March 14th is White Day, when guys give presents to ladies who gave them gifts the month before. By doing it this way, Japanese women (who are usually shy) have the chance to express their feelings first. Nice idea. :)

In addition to giving "true love chocolates" called "honmei-choko," 本命チョコ, women also give "giri-choko" 義理チョコ -- "obligation chocolates" -- to men such as bosses, colleagues or friends.

There's such a large variety of chocolates for women to buy...

I feel like it's only in Japan that you'd see a Pokemon chocolate heart! Nothing quite says love (or friendship) like a bunch of cartoon monsters. Then there's the other end of the scale...

Some of the classiest boxes of chocolate I've ever seen are exhibited in a special display box. Maybe some guys really dig a pale pink box of heart-shaped and flower-shaped chocolates, I don't know.

There's another display of everything you could possiblly want or need to decorate a Valentine's Day cake...

My plan for Valentine's Day tomorrow is to go to Morioka and hang out with other ALT's. There's some kind of V-Day party/club event at night that includes dancing, yay! I have some chocolate that I'll pass out to friends, just like I distributed chocolates to guys at the office today.

Whatever your Valentine's Day plans are, I hope you have a LOVEly day!


Dawn said...

I am spending my Valentine's Day by helping move my parents - that's an act of love, right? LOL...neat idea for girls to express their feelings first though I know I would have been too shy to have ever done it.

Lauren said...

I like the idea of girl giving things first! All of the candies look so good! I hope you have a great Valentine's Day!!!
Love you!!!

The Princess said...

Wow girlfriend, by distributing chocolates to all the guys in your office, you are expressing your love to all of them. You are so greedy! hehe. Well, i like the idea that the White day allows the girls to express their feelings first. So often, the society emphasizes on the man expressing himself first to a lady. That's kinda repressive for women, isn't it?
I am also drawn by all the pictures of cute stuff on your blog. I am having a "cutie things" withdrawal symptoms here. Apparently, US doesn't like cute things as much as we do in Asia, haha.

Jennifer said...

Again, I am different cultures have the same ideas but with a completely different twist. This reminds me that God made us all creative in one way or another.
I think dancing has become one of your specialties.
I hope you have a LOVEly day tomorrow too!!

Kiley said...

How beautiful! Those are really cool chocolates...though, I can't say I'd be happy if Brandon got me Pokemon chocolates. But, hey, it's the thought that counts!

Happy Valentines, Dana-san! :) Don't forget to vote on my blog for your fave character!