Barentain no Omoide

Barentain no Omoide
(Memories of Valentine’s Day)

Valentines Day? I think of clusters of cards—some made with red and pink construction paper and white doileys all set to fashion into fond wishes for favorite people. Elmer’s glue and cupid shapes…..I also think of the Jikei University Hospital where I spent last year’s Valentine’s Day night getting splinted and casted after an ice skating fiasco. Plaster aside, the holiday is generally celebrated differently in Japan than it is in America.

In Japan, Valentine’s Day has the distinction (one way of putting it Ladies….) of being celebrated FOR MEN. Yep, Men. (so, desu) We “gals” (there’s that word that should send shivers of doom up the spine of any woman over the age of 21) have the honour of buying chocolates for the men in our lives. Some we love…and in the case of “OBLIGATION” chocolates…..some we merely must acknowledge. The trick for the Lucky recipient is to determine in which category their gift belongs.

Apparently in Japan (the country with one of the lowest birth rates on the planet) this is a harder task than what it might seem to those reading about it in America or Europe…….SURPRISE.

Well YYC has found part of the solution….at least in the form of chocolate Acquisition in the States. And, since it is the ‘States’–You Big Boys out there should fetch your wallet since YOU are about to pony up. We discovered the RUSSELL STOVER Factory Outlet (which also vends Whitman fare, I might add—so get those Sampler orders ready).

Chocolates at Russell Stover Outlet

Yes!! Solidly stocked Walls of chocolate confection in every shape and size. Open the door and you’re awash in a swell of cocoa fragrance. On the yyc scent-o-meter it’s right up there with ‘Eau de NEW CAR’…..(Take that one–Corne’s Ferrari–BAM).

La Maison du Chocolat Omotesando Closed

As for Nihon, Maison du Chocolat appears to be temporarily closed in Omotesando, therefore Hiroshi Abe will have to wait for my box of Orangettes….same with the Grains de Cafe I had slated for Yutaka Takenouchi, although the outpost near Printemps in the Ginza was alive and kicking last month.

The aforementioned ‘gals’ in Japan get their turn at bat with the same ritual in March (aka ‘White Day‘)….wonder how long chocolate keeps if it’s wrapped? Never had the willpower to find out. Bet someone in Tokyo knows.

Be My Valentine?

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