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Japanese Omiyage | Gift Souvenir from Japan | Motivist Japan

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Omiyage means a local specialty bought as a gift while traveling. These are normally given to friends, family or co-workers after you’ve been gone for a trip. In Japan train stations, you will see lots of boxes wrapped in colorful wrappers that will surely catch the commuter’s attention. Japanese put a lot of effort in preparing these boxes sold as Omiyage.  

If you have been in Japan, 99% chance you bought Kitkat as omiyage. However, Japan has lots to offer other than a pack of Kitkat. Buying omiyage is considered as an obligation especially for people who went on business trip or shucchou (出張) in Japanese. This is a way of saying thank you for making the office work bearable while you were gone.

 

AFFORDABLE OMIYAGE AROUND JAPAN

1. TOKYO BANANA

True to their claim, Tokyo Banana is one of the most beloved treats from Japan. It is a cream based small cake that are shaped like a banana. Over the time, Tokyo banana released several types and collaboration flavors like Tokyo Banana x Kitkat flavor and their current release which is the Tokyo Banana Custard Cream with Sakura Scent perfect timing for Spring.

photo from tokyobanana.jp

 

2. CUP NOODLES

Cup noodles is the one of the best things you can buy in Japan. They are cheap and easy to find. Instead of buying per piece, head to the nearest supermarket and buy the box. It will save you more money.

3. TO GO RAMEN BOX

Japan is synonymous to ramen. It’s safe to assume that the best ramen is in Japan. Lately, more ramen shops are also offering their specialty in a to go box. It is different from the cup noodles as this one has more “ramen feel” than the instant noodles.

photo from amazon.com

The price is affordable, and the box is easy to carry. It will not take much of your luggage space.

 

4. EYEDROPS

Eyedrops in Japan is not just used for treating red or dry eyes. They have evolved in many types such as cooling, and mentholated effect, protection for gadget use and even night recovery. One of the nice things about Japan eyedrops are they come in small but stylish bottles. Definitely a great omiyage idea. Price starts at 500 yen.

photo from Rohto.co.jp

 

5. FACIAL MASK

Facial mask is not only a thing in Korea but also in Japan. If you notice the skin of Japanese ladies, they are very hydrated and smooth. Thanks to their diet, genes and affordable beauty products such as face masks. You can buy facial sheet mask in any drug store and department store in Japan.

6. HANKO OR NAME STAMP

If you want an omiyage that is uniquely Japan, then you can get a hanko. Hanko is used in signing official documents in Japan. It might not be of use in your country but it’s a great remembrance of your trip. You can write up to 4 letters of your name either written in Katakana or English alphabet. You can find the hanko machine in Don Quixote, Aeon or Ito Yokado.

The instruction is in Japanese, but you can ask for assistance to any store staff. Just write the name that you want to write in your hanko, hand it over to the staff and they will do it for you. One hanko can take 15-20 minutes. Price starts at 500 yen.

 

7. PEN AND STATIONERY

Japan is a haven for art lovers. From cheap to expensive pens and paper, you will find it in Japan, Even the 100-yen shop in Japan, sell quality and huge collection of pens and different types of paper. The love of writing might have something to do with Japanese calligraphy or shodo (書道). Shodo is a form of artistic writing that originated way back in 4th century. Up to this day, calligraphy lessons are still very much alive in Japan.

8. MATCHA

High grade authentic matcha is one of best item you can buy in Kyoto. Kyoto is one of the famous cities in Kansai region because of having strong Japanese culture. This is also the place where you can see Maikos and Geishas performing in different tea houses. One of their famous offering to the visitors is tea ceremony wherein the guests will learn how to properly serve and drink tea, the Japanese way. Because of this Kyoto became famous for their teas such as matcha. Famous brands like Itoen and Ippodo matcha both originated from Kyoto.

9. ICED COFFEE CAPSULES

Famous coffee company Blendy released a concentrated liquid instant coffee in capsules perfect for coffee lovers who do not want to splurge from buying from expensive cafes. It is called the AGF Blendy coffee capsules. They are easy to find during summer and available in different flavors such as matcha, latte, caramel, non-sugar and kocha.

photo from ebay.com

10. SOCKS

When in Japan, having a good pair of socks and shoes is a must because 80% of the time you will be walking. Riding a cab is not an option as it can get very expensive that’s why people do invest in having a good shoes and cute socks to pair it with.

You can choose from formal socks to cute character socks. You can also get a tabi socks which is which is a Japanese traditional socks.

 11. UMAIBOU

Umaibou directly translates to delicious stick. A Japanese corn snack available in different flavors wrapped in colorful foil with a character that looked like Doraemon. Sold at very cheap price of 10 yen (may vary).

photo from Wikipedia

12. WHISKY

200 ML whiskey are sold in 7-11 in Japan. Great size to bring as it will not take much space in your luggage. We recommend the Suntory Yamazaki NAS sold at 1,200 yen (may vary). Easy to carry and perfect size for a gift. Please check the guidelines on bringing alcohol to your country. 

13. UNIQLO ITEMS

Uniqlo originated from Japan so it is safe to say that Uniqlo items here are cheaper compared to other countries. If you want to find the marked down items, head to the end of the aisle where the clothes rack (with wheels) are located. This is where the staff put all the crazy marked down items.

You can FIND cheap clothes as low as 500 yen.

 

14. SENSU (扇子) or HAND FAN

Traditionally used by Geisha and Maiko when performing traditional Japanese dance now has become one of the best omiyages. You can buy fans with painting of Japan attractions such as Mount Fuji, Sky tree and even Sakura trees.Price depends on the materials used. 

photo from suehirodo-sensu.co.jp

15. JAPANESE BRAND MAKE-UP

Brands like Canmake and Kate are Japanese brand make up that is relatively cheaper compared to other brands. Though the price is low, the quality is at par with the branded make ups. Canmake also sells make up accessory like eyelash curler and brushes. 

These are only 15 of the affordable omiyage that you can buy in Japan. Japan has 47 prefectures and each one has their own recommended omiyage. If you have the budget to spend more, you can travel to different cities and check their recommended omiyages. 

 Don’t confuse omiyage to Temiyage (手土産) which is a gift you bring when you are invited to someone’s house or workplace. If you are planning to visit Japan soon, don’t forget to check these affordable omiyages that you can bring to your friends and family.