Whenever you go to a new country, there are always a few items you really want to buy. Although Japan is known for many wonderful things, in this article, I would like to tell you about 6 things you probably never thought of buying in Japan, even though they may surprise you. All these items are available at famous Japanese souvenir shops too, but there are a lot more interesting options if you know where to look. If you want to find out more about all the fun Japanese souvenirs you can get from Japan, read on!
In this article…
What are Japan Souvenirs
Japan souvenirs are a range of items that are purchased as mementos of a visit to Japan. Popular souvenirs include Japanese snacks and food, kimonos, traditional dolls, pottery, lacquerware, samurai swords, fans, keychains, postcards, origami sets, sake sets, calligraphy supplies, Maneki Neko (lucky cats), and ukiyo-e woodblock prints.
1. Omamori Charms
Omamori charms are a great Japanese souvenir to buy when visiting Japan. Omamori charms, or protective amulets, have been used in Japan since ancient times as a way of warding off evil spirits and bringing luck. These charms come in a variety of shapes and sizes, with each one representing a different kind of protection or luck.
They can be bought at shrines and temples throughout Japan and make a great souvenir for anyone looking to bring home a piece of Japanese culture.
Omamori charms are both attractive and meaningful. They are often made from colorful fabrics, often featuring traditional Japanese designs, so they’re eye-catching and make great decorative items. However, they also have a deeper meaning, as the charms represent a wish for protection or luck. This makes them a great gift for friends and family, as it shows that you care about their wellbeing.
Finally, Omamori charms are relatively affordable compared to other souvenirs, making them a great option for budget travelers. They’re also very easy to find and there are plenty of places to buy them, so it’s easy to pick up a few for yourself or as gifts. All in all, Omamori charms are a great Japanese souvenir to buy when visiting Japan.
2. Japanese Tea Set
Japanese tea sets make for great souvenirs when visiting Japan. Not only are these sets a reminder of the country’s culture and history, but they are also practical items that can be used to enjoy the unique flavors of Japanese tea. Japanese tea sets come in many different styles, colors, and sizes, so you can easily find one that fits your taste and budget. These sets often feature intricately designed and detailed pieces, making them both visually appealing and functional.
The teapots and cups typically come with unique shapes and patterns, adding an extra level of charm to the set. Plus, many of these sets can be found at reasonable prices, making them great souvenirs for those on a budget. With a Japanese tea set, you can bring home a piece of Japanese culture and savor the flavor of traditional Japanese tea whenever you like.
3. Daruma Doll
Daruma Dolls make a great Japanese souvenir to buy when visiting Japan because they represent good luck and resilience. These dolls were originally used by Buddhist monks to help motivate them during their long meditations. The Daruma Doll is round and hollow with no arms or legs. It has two black eyes, which are usually blank when you purchase it.
The person who buys the doll makes a wish and paints one of the eyes in. When the wish comes true, the other eye is painted in to complete the Daruma Doll. This symbolizes that the person was able to overcome obstacles and achieve their goal.
The Daruma Doll is also a popular symbol for resilience, as it is believed that no matter how many times it is knocked down, it will always stand back up. This serves as an important reminder to never give up, no matter what life throws at you.
Overall, the Daruma Doll is an excellent Japanese souvenir to purchase when visiting Japan as it symbolizes good luck, resilience, and perseverance. It is a reminder to stay strong and not give up no matter how hard things get.
Kimono is a great Japanese souvenir to buy when visiting Japan. It is a unique and beautiful piece of clothing that is steeped in the country’s culture and history.
The kimono is an elegant garment that is made from fine fabrics and intricate designs, making it a perfect way to commemorate your trip to Japan.
Not only is it a stunning piece of clothing, but it is also a practical item that you can wear for special occasions or just to show off your new purchase. It is also a thoughtful gift for someone who enjoys traditional Japanese fashion and culture. Kimono is a timeless item that will always remind you of your special time in Japan.
5. Samurai Sword
Samurai swords are a great Japanese souvenir to buy when visiting Japan. Not only are they aesthetically pleasing, but they are also steeped in tradition and history. Samurai swords were traditionally used by warriors during the feudal period of Japan and were seen as symbols of strength and power.
Today, they are still revered as a symbol of Japanese culture and are often given as gifts. The craftsmanship involved in making a traditional samurai sword is highly regarded, and owning one can be a very special experience. Samurai swords can also be custom made with your own name or crest, making them even more meaningful.
They are a great way to remember your time in Japan and make a unique addition to any home.
6. Japanese Calligraphy Set
Japanese Calligraphy Sets are a great souvenir to bring home from a visit to Japan.
The sets come with a brush, ink stone, ink stick, and paper, and offer a unique insight into the beauty of traditional Japanese culture. With the set, visitors can learn how to write and create beautiful works of art with these materials. It’s also a great way to remember the trip and take home a reminder of the time spent in Japan.
The calligraphy sets also make a great gift for friends and family back home. The sets can be used to write personal messages or poems that are sure to be treasured. They also serve as an excellent conversation starter, making it easy to share stories of the trip and the culture of Japan.
For those who want to learn more about the art of Japanese calligraphy, the set is an ideal starting point. With a few simple instructions, anyone can get started with the basics of this fascinating art form. It’s also a great way to keep practicing the skill after returning home from Japan, as the set includes all the necessary supplies.
7. Japanese Porcelain
Japanese Porcelain is a great souvenir to buy when visiting Japan as it is both beautiful and practical.
The porcelain is handmade by skilled artisans and comes in many intricate designs that reflect the culture of Japan. It is also incredibly durable, making it perfect for everyday use or as a decorative piece in any home. Plus, it’s an affordable way to take a piece of Japanese culture back home with you.
Japanese Porcelain has a history of over 1000 years, and its popularity continues to grow today. It’s a great gift for someone special, or a nice reminder of your visit to Japan. No matter what type of Japanese Porcelain you choose, it will make a lasting impression that will be treasured for years to come.
8. Furoshiki Cloth
Furoshiki cloth is a traditional Japanese wrapping cloth that is an excellent souvenir to purchase when visiting Japan. It is an attractive and practical way to bring home a piece of Japanese culture. Furoshiki cloths are made from a variety of materials, including silk and cotton, and come in a wide range of designs and colors. Furoshiki cloths can be used to wrap gifts, store items, and even carry things like groceries or books.
In addition to being a practical item, Furoshiki cloth is also a beautiful souvenir to bring home from a visit to Japan.
The cloths often feature traditional Japanese designs such as cherry blossoms, Mt. Fuji, and cranes. They also come in a variety of sizes and shapes, so you can find one that suits your needs and tastes. Furoshiki cloths also make great conversation starters, as they are a unique and interesting item to bring home from your trip.
Furoshiki cloth is a great souvenir to buy when visiting Japan because it is both functional and visually appealing. It is also an affordable option that won’t break the bank. Whether you’re looking for a gift for someone special or a reminder of your trip, Furoshiki cloth is an excellent choice.
9. Tenugui Towel
Tenugui towels are a great Japanese souvenir to buy when visiting Japan. They are affordable, practical, and beautiful. Tenugui towels are traditional hand-dyed towels made from cotton that have been used in Japan for centuries. The patterns and colors of the towels are a reflection of traditional Japanese culture and make for a great souvenir.
Tenugui towels are incredibly versatile and can be used for a variety of purposes. They can be used as a washcloth, a headband, a handkerchief, or even a decorative wall hanging. The towels are lightweight and easy to carry, making them an ideal souvenir to bring home.
Tenugui towels also make great gifts. They come in a variety of colors and patterns, so there is something for everyone. They are also affordable, making them perfect for giving away as a memento of your trip to Japan.
Overall, Tenugui towels are an excellent Japanese souvenir. They are affordable, practical, and beautiful, and they are sure to be treasured by the recipient.
10. Japanese Chopsticks
Japanese chopsticks are a great souvenir to purchase when visiting Japan. Not only do they make a wonderful gift for friends and family, but they are also an iconic symbol of Japanese culture. Chopsticks are used in nearly every meal in Japan, and their use is so ubiquitous that they are even featured on the national flag. Furthermore, chopsticks come in a wide variety of styles, sizes, and materials, so it is possible to find the perfect set to suit the tastes of any recipient. The vibrant colors and designs of many chopsticks also make them a great addition to any home decor. Finally, chopsticks are relatively inexpensive, so they make a great budget-friendly souvenir for travelers.
11. Japanese Fans
Japanese fans are a great souvenir to buy when visiting Japan because they offer a unique and meaningful way to remember your trip. Not only do they come in a variety of colors and designs, but they also have a rich cultural history. Fans are an important part of Japanese culture and have been used for centuries as a way to communicate with one another. They are often given as gifts to signify friendship, respect, or appreciation.
Japanese fans also make for a beautiful display piece in any home and can be used to decorate walls, shelves, and other areas of the home.
They are also a great way to show off your knowledge of Japanese culture. All in all, buying a Japanese fan is a great way to remember your trip to Japan and is sure to be a conversation starter for years to come.
12. Handmade Ukiyo-e Woodblock Prints
Handmade Ukiyo-e Woodblock Prints are a great Japanese souvenir to buy when visiting Japan. Ukiyo-e, which translates to “pictures of the floating world”, is a genre of Japanese art that emerged in the 17th century and has become a beloved art form throughout the world.
These prints feature traditional Japanese subjects such as kabuki actors, courtesans, warriors, and landscapes. The woodblock printing process is a traditional technique used to create these prints, which involves carving an image into a block of wood, inking it, and pressing it onto paper.
Ukiyo-e woodblock prints are a meaningful way to commemorate your trip to Japan. These prints are works of art that reflect the culture, history, and beauty of Japan. They also make a unique and beautiful memento that you can display in your home or give as a gift to someone special.
Ukiyo-e prints are also a great conversation starter, as they provide an opportunity to learn more about Japanese culture and history. As these prints are handmade, each one is truly unique and will bring a special touch to any space.
13. Japanese Candy & Snacks
Japanese candy and snacks make great souvenirs when visiting Japan because they are affordable, widely available, and can be easily packed and transported. They come in a variety of flavors and textures, making them an ideal choice for people with different tastes and preferences.
Moreover, they often contain interesting ingredients, such as matcha, yuzu, and red bean paste, that reflect the culture of Japan.
Furthermore, they can be shared among friends and family, making them a perfect way to bring back memories of the trip. Additionally, there are endless varieties of Japanese candy and snacks, so visitors can find something new and exciting to try each time they visit. All these factors make Japanese candy and snacks a great souvenir to buy when visiting Japan.
14. Lucky Cat Maneki Neko
Lucky Cat Maneki Neko is an iconic Japanese souvenir that is perfect for anyone looking to bring home a piece of Japan. This small, usually ceramic figurine of a beckoning cat is known throughout Japan as a symbol of good luck and fortune. It is believed that if you keep a Lucky Cat Maneki Neko in your home or workplace, it will bring you wealth and good luck. The traditional color of a Lucky Cat Maneki Neko is white with a red collar, though they come in a variety of colors and styles.
In addition to being a good luck charm, the Lucky Cat Maneki Neko is a great souvenir to bring home from Japan because it is a unique representation of the country’s culture and traditions. The figure is a reminder of the special place Japan has in the hearts of many people around the world. It is also an excellent way to show appreciation for the hospitality and kindness of the Japanese people.
The Lucky Cat Maneki Neko is a great way to bring a little bit of Japanese culture home with you. Whether you choose to hang it in your home, office, or give it as a gift, the Lucky Cat Maneki Neko is sure to bring good luck and fortune wherever it goes.
15. Wagashi Sweets
Wagashi Sweets are a great Japanese souvenir to buy on your visit to Japan. Not only are they a unique and delicious way to remember your trip, but they also represent the culture of Japan. Wagashi Sweets are traditional Japanese confections that are often made with natural ingredients like rice flour, red bean paste, and sesame seeds.
They come in a variety of shapes and sizes, from traditional mochi balls to intricate animal-shaped sweets.
The presentation of Wagashi Sweets is an art in itself. The intricate designs and colors make them beautiful to look at and a pleasure to enjoy. They are the perfect gift for family and friends, as they show that you have thought about their individual tastes. Furthermore, Wagashi Sweets are relatively inexpensive, making them a great souvenir for any budget.
Wagashi Sweets are a great way to bring home a piece of Japanese culture and enjoy a tasty treat. Whether you choose to buy them at a store or make your own at home, you will be sure to find something that everyone will enjoy.
16. Wasabi Kit
Wasabi Kit are great Japanese souvenirs to buy on your visit to Japan because they provide a unique and authentic experience.
The kits come with everything you need to make your own wasabi paste, which is a traditional condiment used in Japanese cuisine. Wasabi is known for its intense spiciness and unique flavor, making it a favorite among many Japanese food lovers. It also makes a great gift for friends and family back home, as it is something that can’t be found outside of Japan.
Not only do the kits come with wasabi paste, but also with a variety of other ingredients such as pickled ginger, soy sauce, and seaweed, allowing you to customize your own wasabi creation. With the Wasabi Kit, you can bring a bit of Japan home with you, and enjoy the tastes of the country wherever you go!
17. Sake Set
Sake Sets are a great Japanese souvenir to buy on your visit to Japan for several reasons.
First, Sake Sets are very traditional in Japan and make a great way to remember your time in the country. Second, they come in a variety of styles and designs, so you can find one that suits your taste and budget.
Third, they come with all the components necessary to enjoy sake, including a carafe, cups, and sometimes even a warming container. Finally, sake is a unique Japanese tradition, and buying a set of sake cups and carafes is a great way to commemorate your trip to Japan.
18. Japanese Cast Iron Teapot
A Japanese Cast Iron Teapot is a great Japanese souvenir to buy on your visit to Japan for several reasons.
Firstly, it is an iconic symbol of Japanese culture and tradition. The unique design of the teapot serves as a reminder of the country’s rich history and culture.
Secondly, these teapots are renowned for their durability and superior craftsmanship. The heavy-duty cast iron construction ensures that the teapot can last for generations, making it a great investment and family heirloom. Thirdly, they come in a variety of designs, styles, and sizes, so you’re sure to find one that suits your individual taste.
Finally, Japanese Cast Iron Teapots are a great way to show your appreciation for Japanese culture and craftsmanship when you return home from your trip.
19. Japanese Knives
Japanese knives are a great Japanese souvenir to buy on your visit to Japan because they are not only beautiful and unique, but also incredibly well made.
Japanese knives are crafted with a combination of traditional methods and modern technology, making them incredibly sharp and durable. The blades are often made from high-carbon steel or stainless steel, which is resistant to corrosion and rust. Additionally, the handles are often made from natural materials such as wood, horn, or ivory, giving each knife a distinctive look and feel.
Furthermore, Japanese knives come in a variety of shapes and sizes to suit different needs. There are small paring knives for detailed work, larger chef’s knives for slicing and dicing, and even specialised knives for specific tasks such as sushi preparation. Whether you are looking for a functional tool or a decorative item, there is sure to be a perfect knife for you.
Finally, buying a Japanese knife is an excellent way to bring home a piece of Japan’s rich culture and history. Knives have been used by the Japanese people since ancient times, and the craftsmanship involved in their creation has been passed down through generations.
By purchasing a Japanese knife, you can take a little piece of this tradition home with you.
20. Wagasa Umbrellas
Wagasa umbrellas are an ideal Japanese souvenir to buy on a visit to Japan. Not only are they beautiful and intricately designed, but they also have a long history that dates back centuries. Wagasa umbrellas are handmade from natural materials like bamboo and washi paper, making them lightweight and durable.
They come in a variety of sizes, shapes, and colors, so you can find one that best suits your style and needs.
Plus, they make great gifts for family and friends. Wagasa umbrellas are a great way to bring a piece of traditional Japanese culture home with you. They’re a unique and thoughtful reminder of your trip to Japan, and will be appreciated by anyone who receives it.
When buying souvenirs from Japan, it is important to remember to do research on the items before you buy them. Research the history behind the item, its origin, and its cultural significance. Additionally, if you are buying an item with a long history, such as a kimono, try to purchase the item from a reputable source.
Be sure to take your time when looking for souvenirs and allow yourself to explore the different items available in the shops. Taking your time will help you find unique items that truly capture the spirit of Japan.