It is well known that when the Japanese take something seriously, they can take it very seriously. This is the case of February 14, the feast day of Valentine’s Day and Valentine’s Day, which in the Japanese case should be said that, more than the day of lovers in dry, is the holiday “of lovers of chocolate.” And that is a very popular holiday in Japan in which chocolate is the absolute protagonist.
Japan did not always celebrate Valentine’s Day and, in fact, its celebration in this country has nothing to do with the Christian martyr who gave it a name or has religious connotations. Although being honest, in the rest of the world it has been a long time since this day also stopped having such connotations. In this sense, the Japanese do not differ so much from other countries where Valentine is celebrated.
The first approach to this holiday took place in 1936, with an announcement addressed to foreigners who were then in Japan and who were the ones who knew this holiday. It was these foreigners, therefore, who were willing to spend money on gifts. As a curiosity, this causes this holiday to come to Japan before even to Spain, where it was the founder of Precious Galleries who imported this holiday in the late 1940s.
Of course, the true take-off of the feast of lovers in Japan did not come until the 1950s and 1960s. It was then that Valentine became a deep-rooted holiday, with the appearance of the first heart-shaped chocolates in 1953 and the first “Valentine’s sales” in 1958, which many more would follow in later years, popularizing the holiday. And there is nothing better than good sales to encourage the consumption and popularization of a party, especially at a time when people have already recovered a bit of Christmas expenses.
And as you will surely know, unlike in many other countries that celebrate Valentine’s Day, this day is fantastic for Japanese men. Especially if they are sweet tooth, because on Japanese Valentine only women make gifts, and they always give away chocolate.
Ideally, of course, chocolate is made at home, but this happens less and less. In the first place there is less and less desire to spend time in the kitchen and, secondly, the obligations of modern life do not leave much free time for anything. Therefore, chocolate companies are looking forward to this day, and that is that they get half of all their annual sales thanks to the Valentine’s Day.
What if we don’t like chocolate?
For all of them who do not have a sweet spirit, Japanese companies have also tried to offer alternatives for Valentine’s Day. For example, a Sendai company launched a kamaboko fish cake filled with heart-shaped cheese cream.
And if this doesn’t convince you, how about a good bowl of udon, those thick noodles so popular in Japan? In this case, we talk about a variation of the popular kitsune udon, which has fried tofu. And how could it be otherwise, in this case the tofu was cut with a heart shape. This dish was created in 2015 by the Osawaya restaurant in the city of Shibukawa in Gunma prefecture. And if someone could not get there, in their online store sold for 730 yen everything you need to do at home with your partner.