If you’ve watched more than three episodes of just about any anime, you’ll likely know that Valentine’s Day in Japan is a little different from in your own home country. Here, instead of men giving boxes of chocolate to their sweethearts, the custom is for females to give chocolate to the the important men (boyfriends, husbands, sons or possibly male coworkers) in their lives, which is usually the subject of much entertainment in harem anime series. There are two kinds of chocolate, 本命チョコ honmei-choco or “real heart chocolate,” given to someone you actually care about, and 義理チョコ giri-choco or “obligation chocolate,” the kind female office workers feel obliged to give to the male employees at work. Chocolate companies and department stores are always trying to create new chocolate-giving trends that will be talked about in the media, like the year they promoted 友チョコ tomo-choco, chocolate given between friends, as the coolest thing. This year the buzzword is 自分チョコ jibun-choco, or chocolate that you buy for yourself, since no one knows what you like more than…you. While classics like Godiva are popular this year as always, one small chocolatier came up with a cool idea: Jurassic Dig Up Choco, which consists of chocolate “dirt” with chocolate dinosaur bones hidden inside that you excavate with included digging tools. If you’d like to score some awesome chocolate from Japan, either for giving on Valentine’s Day or jibun-choco for yourself, we’ve got plenty in stock and on sale! (Please use EMS shipping if ordering in time for Valentine’s Day delivery.)
Japanese are getting ready for Valentine’s Day.