White Day in Hiroshima and Other Events in March

ByHugh Cann
Mar 04, 2020

White Day in Hiroshima and Other Events in March

Valentine’s Day is not all chocolates and roses for men; you have to pay the piper. Exactly one month later, on March 14, men who received a “honmei-choco,” (‘chocolate of love’) or “giri-choco” (‘obligation chocolate’) on Valentine’s Day are expected to return the favor by like-wise giving gifts. Traditionally, popular White Day gifts are cookies, jewelry, white chocolate, white lingerie, and marshmallows. Sometimes the term “sanbai gaeshi” (‘triple the return’) is used to describe the generally recited rule for men that the return gift should be two to three times the worth of Valentine’s gift.

White Day started in 1978 with the National Confectionery Industry Association as a response (read: double-dip, cynical old me LOL) to Valentine’s Day, because men should pay back the women who gave them chocolate and other gifts on Valentine’s Day. In the late 70s, a Fukuoka based confectionery company, Ishimuramanseido, marketed marshmallows to men on March 14, calling it Marshmallow Day.

Shortly after, confectionery companies cottoning on to the opportunity began marketing white chocolate. These days the spectrum of gifts men give to women they received chocolate on Valentine’s Day has widened: jewelry or things with sentimental value or white clothing like lingerie, flowers, and other gifts.

EVENTS in MARCH 2020

***Given the new circumstances of the spread of Coronavirus are canceled, and I recommend contacting the Hiroshima Tourist Centres (see list at bottom) to confirm them.***

March 8

Kintai-kyo Bridge Road Races
2km, 5km, 10km and Half Marathon distance road races held next to the beautiful Kintai-kyo Bridge in Iwakuni.

Kudamatsu Kasadojima Island Trail Race
Challenging early season trail races of varying distance (32km, 19km, 2.4km) on a pretty island in the Inland Sea of the coast of Yamaguchi Prefecture.

March 14 – March 15

Cross Shimanami Stamp Rally
Love a “Stamp Rally”? This is an event when people go from place to place, putting a unique rubber stamp in a book or a card to prove they’ve hit the checkpoint, often with special gifts as an incentive. They are a great way to discover new places, and the Shimanami Kaido hosts one of Japan’s longest stamp rallies over two days in March.

During the “Shimanami Juusou/Shimanami Traverse,” rather than a book and rubber stamps, participants check-in at the various locations on a free smartphone app. Participants are welcome to walk as well as cycle. There is no charge for entry, and you can hit as many or as few as you like.

**The event is held March 14 and 15 and checkpoints open 07:00-17:00

Be aware that a lot of people are expected to take part, and if you are planning to do the event over two days, you are advised to book accommodation as early as possible.

You can download the “Shimanami Kaido App” app for iOS and Android.

March 22

Kiyomori Festival
Heian period costume parade on Miyajima to honor the memory of Taira Kiyomori, who, developing Itsukushima Shrine during the 12th century, laid the foundations for the prosperity of the island.

Parade route:
Square in front of Miyajima pier → Omotesando Shopping Arcade → Mikasahama beach → Itsukushima Shrine → Kiyomori Shrine
March 22 / 1:00 pm – 3:30 pm / Free
Miyajima
Hatsukaichi-shi, Hiroshima-ken Japan

March 29

Momo-mi Peach Blossom Viewing Tea Ceremony
Tea ceremonies through the day at this annual tea ceremony at Shukkei-en Garden.

Price: ¥600 plus park admission fee
Date: March 29 / 10:00 am – 3:00 pm

@ Shukkei-en Garden
2-11 Kaminobori-Cho, Naka-Ku
Hiroshima-shi, Hiroshima-ken 730-0014 Japan
Phone:
(082)221-3620

TOURIST INFORMATION CENTRES

Miyajima Tourist Information Office

Address: Beside Miyajima Pier, 1162-18 Miyajima-Cho, Hatsukaichi City, Hiroshima Pref.
Phone: +81-(0)829-44-2011
Opening Hours: 9:00-18:00
Language: English (Always)

Fukuyama Tourist Information Centre

Address: JR Fukuyama Station, 30-1 Sannomaru-Cho, Fukuyama City, Hiroshima Pref.
Phone: +81-(0)84-922-2869
Opening Hours: 9:00-17:15; Closed on Dec. 29-Jan.3
Language: English (Always)

Shin-Onomichi Station Tourist Information Office

Address: JR Shin-Onomichi Station, 9381-4 Kurihara-Cho, Onomichi City, Hiroshima Pref.
Phone: +81-(0)848-22-6900
Opening Hours: 9:30-18:00; Closed on Dec.29-Jan.3
Language: English (Always)

Hiroshima City Tourist Information Centre

(JR Hiroshima Sta. South Exit)
Address: At the General Information Counter on the 1F (Next to the Ticket Reservation Office near one of the regular line exits), JR Hiroshima Sta. South Exit, 2-37 Matsubara-Cho, Minami-Ku, Hiroshima City, Hiroshima Pref
Phone: +81-(0)82-261-1877
Opening Hours: 9:00-17:30
Language: English (Always), Chinese(Sometimes), Korean(Sometimes)

Hiroshima City Tourist Information Centre

(JR Hiroshima Sta. Shinkansen Exit)
Address: JR Hiroshima Sta. Shinkansen Exit, Concourse 2F, 2-37 Matsubara-Cho, Minami-Ku, Hiroshima City, Hiroshima Pref
Opening Hours: 9:00-17:30
Language: English (Always), Chinese(Sometimes), Korean(Sometimes)

Hiroshima City Tourist Information Centre

(Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park – Rest House)
Address: Rest House in Peace Memorial Park, 1-1 Nakajima-Cho, Naka-Ku, Hiroshima City, Hiroshima Pref.
Phone: +81-(0)82-247-6738
Opening Hours: 9:30-18:00(Apr.-Sep); 9:30-19:00(Aug.1-15); 8:30-17:00(Oct.-Mar.)
Language: English (Always), Chinese (Sometimes), Korean(Sometimes)

Image: by John Hritz via flickr.com [CC BY-NC 2.0] – modified

About the author

Hugh Cann editor