[Valentine's Day] Gift guide for Japanese couples: modern options
Valentine's Day is just around the corner and stores are already stocking up on chocolates and sweets. While giving chocolate is a traditional and popular gift option in Japan, it can become monotonous and predictable. In this article, we're going to explore alternative gift ideas that break away from the annual chocolate fever. If you're looking for something new and unique, keep reading to get inspired.
Overview of the tradition giving chocolates for Valentine’s Day
Chocolate is a traditional and popular Valentine's Day gift choice in Japan. But did you know how the tradition originated? The custom of giving chocolates on Valentine's Day began in the 1950s and has been a widespread tradition ever since. Japanese department store Isetan is known as one of the first department stores to introduce the concept of Valentine's Day in Japan. In 1958, they started their "Valentine's Sale," which was a special promotion selling heart-shaped chocolates, flowers, and other gifts suitable for Valentine's Day.
Isetan's Valentine's sale was a huge success, attracting many customers who were looking for gifts for their loved ones. This success helped establish Valentine's Day as a popular holiday in Japan, and set an example for other department stores and retailers to follow. Japan's chocolate industry seized the opportunity and began selling chocolates as Valentine's Day gifts. This marketing strategy turned chocolate into a universally recognized and expected Valentine's Day gift.
The custom of giving chocolate has evolved over the years, with chocolate companies now offering different types of chocolate, such as milk, dark or white, as well as different packaging options, from simple to luxurious, making it even more varied. In addition, it is not limited to chocolate, it also includes other sweets such as cookies and cakes.
On the one hand, it is an established tradition that has lasted for about 70 years, on the other hand, we all crave new things. Which means it doesn't hurt to make a little change in the celebration and turn I to a modern style of celebration.
What else if not chocolate?
And here comes the fun part. We have prepared several categories of gifts that are best for women to show their own love and affection, as well as something that will be as powerful as giving chocolates.
Homemade dinner in a romantic ambience
A homemade meal can be a thoughtful and unique Valentine's Day gift. Instead of going to a restaurant or buying a prepared meal, making a special dinner for your loved one is a great way to show them how much you care about them. Some new homemade meal ideas for a special Valentine's Day dinner might be as follows:
- Surf and Turf: Prepare a romantic dinner by grilling steak and seafood such as shrimp or scallops. Serve with a side of roasted vegetables and a glass of red wine.
- Coq au Vin: A classic French dish made with chicken cooked in red wine, bacon, mushrooms, and onions. It's hearty and comforting, perfect for a romantic dinner.
- Risotto: Make a creamy risotto with your loved one's favorite ingredients, such as mushrooms, asparagus, or seafood.
- Seafood Paella: A traditional Spanish dish made with saffron-flavored rice, seafood, and vegetables. It's a delicious and flavorful dish that is perfect for a romantic dinner.
- Homemade Pasta: Make your own pasta dough and use a pasta machine to create different shapes of pasta. Serve it with a homemade sauce such as a meat or seafood-based sauce or a creamy sauce.
- Homemade Pizza: Make your own pizza dough and top it with your loved one's favorite ingredients.
- Homemade Dessert: finish the meal with a homemade dessert such as Chocolate fondue, a fruit tart or a homemade ice cream.
These homemade meal ideas are perfect for a romantic dinner and give you a chance to bond and create a special moment together.
When it comes to creating a romantic atmosphere for a home-cooked meal, there are a few things you can do to set the mood. Lighting is key, so dim the lights and use candles to create a warm and intimate atmosphere. You can also set the table with your best tablecloth, tableware and silverware to give the meal a special mood. Adding a bouquet of flowers as a centerpiece will also add elegance. Listening to soft music in the background will also help create a romantic atmosphere. Finally, you can design a special menu and decorate it with a beautiful drawing or calligraphy to make it more personalized.
What's more, in our Christmas survey, men shared that they would be happy to receive homemade and handmade food.
Gifts with experiences are not only memorable, but create a special moment to share together. Whether it's a concert, a spa or a weekend trip, it's an opportunity to spend quality time together and create new memories. It's a great way to show your loved one how much you care about them and make the holiday even more special. Here are some examples of Valentine's Day gifts:
- Movie night at home: Rent a movie or stream one online and make some popcorn or snacks to enjoy together.
- DIY spa day: Give your loved one a spa day at home by running a bubble bath, lighting candles, and playing soothing music.
- Nature hike: Take a hike in a nearby nature reserve or park, and enjoy the beauty of nature together.
- Game night: Host a game night at home and play board games or card games.
- Cooking class: Sign up for an online cooking class together, or search for free recipes online and cook a new dish together at home.
- DIY concert: Create a playlist of favorite songs and have a concert night at home.
Experience gifts can be inexpensive and still provide an opportunity to make unforgettable memories and spend a special moment together. Knowing your partner’s interests and preferences, you can find a gift that is both affordable and appealing to them.
Technology gifts are a modern and practical option for Valentine's Day. Popular technology gifts include:
- Bluetooth headphones or earbuds: These are a great option for those who love music and are often on the go. Many affordable options offer high-quality sound and a comfortable fit.
- Fitness trackers: These devices can track steps, calories burned, and other fitness-related information, making them a great option for those who are into fitness and health.
- Streaming devices: Devices such as Chromecast, Amazon Firestick, or Roku allow users to stream movies, TV shows, and music on their TVs. These devices can be a great way to enjoy entertainment together.
- Portable power banks: These devices can charge smartphones and other devices on the go, making them a practical and useful gift for those who are always on the move.
- Smartphone cases: These can not only protect the phone but also add a personal touch to it. You can choose from a variety of designs, colors and materials.
Tech gifts are not only practical, but also represent a modern twist on traditional gift options. They are a great way to show your loved one that you are aware of their needs and desires and keep up with the latest trends and technology.
Besides, many tech gifts come with various features and apps that can make everyday tasks more convenient and fun. Technology gifts are a great way to show your loved one that you are willing to invest in what's important to them.
Perfect gift ideas for your loved one using the power of AI
Are you looking for a unique and thoughtful Valentine's Day gift for your loved one? Take a look at the Ringi app, which is powered by AI. With Ringi, you can find the perfect gift ideas for your loved one using the strength of AI.
Here's how it works: just sign up for the app and start communicating with the Ringi AI assistant. If you and your partner set up profile information and interests, Ringi AI will be able to give you advice based on your partner's profile.
One of the best things about Ringi is that it takes the stress and guesswork out of choosing a gift. No more endlessly flipping through online gift guides or trying to come up with ideas yourself. Just let Ringi do all the work for you, and you're sure to find a gift your partner will love.
Last words from Ringi
Are you ready to make your loved one happy with a Valentine's Day gift? Then why wait? Take note of our recommendations from this blog article or try Ringi and find the perfect Valentine's Day gift.
Ringi blog writers:
- Yerkezhan Karatayeva
- Minae Yonemura