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Valentine’s Day in Japan 2 – Types of Chocolates

Date Published: Last Update:2015/05/22 Pop Culture & OTAKU , , ,

Tomorrow’s Valentine’s Day. As we featured in Valentine’s Day in Japan post, Japan has also their way of celebrating this day. As there was a mistranslation in some point in Japan’s Valentine’s Day history, only girls give chocolates to boys during this day. It was said that it is an opportunity for women to express their love to men. As Japanese has this attitude of not making other people left out, they try to give chocolates to all their male friends and colleagues. As a result, there are different types of chocolates to differentiate the level of closeness you have.


Types Of Chocolate Given on Valentine’s Day in Japan

Giri-Chocolate (義理チョコ)

It literally means “obligatory chocolate.” This kind of chocolate refers to the chocolate you have to give to acquaintances. These could also be people like bosses, coworkers, male friends, etc. Moreover, there’s also chocolates called “Cho-Giri-Chocolate” (ultra-obligatory-chocolate), which is given to people you really don’t want to give chocolates to.

In order to tell these chocolates apart from other (less obligatory) chocolates, these chocolates tend to be pretty ordinary, and not super expensive. In companies, women sometimes just put a box of chocolates on a table in a canteen for all male co-workers.


Honmei-Chocolate (本命チョコ)

This kind of chocolate means “favorite chocolate.” This kind of chocolate is the kind of chocolate you give to the one you want to express your love to. These chocolates tend to be more expensive or possibly even homemade. And to differentiate it from other chocolates, yes, you guessed it, it more expensive.

Tomo-Choco (友チョコ)

Tomo-choco are “friend chocolates” – tomo coming from the word tomodachi meaning “friend” in Japanese. This type of chocolate is the exception to the rule when it comes to male-only gift-giving. These are basically chocolates or baked goods that girls give to their female friends as an expression of their friendship. They are often home-made as giving out gifts to all your female friends, classmates or club members can add-up price-wise. They might be something like a cookie in a clear or decorated plastic bag with a twist tie and a short message such as “Thank you” attached.

Lately, another type of chocolate called “my choco” (マイチョコ) is more and more getting popular. “My choco” is a chocolate for women themselves as a treat for themselves.

Valentine’s Day in Japan is more than a romantic holiday. If you guys, want to check it, visit Japan during this time. What about men giving chocolates? They will have their turn one month later on White Day (March 14).

What are your thoughts about this? Share it with us in the comments section below!


1. Feature Image by Brian Rinker on Flickr

2. Other Images are from AC-Illust

3. Valentine’s Day Japan: Choco Just Got Complicated. Notes of Nomads.

4. St. Valentine’s Day of Japan.

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  1. Hi there! Thanks for mentioning us in your post. Hope you’re enjoying Valentine’s Day! :)

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