Japan is brimming with cool things to take home with you, and sometimes green tea Kit-Kat and Pocky just won’t do it. They’re like the low hanging fruit of Japanese souvenirs. If you dare to be bold and stretch your imagination a little, you’ll be able to reach for the really fun and interesting stuff!
And boy are there plenty. Here are 5 fresh souvenir ideas to get you started. Best of all, you won’t have to wring your wallet – they’re all under $10, so shop away!
We can’t get enough of these delicious creations by patissier Hironobu Tsujiguchi. Beautifully packaged and surprisingly affordable, they’re perfect as a tasty memento of your trip to Japan. Their signature items are the karinto and soybean snacks with flavors that range from royal milk tea to mayo-squid.
From 300 Yen (gift boxes and variety packs available)
Shibuya HIKARIE ShinQs, B2F (for more locations, click here)
Opening hours: 10:00am-9:00pm daily
2. Hanaserebu Pocket Tissues
They don’t seem like much, but these 2-ply puffs of luxury will blow your nose away with its baby-butt softness. Once you’ve tried it, you’ll never go back to using that sandpaper you used to call facial tissues. The packaging is really cute too. A fun, practical souvenir from Japan that you’ll be tempted to keep for yourself.
(Image: Airseed Shop)
300〜460 Yen (pack of 16)
Most supermarkets, pharmacies and convenience stores
3. RAOH Ramen
With a name that plays on the word ramen and the kanji for king (pronounced “OU”), this relatively new contender by Nissin is not afraid to claim its stake in the very crowded instant ramen scene. And to its credit, it does have a delectable claim to the throne. The thin, springy noodles and flavorful broth need to be tasted to be believed.
Apparently the people at Nissin think so too, because they set up a small shop inside the JR Yamanote Shibuya station that serves up bowls of these noodles with fancy toppings for you to try at a rock bottom 250 Yen. Your choice of shio (salt) shouyu (soy sauce), tonkotsu (pork) or miso.
360 Yen (pack of 5)
Most supermarkets and some convenience stores
Who doesn’t love these cute, tiny capsule toys? You name it – from cats in cups to phone thongs, there’s something for everyone. And starting at only 100 Yen a pop, they can get addictive, FAST. The urge to catch ‘em all can be overwhelming, but that’s OK, you’ll tell yourself. I’m just getting souvenirs for ALL 61 of my friends and relatives. Oh, I’ve been there. Just be sure to hand over your extra cash and cards to someone you trust for safe keeping beforehand.
From 100 Yen
Most game centers, toy sections in department stores and chain electrical stores (Yodobashi and BIC Camera)
Bandai, Takara Tomy
5. Japanese Face Facial Masks
If you’re looking for a quirky gift from Japan, these facial masks by Japanese Face definitely belong in your shortlist. Instead of slapping on the plain old white ones, now you can transform into a Kabuki star, panda, cat or fashionista. How fun is that? Perfect for sleepover parties. Perfect for anything, really. I’d wear these to the grocery store.
900 Yen (pack of 2)
Most Tokyu Hands stores
Well, there you have it. What do you think? What’s the coolest Japanese souvenir you’ve ever received? Share it in the comments!