Last Updated on November 18, 2022 by Jella Erhard
Explore cool souvenirs from Japan that are also meaningful. Best gift ideas from Japan you can buy online and ideas on what to buy in Japan on your future trips.
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Meaningful & Cool Souvenirs From Japan
Explore the best souvenirs from Japan, one of the most beloved travel destinations in the world. Japan is beloved for a good reason, it’s one of the few countries that has a unique mix of the old and modern world. There are amazing experiences during all seasons and no matter if you visit the Japanese countryside or the city you’ll be amazed by the country’s rich culture. But what are the best souvenirs from Japan that will help you take something memorable home? We have collected some amazing Japanese souvenirs for you. Even if you are not visiting the land of the rising sun, you can order these fantastic items online to bring a little Japan to your home. RELATED: Ultimate Japan Rail Pass Guide If you’re looking for a thoughtful Japanese gift or a traditional birthday present you’ll also find here something that would bring joy to any Japan lover’s life.
What souvenirs can I bring back from Japan?
It depends on your taste but if you want to take home a traditional Japanese souvenir you should get Omamori, Japanese chopsticks, or specialty teas. If you don’t mind spending a bit more you can also consider getting a Kimono, Yukata, and Hakama since those are all make great souvenirs.
What are the most famous souvenirs in Japan?
The most famous Japanese souvenirs are chopsticks, mochi, sake, and Kimono.
Where can I buy souvenirs in Tokyo?
Depending on what are you after there are areas offering great souvenirs in Tokyo. You can go to Akihabara for superb anime and tech-related souvenirs. There are tea houses for tea and tea sets. You can also go to Togoshi Ginza for shopping.
15. Japanese Books & Entertainment Make Great Souvenirs From Japan
If you’re a bookworm and enjoy exploring cultures through reading, then the best is if you go with books about Japan. However, you can also watch some exciting Japanese dramas, that can help you get to know both modern life in Japan and learn about its history in an easy and entertaining way. If you want to learn more about Japanese mythology then check out books about Japanese Folktales & Fairy Tales, or learn to be more zen with the help of Japanese coloring books. Getting a few beautiful books for Japanese learners from Japan is also one of the most thoughtful gifts you can get from Japan. Three of our favorite books about Japanese Mythology:
- Japanese Mythology in Film: A Semiotic Approach to Reading Japanese Film and Anime | BUY IT HERE
- Yokai: Ghosts, Demons & Monsters of Japan | BUY IT HERE
- The Book of the Hakutaku: A Bestiary of Japanese Monsters (Yokai)| BUY IT HERE
14. Sake & Sake Sets From Japan
A real quality Sake is one of the best souvenirs you can get from Japan. It’s also a great gift idea especially if you also buy a traditional sake set from Japan. You can find beautiful sake sets in various designs and for a good price even online.
13. Japanese Subscription Boxes
If you can’t choose just one souvenir and would like to get a monthly surprise from Japan then you can also consider subscribing to a Japanese subscription box that’s filled with delights from Japan. Kizuna box is one of the best Japanese subscription boxes. It’s filled with various foodie treats, small objects, stationery, and home decor items that will surely feed your cravings for all things Japanese.
RELATED: Best Subscription Boxes For Geeks
12. Japanese Board Games
Another excellent way to explore Japan as well as one of the most unique and fun gift ideas from Japan. If you love board games then check out some of the most epic Japanese board games like Arcane Wonders Onitama board game. Board Games are a great and fun way to get to know a culture a bit better, learn new things while also enjoying ourselves with family and friends.
11. Anime Gifts – Cool souvenirs from Japan
Looking for some fun gift ideas from Japan for your Otaku friend? Then you should check out some of the most amazing anime gifts for anime lovers. You can find not only cool but useful anime-inspired gift ideas that will surely wow. Where to buy them? Online you can check out Amazon and Japan Centre or if you’re in Tokyo, Japan head to Akihabara.
Japanese Souvenirs at Akihabara
What is Akihabara known for? It is a buzzing area in Tokyo, where you can find loads of electronics, gaming, and anime/manga stores. There are ten-storey toy shops beside the many shops selling gadgets. It is a superb place to explore and to buy some of the best souvenirs Japan has to offer. If you are into Kawaii, you are going to find plenty of superb accessories. Are you Otaku? In case you like plush toys, cute stuff, or anime figurines and collectibles, you will find them all. In case you are a techie and looking to cool your game, there are plenty of superb items here. Buy cameras, phones (covers), laptops, games, and so on. Akihabara souvenirs include Ghibli and other iconic Japanese brands. Probably the easiest way to get the best Japanese souvenirs Tokyo has on display. YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE: Kintsugi Repair Kits For Beginners
10. Online Courses by Japanese Artists & Experts
You can learn more and experience more of Japan thanks to various online courses. You can take anime drawing courses or learn how to make your favorite dishes and learn about modern Japanese cooking from the talented chef, Niki Nakayama.
A good Japanese online course is one of the best gift ideas that any Japan lover would be happy to receive. It’s also a great way to keep yourself connected to the culture after you traveled back home and of course to pick up and practice a new hobby. Learning how to cook is one of the best traditional Japanese hobbies that’s not only fun but also very useful. On SkillShare you can learn fascinating and relaxing new hobbies such as cooking, learning the Japanese language, origami, and many more. Now you can get started for free.
9. Japanese Snacks
There are plenty of amazing delights in Japan and the best Japanese snacks will surely treat your taste buds no matter if you prefer salty or sweet. Probably some of the most obvious choices are snacks and drinks. We think a good snack does make one of the best souvenirs. Japan souvenirs food and drink-wise are just amazing. There is also the bit lesser-known Umeshu (Plum wine), to indulge in the delicious Japanese culture other than sake. As a great Japanese food souvenir, you can buy delicious Mochi, the well-known soft rice cakes. As a gift, the beautifully colorful Wagashi will make a great souvenir from Japan. Wagashi are sort of Japanese tea cakes, which are always so beautiful and happen to be healthy as well. In most cases, they are made only of plant-based ingredients. Roaming the streets of Japanese cities and villages, you are going to find plenty of similar lovely desserts. What may also be great options are traditional food ingredients, such as spices and sauces including black sesame.
Japanese snack subscription boxes
If you’re rather a foodie then go for Bokksu. It’s an excellent Japanese snack subscription box from Japan. Bokksu is filled with delicious modern and traditional Japanese snacks. The team of Bokksu even built great connections with gourmet masters around Japan who create some one-of-a-kind treats for them which you can only find with Bokksu.
8. Yukata, Kimono, and Hakama – Traditional Souvenirs From Japan
One of the most iconic items to think of as the best souvenirs in Japan are Yukata and Kimono. The traditional outfit for men (Hakama) and women (Yukata and Kimono) are very popular in the whole country. Not only do tourists rent them to walk around sightseeing but domestic visitors do so as well. Can you imagine anything more memorable than a beautiful Kimono that you can actually wear to different occasions? If you are protective of your souvenirs, then they make a superb decoration at home as well. Depending on your budget, you can buy a generic one at a store or online, or order a tailor-made piece for yourself.
What is the difference between Yukata and Kimono?
Basically, Yukata is a lighter version of a Kimono. It has fewer layers and is much airier for the hot summer days.
How much is a Yukata in Japan?
Depending on where you look, in some larger chain stores, you can buy it from JPY 3000 ($28).
How much is a Kimono in Japan?
You can buy one starting from JPY 4000 (around $40). Of course, price varies depending on the material and where you buy it (city, touristy area, etc..)
7. Maneki Neko (Japanese Lucky Cats) – Cute Souvenirs From Japan
Japan is full of iconic souvenirs. Maneki Nako is probably very well known all around the world. But what is a Neko? If you are new to animes, or Japan in general, Maneki Nako may not ring a bell. You certainly have seen the waving cat though. This little cat figurine is thought to be dating back to the 17th century. The Maneki Neko story is not yet clear. It brings luck and money or good business depending on which paw of the cat is raised. If you would like to be sure, buy one with both paws in the air. The Maneki Neko colors have different meanings to help you how to choose a fortune cat; The Calico is the traditional color combination, that will bring you to most luck. Gold brings prosperity. White ensures happy and pure life. Green keeps you healthy. Red will help you in your love life and relationships. Black protects you from evil spirits.
Where to find a Menki Neko store in Japan?
There are plenty of shops where you can buy yours. At souvenir shops, antiques, and large shopping malls as well. Despite having such significance, Maneki Neko is amongst the cheapest things in Japan to buy as a souvenir.
6. Japanese Stamps, Coins & Notes
One of the best gifts from Japan, or at least in our opinion are stunning stamps, notes, and stationery. You do not have to be a philatelist to appreciate stamps from all over the world. They are small, so they can even fit into your wallet and in most countries, they’re beautiful as well. A lovely idea is to make a bookmark with your stamps on it from all over the world. We also love to collect different currencies from each country. How about you? Japan has beautiful notes and coins, which definitely make a superb addition to your collection. Coins are great for decoration at home as well. They make a lovely wall piece if you collect a few from various countries and frame them.
5. Japanese Beauty Products
Japan, like many Asian countries, is very conscious of beauty. You can find superb sheet masks, which are easy to travel with and really do wonders for your skin. There are amazing treatments, creams, and serums ranging from inexpensive to the sky. You won’t only find good quality products but there are lovely, cute items on the shelves too.
Japanese Beauty Subscription boxes
Getting a Japanese beauty subscription box is one of the best gift ideas from Japan that will soothe your skin and your soul. You’ll get a monthly surprise filled with excellent and fun Japanese beauty products some of which you can only buy in Japan. It’s a great way to enjoy a little bit of Japan once you returned home while also allowing yourself a bit of me-time.
4. Japanese Tea sets & Teas – Traditional Gift ideas From Japan
Japan is big on teas, especially matcha. Wherever you go, green tea and matcha tea are definitely going to be on the menu. You can also visit tea houses for traditional Japanese tea experiences. If you are a tea enthusiast, you can find high-quality products in the country. The roasted green tea is among the best teas. You can also buy a Japanese matcha tea set. They come in different styles and sizes. Pick one of your likings and you have something to remember Japan by for life. In case you missed the delicious teas during your visit, do not despair. Teas are some of the many things to buy in Japanese airports as well. You will definitely be able to purchase a few bags of the finest teas just before take-off.
You can also consider taking a Matcha making course.
Making and enjoying a good cup of matcha tea is an art form in Japan. Now you can learn this useful skill yourself either while you’re in Japan or from the comfort of your own home. Making matcha is one of the most beloved Japanese hobbies that only requires a few tools and a little time to acquire this new skill. After that, you’ll be able to treat your guests and yourself to this special experience anytime you like. You can get started with a FREE ‘How to enjoy Matcha‘ on SkillShare. This course will teach you not only how to make matcha in a traditional way at home but about its history, importance, and of course, how to enjoy it and make your matcha-time even more special.
3. Japanese Household Items – Useful & Fun gift ideas from Japan
You can also buy practical items during your visit to Japan. The following traditional Japanese items make great souvenirs. You probably saw the fabric dividers in restaurants. Those are called Noren. These beautiful pieces would make a great curtain in your kitchen or living room. They are indeed useful and also look great.
Another thoughtful Japanese gift idea is furoshiki.
What is furoshiki used for?
Furoshiki are beautiful Japanese wrapping cloths. It was used for transporting clothes and other items. As they are so beautiful, they make a great gift wrap as well. It is a nice thought to buy a few of them and wrap your gifts in these for your friends.
Probably one of the most common souvenirs in Japan is chopsticks. It is fun to pick the ones that “speak to you”. How cool is having your own chopstick? Whenever inviting over friend or family for a Japanese dinner, you could have a pair for everyone. Buy a set or buy individual pairs so your guests can have their own. You can also buy beautiful easily portable chopsticks with a case and take your favorite one on your travels, to work or school.
In case you are not planning to travel light, you can also buy tatami. They are quite large for a suitcase, but definitely make great souvenirs from Japan. Imagine stepping into the room to the smell of your own tatami. It will always take you right back to Japan.
2. Samurai Sword – Cool souvenirs from Japan
One of the best souvenirs from Japan. Well, some may argue if you should buy a tachi or katana. They are just beautiful. They look great on the wall or in a glass cabinet. In all cities of Japan, you can find stores selling real handmade swords but you can also buy excellent quality handmade traditional swords online too. You can also consider buying samurai masks. You can find cheaper quality masks you can use for Halloween or buy traditional handmade samurai masks that are also great home decor items. There are also décor shops, where you can buy decorative swords, so they can do no serious harm. You can take buying memorable souvenirs from Japan to the next level. There are sword-making masters, who for a price will make your own piece. That is a fantastic souvenir, which has a unique story.
1. Japanese Trinkets – Omamori | traditional souvenirs from Japan
Japanese amulets are thoughtful and lovely souvenirs. They can even be worn as necklaces besides bringing luck to the owner. Omamori are very popular in Japan. If you are looking for a piece of the country of many islands, Omamori will make great souvenirs from Japan. Besides the beauty of these amulets, there is another reason to consider buying them. Omamori are also one of the cheapest things to buy in Japan but are meanigful as well. If you have a lot of people to surprise once getting back home, everyone can have one lucky charm. You can find some of the most beautiful handmade ones at shrines mostly. However, now you can order authentic, handmade Omamori from Japan online too. You can find Omamori on Amazon and Etsy if you want handmade versions. You can also step up your Omamori game and buy a beautiful but small Shinto Jinja Shrine for Omamori. A small shrine will make a unique home decor item too.
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