Japan can get overwhelming—and expensive. In between all the tours and sightseeing, you may not have much money left for souvenirs to bring home to your friends and family. Luckily, there are some great and affordable little things that are sure to remind you of your great trip.
There’s an entire culture dedicated to Japan’s tea, so recreate a traditional Japanese tea ceremony by bringing home in a bag or tin home. With over 28 different types of Japanese tea, along with regional varieties across the country, you’ll find something for even the non tea drinkers. And since everyone’s been so crazy about matcha flavored anything, we recommend getting a tin (or two, or ten!) of matcha green tea powder.
Show off your newly acquired chopsticks skills with a nice souvenir pair of this popular Asian utensil. Choose from traditional wooden chopsticks embroidered with Japanese characters, or go for the cute cartoon-themed ones in shops like Daiso. Get a pair for everyone back home, where you can teach them the proper way to rest their chopsticks in between bites.
Japanese stationery can bring even grown adults back into their back-to-school days. See more than just Muji, and have your fill of pens, notebooks, highlighters, and washi tape. Head over to Loft Trendy Store for your trendy basics, or swing by Ito-ya House which is just as posh as the fashion boutiques along Ginza. For some pretty unique Japan souvenirs, bring home origami paper for all your crafting afternoons!
You’ll typically find these outside of Japan’s Shinto and Buddhist shrines. Omamori are bright jewel-colored amulets believed to bring good luck and success. They’re usually made of brocaded silk, and hold paper with prayers written on them. Different types and designs are given for different occasions, tasks, or ordeals. Choose one specially made for your friends or family back home.
Folding fans (Sensu)
This oversized silk folding fan is traditionally used by Japanese nobles. They also figure prominently in traditional dance performances. Nowadays, they’re mostly sold as souvenirs but their intricate, often painted designs make them as beautiful as they are functional—especially during the harsh, humid summers.
A local drink is always a good souvenir, and can take you back to some fun nights in the city. After exploring the Tokyo nightlife, bring back a bottle of sake (fermented rice wine) and share a drink with everyone back home.
Japan has perfected its ramen to an art form. So if you find yourself craving some of the famous Tonkotsu from Ichiran Ramen, you could probably whip something up in your home kitchen with Japan’s wide assortment of instant ramen noodles. Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it; there’s a reason why Japanese instant ramen is world famous!