Valentine's day was two weeks ago. As you already undoubtedly know, this is celebrated a little different from the US (and Sweden, of course, where it's hardly observed at all): it's the women who give chocolates, flowers or similar to men. Next month, on "White Day", any guy who got something on Valentine's will reciprocate with gifts of chocolates or flowers of their own.
Often, women are expected to give chocolates not only to their love interest but to coworkers and bosses as well, so-called "giri choko" - obligation chocolates. New to me this year is the idea of "tomo choko" - friend chocolates - where women give chocolate to close female friends (no, chocolate sauce is not involved. Get your mind out of the gutter). Also, a lot of chocolates and candies are for sale only during this time so most of it is actually bought by people for their own consumption, not for giving away. One member of our household has a habit of buying sweets to last the rest of the year during this time; she is far from alone in doing so.
Of course, most chocolate gift recipients are male. Which is why the chocolate Ritsuko got for me this year is bordering on pure genius:
Chocolate toolset: socket wrench, spanner and pliers, packaged in a metal case. Here shot together with the real thing for comparison.
These chocolate tools actually come as a set in a gray metal case. According to Ritsuko, the shop selling these toolsets was mobbed with people, and I'm not surprised. Seriously, I have no idea how to top this come White Day next month.
Here's another picture. Yes, I had fun planning and taking them. It's the reason this post is kind of late, by the way; I had to find the time to prepare and set up this shot.
The chocolate is also really, really good - dark and bitter but cut with fresh cream to give it a wonderful balance of flavor and smoothness without being heavy.the socket wrench and half the pliers are gone already.