Sunday, February 13, 2011

Valentine's Day in Japan: An Insider's Tips

         Valentine's Day in Japan is a special day for the men in your life.  Ya hear me ladies !


Here is a photo, I got permisssion to snap, of an American Valentine's Day display in one of my favorite American grocery stores in Okinawa, Japan. 

Humongous heart-shaped boxes of chocolate with fancy words and flowers for the Ladies in your life, Gentlemen.

And little Snoopy Dogs with little heart-shaped boxes of chocolates for the little ladies, like your daughters. It's like a mandatory thing. Buy those special ladies a Valentine or you are doomed.

Forget to bring something special to those extremely important ladies in your life and you will be considered an outcast for the rest of the year and, maybe, even the rest of your life !

The photo above is a Japanese grocery store's Valentine's Day display. The chocolate boxes are much smaller but, there's a heck of a lot more available.

In Japan, half of the chocolate (sold during the whole year) flies off the shelves during the week leading up to Valentine's Day.

Men don't buy the stuff. Women buy it.

That's right, girls and ladies buy the chocolate for the boys and men in their lives.

There's fancy European-sounding names on the boxes of chocolates in Japan's stores, too. But, if you take a good look at the "top of the shelf" stuff, hah ! 

They have Scotch and Gin and Booze, maybe, even chocolate-covered beer candies. Some Dudes, like me, aren't all that thrilled with eating chocolate candies, ya know.

Here's the way it works. Nobody in Japan really gives a hoot about St. Valentine, except maybe somebody who's real interested in Saints.

Like, that song "When The Saints Go Marching In" was popular over here, years ago but, mostly just because it was a catchy tune.

But, the Christian population is probably less than 1 % and Valentine's Day is just a way for the chocolate peddlers to get rid of millions of choclate candies. Saints have nothing to do with it, just like most places around the world. 

It's a merchandising scheme.  And it works so, let's keep doing it.

In Japan, girls give Valentine gifts, not guys. The women give Valentines to classmates, bosses, coworkers, boyfriends, relatives, any man they feel is important in their life. It doesn't mean they love you, or anything like that. Maybe, maybe not but, there is one thing you have to remember.

March 14th is White Day in Japan. That's the day every girl who gave a Valentine to a guy is waiting for. Men: You are supposed to give the ladies in your life a gift on White Day.

Everyone, wherever in the world you may be: HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY !



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