Japanese Souvenirs come in all kinds of wonderfully unique and unusual guises. Whether you want to turn your home into a mini izakaya or you just want a little commemorative treat, here are the best souvenirs from Japan for you…
Japan is home to many of the world’s best souvenirs, from classic goods like fans and kimonos to fun kitsch like Pikachu-themed goods and Hello Kitty merchandise. You can bring many things back from your trip to Japan to remember the good times.
Check out this list of the best souvenirs from Japan to inspire you to grab something to remind you of your trip every time you see it!
Top 20 Best Souvenirs from Japan
All the best things to buy from Japan to remember your trip
1. Chopsticks from Japan
For a good reason, chopsticks are one of the most classic Japanese souvenirs! They’re both beautiful and functional and can be used as decoration or actual utensils. You can find chopsticks made from all sorts of materials, including wood, metal, plastic, and even bamboo. They make for a great gift or self-purchase and can be found at just about any souvenir shop in Japan.
2. Kimono & Yukata from Japan
Kimono and yukata are traditional Japanese garments that make for beautiful Japan souvenirs. They come in various colours, patterns, and styles and can be worn by both men and women. They also make great wall hangings or home decorations if you’re not interested in wearing one yourself. Kimono and yukata can be found at many souvenir shops and department stores throughout Japan.
3. Geisha Dolls from Japan
Geisha dolls are another classic Japanese souvenir that makes a beautiful addition to any home. They’re often intricately designed and dressed in traditional kimono. You can find geisha dolls of all different sizes, from small enough to fit in the palm of your hand to large enough to sit on a shelf. They make for a great gift or self-purchase and can be found at many souvenir shops throughout Japan.
If you want to buy your Japan souvenirs when you get home, check out Sugoimart for homeware, gifts, candy, lucky bags and beauty items too. Great for when you regret not buying all the things!
4. Daruma from Japan
Daruma is a traditional Japanese doll that is often seen as a symbol of good luck. They’re usually red and have black eyes, which are said to represent the Buddha. Daruma is often given as gifts, and their recipients will usually fill in one of the eyes after making a wish. Once the wish comes true, they’ll fill in the other eye. Daruma can be found at many souvenir shops throughout Japan.
5. Maneki Neko from Japan
These beckoning cats are also known as lucky cats, fortune cats or money cats. They are popular in businesses and restaurants throughout Japan. Many of them are not just decorative; they’re said to bring in good luck. Place a few Maneki Neko around your office for good luck. They can be found at souvenir shops near train stations and shrines throughout Tokyo and Yokohama for anywhere between $15 to $50 USD. These Japanese souvenirs are a great memento to take back to the office.
6. Uchiwa Fans from Japan
Uchiwa fans are traditional Japanese fans that come in a variety of colours, designs, and sizes. Did you know that many people buy a new uchiwa every time they go to a different place or event, as a keepsake or memento? It’s true! Uchiwa are used to decorate your home during special occasions such as weddings, birthdays, New Year’s celebrations, and more. You can also use them when you’re out on a hot summer day for some relief from the heat!
7. Sake Sets from Japan
Sake is a traditional Japanese rice wine often served on special occasions. Sake sets make for a great gift or self-purchase and usually include a small bottle of sake, cups, and a tray. You can find them in many different sizes, colours, and styles to fit your budget. I loved seeing these everywhere when I spent three weeks in Japan – they’re a good way to learn about sake if you’re not familiar with it!
Besides, what’s a trip to Japan without trying some sake?
8. Samurai Swords from Japan
Samurai swords are one of the most popular souvenirs from Japan, especially with tourists from Western countries. There are two types of Japanese swords, katana and wakizashi.
The katana is a single-edged sword that can be used in both cutting and thrusting. It’s also traditionally worn with an edge on one side of its blade, while its other side remains sharpened as well. Wearing a katana outside of battle was forbidden in most cases (with a few exceptions), but they have become increasingly popular among collectors in recent years. You can find them at many different types of shops, including souvenir shops, department stores, and even some speciality stores. Just be sure you know what you’re buying before making your purchase!
9. Japanese Tea Sets from Japan
Japanese tea sets make for a great gift or self-purchase and are a must-have for any tea lover as a Japanese souvenir. They usually include a teapot, cups, and a tray. You can find them in many different sizes, colours, and styles to fit your budget and taste. If you’re not a tea drinker, Japanese tea sets also make for beautiful home decorations.
10. Hanko from Japan
A Hanko is a stamp Japanese individuals and companies use as signatures, typically their names in kanji. The Hanko can be made of wood, metal or plastic.
Many Japanese people will carry several Hankos with them, one for work and one for home. It’s common to see people signing documents using their Hanko rather than using a pen. This is not only because it’s convenient but also because each person has an individual style of writing their name, so it can be identified easily. There are even shops where you can have your personal Hanko engraved into a wide variety of materials such as leather or stone so that you can take it with you wherever you go!
Hankos make for a great gift from Japan and can be found at any Japanese souvenir shops near train stations on the streets of Tokyo and Yokohama.
11. Noren Curtain from Japan
Noren are traditional Japanese curtains that hang in doorways. In fact, you’ll see noren everywhere in Japan. They have a variety of different meanings, but one thing they all have in common is that they indicate an entrance to somewhere special. If you’re visiting Tokyo and want to remember your trip forever (or at least until your souvenir wears out), buy yourself a few noren curtains while you’re there!
These make for wonderful Japanese souvenirs to bring home.
12. Japanese pottery
Some regions have a tradition of ceramics that dates back thousands of years. Though many types of pottery in modern-day Japan are mass-produced, traditional techniques continue to be used in some crafts. Try your hand at an ancient art form by picking up one of these beautiful ceramic pieces. If you have any artistic skills (or would like to develop them), paint and fire your own unique piece.
13. Geta sandals from Japan
Geta are traditional Japanese sandals that have been around for centuries. They are made of wood and have a raised platform on which to place your foot. Geta are typically worn with yukata (traditional Japanese garments), but they can also be worn with more modern clothing.
Geta come in a variety of styles and sizes, so you’re sure to find a pair that fits you perfectly. You can even have your geta custom-made for the ultimate souvenir from Japan.
14. Washi paper stationery from Japan
Washi paper is a traditional Japanese paper made from the inner bark of various trees. Washi paper has been used in Japan for centuries and is still popular today. You can find washi paper stationery in many different colours, patterns, and textures. These Japanese souvenirs are perfect for writing letters or even just for decoration.
15. Anime / Manga figures from Japan
For anime and manga lovers, these are great Japanese souvenirs to bring back home. Most cities in Japan have speciality stores for these, so be sure to check those out when you get off your flight. The merchandise is fun and unique and a decent price!
You can find everything from keychains to plushes to T-shirts in manga in Japan. Look out for those vending machines. It’s a Japanese fact that you can’t leave without buying at least one of these!
16. Ukiyo-e prints from Japan
Ukiyo-e are a type of woodblock print that originated in Japan. They often depict scenes from nature, daily life, or the floating world (the entertainment districts of Edo, now known as Tokyo). Ukiyo-e prints make for beautiful wall decorations and make great gifts for anyone who loves art. You can find them in many different styles and sizes, so there’s sure to be one that catches your eye as one of the best souvenirs from Japan.
17. Traditional Japanese crafts from Japan
Buying and taking home a souvenir is an age-old tradition. With so many types of crafts to choose from, however, it can be hard to pick out one you’ll actually want to keep. Here are a few traditional crafts worth taking home after travelling to Japan.
One of Japan’s most popular and oldest forms of craft comes from ceramics. Ceramic products make excellent keepsakes, from ceramic tea sets with beautiful paintings on them to decorative plates for your mantlepiece. You can also get beautiful pottery bonsai pots or even flowerpots for a more unique display style.
18. Boxed candy sets from Japan
If you want to know one of Japan’s most famous boxed candies, Pocky is a must-try. Every individual box is designed with a variety of different flavours and chocolate options, so it’s easy to find something that suits your taste buds. If you like sour candy or chocolate, there are varieties available just for you. The sweets and candy are among the best foods in Japan.
If that doesn’t suit your fancy, don’t worry, there are also some traditional and deliciously sweet Japanese flavours in each box as well. Pick up some Pocky next time you visit and try out different kinds until you find your favourite flavour. What better way to remember your trip than with delicious (and adorable) candy?
19. Senbei from Japan
Senbei are Japanese rice crackers that come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and flavours. They are commonly flavoured with soy sauce or sesame, but you can also find them flavoured with wasabi, ginger, and even chocolate. Senbei are the perfect snack to take on the go, and they make great gifts from Japan for friends and family back home. Be sure to pick up a few packs when you’re in Japan!
20. Snow Globes and Votive Candles from Japan
These two items are perfect for anyone who loves to decorate their home with souvenirs from their travels. Snow globes and votive candles make beautiful displays and are also great conversation starters. The colours and designs vary by region, so if you’re interested in bringing some home, pick up a map at your hotel to find a store with a wide selection. If you have more time on your hands, go to Shibuya station and hunt for those stores that use globes to display their goods – it’s much easier to find votive candles there!
If you’re looking for something a little different, pick up a votive candle instead. They come in many different colours and scents, so you can find one that fits your personality perfectly. No matter what you choose, these two souvenirs are sure to bring back fond memories of your trip to Japan.
Tips to get the best deals on souvenirs in Japan
- Check out the local 100 yen stores for the best Japanese souvenirs – they have a wide variety of items to choose from, and you can’t beat the price! You’ll find the shops in all the tourist areas from Kyoto, to Osaka, to Tokyo.
- Bargaining is common in markets and stores aimed at tourists, so don’t be afraid to haggle a little bit to get the best deal.
- If you’re looking for something specific, try going to a store specialising in that item. For example, if you want a traditional kimono, go to a store that sells them instead of a general souvenir shop.
- Compare prices at different stores before making your final decision – you might be surprised at the difference in price for the same item.
- Don’t forget to look for sales and discounts. Many stores offer discounts on select items, so it’s worth checking before making your purchase.
- Lastly, don’t buy anything you don’t absolutely love. After all, it’s a souvenir for you, so make sure you’ll actually want to keep it!
Look no further if you’re looking for some amazing souvenirs from Japan to take home. This list of the best souvenirs will remind you of your wonderful time in this amazing country.
From traditional items like kimonos and samurai swords to more unique items like Pocky and Senbei, there’s something for everyone. Just remember to bargain, compare prices, and look for sales to get the best deals on your souvenirs. And most importantly, don’t forget to have fun!