Wabi-Sabi Sole

Finding Beauty with Imperfection

Valentine’s Day in Japan

St. Valentine’s Day is celebrated a little differently in Japan than in the United States. The biggest difference is women give chocolates to men. The chocolates are given with two different meanings depending on the relationship between the man and woman.

“Honmei Choco” is used to describe the chocolate given to men when a woman wants to declare her love to her boyfriend or husband. Japanese women often make a Honmei Choco or chocolate treat for their loved one because nothing shows devoted love like making something special.

“Giri Choco” is used to describe chocolate given to men to convey gratitude and friendship to her boss, male friends, or coworkers. Typically, women buy chocolates from the store to give as Giri Choco presents.

A group of ladies at Dave’s work organized a potluck lunch to celebrate Valentine’s Day. It was a delicious spread of pancit, carne asada, chicken adobo, and fresh salad. I made a tray of Reese’s Peanut Butter Brownies (my Honmei Choco for Dave) for the event.

I forgot to take a picture of the delicious food and my tray of brownies, but I got a picture with my valentine.

I know what you’re thinking… “what about the women?” On March 14th, Japan celebrates “White Day.” This is an opportunity for men to return gifts to the women who gifted them chocolates on Valentine’s Day. Typically, those gifts are white in color because of the name of the day. (Flowers, candy and chocolate. Better yet, diamonds and pearls!)

Even though we live in Japan, we haven’t completely lost our tendency towards American traditions. Dave brought me flowers yesterday as he has every year since the beginning of us.

Please enjoy a Valentine’s Day filled with love and happiness. Sending you hugs and smiles across the many miles! XOXO


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  1. Debbie Rhodes

    I began reading your blog several weeks ago. I was researching Yokosuka. We are now in Yokosuka (husband and I)! He is working as fleet support from Newport News Shipbuilding and I came along for about 3 weeks. What a wonderful and informative blog you have. Just wanted to let you know. Thanks!

    • wabisabisole

      Welcome to Japan! Thank you for the kind words. I’m happy to hear you have enjoyed reading and following our adventures. Please enjoy your time in Japan. It is a beautiful country and the people are wonderful.

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