The best, most interesting chocolate in the world can be found during Valentine’s Day, and being in the chocolate-obsessed Tokyo metropolis means we get the best of all worlds. Valentines Day in Nippon is geared toward buying gifts for men (I know, ridic. Check it out here), which means women expect OPTIONS. Lots and lots of them. And there are a lot. Like, football field-sized rooms of them. If you get your guy/boss/brother something good, then maybe you’ll get something good back on White Day (I say “maybe” because I swear to God most men forget about White Day unless you’re already a couple and women get SCREWED＊. But whetever, we like shopping for chocolates I guess right?). Oh and gurl, if you’re buying your valentine Godiva or something obvious like that, then it may prove you are boring. Don’t go there. Check these out.
Obvious: brand name chocolate. Because at least he can appreciate it unlike those obscure French brands that only show up for V-day
White chocolate can, designed by Jun Takahashi himself. This one is pretty effing rad of a choice if you ask me.
グーテ・デ・ロワ ホワイトチョコレート アンダーカバーコラボ缶
Underwear in a dynamite can! …and some skull chocolate. They definitely put some thought into this.
‘LOVE&HATE in Dynamite’ ディーゼル×コンパーテスショコラティエ
This is called their “non chocolate”, for your guy who is allergic to chocolate (or doesn’t like chocolate. But then he’s not human…and you should check to make sure)
Issey Miyake Men ソックス Issey Miyake
I mean, there are flowers on it but it’s not too girlie so it’s OK for friends and boyfriends, and it features prints from the SS 2014 collection
They look like lipsticks but they are certainly chocolate! For your girlfriends and drag queen friends.
アナスイ×セバスチャンブイエ ルージュ ア レブール
The “selling point” here is the heat-shaped GG logo. Awww!!! They have versions for both V-day and White day
The Bulgari cafe serves some pretty sweet food so the chocolate is probably going to be pretttttty good. The chocolate box features themes of two romantic cities, Florence and Kyoto. Can’t go wrong.
ブルガリ イル チョコラート
Non-fashion label but still super cool chocolates.
Hands down the coolest thing ever. They always sell out before I can buy one for myself, and I end up scrambling for leftovers just for the people I’m buying for. IT’S OUTER SPACE!
At the Rocket gallery in Harajuku is an artistic take on V-day with a chocolate mini-model of a town and a faucet that spouts hot chocolate. Upstairs you can make your own valentines day boxes. It’s super crowded so go during the weekday.
「ALCHIMIE DES CHOCOLAT」 ROCKETギャラリー
This 70% chocolate shoe is coated in real gold leaf, inspired by the “wildness” of the Amazon river. One pair(?) will cost you 12,600yen.
These chocolate hops come in several flavors, including an edible chocolate mug. Drink up!
Max Brenner’s chocolate pizza:
The crust is chewy and the toppings are from NYC’s Max Brenner which is the Mecca of pizza so you know it’s gonna be good
PIZZAチョコ MAX BRENNER
A very famous valentine chocolate eaten like sushi with chopsticks. If you’re in Japan, it would be a pretty cool choice.
These are inspired by the Japanese cardgame Karuta, played in the Muromachi-era. The 12 cards have different beautiful pictures on them, and this chocolatier is one of the best in Japan
華歌留多 べっぴん堂 本舗
For the Music fan, there are several “genres” as flavors available in cute record sleeves to match
ディスク ショコラプチ セバスチャンブイエ
Finally, check out chocolate stadium for all of your giri-choco needs (obligation chocolate, ie boss, colleague etc). There’s chocolate yakisoba and bananas and other weird, funny, gag-type stuff.
* So when I was an exchange student here one of my classmates took me to her older brother’s indie band concerts. I thought they were pretty good, but you know, it was just fun to hang out. So then my first Japanese v-day rolls around and she tells me that I gotta get her brother AND his bandmates some chocolates. Because the girl has to get chocolates. And I’m like “what?” I’m no fangurl , but she’s like, “you gotta do it, they’d LOVE it and you’ll get four boxes back on white day!” SO I’m like “Rad!” and I spend a sh*t load of my student cash on overpriced chocolates and give them to my friend to give to her brother and his band. AND GUESS WHAT. No muthereffin chocolates came back to me. White Day is a liiiiiie. Buy Giri choco at your OWN discretion!
Asst Karen Shimada