Valentine’s Day in Japan

Valentine's Day in Japan

Guten morgen! Hei Wada. I would like to share how it is like on Valentine’s day in Japan.

Valentine’s Day in Japan

Valentine’s day was brought to Japan in the 50s and has turned into a huge business. Generally speaking, it is likely a big day for teens where girls give boys chocolate and confess their love. However, weird social life has added it a bit more complication.



Giri Choco (to give obligingly)

Oddly many women give guys chocolate without feelings that we call it Giri choco. It occurs a lot at work actually. Women tend to feel obliged to give their bosses or other guys something just to be nice. Many men actually don’t like this custom because they feel pressured and it looks like pity chocolate. Some chocolate company must have marketed it well. Anyway Valentine’s Day is not only for couples today.


Honmei Choco (to give with love)

Honmei chocolate is what you give to a person you love. Since Giri chocolate came in, sometimes it’s a bit confusing if the chocolate you got is Honmei (serious). Some shy girls give away Giri chocolate and slip the Honmei chocolate in to guys they really like. Tricky.


White Day

Even weirder tradition exists in Asian countries including Japan. Well, it’s men’s turn after a month (March 14th). Basically men give something to women in return for Valentine’s Day. At my work, some guys would collect money and buy something to female employees. Supposedly gifts should be more valuable than Valentine’s day gifts….but not specified what. Tricky…



How do you find it? It has been long enough to be a part of Japanese custom, I’d say. Unlikely in the West, it’s not really serious at least, so It’d be nice to be here on this day if you are single. Enjoy your Valentine’s Day in Japan.

See you around!

62-Step Staircase with Hinamatsuri Dolls at Bizen Katakami Hinameguri


Hi there, it’s Mr. Wada on duty. I would like to share the most beautiful Hinamatsuri event I’ve ever seen. It’s called Bizen Katakami Hinameguri in Okayama Prefecture.


About Hinamatsuri

Hinamatsuri is a Girls’ Day on the 3rd of March, where families display Hina-ningyo (dolls) to wish for well-being for girls.


Bizen Katakami Hinameguri

This Hinamatsuri event in Okayama is called Hinameguri with tremendous numbers of the Hina-ningyo (dolls) displayed in town! Visitors hop (meguri means hopping in Japanese) house to house, street to street to check out different Hina-ningyo displays . (Many houses are open for visitors.)



See the dolls on the roof? How would the owner set these up there.


Usa Hachimangu Shrine

The highlight of the festival is at Katakami Usa Hachimangu Shrine where the Hinamatsuri dolls are displayed on all the 62 steps of the staircase! Amazing work, isn’t it?

I took a video and you can watch it below.




Katakami Usa Hachimangu Shrine is 15-minute walk from the JR Nishi-Katakami Station. If you are driving, there’s a school nearby open for free parking during the event (just follow the street signs in the area for directions).


Usually the first weekend of March including March 3rd, the girls day (10:00-17:00).

*It is scheduled between March 1st (Thu) and March 4th (Sun) for 2018.
Reference (in JP)





Contact Number




How do you find it? There are many Hinamatsuri events all over the country during this time of the year. Go visit ones in your neighborhood and share with us!

See you around!