“Roses are red,
Violets are blue,
All I want for Valentine
Is chocolate and you”
You wake up on the 14th of February, you go to McDonald’s, grab your teriyaki hamburger combo with an L-sized Coke and start another normal day? Sound great?
Love is in the air, for 2019’s Valentine!
From heart-shaped balloons to gigantic teddy bears, the V-Day is around the corner as we speak. Be it a romantic date on a city-view yacht or a cozy indoor dinner for two, we couldn’t be more excited.
Valentine’s Day is not any normal day which we laze about doing what we usually do. Rather, it is a day to grab the opportunity and take another step towards love, to celebrate affection, to express admiration with that special someone in your life. Valentine is a time to spread your love with flowers, cards, letters, and other romantic Valentine gifts. Especially, in Japan, Valentine’s Day is incomplete without chocolate: giving, receiving, and consuming it is an important aspect of the holiday. However, in Japan, the action of giving and receiving chocolate on Valentine’s Day has become a long-established tradition. On the 14th of February, it is expected that the females give chocolate to convey their feelings toward the person they like, or simply offer it as a present to their significant other.
The types of chocolate delivered on Valentine’s Day
Honmei choco (本命チョコ): meaning “true feelings chocolate” and it is given to whom you have genuine feelings for, usually to husbands, boyfriends, or prospective romantic partners. This kind of chocolate, compared to other kinds, is more expensive and has better quality. However, expensive chocolates are not always compulsory. In contrast, homemade chocolates are gaining more and more popularity because to make it, the person needs to put more of their time and effort, which implies their affection toward the person they have feelings for.
Giri choco (義理チョコ): meaning the “obligatory chocolate”, referring to normal and inexpensive chocolate for classmates, casual acquaintances, and coworkers, people without a romantic relationship with the giver.
Tomo choco (友チョコ): “Tomo” is a common abbreviation of “Tomodachi” or friend. The name says it all, tomo choco is given to close friends, usually among female friends. It proves how the Japanese value the relationships between their friends and their effort to sustain those good relationships by exchanging homemade chocolates and to enjoy eating them together.
Jibun choco (自分チョコ): “Jibun” in Japanese means “yourself”, so as the name puts it, this is the kind of chocolate people buy or make for themselves. If they do not have any romantic relationships with anyone, some would often spend money to treat themselves to delicious chocolate for their own happiness.
Although it may seem like a burden for the female only to gather their courage and give their chocolate to those they have affection for, it is believed that their effort will pay off on the 14th of the following month (March 14th, also known as White Valentine’s Day in Japan). On this day, the men will give the female their reply of affection, an action of reciprocation by giving them chocolate back as a present.
So, the question is: How should you deliver your chocolate? When would be the best timing? Is there a full-proof way to deliver your feelings to the one you love?
There is no special occasion better than Valentine’s Day to express your feelings to your special half or a prospective lover. Everyone knows what brand of chocolate they will prefer, but does everyone know how to deliver their chocolate in a successful way that will guarantee a resonation in the heart of their partner? Not really…
But no worries, there is a strategy for everything! And we are here to help you get the impression you want when you deliver your chocolate to your special someone!
#1: Deliver your chocolate before Valentine’s Day
Now, this strategy will guarantee a home run for your partner’s heart. Why? Because nothing says affection and consideration better than giving someone priority over everyone else on Valentine’s Day. It sounds simple but the action suggests your excitement and enthusiasm when you think about that special someone that you just can not wait until Valentine’s Day to present them with your affection. Especially for men who are likely to receive a lot of chocolate from a lot of women, it will be a smart move to make yourself stand out from the rest by being the “first” to approach and leave an impression on him before the rest.
# 2: Stop buying chocolate, make them!
Have you seen so many of those high-end chocolates that could cost you your house rent? (There a lot of expensive chocolates for Valentine’s Day in Japan, so prepare to be shocked) Have you ever bought so many expensive chocolates that did not appeal to your partner’s taste? Maybe it’s time for you to get into the kitchen and make one yourself.
Even if you are not the best pastry chef in the world or the most exclusive chocolates to be sold at Godiva, there is no doubt that your special partner or prospective lover will appreciate your handmade chocolates wholeheartedly. Why? Because the time you spent and the effort you made for a small bit of chocolate carry more meaning and affection you have toward that special someone.
Making your own chocolate from scratch will show your loved ones that you put in extra effort and love to make them happy.
In Japan, it is believed that the more effort it took to make a Valentine’s Day chocolate, the more the person cares about their significant other.
Making your own chocolate can be very easy and delicious! Whoever you decide to give your handmade chocolate to will surely be flattered and impressed.
There are two main ways for you to make your chocolate extra special compared to store-bought chocolate.
The first way, of course, is to make them from scratch and you can find thousands of handmade chocolate recipes to challenge your inner pastry chef abilites.
The second way, I would say a more fool-proof way, is decorated chocolate, which means you can buy the chocolate you and your partner prefer from the supermarket and customize them according to your liking. In recent years, this method has been gaining popularity among Japanese girl because it allows them to show off their creativity, decoration skills, and thoughtfulness when it comes to their loved ones. In addition, it is also a smart way to maintain the deliciousness of the chocolate without having to struggle to make a brand new one, which requires essential tools and facilities that may not always be available in every kitchen.
I will personally share my way of customizing the chocolate that had helped me successfully impress my crush from last year’s Valentine’s Day.
What I used (and you can, too):
1. Meiji Chocolate (the most well-known yet affordable chocolate brand in Japan)
2. A heart-shaped chocolate mold
3. Chocolate sprinkles
4. Wrapping papers and ribbons
5. A really cute bag (optional)
1. Melt your chocolate in the microwave. If you want to have a sense of Japanese touch, you can add a bit of bitter Matcha (green tea) powder. It is essential that you keep a careful eye on the chocolate while you melt it to make sure it does not burn.
2. Pour the chocolate into the heart-shaped mold and decorate it with sprinkles
3. Place the mold in your refrigerator for half an hour
4. After 30 minutes, remove the chocolates from the mold, put them carefully into the bag and finish it with cute wrapping paper and ribbons
#3: Ask the person you have feeling for out for cafe date and deliver your chocolate
You will be amazed at how popular this option is for Japanese women in general. After all, wouldn’t a dinner for two at a cozy chocolate cafe restaurant sound romantic? The sweet fragrance of the chocolate dishes will bring you and your partner closer together and the romantic atmosphere will definitely make your Valentine’s Day a memorable one.
Next, I will introduce some 人気カフェ (must-go-to cafe) recommended by the Japanese themselves.
La Maison du Chocolat is one of Tokyo’s most famous chocolate cafes for Valentine’s Day date night where you can enjoy a wide variety of chocolate, sweets from chocolate and other sweet pastries such as Eclair, Godiva, and other seasonal chocolates. This store is an irresistible place for chocolate lovers as well as people with a sweet tooth.
You can find more information here: https://www.lamaisonduchocolat.co.jp/la-maison/ja_jp/our-boutiques/japon/tokyo/marunouchi
Debailleul is another well-known chocolate brand in Japan, now it has become one of the most highly reviewed chocolate chain stores. The decorations inside the cafe are simple yet sophisticated, while the atmosphere is calming and romantic. It’s a perfect location to warm up the relationship with your loved ones.
You can find more information here: https://www.kataoka.com/debailleul.html
Make sure to have your chocolate ready to deliver when you and your partner finish your romantic dinner at the chocolate cafe because the success of delivering your feelings toward that special person is guaranteed!
But if you do not have the courage to ask the person you are interested in out for a dinner date, but you simply just want to make an impression on them with your first-ever handmade chocolates. No worries, we have you covered. Here is another way preferred by a lot of Japanese women!
#4: Deliver your chocolate in a private place
Is it difficult for you to get your confession across in a crowded setting? Do you easily get flustered and turn awkward in front of him and many people? Afraid other girls will know about the relationship between you and the guy you are interested in? Then deliver your chocolate and your feelings in a private location should surely ensure your success!
As you might know, most girls in Japan are shy and timid at nature. As a result, they will always try to avoid confessing and expressing their true feelings toward a male in a public setting. Rather, they will make efforts to call the person of their interest out in a more private setting and directly confess their feelings, which I believe is a smart move to impress their man by making them think, “They might be shy in front of many people, but when it comes to the relationship between the two, they are active and straight-forward”. (A lot of Japanese men consider this to be an attractive trait in their ideal girlfriend)
Here is the ranking of other ways to deliver the chocolate on Valentine’s Day preferred by Japanese women:
#3: Send the chocolate directly to his house address (23.4%)
#4: Secretly put the chocolate under his work desk, shoe box or backpack (15.7%)
#5: Deliver the chocolate through his close friends (7.1%)
#5 How to deliver your feelings: Guidable’s Love Pocket Dictionary for Valentine’s Day
Delivering your chocolate is important, but Guidable believes adequately conveying and delivering your personal thoughts and affections toward your special someone is equally important. Don’t know what to say in front of your Japanese girlfriend or boyfriend? Do you completely forget what you have prepared beforehand?
Fret not, Guidable’s Love Pocket Dictionary is here to save your Valentine!
[/name/君のは他の人より、ちょっと高めだよ] or [Kimi no wa hokano hito yori, chotto takame dayo]
= meaning “Compared to others, you matter to me more”
This way of saying suggests a special feeling towards the person you are interested in. Although it is not as serious as “you are the light of my life”, the expression is simple yet meaningful to tell someone that “you mean a lot to me”
[これは、日頃の感謝の気持ちだけじゃないよ] or [Kore wa, higoro no kansha no kimochi dake janai yo]
= meaning “This is not merely a feeling of daily gratitude
This expression is extremely effective if you want to develop your relationship further. Although you can choose to say your confession, we all know, converying it head on can be risky. But when you say this line instead, you can make the opposite person understand your intention of moving forward with your present relationship.
[手作りって、誰にでもあげるわけじゃないんだよ] or [Tetsukuritte, dare ni mo ageru wake janai dayo]
= meaning “What is handmade is not to give to just anyone”
You will be amazed at how often Japanese use “implied expression” to convey their true feelings. After all, leaving your partner guessing is more interesting than outwardly saying your affection, right?
In this case, in Japan, giving a straight-forward note about your handmade chocolate is necessary to win the heart of your special someone. With this expression only, you can provoke many thoughts inside your partner`s mind, such as “Is this a confession?” or “Does this mean she likes me?” and it is more interesting than a simple “I like you”.
Guidable wishes you all the best with delivering your love chocolate and your words of affection. Keep in mind that timing for your chocolate delivery is important, and make sure that you prepare yourself both mentally and emotionally to convey your feelings as well.
Choose the option that works best for you and love will knock your door!