A word exists in Japanese, omiyage, that indicates the gift or souvenir that you give to someone rather than purchasing it for yourself. You are bound to find at least one “omiyage” store at every train station, airport and even the street corner that sells pre-wrapped local specialties, gadget and souvenirs. This means as far as the hunt for a great souvenir goes, you have an array of choices in Japan.
But what are the best souvenirs to bring back from Japan? Here we go with some ideas!
Food is always a good gift idea; it is always fun to try new tastes and you don’t need to care about finding a place in the house to put it. A recommended gift is Japan-invented cup ramen that’s easy to find anywhere and available in different flavors.
Another popular and unique food souvenir is flavored Kit Kat. They range from classical Japanese tastes like matcha, hojicha, nihonshu, wasabi to seasonal limited-edition flavors or special ones that are available only in certain cities!
Sake is Japanese rice wine and makes a great souvenir especially the sparkling ones that are not sold outside of Japan.
Japanese sake, or nihonshu, could be enjoyed hot, cold, straight or on the rocks. Each region of Japan produces different qualities.
Japanese alcohol does not only consist of nihonshu. Another great alcoholic souvenir from Japan is umeshu, made by combining ume (plum) with sugar or honey and shochu. Sake is used instead of shochu sometimes, but shochu is the more common ingredient. This is a sweet drink and is often enjoyed as dessert liquor.
Japan boasts great quality cosmetics and beauty care products and they’re surely a great souvenir for women! Some Japanese brand products, such as Shiseido, are famous and easy to buy anywhere in the world, but there are many brands that are sold only in Japan. You can literally be submerged by the vast number of different products you can find in a beauty shop that include creams, make-up cosmetics, and beauty masks. There are many funny variants of face masks that have anime characters or traditional Japanese figures like geishas or warriors printed on them that make great gifts.
Tokyo is swarmed with creative artist and independent stylists. The street fashion worn by young Japanese people is one of the most vibrant worldwide. Many of these designers sell their creations in small shops in districts like Shibuya or Shimokitazawa where many new fashion trends begin too. The best souvenir from Japan for a fashionholic is definitely a Japanese street style article of clothing!
Classical souvenirs like chopsticks, fans and wooden dolls are always appreciated because one easily connects them to Japan. Omamori, the lucky charm sold at temples and shrines, is a popular souvenir from Japan.
Another preferred souvenir is the Maneki Neko, the beckoning cat who is said to bring fortune and money. You can easily find all these objects in several shops, but what about creating an original piece? During our Yanaka Tour, for example, you can choose the experience of painting your maneki neko; what an original souvenir, isn’t it?