The Valentine’s Day celebration was first introduced to Japan in 1936, but about 60 years ago was enriched with a Japanese specific custom: on Valentine’s Day, the women are giving chocolate gifts to men (and not only to loved ones but also to work colleagues).
But as many other new customs were connected here to older traditions, Valentine’s Day is also celebrated in Japan by going to Shinto shrines to pray to the gods of matchmaking and marriage… Last year, Takeyuki Taira, a student from Kyoto, had a beautiful idea: he created a giant, heart-shaped ema tablet, displaying it at the Nonomiya Shrine from Arashiyama, Kyoto, one of the most visited shrines during this period.
Why such a large ema? I don’t know exactly, but he certainly helped another Japanese Valentine’s Day tradition: taking a photo of yourself next to a large heart sign…
Yesterday’s Japan Photo: