Are you tired of celebrating the same old Valentine’s Day every year? Why not spice things up by celebrating White Day, a unique holiday in Japanese culture? It will be a memorable and exciting experience for you and your partner and will allow you to learn about a different culture. Check out this blog article to learn more about the differences between Valentine’s Day and White Day and make this year’s celebration one to remember!
1. History of White Day: What Is White Day?
In Japanese culture, White Day is celebrated on the 14th of March, a day for men to show appreciation to the women who gifted them on Valentine’s Day. White symbolises purity and sweet, young love and is also associated with sugar. This holiday, originally called “Ai ni Kotaeru White Day” or “Answer Love on White Day,” is a chance for men to return the favour and express gratitude.
In Japan, women give men chocolates on Valentine’s Day. These chocolates can be “chocolate of love” or “courtesy chocolate.” If the chocolate is homemade, it shows that the man is the woman’s “only one.” One month later, on White Day, men are expected to give gifts to the women who gave them gifts on Valentine’s Day. On White Day, gifts should be of significantly greater value than those given on Valentine’s Day; this commonly means “thrice the return.” If a man fails to give a gift on White Day and offers an explanation, it might still be interpreted as a sign of Dominance. Giving a gift of equal value is a way to end the relationship.
2. White Day vs. Valentine’s Day: Key Differences and Similarities
Valentine’s Day and White Day are holidays associated with love and romance. They are both celebrated annually and involve the exchange of gifts and gestures of affection between partners.
One of the main differences between the two holidays is that Valentine’s Day is primarily celebrated in Western countries, while White Day is primarily celebrated in East Asian countries, particularly Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan. Another difference is that on Valentine’s Day, the women generally initiate gift-giving and make romantic gestures towards the men in their lives. On White Day, the roles are reversed, and the men are expected to give gifts and make romantic gestures towards the women who gave them gifts on Valentine’s Day.
3. Why Do Japanese People Celebrate White Day
A small sweets shop in Fukuoka created White Day as a marketing campaign in Japan in the late 1970s. The shop owner came up with the idea after reading a letter in a women’s magazine from a reader who lamented that women don’t get anything in return for the chocolates they give on Valentine’s Day. The shop owner, inspired by the idea of returning gifts (or “okaeshi”) in Japanese culture, decided to create a holiday on March 14th, one month after Valentine’s Day, where men would give gifts to the women who gave them gifts on Valentine’s Day.
The holiday was initially called “Marshmallow Day” due to the special marshmallow sweets that were created for the occasion but were later changed to “White Day” to reflect the white colour of marshmallows. Today, White Day is a well-established holiday in Japan and other East Asian countries and is a time for men to show their appreciation and gratitude to the women in their lives.
4. Places To Celebrate White Day in Japan
1. Inokashira Park
Looking for a romantic spot for a date in Kichijoji? Inokashira Park is a picturesque green space full of charming coffee shops perfect for a cozy breakfast or lunch. And when the cherry trees around the pond are in full bloom in March or April, take a scenic boat ride on Inokashira Pond for a truly magical experience. Located just a short walk from JR Kichijoji Station. The perfect spot for a romantic stroll.
2. Sumida River dinner cruise
Take a romantic dinner cruise on a traditional Japanese houseboat along the Sumida River in Tokyo. The three-hour cruise includes a traditional multi-course Japanese dinner and all-you-can-drink specials, plus breathtaking night views of the city. See Tokyo Skytree, Rainbow Bridge, and Odaiba island as you dine and enjoy the scenery. And if you visit in spring, you’ll get to see the cherry blossoms in full bloom.
3. The Sagano Romance Train
Experience the beauty of nature on the Sagano Romance Train in Kyoto, the perfect way to take in the stunning cherry blossoms and maple trees of the region. The open-air train ride runs year-round, but the best times to go are during the milder temperatures of spring and fall. Winter and summer can be beautiful seasons too, but the weather may be too cold or hot to fully enjoy the ride. The 15-minute train ride departs from Saga Torokko Station, a train museum located next to Saga-Arashiyama Station, home to the famous Arashiyama Bamboo Forest and surrounding area. Purchase tickets in advance online or at most train stations in Kyoto for an unforgettable journey through the mountains of western Kyoto.
4. Okinawa: Relax at the beaches
Escape to Okinawa for the ultimate romantic getaway in Japan. With its stunning white sandy beaches and crystal clear waters, this paradise is the perfect place to spend quality time with your loved one. Discover secluded spots to watch the sunrise and sunset together, and treat yourselves to a luxurious stay at one of the top honeymoon resorts in the region. Okinawa is a must-visit for couples seeking a romantic escape and the perfect choice for a honeymoon destination in Japan
5. Exploring the Different Types of Chocolate and Their Meanings
Japanese women are expected to gift the following chocolate on Valentine’s Day depending on the kind of relationship they have with the recipient:
Giri-choco – This gift, known as ‘obligation chocolate,’ is given as a sign of gratitude to male friends, family members, bosses, or colleagues.
Honmei-choco – Honmei-choco is a type of chocolate that is often handmade and given as a gift to a romantic partner, such as a spouse or significant other.
Jibun-choco – Jibun-choco is chocolate that you can treat yourself to as a well-deserved little gift
Tomo-choco – Tomo-choco is usually an expensive and elaborate type of chocolate that is exchanged between female friends and enjoyed without the presence of men.
Gyaku-choco – Gyaku-choco, or ‘reverse chocolate,’ is given to a woman by a man on Valentine’s Day. While not as common as other types of Valentine’s Day gifts, it is an acceptable gift since it is traditionally expected that mehonmei choco will reciprocate on White Day the following month.
I hope this article helps you even though white day is not the same as valentines day. While not to the same degree as Valentine’s Day, White Day has its events, with special corners in sweets shops, department stores, and supermarkets. If you happen to be in Japan at that time, you will want to check out and visit the places that are a hotspot for couples! If you received chocolate this Valentine’s Day, try giving something back on March 14. You might be surprised at their reaction!
Unable to celebrate White day in Japan?
Missing out on celebrating White Day in Japan this year? Don’t worry. Ikeda Spa has you covered! We’ve created the perfect luxurious spa experience and a special Valentine and White Day spa package inspired by Japanese tradition. You’ll experience an authentic Japanese Hinoki Onsen bath and enjoy the best of both holidays with our Valentine’s and White Day spa packages. Treat yourself to a relaxing and indulgent experience at Ikeda Spa this year!
Details you should take note of:
Valentines day package: 14th January to 14th February
White day package: 14th February to 14th March (stay tune)