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White Day guide for expats living in Japan

Among what must be discovered and experienced from the Japanese culture, noteworthy and memorable is for sure the White Day. This unique day in Japan celebrates the idea of men giving back to women in the form of a gift, as expression of love and respect.

Whether you are an expat living in Japan looking to dive headfirst into this culture or you are looking to arrange the holiday of a lifetime to show your appreciation to a significant other, the team here at Santa Fe Relocation compiled all the information you need to know about White Day in Japan.

What is White Day?

This special event takes place every year exactly one month after Valentine’s Day on March 14th . Valentine’s Day in Japan is a day where the women give store-bought or handmade chocolate gifts to someone who they have a crush on or someone that they admire such as a friend, a family relative or even a colleague or a boss. But how is this relevant to White Day?

Well, on White Day the opposite happens. In short, the men who received a gift on Valentine’s Day must send something in return. Cookies, jewellery and marshmallows are just three of the most popular items that are gifted on this day.

Why is it celebrated?

White Day was created by the National Confectionery Association and was originally marketed as ‘Marshmallow Day’. The day was first celebrated in 1978 as an answer to Valentine’s Day. Since then, the day has been celebrated across a number of neighbouring countries including China, Vietnam and Taiwan.

Gifts can also be sent to bosses or elders of the family as a symbol of respect. This, therefore, shows that it is much more than giving gifts and more of a sign of admiration.

How can you celebrate?

Celebrating this interesting day with your significant loved one doesn’t have to be extravagant. With the busy lifestyle of Japan, it is important to take time for yourself. Although it may seem tempting to go all out, many celebrate in the comfort of their own home. So, why not create a nice home cooked meal such as sushi or Yakitori and enjoy some time valuable together?

How can you share the Tradition?

Whether you have recently relocated and are looking to send someone a White Day gift back home or want to celebrate the event in your home country, you can. By preparing your White Day gift up to a week in advance, you can rest assured that it will be delivered on time. For an extra special touch, enclose a handwritten note!


Are you moving to Japan? Whether you are moving locally or internationally we are here to help you. 

Get in touch now to speak with one of our experienced consultants on 020 8961 4141, today.

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