While every vacation comes to an end, souvenirs can last a lifetime. Getting a good memento allows you to bring a piece of the country you’ve just visited back home with you, so it’s important to choose the right one.
The perfect souvenir is light, reasonably priced, and unique to your travel experience or destination. In Japan, you get a wide range of cool things to buy, from basic stuff like stationery or chopsticks to more complex craftwork such as a Japanese samurai mask or sword. Here are a few of our picks of great souvenirs that are uniquely Japanese.
Kimono or Yukata
One of the best things to buy in Japan is authentic traditional clothing, specifically a kimono or yukata. While the two dresses are similar to each other—the yukata is simply the summer version of the kimono—the yukata is made of more lightweight fabric and easier to put on, making it the more popular choice for tourists. It can be bought as a complete set with an obi or sash.
Kimono and yukata are widely available all over Japan, especially in tourist areas like central Kyoto or Asakusa and Kōenji in Tokyo.
Try on a kimono or yukata before shelling out the cash for one with the Nara Kimono and Yukata Experience via KKday.
Another souvenir that you can wear is a pair of traditional sandals. Depending on what you like better or feel more comfortable in, you may get yourself a pair of geta or zori. A geta is a wooden slipper that’s raised with thick soles or wooden stilts, while a zori is a wooden or straw slipper with a flat sole. Either way, it’s one of the more unique things to buy in Japan and an excellent souvenir to bring home as a reminder of a fun vacation.
Buy your own pair of geta or zori in many Japanese traditional towns. Tsujiya is a century-old shop in Asakusa, Tokyo that is particularly known for crafting some of the best-quality sandals in the country.
If you’re looking for authentic Japanese gifts to bring home to family and friends, fans are light and affordable options coming in an infinite number of designs. There are a couple of different types of hand fans in Japan, including the uchiwa or round fan and the sensu or folding fan. Both continue to be popular, whether it is actually used to beat the heat or purely decorative at home.
Japanese fans are available all across the country, including in popular souvenir shops like Daiso Japan or Don Quijote Japan.
Another budget-friendly souvenirs that tourists can get in Japan are chopsticks. Not only are they a cool reminder of your trip to Japan, but it’s also a great way to perfect one’s skills with this particularly tricky piece of utensils.
A pair of chopsticks is one of the things you can buy in Japan that are everywhere, even supermarkets. Try Tokyo Hands and Loft for good-quality lacquered chopsticks in various designs. Daiso also offers wooden, plastic, and metal chopsticks at very low prices. In certain specialty shops, you can even get your name specially carved on the utensils.
If you’re bringing something home from Japan, why not choose something that’s meant to inject a little luck into your life? Omamori are traditional good luck charms found in Japanese shrines and temples with many different kinds. Each omamori is associated with a special purpose, such as love, health, success, and more.
If you want to see more souvenir options in Tokyo, consider joining the KKday FooDrink Tour at the Sunamachi Ginza Shopping District.