Monday, January 31, 2011
Sending Flowers and Gifts in Japan
Don't worry, it's going to be OK. You've still got some time to buy a gift, and today we're even going to show two shopping options you can check out without even brushing your hair and getting dressed.
And it gets even better if you're a guy! In Japan, guys don't usually send Valentines gifts to girls anyway. Valentines is a day when women send stuff (mainly chocolate) to men. Men return the favor with a gift of sweets, flowers, diamonds, cars, houses, etc. a month later, on a Japan-only holiday called White Day.* So, for our male readers, there's a whole six more weeks left to procrastinate!
*White Day, March 14, is technically also observed in China, South Korea, and Taiwan.
Anyway, back to the point: If your special someone(s) is/are far away from you, you can always use a gift service to send a gift when you can't deliver it personally. Here are two great florists who deliver nationwide:
Japangift.net provides full English service for shipping a wide selection of reasonably priced flowers and goods across Japan. They also offer patrons the option of paying for gifts through Paypal, meaning even gift-givers outside of Japan can place an order. The downside of this arrangement is that the gifts you send may cost more or less than normal depending on the exchange rate of the currency of your Paypal account.
Flowerfarm.co.jp is a Japanese-language only service, but they have some of the most conservative prices I've found among delivery florists. Simple arrangements run just under 3000 yen, and more exaggerated arrangements can be tailored to a number of occasions, including birthdays, seasonal events, and condolences. Flowerfarm is primarily intended for gift-givers who are in Japan, because their methods of payment are limited to credit cards (denominated in Yen) and post-pay bills. The post-pay bill service is particularly nice; after your order is placed, a bill is sent to your address, which you take to a convenience store to pay. (However, orders above 10,000 yen must be paid by credit card.)
The trick is, many Japanese people make use of these services, too, so to make sure you can get a gift, you need to order one well in advance. Valentines, White Day, Christmas, etc. are big seasons for florists, and demand habitually exceeds their supply. Finding and reserving your White Day gift now may not be such a bad idea... NHTVZ2CP9UDJ