14th February is the Valentine’s Day (バレンタインデー). In Japan, chocolate (チョコ) is almost the synonym of Valentine’s day. According to the Japanese culture, girls have to prepare chocolates for their favourite guy. If the guy would wish to start a relationship as well, he will have to regift chocolates to the girl on 14 March, the White Day (ホワイトデー).

Apart from chocolates, other sweets alternatives such as cakes, cookies, desserts are becoming more and more popular to replace chocolates on Valentine’s Day.

14th February – The Valentine’s Day (Barentain Dē バレンタインデー)

In reality, girls offer chocolates not only to their
favourite boy as many of them may not have a targeted guy on their list. In Japan, there are different names for chocolates directing to different persons. The followings are the main ones.

  • Honmei choko (本命チョコ) – the love chocolate

    Chocolates for the favourite guy. Some girls will confess their love to the guy at the same time. The guy does not have to reply on that day. But they will regift chocolates to the girl of the answer is yes. This is also applied to boyfriend or husband. Some girls will handmade their chocolates to customise the messages.

  • Jibun choko (自分チョコ) – self-encouraging chocolate

    Chocolates for one-self for encouraging herself. Usually during Valentine’s Day, a lot of famous chefs will come to Japan to compete. Girls will buy the best and most-wanting chocolates for themselves during that period of time.

  • Fami choko (ファミチョコ) – chocolates for family

    Chocolates prepare for the family. After people got married, they usually buy special high-end chocolates during the Valentine’s Day to share with husband and kids.

  • Giri choko (義理チョコ) – obligatory chocolate

    This type of chocolate is for friends, acquaintances, co-workers, clients, etc. who have been taking care of oneself. Obligatory chocolates are given to show caring and maintain good relations.

  • Tomo choko (友チョコ) – friendship chocolate

    Chocolates for good friends which symbolise friendship. People usually choose the very good chocolate brands or even hand-made their chocolates.

14th March – The White Day (Howaito Dē ホワイトデー)


Guys who have received either Homei Choko (love chocolates) or Giri Choko (obligatory chocolates) have to reply the messages with gifts. These gifts are called sanbai gaeshi (三倍返し, literally, “triple the return”) which is supposed to be 3 times more expensive than the Valentine’s Day gift received (=.=”).

Messages with different chocolate sweets:

  • White Chocolate – “Let’s be friends!”
  • Chocolate – “I like you!”
  • Chocolate cookies – “I love you!”

For Homei Choko receivers, you have to reply carefully as those are the girls who have true feelings on you. If you like her as well, you can also choose a nice gift or flowers for her apart from the chocolate sweets, and wrap them in a white wrapping papers or bags.

For Giri Choko receivers, you can simply buy some white chocolates from the department stores.

14th April – The Orange Day (Orenji Deizu オレンジデイズ)

The Orange Day is a new day to express your love for each other together. During that day, couples will exchange oranges or orange-colour gifts. It is a day for reconfirming your love for one another and is becoming very popular!

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