Insider’s Guide to Japanese Souvenirs and Gifts

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Japan is a country of many faces, meaning you have a range of modern to traditional items to choose as mementos. We did a research and put up together a list of best souvenirs in Japan to bring back to your loved ones. Hope they will put a smile on their faces.

Here is the list.

Kendama

A kendama is a simple ball and string toy that promises hours of fun for kids. The toy is available in an array of different design and colors, making it a perfect traditional Japanese souvenir.

  • Best gift for: Children
  • Price:  1500 yen
  • Portable level: easy
  • Where to buy: specialized shops, departmental stores

Koinobori

Koinobori is like a parachute but modified into an animal, e.g., a dragon. In Japan, Koinobori symbolizes a bright future and are flown locally on children’s day (Kodomo No hi).

  • Best gift for: Children
  • Portable level: easy
  • Where to buy: Tokyo tower, doll shops, departmental stores in Japan.

Sensu

What is a better symbol of Japan than a sensu (holding fan.) When you get to Japan you will see lots of places selling a range of sensu. Choose one that you like.

  • Best gift for: women
  • Price:  100- 10000 yen
  • Portable level: easy
  • Where to buy: 100 yen shops, small item shops, sensu specialty shops, eg, Kysendo .

Tenugui

A Tengui is a Japanese hand towel made from cotton and measures 35 by 90 cm. It may seem like a normal towel, but in Japanese tradition, they are often highly prized.

  • Best gift for: All adults
  • Price:  100-1000 yen
  • Portable level: easy
  • Where to buy: 100 ten shops, Tokyu hands, souvenir shops, specialty shops, e.g., Koiki Shinjuku Branch.

Japanese themed key chains

A keychain is cheap yet a highly personal and practical gift. You will get an array of keychains to choose. My favorite is plastic sushi key chains.

  • Best gift for: Anyone with a key
  • Price:  100- 400yen
  • Portable level: easy
  • Where to buy: airports shops, 100 yen shop, gift shops in museums, Tokyu hands, Raak

Yukata

A yukata is traditional Japanese women wear. You could buy a yukata plus an obi (sash) and geta (shoes.) They are all made from breathable fabric, very comfortable and ever trendy. Perfect Japan souvenir, though it comes with a high price tag.

  • Best gift for: Mom, aunts, female friends
  • Price:  3000- 10,000 yen
  • Portable level: easy
  • Where to buy: UNIQLO, supermarkets such as Ito Yokado and Aeon

Toe socks

Getting ready for winter? These toe socks will feel heaven sent to your friends and family. They are cheap so you can afford each family member a pair.

  • Best gift for: Children and adults
  • Price:  less than 100 yen
  • Portable level: easy
  • Where to buy: Tatu Anna and Don Quixote, Uniqlo, Tabio shops

Japanese cutlery

The quality of Japanese cutlery is undisputable. This is why top chef in the world spend a fortune to get the best cutlery Japan has to offer.  You can get a good knife, spoons, cutters, etc. within your budget.

  • Best gift for: mum, dad, a friend who love cooking
  • Price:  up to 30000 yen
  • Portable level: easy
  • Where to buy: Tokyo’s Kappabashi –dori, Shibuya souvenier store, Asakusa knife shop

Ceramic products

Japanese ceramics are very popular. While you can find ceramics all over the country, one from specialist stores is the best. You probably need to worry how to get the item home as they are fragile.

  • Best gift for: Children
  • Portable level: easy
  • Where to buy: Matsumoto Kiyoshi, Don Qijote, Tokyu hands, LOFT, Yodobashi Camera, Kiddy lands, BICQLO

Neko Goods

Neko means cat and Japanese is the best place to be one.  While cats are adored all over the world, the Japanese have cat cafes and cat theme knick knacks to show their love for the felines. If you know someone who has a cat for a pet, Neko goods for them will get you a big hug.

  • Best gift for: cat lovers
  • Price:  100 yen
  • Portable level: easy
  • Where to buy: Asakusa market, Airport, 100 yen shops, souvenir shops

Chopsticks

You may be accustomed to spoons but its fun to try eating with something different. This makes chopsticks perfect japan souvenirs. Best gift for: Children

  • Price:  less than 100 yen
  • Portable level: easy
  • Where to buy: 100 en shop, Asakusa market, specialist souvenir shops

Japanese stationery

The Japanese have a concealed obsession with stationary. You will find pens, notebooks, stamps, postcards, etc. with all manner of design.

  • Best gift for: Children, office workers
  • Price:  100 to 2000 yen
  • Portable level: easy
  • Where to buy: ITOYA stores, UGUISI stores, Kawaii stationery

Edo Tsumami Kanzashi

These are traditional hair accessories made from silk and woven into shapes of birds and flowers. Edo Tsumamai Kanzashi is popular among Japanese, and they claim it’s a gift that lasts a lifetime.

  • Best gift for: women 
  • Price:  1,000 – 20,000yen
  • Portable level: easy
  • Where to buy: Oharibiko, Kanzashi shops

TV and character merchandise

We are not new to Japanese TV networks characters. Katana girl, Dragonball, the Moomins, Ninja and the list goes on. You can even get a new unique character available only in Japan.

  • Best gift for: Children
  • Price:  100 – 500 yen
  • Portable level: easy
  • Where to buy: Ninja village, Nikko Edo Wonderland or Odaiba in Tokyo

Gamuguchi

A gamaguchi is a traditional clasped purse that resembles a toad mouth. They very popular among youngster in Japan. You can get these purse in many design.

  • Best gift for: ladies
  • Price:  500 yen
  • Portable level: easy
  • Where to buy: souvenir shop, departmental stores

Wagasa

Wagasa or oil-paper umbrellas are an enduring symbol of Japanese culture. They are a common sight in wedding and festivals making them a great gift. You can use them in the rain.

  • Best gift for: Adults, kids
  • Price:  500- 10000yen
  • Portable level: easy
  • Where to buy: souvenir shop, departmental stores, specialist souvenir shops

There is probably more than a hundred more souvenirs (wind chimes, chochin, Andon, etc.) you will find suitable for your loved one back at home. Since we cannot exhaust the list, we gave you what we think is best. If you found another Japan souvenir that you strongly feel it deserve to be on the list, drop it in the comment box below.

You’re sure to find something on this list that’s great for your friends and family!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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