Valentine’s Day in Japan has a bit of a twist to it to what some of us from the West might be use to…only the women give presents to men!  Women need to wait for White Day for their presents.

The history of the thinking behind this was that Japanese women were too shy to express their love and that Valentine’s Day could provide a great opportunity for them to do this.    I am not sure the shyness part is true as much nowadays but the tradition still holds.   Traditionally women give chocolates but the yearly ritual has expanded to more elaborate gifts as well.   The chocolate companies in Japan have used this to boost their sales with so much success that they actually do half of their annual sales in the week leading up to Valentine’s day!   Men are suppose to return the gifts to the women a month later on March 14th on “White Day”.

I love buying my wife chocolates so I celebrate both holidays…but if you forgot to get something for your wife turn it around on her and say you are just being cultural and ask her where your gift is….

Valentine's Day in Japan

My wife and I exchanged gifts tonight as we are both very busy in the morning.  My sweet wife got me two photography books in addition to chocolate to add to my growing library.

Lee Friedlander

Lee Friedlander

I imagine this will be a common scene at the train stations tomorrow night…

Love in front of Shibuya Station

The view from my office window…

Shinjuku, Tokyo, Japan

This is really neat.  At Roppongi Hills before you drive down into the Parking Garage you stop over this plate and it measures your car’s height, width, lenght and weight to make sure you fit in the automated parking garage.

Car Measurer

You would think this would not need to be said…but please don’t leave your people in the car.  You need to take them with you when you go.   Your pets as well…

Don't leave your people in the car

I always forget to spend my change and I can end up with a lot of change in my pocket at the end of the day.  I remember I paid a highway toll once with 1 yens… (a toll is around 700 yen in Japan).   The toll guy was really annoyed.

Paying with change

Back with the next installment of ‘Big America’…

McDonald's in Japan

Las Vegas style….

Las Vegas Burger

Movie concession stand in Japan…

Movies in Japan



The rewards of a long day…

Rewards for the day

A closed Yakitori Alley

Tokyo Taxi

It is a little hard to be afraid with this car or bicycle behind you…

Mini Police Car

ECO-Delivery in Japan…not sure if this has shown up in other cities but in Japan a lot of the local ‘Fedex’ type companies are doing their deliveries by bicycles.

Eco Delivery

I find such humor in the excessive no parking signs.  It is a bit cultural where they just keep putting up more signs to continue to politely tell people not to park.

No Parking

People politely ignore them…

No Parking

Some just destroy the cones…

Head Hunted Cones

…or bully them.

Bully Cones

I have been shooting trains a lot lately…

Jiyugaoka Station

The train car becomes a world onto itself…

Trains in Tokyo

I have been trying to get the right background so I can shoot through the train as it passes by…

Trains in Tokyo

Trains in Tokyo

Trains in Tokyo

Trains in Tokyo

The one thing I love in Tokyo… late night ramen.

Ramen in Tokyo

Tired after a couple of long weeks…

Dave Powell of ShootTokyo

Thanks for stopping by.   Enjoy your  Valentine’s Day…