From New Year’s surprises, to matcha flavored munchies, tax-free bargains and more, Japan is a shopper’s paradise! To help create your shopping list, check out our tips for “must have” souvenirs from Japan:
1. Matcha Flavored Snacks
Matcha is powdered Japanese green tea enjoyed for its bittersweet taste. While matcha is known for its use in tea ceremonies, it is also popular ingredient in snacks, including cookies, biscuits, cakes and chocolates. You may even find your favorite snack from America offering matcha flavored treats in Japan!
Visit Japan during the New Year to get your hands on fun grab bags filled with an assortment of store items at a deeply discounted price. You never know what you might get but that’s just the fun of it!
3. Japanese Traditional Goods
There a great deal of goods that positively scream Japan which means that you don’t always have to overthink it when looking for souvenirs. Items such a folding fans, fuurin wind chimes, and sake sets are easy to find in department stores and even 100 yen stores. You can also find great seasonal gifts such a yukata (summer kimono) in department stores such as Uniqlo.
4. Tax Free Souvenirs
Shopping for the perfect souvenir doesn’t have to be a costly venture. Shop hundreds of stores nationwide that offer purchases free of sales tax! Go ahead and splurge on a little something extra for your loved ones with all the money you’ll save.
5. Plastic Food Replicas
Surprisingly detailed plastic food replicas are prominently displayed at many Japanese restaurants, making ordering a breeze. These replicas are also available for purchase in areas such as Tokyo’s Kappabashi or Douguyasuji in Osaka. Plastic food themed gifts such as magnets and key chains are also available.
6. Japanese Ceramics
There are many styles of Japanese pottery and ceramics, available in all price ranges. From rice bowls to tea sets and sake sets, you are sure to find a unique style that will be a treasured gift.
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I brought back, cookies and sweets from one of the big stores, souvenir jersey from the Tokyo giants, a hand made knife from outside the Tsujiki market, and a million pictures
I agree with the Japanese cosmetics, I would add makeup brushes. But also the city of Kyoto would be a must for bunraku marionettes, an authentic Japanese tea ceremony, drum lessons, geisha, the city itself is a souvenir!
This is the worst list I've ever seen. It's mostly ambiguous, but do you really want plastic food on display in your living room when you're old as a conversation piece of your trip to Japan? Here's my list: Kokeshi Doll An Iron kettle Yukata (don't forget the obi) A fancy set of chopsticks A fancy sensu (folding fan) And of course a bunch of those stamp marks you can get at train stations and tourist destinations, kept in a notebook or travel journal.
Photographs are grand as well! Miyazaki stuffed friends or other goods are great, hashi (chopsticks) are always welcome, and the Y100 shops offer many fun little notepads, fans, teapots, etc. etc. etc.!
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I say the best souvenir, if the word still applies (or not), to bring back from Japan is a wife and new family relations in the form of in-laws. That is priceless.
BTW...this wedding kimono is 100% hand made silk with real gold & silver thread embroidery Had a retail price of 1,600,000¥ ($12,000 ) Came from place that rented them by the day ( so expensive, few people could afford to buy one). The one I brought was never worn. Brand new !
In a area between Ueno & Asakusa, is where they sell the plastic food models. Fun place to explore !
I've picked up a kokeishi doll on a few visits and usually a pair of lacquerware or finely turned wooden bowls for the table from a little shop along the Philosophers Path in Kyoto as I'm always inspired to recreate the flavours when I return home
I still display the plastic gyoza I bought on my second trip to Japan. Last time I went I also made sure to pick up some ceramics. It took a lot of work to get them around Japan with us safely, since we picked them up at the beginning of our trip, and getting them back to the US was also a bit of effort, but it was well worth it. I have several beautiful pieces that are completely unique. I would also recommend finding seasonal treats depending on what time of year you go. There are also local specialties that can't be beat. We bought several boxes of momiji manju while we were in Miyajima. You can actually watch them being made, it's fascinating!
I need to get back to Japan. All the times I was there and never saw plastic food for sale. I need some of that! It will look and taste better than my cooking for sure'.
Best souvenir I picked up in Japan was a real wedding kimono, for about $ 200 USD in a shop in Harajuku, way back in 1987 in Japans bubble economy Now I see these kimonos displayed with a sign that reads; " Not for Sale "
unfortunately most maccha flavoured sweets just taste really bad especially when going for cheap stuff (different for more high grade since they use proper maccha on those).. one exception might be the limited sakura-maccha flavoured kitkat. Also agree with the lucky bags.. a must get ;)