How Japan celebrates Valentines Day

Valentine’s day is really a new western tradition that has spread around the world, and some countries have adopted their own interpretation of how to celebrate it. Japan is one such country -famed for their innovation- here the basic concept is to pamper men on Valentines! It’s widely accepted that on Valentine’s day, all shy women will boldly purchase presents (usually heart shaped boxes of chocolate) for their heart-throbs. Now here’s the catch: the receivers of said gifts are obligated to return the favour one month later on March 14, a day celebrated in japan as ‘White day’. For those sick of the Valentine’s day cheesiness – the Japanese make courtship the objective of a whole month.

Japan isn’t a destination which screams romance, but on second thought most of us can think of a few romantic ideas surrounding Japan. For the Japanese themselves, one time of year is worth celebrating and best celebrated with a loved one: The Cherry Blossom bloom. So it’s quite convenient for them to practice this altered Valentines day practice, as the Cherry blossoms bloom in Spring, more or less the beginning of April, allowing all shy lovers a 2 month opportunity to find somebody to smooch under the cherry blossom tree.

Many cities in Japan have Cherry Blossoms, but Kyoto and Tokyo are the big draws. In Tokyo, Ueno Park is famous for its cherry blossoms, and equally so along the lengths of the Sumida River. Springtime is actually a fantastic season to visit Japan, as warming temperatures, clear skies and cool nights are typical.

We asked our Asia product manager Bronwyn to recommend some travel ideas to Japan, here’s what she suggested:

Japan In Depth for 8 days from 2415 USD or $2609 CAD, is a great way to take in Japan’s highlights and brilliant natural scenery during this festive time. These fragile blossoms are only in bloom for a short period of time, so it’s best to book a trip soon to see Japan in a romantic explosion of pink and white! Package includes 7 nights’ accommodation, train travel within Japan, transfers, sightseeing, breakfast daily.

For those who are short on time: Tokyo and Kyoto Highlights is just 5 days and this great value tour is just from $1519 CAD or $1405 USD per person. It showcases the highlights of modern and traditional Japan, combining Tokyo, Hakone and Kyoto. This package includes: 4 nights’ hotel accommodation, Tokyo, Mt Fuji & Hakone and Kyoto sightseeing, airport transfers, breakfast daily & train fare.


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Bronwyn Hodge

Idyllic Islands General Manager - Growing up in a family travel business, Bronwyn has been travelling from a very young age. Her favourite experience was 3 months spent backpacking through India and Southeast Asia. She counts many countries among her ‘favourites,’ but is especially fond of Australia for its lifestyle, Cambodia for its culture and resilience, and Japan for its contrasts. She holds the proud distinction of being Goway’s only former Bollywood star – having once starred in a Coke commercial in Mumbai.

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