Exclusive Varieties for Valentine’s Day! 5 Japanese Chocolate Brands You Have to Try
Valentine's Day, which is celebrated on February 14 every year, is known worldwide as a day for couples, but in Japan, it is a day to send chocolates to someone you fancy. This article introduces recommended chocolate brands for your Valentine's Day shopping.
Valentine's Day in Japan
St. Valentine's Day is observed around the world on February 14 each year as a day to celebrate romantic love. While it is common in Western countries for couples to spend time together and for the male partner to give flowers, cards and presents, such as jewelry, in Japan, it is a day for women to give chocolates to men they are interested in.
Today, there is the custom of not only giving "honmei choco" to a man a woman fancies, but also to give "giri choco" (loyalty chocolate) to people who have been good to you and to exchange "tomo choco" (friend chocolate) with friends. Recently, there are many people who buy fancy "jibun choco" (myself chocolate) as a reward for themselves.
The Valentine's Day season becomes a bit of a fiesta in Japan with supermarkets and convenience stores offering chocolates wrapped specifically for Valentine's Day and department stores holding Valentine's Day fairs with chocolates by famous overseas brands and chocolatiers and organizing related events.
ROYCE' is a chocolate brand from Hokkaido that is hugely popular for its unique line of chocolates, such as the chocolate-covered potato chips, Potatochip Chocolate, and chocolate bars that combine a variety of ingredients with chocolate. If you are selecting a Valentine's Day chocolate at ROYCE', go with its signature Nama Chocolate [Au Lait]. The smooth chocolate made with the perfect balance of high quality fresh cream from Hokkaido and milk chocolate and a hint of alcohol that is added as an accent has a melty texture that will get you hooked.
Price: 778 JPY (incl. tax)
MOROZOFF is a confectioner from Kobe that is credited with igniting the practice of sending chocolates on Valentine's Day. It introduces about 20 different types of Valentine's Day chocolates for a limited time every year. The 2020 recommendation, EAU DE FLEURS, is a line with the perfect balance of aromatic scents and chocolate and is the perfect, elegant reward for yourself. There are three assortments—Floral Bouquet with lustrous, floral aromas; Fruity Citrus with bright citrus aromas; and Oriental Sweet with alluring oriental aromas—so you can choose one that suits your mood.
Price: 702 JPY (incl. tax) and up for a box of 6
WAKO, an iconic department store in Ginza, introduces Chocolat Frais, a line of limited-time Valentine's Day chocolates individually prepared by hand using carefully selected ingredients in the store's in-house workshop. There is a wide selection of assortments, such as the Spécialité that includes chocolates selected from a total of 48 different flavors including 16 that are only available for Valentine's and the Comparaison, a selection of chocolates with different levels of cacao content designed to enjoy the varying flavors and aromas. Be sure to visit the store to make your selection.
Price: 1,296 JPY (incl. tax) for a box of 3 and up
The Grand Caramel with dried fruits and nuts on high-quality milk chocolate
Mary's, considered to be a major player in the popularization of Japanese-style Valentine's Day, has been producing high quality chocolates with great flavor since its establishment. It offers a wide variety of Valentine's Day chocolates, among which the GRACIOUS series, notable for its beautiful packaging featuring roses, is highly recommended. In particular, the AMABILE, comes in an adorable round can with rose-shaped chocolates and truffles of various flavors—the perfect gift to show off your good taste.
Price: 648 JPY (incl. tax) for a box of 10 and up
Since its establishment, OGGI has been creating innovative sweets that overturn preconceived notions about confectionery. Its signature product is the Chocolat de Chocolat, which has been described as having a texture like foie gras. Contrary to its simple appearance, it is a luxurious chocolate with a thick, rich texture that is smooth on the tongue and a spicy scent that goes perfectly with the aroma of the chocolate. The taste can change depending on the temperature and how thickly it is sliced, so you can enjoy a variety of different flavors.
Price: 1,620 JPY (incl. tax)
How was it? Valentine's Day season is a time when exclusive chocolate brands that are not commonly seen in stores and limited-time chocolates make their appearance—a great opportunity to go to a variety of different stores to find the perfect chocolate for you.
*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.
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