[Trivia] In Japan, 20% of Annual Consumption of Chocolate is consumed on Valentine’s Day Alone

On this day, every corner of Japan is filled with chocolate.

Naoki Yoshioka
Naoki Yoshioka

XAMOSCHi Chief Editor

Establisher of tempo, Inc. a web production company. Naoki has been in the web industry ever since he established the company in 2000. He specializes in tech, culture and also loves international movies and literature. Naoki is also keen on studying old Japanese material arts (Sousuishiryu-Kumiuchi-Koshinomawari: Seirenkan and Aikido: Aikikai) and continues his training until today.

The department store I passed by the other day already had a special corner for chocolate. It was a month till Valentine’s Day, and the ladies are intent preparing for the day.


  1. In Japan, Valentine’s day is a day for ladies to give chocolate to guys to tell them that they love them
  2. A store campaign in 1960 was the start of this custom.
  3. The custom was applied enthusiastically, notably by students, in 1970s
  4. The idea of Valentine’s Day matched the situation that Japanese are shy to tell people their feelings, but it makes it easier if there was a special day for it.
  5. Its kind of sad not having anyone to give chocolate, so ladies spend of lot of time thinking who to give it to
  6. Looking for someone just for the day, might be like looking for a prom date
  7. Giving a hand-made chocolate is considered the supreme way of expressing one’s love
  8. As years passed by, a new rule to give chocolate to male friends formed.
  9. This is called “GIRI choco (obligation chocolate)”
  10. On the other hand, the chocolate you give to a guy you love is called the “HONMEI choco (main chocolate)”
  11. Guys who can’t even get a GIRI choco are pretty hurt
  12. On Valentine’s Day, both girls and boys are restless and can’t concentrate on their classes
  13. When I was in elementary school, I once got 12 chocolates!
  14. It was the highest record of the year in my school
  15. Grown-ups started giving GIRI choco to their co-workers in offices
  16. This boosted the consumption amount of chocolate on Valentine’s Day


In my childhood days, Valentine’s Day was the most important day of the year. On the day, there were those crying, laughing.. all kinds of drama happened in school. It was kind of like a battle field. Maybe children nowadays enjoy the day with a lighter feeling. Will my baby son be able to get chocolate in the future? The thought worries me already.



Translated by Elena



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