Celebrate Valentine’s Day with Japanese Sparkle

Saint Valentine is once more galloping towards you on his white horse of love. But if you’re fed up with his boring, odourless roses and tiresome teddys, why not look East for inspiration this year? Read our blog post and embrace a Japanese Valentine’s Day for 2015.

Japan has a proud tradition of taking festivals from the West, giving them a quirky twist and then going to town celebrating them, and Valentine’s day is no different. Have a look through our Valentine’s categories and find out what makes it special.

Giri Choco (義理チョコ)

Did you know that in Japan, Valentine’s chocolate is given exclusively by girls to boys? And it’s not just to dashing potential husbands or smug current boyfriends. Giri choco translates as ‘obligation chocolate’, and is given by ladies to male chums, colleagues and bosses. photo1

We think giri choco is a great addition to Valentine’s proceedings – not only is it a fine opportunity to show your male mate that you think he’s a good egg with a nice bit of choccy, but it also makes lonely lads feel a little bit less bleak on this sad day for singletons. In the spirit of our homeland, we’ve laid on a spread of giri choco options for you to present to your true loves this Valentine’s – your mates!

 largepandaOur Panda-monium gift set is the ultimate kawaii collection of tasty treats, perfect to give away to your pals  giri2Biscuit Beauties – what better way to treat your chums than oh-so-original biscuits with Japanese funkiness  pinkWho doesn’t love strawberries? This Ichigo Indulgence set is sure to impress your favourite peeps

Honmei Choco (本命チョコ)

Now this stuff really is the cats pyjamas. Honmei Choco translates as “true feelings” chocolate and is given unto handsome charmers, potential suitors and one true loves. Giving Honmei Choco is the perfect way to show someone you really care, without having to go through the cringeworthy process of writing a sonnet or serenading them on a screechy violin (we’ve had some had some unfortunate Valentine’s dates… moving on quickly). Now let’s take a look at some of the best Honmei Choco this side of Kyoto.

Credit: Eugenio Frasca


The Queen of our Honmei Choco selection, our Matcha Decadence Set is destined to delight all matcha lovers Our Message and a Bottle gift sets are the perfect way to personalise your Valentine’s gift, with premium quality products from Japan Inscribe your message of luuuurve here. We dare you to pen a haiku and send it this way

Sake & Plum Wine

Enjoying the right tipple on Valentine’s is of great importance in Japan. This is not the time to guzzle ramune or slurp on calpis, but enjoy the sophisticated elegance of Japan’s finest beverages. Sharing or giving Sake & Plum Wine this Valentine’s is a surefire way to add sparkle to the evening. Sake-and-Shochu-Cocktails
 Gekkeikan Horin Junmai Daiginjo Sake is the cream of the crop when it comes to our Gekkeikan sake range, enjoying the approval of Gekkeikan’s boss and our very own in store sake somelier Naoyuki. Perfect as an elegant gift or a magical drink to share on Valentine’s Sparkling sake literally adds Japanese sparkle to your Valentine’s celebrations. A glass of this is the perfect way to kick off an evening of romance
Why not really push the boat out this year? Mix up our sensational strawberry sake recipe and enjoy a cocktail of love

The Food Of Love

Dining on the best food in the world is the order of the day on Valentine’s in Japan. We think there’s no greater way to spend Valentine’s than enjoying the food you love in each other’s company.


Try out our romantic heart shaped sushi, or grab some freshly made from umai at Japan Centre, Piccadilly

Our food kits like this one especially for rustling up Okonomiyaki can be a super fun way to stay in and make Japanese cuisine together this Valentine’s…
…or pop down to our little brother restaurant Shoryu Ramen and take advantage of their splendid Valentine’s spread for two

As you can see, adding a Japanese sparkle to Valentine’s this year is easy peasy with Japan Centre and will ensure your night of romance is unforgettable. So treat your mates with our Giri Choco, seduce the love of your life with our Honmei and then party the night away with our Sake & Plum Wine and Japanese cuisine.

Thanks to Eugenio Frasca for the image of the couple under the torii gate, check out his page here