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Japanese Valentine's Day

Japanese Department Store for Valentine's Day

The name "Valentine" first appeared in Japan in 1956, soon after World War II. Advertisements for a "Valentine's Day Sale" began appearing in newspapers. This was an attempt by the distribution and confectionery industries to promote sales by introducing Valentine's Day culture to Japan, so it didn't have much religious significance. However, this doesn't mean that chocolate has been the standard gift since Valentine's Day began in Japan. In the beginning, cosmetics and clothing were also gifts. In the beginning of 1960s, it wasn't customary for women to give gifts to men, and the exchange of gifts was encouraged not only between lovers but also between family and friends. Valentine's Day became popular in Japan in the 1960s. Around 1970, the current Japanese style of Valentine's Day, in which women give chocolates to men, began to take root. In Japan, Valentine's Day is known as the day when women give chocolates to men and confess their love to them as mentioned earlier. This Valentine's Day custom of giving chocolates from women to men is a uniquely Japanese culture. It's said that about 20% of the annual chocolate consumption in Japan is consumed on February 14. For their partners, the gift of "honmei-choco" (true-feelings chocolate) is given. Homemade honmei-choco is even more special, and many women will take it upon themselves to craft it from scratch. Also, "giri-choco" (obligation chocolate), which was introduced in the early 1980s and is given to male friends, classmates, co-workers, and even family members is also a uniquely Japanese custom. They get "tomo-choco" (friendship chocolate) as well to share with each other. Tomo-choco often comes in ornately decorated boxes, and is a way for them to thank one another for their friendship throughout the year. "Jibun-choco" (self chocolate) is to give to yourself as a reward. Lots of people buy some fancy chocolate for Valentine's Day that they want to try. Another uniquely Japanese culture related to Valentine's Day is White Day. One month after Valentine's Day, March 14 is designated as "White Day," a day for receivers of the gifts on Valentine's Day to give back something to the givers. Usually, cookies, marshmallows, and candies are the standard gifts.

There is a lot of food items, housewares, stationery, and gifts available at the store and our online store, Maido! Kairashi Shop, where you can place your order for shipping or store pickup!

Maido! also offers online grocery shopping with options for curbside pickup and home delivery!* *Some restrictions may apply.

Happy shopping. :)


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