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News from Japan - February 14, 2022

Valentine's Day in Japan, a special tradition

Valentine's Day in Japan is a special tradition

Valentine's Day is a special and quite unique tradition in Japan. It takes place in two stages:

1) On Valentine's Day (February 14): Women offer chocolates to men. There are several types of chocolates, depending on the nature of the relationship.

  • The giri-choco (義理チョコ - "courtesy chocolate"), for men they see regularly but are unfamiliar with, such as a colleague. It is offered as a mark of politeness or even of social obligation.
  • The honmei-choco (本命チョコ - "destiny chocolate") for the man who matters most. The chocolates are in a heart-shaped box.
  • The tomo-choco (友チョコ - "friendship chocolates"), generally offered between girls, especially during middle school and high school. 
  • The jibun-choco (自分チョコ - "chocolates for oneself"), which are reserved for singles. Moreover, studies show that this trend is increasing more and more. In 2019, there are four times more expenditure of jibun-choco what of giri-choco.

It is said that women in Japan are too shy to declare their feelings to men. Thus, these chocolates help them express what they feel.

2) White Day (March 14): Men who received chocolates give a gift in return. White in color, these are chocolates, cookies, chamallos, even jewelry or lingerie in the event of a closer relationship.

According to tradition, the value of this gift must be two to three times that of the chocolates received on Valentine's Day, hence its name.  sanbaigaeshi (Triple return-“triple retour”).


Viral video: The hotel room for 4 euros

Viral video: The hotel room for 4 euros in Osaka

A video is going viral on TikTok. Jesse Ogundiran posted a preview of a hotel room at an excessively low price: 500 yen, or almost 4 euros.

Located in Osaka, this room allows travelers to save money. However, it had some comfort flaws (logical given the price), with a smell of urine, a stained mattress but above all, a tiny room.

In the room, there were blankets and sheets, a small desk and a television (which did not work).

The Kaname Hotel video has been viewed over 7 million times. This type of hotel is very rare. Generally, budget-conscious people prefer to use capsule hotels, costing 15~20 euros more.


Record of a shogi player

Fujii Sota holds the record for the game of shogi, japanese chess

Fujii Sota holds the record in board game: shōgi (将棋 - "generals game"). Approaching the game of chess, there are nearly 15 million players in Japan. Fujii has become the youngest player to win five major professional titles in this Japanese board game.

Aged 19 years and 6 months, he defeats the defending champion, Watanabe Akira, and wins the Osho title. He also holds the most titles among active professional shōgi players.

The object of the game is to checkmate the opposing king. However, it is difficult for foreigners to play it because of its flat parts written in kanji.

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