It used to be Japanese women gave men a gift of chocolates on Valentine's Day.
These days, they are more likely to buy pricey chocolates costing up to $US200 a box as a treat for themselves.
"It's a small luxury that I allow myself," 39-year-old Reiko Nozawa said, who usually buys champagne truffles for herself and a few other chocolates to share with her husband.
Ms Nozawa is not alone.
Makers of 60 premium chocolate brands have set up special booths at Takashimaya, a department store in central Tokyo, where boxes of chocolates costing as much as 10,000-20,000 yen ($US84-$US168) are selling briskly, helped by Japan's economic recovery.
"There's been a trend the past two or three years for women to buy chocolates for themselves, as a sort of pat on the back for having worked hard," Takashimaya spokeswoman Yoko Yanagisawa said.
That can be on top of what they spend on others.
"I think I'll buy some premium chocolates for myself," Yoshiko Okajima said, a fashionably attired working mother, as she checked out chocolates for herself after spending 7,000 yen on her husband and eight-year-old son.
Tokyo is filled with Valentine Day chocolate adverts in the days leading up to February 14, and some manufacturers rake in about 20 per cent to 30 per cent of their annual sales in a few short weeks.
Until recently, most Japanese women bought cellophane-wrapped sweets in bulk from drugstores to give to colleagues or school friends as an "obligatory chocolate" on Valentine's Day.
A month later on "White Day" men return the favour by giving women gifts - usually sweets but sometimes lingerie.