One of the best things you could do when traveling in Japan is to go buy some souvenirs from Japan. After all, bringing back some mementos from your trip will definitely help remind you of the places you have been to.
And fortunately for you, Japan is one of the best places to buy souvenirs. They have so many different things for you to buy and choose from. The only problem however is trying to choose what item to buy.
Depending on how big your suitcase is or how much money you want to spend, that will dictate exactly what items you are able to buy.
And that is where this post comes in handy.
In this post, we’ll be talking about all the cool and unique gifts you can totally buy in Japan. I’m not talking about the cheap magnets or stickers you can buy from literally anywhere and just toss away somewhere only to be forgotten. I’m talking about the meaningful items that actually symbolize something or have some sort of value for you.
So if you are ready, lets go find out all the best souvenirs from Japan to buy.
- 1. Chopsticks
- 2. Ceramic Bowls
- 3. Japanese Fan
- 4. Umbrella (Parasol)
- 5. Yukata or Kimono
- 6. Hair Pin (Kanzashi)
- 7. Knives
- 8. Japanese Cosmetics
- 9. Stationary and Pens
- 10. Calligraphy Set
- 11. Japanese Name Stamps
- 12. Kendama
- 13. Daruma
- 14. Waving kitty (Maneki Neko)
- 15. Charm (Omamori)
- 16. Art Work
- 17. Socks
- 18. Yen Coins
- 19. Maps And Tickets
- 20. Anime, Manga, and More!
- 21. PuriKura
- 22. Bento Box
- 23. Green Tea
- 24. Sake
- 25. Japanese Sweets
- Where To Go Buy Souvenirs In Japan?
If you are a fan of eating Asian cuisines or just like using chopsticks, picking up a pair might just be a great idea.
Plus in Japan there are a whole bunch of different varieties and designs for you to choose from. You can choose some basic chopsticks which are usually pretty cheap, or you can choose some highly unique and beautifully designed chopsticks which might cost a pretty penny. And depending on the place, some stores might even be able to engrave your name onto the chopsticks!
And what better thing to pair chopsticks with than…..
2. Ceramic Bowls
Ceramic bowls are some of the most popular souvenirs to get from Japan. Mainly because they are all so beautifully designed as well as being practical for everyday use.
They come in many different shapes, sizes, colors and styles so you’ll have plenty to choose from.
This way every time you use this bowl to eat something, it’ll always bring back those warm memories you have of Japan.
3. Japanese Fan
One of the coolest things you can buy and also one of the most popular is buying a Japanese Fan.
These fans come in all sorts of different shapes, colors, styles, as well as materials. They make for a great memento as many of these fans have symbols and iconic scenery of Japan.
In fact, depending on where you visit in Japan, you might even get some of these fans for free. Although the free fans are usually of low quality, they still are pretty neat to look at. But if you want a real stylish fan with a rich history, then you’re going to have to visit one of the specialized shops that only sell fans. There the owner will be able to tell you how the fan is made, what it symbolizes, as well as the different price points between each fan.
The store I went to had fans of various price points. I bought my fan for around $90 USD dollars, but they had some fans that went up to the hundreds of dollars.
4. Umbrella (Parasol)
If you ever seen any Japanese photographs or shows, one of the most iconic things you’ll notice is the Japanese Umbrella or Parasol as some might call it. These umbrellas are not your usual umbrellas as they are mainly used to help protect a person from rays of the sun.
These umbrellas also come in all shapes, sizes, and color with tons of intricate designs. And depending on where you go, some umbrellas might be more expensive than others.
When I went umbrella shopping, I saw umbrella designs made in the shape of a flower which was so cool!
You can usually find these umbrellas in most souvenir shops. However if you are really wanting to buy one, I would suggest you visit a specialized umbrella store as they have more beautifully designed umbrellas.
5. Yukata or Kimono
Another iconic piece of Japanese item is the kimono or yukatas. Although they might seem similar, they are actually quite different.
Yukatas are usually made out of a lighter material like cotton and is usually worn around at home or outside during the hot days. Where as Kimonos are usually made from a nicer fabric material like silk and are usually only worn for formal events like graduations or weddings.
Because of this, kimonos are usually more expensive than a yukata. So do keep that in mind if you are wanting to go buy a yukata or a kimono.
This is probably one of the coolest souvenirs from Japan.
6. Hair Pin (Kanzashi)
Speaking of Kimonos, one thing you could pair with it is a kanzashi (hair pin). This is usually traditionally worn in the hair by females during festivals or rituals.
They come in many different shapes and styles, and can be found either hand-crafted or machine crafted. They are exceptionally beautiful when worn.
You can find these things at many local souvenir shops or specialized boutiques.
If you didn’t know, Japan is known for their really high quality knives. By high quality, I mean these knives are extremely sharp and well crafted.
You can find these knives in souvenir shops, specialized boutiques as well as local street vendors. There are a ton of different varieties to choose from. Although if you want a really good quality knife, do expect to pay quite a bit for it.
8. Japanese Cosmetics
Asia is famous for having some of the best cosmetics in the world. With Japan being one of the places where you can find some seriously good things.
From makeup to face masks or lotions, Japan has risen to become an innovator of this industry.
All around the country you can find drug stores and cosmetic boutiques that’ll sell all kinds of cosmetics you can think of. They’ll also carry other Asian brands as well like cosmetics from South Korea or Taiwan. All of these are perfect for you to buy and bring back home.
9. Stationary and Pens
If you like collecting fancy pens or notebooks, then this might be the thing for you.
After all, Japan is known for some really high quality as well as very creative pieces of pens and paper.
You’ll never know what might pop up, so do check around.
10. Calligraphy Set
Do you love writing? How about beautiful words?
Pick up a set of traditional calligraphy set and learn to write like the best of them.
11. Japanese Name Stamps
Japanese name stamps are are very awesome to see and use. While traditionally they are used to help sign your name onto official documents, these name stamps have become quite popular in Japan as people buy these things as gifts.
Many of these shops will even help translate your name into Japanese Kanji and turn it into a name stamp. Or if you don’t want your name on the stamp, you can even have pictures of cartoons of emojis etched onto the stamp as well.
If you are wanting to bring home some games or toys, then bringing a Kendama might just be the thing you need. It is a traditional Japanese toy that has been around for ages. It is similar to a yo-yo but is also more challenging and fun to play with.
Darumas are some of the cutest little things you’ll see in Japan. They are small figurines that comes in all different shapes and sizes. Although their exterior does look kind of scary and angry, they aren’t actually meant to be that way.
These dolls make for a great Japanese souvenir as they represent perseverance and good fortunate.
In fact, when you look at these dolls, you might notice that some of them have blank eyes. This is intentional because it helps encourage the recipient to achieve their goal. By this I mean, when you first buy the doll, you’ll have a goal in mind and draw in one of its eyes while leaving the other blank. Once you have completed that goal, you can color in the second eye which marks the goal as complete.
It is a great motivator and helps you on your way of making your dreams come true.
14. Waving kitty (Maneki Neko)
Have you ever gone to an Asian shop or restaurant and seen one of those cat statues that way their arms constantly? Well here in Japan, you can find these statues everywhere.
It is said that these cat statues will bring good fortune to their owner. Which I don’t know if its true or not, but I really hope it is.
So if you are in need of some luck, go ahead and buy some of these statues in hopes of bringing you a better fortune.
15. Charm (Omamori)
If you have ever been to a shrine or temple, you’ll usually find these things being sold. They are often believed to have many different types of symbolism’s like protection, luck, fortune and many other things you might wish for.
They make for some really cheap and inexpensive gifts and are great to have. Hang it on your rear view mirror or on your wall, whatever the case may be, hopefully whatever you wish for comes true.
16. Art Work
If you can’t think of anything to buy, one creative thing you can do is simply buy some art work. These things make for great gifts and souvenirs as many of the pieces will have some type of symbolism to Japan.
In fact, one of the most famous pieces of art is the “Great Wave of Kanagawa”. You can find many stores all around selling pictures of this wave.
Are you always finding yourself missing some socks? Why not buy some more in Japan? After all, these socks are sold all over the place and for a really cheap price too. You’ll find all sorts of options to choose from with all kinds of designs.
My favorite sock to buy from Japan is definitely going to be the Toe Sock which is a sock that shows your toes! How wild is that!
18. Yen Coins
Who doesn’t like collecting money from different countries? And here in Japan, you’ll find a ton of coins that are all different in shapes, sizes as well as design.
They make for a great souvenir as collecting the coins will always remind you of the time you had back in Japan.
19. Maps And Tickets
This may seem kind of obvious, but you know those maps and tickets you usually get when traveling around? They make for some great souvenirs!
In the future, you can always look back at your maps and tickets and remember all the cool things you have done in the past. Definitely a great way to make some memories.
20. Anime, Manga, and More!
If you love anime or just love reading mangas, then Japan is definitely for you.
It is literally the geek capital of the world as they have all sorts of cool geeky stuff for you to buy. From action figures, to toys to manga and anime, there is so many things for you to choose from.
So if you want to surround yourself with all things anime, this place is perfect for you.
Do you love taking pictures? If so, then you will absolutely love this.
Japan has a machine that lets you take pictures but also customize them. It is like poloraids on steroids.
You go into a booth and basically take as many pictures as possible, then once you are done, you can go out and start designing them. For instance, you can add hearts, write words, change skin tone, make your eyes bigger, or anything else you can imaagine.
It is absolutely fantastic and really fun to try.
22. Bento Box
Does your lunch box look old and stale? Why not switch it up and use something more beautiful like a bento box. It is a practical Japanese souvenir you can buy and you will absolutely love it.
It is basically a food container with different compartments for small foods.
Plus many of these bento boxes are all beautifully crafted with various designs on them.
23. Green Tea
Japanese people love their green tea. And here in Japan, you can find all sorts of green tea available to purchase.
If you didn’t know, Green Tea contains many antioxidants and claims to have many health benefits. Which is why people all over love drinking this stuff.
So why not take some home and make yourself some tea to drink?
If you love drinking alcohol, then you will absolutely love sake. It is a traditional Japanese alcoholic beverage made from fermented rice.
Buy some for your friends or family or even for your self (no shame in that).
25. Japanese Sweets
A common thing many people tend to buy as souvenirs from Japan are traditional Japanese sweets. There are all sorts of varieties to choose from like manju or daifuku and more that are all sold in many locations.
One iconic Japanese sweets is the Kit Kat Bar.
Now I know what you are thinking…kit kat bar? Don’t they have that in America? Well yes they do! However the Japanese versions take it to a whole new level. In Japan you can find Kit Kat Bars of all different flavors like soy sauce, gum, sake, green tea, strawberry, cinnamon and more. There are literally hundreds of flavors to choose from with some being more unique than the rest.
Another popular and famous treat you have to buy is the Tokyo Banana. It is a dessert made from Bananas that is super delicious!
Where To Go Buy Souvenirs In Japan?
There are many different places where you can go and buy souvenirs from in Japan.
With shrines and temples being some of the most common locations.
However other than that, there are still a bunch of areas where you can go visit and find some items to buy.
Down below are some of the suggested places for you to check out if you are wanting to buy some souvenirs.
Souvenir Shops In Tokyo
- Harajuku – One such place where you can find a bunch of souvenirs is on Takeshita Street. It is a long pedestrian shopping street filled with fashion boutiques, cafes and restaurants in Harajuku.
- Tokyo Station – Here you can find all sorts of delicious Japanese sweets like daifuku, kit kat bars, and even the famous Tokyo Banana.
- Akihabara – Akihabara is a big area that is filled with all types of geeky things. From anime to books to toys or games, you can find it all here.
- Asakusa – You’ll want toh ead to Nakamise Shopping Street which is a bustling area filled with shops and stalls that sell all kinds of things. You can find local food vendors, umbrella and fan shops, charms, and even knives!
Souvenir Shops In Osaka
- Shinsaibashi-Suji Shopping Street – It is one of the oldest shopping destinations in Osaka and is also one of the best. Here you’ll find all kinds of boutique shops and chain stores lining up all around here.
Souvenir Shops In Kyoto
- Gion – Here along Sannenzaka and Ninenzaka Streets, you’ll find plenty of shops selling all sorts of things. From specialty fan shops to umbrella shops or even dessert shops, you can find it all over here.
As you can see, there are plenty of things for you to buy as souvenirs from Japan.
Hopefully this list was able to help you out in some sort of way and makes your decision making a whole lot easier.
Also, if you are planning to visit Japan anytime soon, you might be interested in some of my other Japan posts.
- Important Travel Tips For Japan To Know
- Things To Do In Beppu, Japan
- Tips On How To Travel To Japan On A Budget
- How To Use A Japanese Onsen
Or you can check out my complete list of things to do in Japan by clicking here.
Let me know how your trip goes!