Fun fact: on Valentine's day in Japan, girls are supposed to give chocolates to their boyfriends, male classmates, male coworkers, etc.
It's true! Boys are not responsible for anything on this day. How did this strange tradition come about? I have no idea. But what's even funnier is that a month after Valentine's day (March 14th) Japan celebrates what is called "White Day" where the boys return the favor and give chocolates to the girls.
crazy, right? But it is totally an unspoken rule everyone follows. And department stores and chocolate companies have capitalized on this holiday of love. This past weekend, my friend Moe and I went to Ginza to do some shopping and we noticed an insane crowd of women (seriously, all women) going crazy buying the most intricate and elaborate chocolate for the men in their lives. Wow.
Not only was the place filled with a ton of people...but the CHOCOLATES!! My goodness. They were spectacular. Truly. I've never seen such detailed, beautiful, intricate chocolates in my life. Japan really takes things to another level.
Godiva had these thick books printed as advertisements for their 2018 valentine's spread. It was crazzzzyyyyy. Like, a box of 4 chocolates for like $30. Wow.
These chocolate bars were so beautiful. They are forsure for those super fancy, high class, sophisticated people....they're $15 EACH!
Look at how stunning this is!!!! How is this edible!??? Goodness me. Also, the packaging on every item from all the various vendors was just incredible. I was tempted to buy so many things just so I could have the box it came in.
This was the craziest chocolate I saw all day...chocolate in the form of lipstick!!! What!!? The lipstick part is made of various flavors of chocolate that you just pick up and bite. I couldn't resist...so I bough one!
It's really interesting experiencing how holidays are represented depending on what culture they're in. Japanese people are really about respecting your elders, hand making gifts of sentiment, and loving people through food!!
So it's no surprise that Valentine's day has adopted some very unique "Japanese" qualities...for example:
"Respect your elders": One of my friends told me she had to buy about 10 sets of chocolates to give to each of her male coworkers because they are older than her...whaaat!!??
"Girls are homemakers": The high school girls I teach will spend days prepping tiny cookies, chocolates, and candies to put in little baggies to pass out to everyone at school. You will also notice this in a lot of Japanese dramas and TV shows...my favorite being the infamous "Hana yori Dango" scene where the main character's boyfriend loses his memory and can't remember her so she cooks him these tiny cookies. When he bites into one of them, the song "flavor of love" blast and his memory comes back all because the love he "tasted" in her cooking... HAHA this is no joke!!
"Quality over Quantity" - Japan is a country of such incredible quality. While looking at the chocolates at the store, I noticed how almost every box had 4-5 pieces in it and would literally be $30!!! Extremely high quality. In the states...we're all about the quantity. We want a X-large bag of M&M's or the biggest box of Sees candies. But here in Japan...it's all about the quality. Foreal. I saw this one box for sale that literally had ONE PIECE OF CHOCOLATE IN IT. I AM NOT KIDDING. The American in me screamed. How is that worth it!??? But hey, this is Japan and one high quality piece of chocolate that costs $15 means more than a giant bag of Reese peanut butter cups.
Well, happy Valentine's day folks!
This year, to celebrate (Valentine's day is tomorrow) I will be on a work trip teaching at a local junior high school..lucky me lol! But I did buy myself jewelry this past weekend because who needs a guy to buy them jewelry when you can do it yourself!? (all my single ladies be shouting... AMENNNN!).