Monday, February 13, 2012

Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day, or Baruntine Day バレンタインデイーas it's called here in Japan, has always been a favorite of mine. From childhood, it has been a source of a much needed post-Christmas refill of my chocolate stash. Giving and receiving chocolate, sweets, cards, and gifts is what Valentine's Day is about, at least in the US.

Here in Japan, things are a little different. For one, the givers are limited to women, and the recipients are limited to men. (It's good to be a man in Japan on February 14th!)

Don't worry ladies, you have your own special holiday on March 14th called White Day (ホーアイトデイー ) to receive "obligation chocolate" ( giri-choco,ぎりチョコ) from all the boys you gave sweets to the months before.

Another difference is what is being given. I haven't seen too much in the way of flowers or cards, and Valentine's day dates don't seem to be too popular from what I've been hearing around the English class. In Japan it's all about the chocolate.

One very popular thing to do is to make "deco-choco" (デコチョコ) or decoration chocolate for male friends.

Here's a close up of some deco-choco I found through google.
(Photo source:

Another popular thing to do it to make cookies.

Here are some chocolate-raspberry heart cookies I made for Stephen and my English students.

Stephen had a doubly good Valentine's Day this year since there are two girls in his family now (me and the baby) to give him chocolates.

When I was at the mall recently I saw these chocolates and knew it had to be Stephen's gift from the baby-to-be.

Here's the display case...

Can you tell what it is?

How about now...

It's a line of chocolate called Unchi-kun うんちくん (little poop).

I have never seen something like this before coming to Japan. But what a fitting gift from a baby.

Happy Valentine's Day!

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