Japan is famous for its unique and quirky souvenirs. If you have the opportunity to travel to Japan and are wondering what to buy as a gift, refer to the list below!
1. Japanese Dolls
Traditional Japanese dolls are great gifts for those who are looking for things to buy in Japan.
Since ancient times, dolls have been an important part of Japanese culture and presenting a childhood toy or an object of delight.
The most popular and iconic one is a Kokeshi doll – a minimalist wooden doll usually painted in red and originally from Northern Japan.
In addition to Kokeshi dolls, you can buy Daruma dolls for luck or Hina dolls and Kimekomi dolls for decoration.
2. Furoshiki Wrapping Cloth
Rarely has any country where the seemingly simplest things have been elaborately and artistically carried out like Japan. One of the unique features of Japanese culture is the art of warping called Furoshiki.
Made from high-quality fabric, Furoshiki remains one of the most iconic items in Japanese daily life.
Although it may look like a simple piece of cloth, you can use Furoshiki for many purposes.
In addition to gift wrapping, you can tie it as a stylish bag, using it as headscarves or interior decorations for your living spaces.
3. Tenugui towel
Tenugui is a beautiful thin towel made from cotton, typically about 35×90 cm in size.
It usually has different colors and patterns, and carries a long history and makes a wonderful gift for any occasion.
“Tenugui” is a combination of the word Te (手), which means “Hand”, and Nugui (ぬ ぐ い), which means “Clean”, but this towel is not only used to clean your hands but also has other uses.
Where to buy: You can find it everywhere in Japan, not only in specialty stores but also in souvenir shops.
Price: The price of a Tenugui scarf is also quite cheap, starting from 100 to 1000 yen
4. Hanten Kimono Jackets
If you love Japanese clothing, Hanten Kimono jacket is an excellent addition to your wardrobe.
Made from fine quality cotton padding, this kimono-style jacket is a wonderful souvenir from Japan that you can wear during cold days.
These winter coats are very stylish and easy to mix with jeans and a simple top.
5. Noren Curtains
Entering Japanese shops and restaurants, you can notice the beautiful Noren curtains hanging at the doorway. These curtains traditionally indicate the types of establishment, logos, and names.
With a gentle design, Japanese Noren curtains are like a half-closed door, both used as a partition to divide the space while creating a comfortable feeling.
With these features, Noren is a great decoration for your own home. It’s pretty to look at and guard your living spaces from smoke, dust, and smells, while ensuring the air in the room is better circulated.
6. Japanese Furin Wind Chimes
Visiting Japan in the summer, you may hear the soothing melodies of Japanese wind chimes.
Wind chimes in Japan, known as Furin, are the sign of summer. The bells are made from glass and decorated with beautiful patterns and colors.
Wind chimes according to Japanese customs have the effect of protecting and dispelling evil spirits.
Also, the Japanese also write good wishes on the paper hanging below so that their wishes will be sent to the gods when the bell rang.
7. Bento Boxes
Bento boxes with cute designs are perfect souvenirs to buy from Japan.
These boxes began to appear during the Kamakura period in the 1300s when farmers pack their boxes for lunch. As time went by, Bento boxes have developed and become popular throughout Japan.
With attractive designs, these boxes can encourage you to make your own lunch, eat healthier while saving money.
8. Japanese ceramics
If you love tea ceremony, Japanese ceramic is an interesting gift to buy.
Traditional Japanese ceramic art can be considered the best in the world thanks to the convergence of many factors including influence exchanges from China and the West, with talented and passionate Japanese artists and craftsmen.
9. Electronic devices
Japan is a heaven for electronic devices, as this country has the latest models and applications.
Japanese electronic products are famous for their quality and reasonable prices. The most common items that people buy are cameras, phones, or
Where to buy
Some famous centers are “Yodobashi Camera”, “Bic Camera” and “Yamada Denki”. In Tokyo, Akihabara is an excellent area to buy electronic products.
You should consider the power source when purchasing Japanese domestic electronics because it’s 110V while other countries use 220V. To be safe, you should buy converters for electronics.
Don’t forget to get your Tax return
Some good Japanese brands are Sony, Toshiba
If you are wondering about what to buy as gifts for your friends or family, you can consider Yukata.
Yukata is summer kimonos with fewer layers and made from cotton. Japanese often wear yukata on festive occasions or at the ryokan.
Where to buy: Department stores
Prices: 10,000 to 40,000 Yen
11. Geta Sandals
Geta is an important accessory in traditional Japanese costumes such as Yukata or Kimonos, so don’t forget to add them to your shopping list!
Made from wood, they are a combination of clogs and flip-flops.
Its base is usually much higher than the ground, so people often use Geta clogs to go on rainy or snowy days to keep the feet drier. Geta sandals are completely handmade so it has good quality and durable.
12. Japanese Sensu fan
Japanese fan is one of the best souvenirs that you should bring home from Japan as they are practical and beautiful.
Many people mistakenly believe that folding fans are of Chinese origin, but in fact, they were born in Japan in the early Heian period.
Not only cooling and decoration, but Sensu folding fan is also an essential prop in traditional dances, tea ceremony, or an object to show friendship and goodwill.
These beautiful fans are made from silk and bamboo, then decorated with fine patterns.
Where to buy: 100 Yen shop or gift shops
Kanzashi are hairpins and ornaments used with traditional Japanese hairstyles. It is used by Japanese girls when wearing traditional Kimono or Yukata.
Kanzashi comes in many sizes and shapes but mostly flowers. Thanks to the variety, it is not difficult for you to find a suitable Kanzashi clip as your gift.
Where to buy: Department stores or gift shops
14. Japanese incense
Japanese incense is widely considered as having the best quality in the market and is one of my favorite things to buy when traveling in Japan.
Incense is a key element in the Japanese ornament, easing our minds and creating a relaxing and comfortable environment for our home.
Where to buy: You can find a large range of incense types in Japan at department stores.
15. Maneki Neko
Maneki Neko is an excellent choice for Japanese souvenirs.
It’s often known by many names such as “Lucky cat”, “waving cat”, and is a popular symbol of luck in Japanese culture.
Maneki Neko is made by ceramic or porcelain, in the shape of a cat raising his hand to wave people.
In Japanese, Neko means “cat”, and Maneki means “inviting, attractive”. The combination of these two words means praying for health, protections to avoid evil spirits, diseases, and bringing good luck to homeowners.
Where to buy: Grocery stores, supermarkets or souvenir shops
Price: The price of each of these cats depends on their size, color, and meaning. Ranges from 500 – 10,000 yen.
Chopsticks are very popular gifts to buy in Japan.