The biggest difference between Japanese and Western Valentine’s Day is that in Japan, men expect to be showered with gifts by women — and never the other way around.
Men do not give gifts to women on Valentine's Day.
For most Japanese women who hesitate to share their feelings, a Japanese friend told me, Valentine’s Day can actually be the most powerful day of the year. Japan is a culture that even today values emotional restraint to the point where it’s not common for married couples to say, “I love you,”.
Valentine's Day is that chance for many women.
Valentine's Day has become so commercialized that women feel pressured to spend lots of money on chocolate for the occassion. First, there’s honmei choco (“true feeling” chocolate), which is reserved for that special someone and should be the most expensive. But, on top of that, chocolate makers have concocted more reasons for women to spend money. It’s now common for girls to treat their sista chicas to tomo choco (“friend chocolate”), and buy famili choco (“family chocolate”) for relatives.Then there's the giri choco. That’s “obligation” chocolate, which female office workers are pretty much expected to present to their male coworkers. In my school office, I was asked if I wanted to donate 10bucks to the Valentine pot to buy the male teachers chocolate (insert yawn). I did, but only because the question is a rehtorical question, I have learned in the past and saying "no thank you" is the same as saying "no, fuck you" . Also, under the banner of giri choco is sewa choco (“respect” chocolate), which is given to one’s superiors to kiss some ass, I guess.
It's all gotten so dam romantic! haha