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Tourist souvenirs in Japan

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We are going to be spending a few days in Yokohama before the Celebrity Millennium  does a trans-Pacific in about a month.  I am starting to think of what kind of souvenirs would be good to bring back from Japan.  Any Suggestions for someone who won't have a lot of spare luggage space.  Nothing breakable since I am a klutz.

 

 

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Depending if you have horribly hot days in Victoria but what I bring home for friends is something I havent been able to buy at home.   They are a neck tie that you soak in cold water and tie around the neck.   We first discovered them about 10 years ago on a trip around Japan in the heat of a Japanese summer.  I am still using the one I bought then, its been back to Japan many times since.   They have some sort of beads that stay cool when immersed in water.   Thats a practical gift but not all  that pretty.   I also bring back  little fans.  We travel very light so avoid anything fragile.  Little girls like the small wooden dolls, boys like the traditional boys day paper kites.   For my grandaughters I couldnt resist the full summer yukata traditional dress, obi, and wooden shoes.   They have only worn them the day we arrived home so that was a total waste of energy yen and luggage space.

When i go again in a few weeks will be buying on more neck ties, available at pharmacies, but also at 100 yen stores and the like.

There are of course the usual, small items, mirrors for ladies, purses, handkerchiefs, wallets etc

 

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Just so you know, Amazon sells those neck cooling ties.  DH used them and they ARE pretty good!

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Folding paper or silk (fabric) fans. No batteries required, and I've used them all over the world when travelling in hot weather. I've always got one in my purse. And they can be very beautiful. I have a small collection that I display in my home office that are just too pretty to use. I also love to buy yukata to use as a dressing gown in summer. I have several in my closet.

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What would be an appreciated small gift to bring for our private guides?

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Very small item as their homes are extremely tiny.  Example pen keyring set. Small purse magnets note pad. Something useful rather than something to clutter their home.  I ask our guide if they have small children and grandchildren and if so break my own rules and do take small kangaroo koala for the children but small about 6 inches.

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I rarely purchase souvenirs, but when in Japan last fall I did purchase a lovely chopstick set with coordinating rests.  We use chopsticks at home at least monthly, and they are used on a regular basis.

 

And as a small gift for our private guides I took sets of high-end boxed notecards which featured art from our Alaskan artists.

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Posted (edited)
10 hours ago, bxny said:

What would be an appreciated small gift to bring for our private guides?

 

a Canadian expat has told me that with exceptions,  food / sweets are better choices than 'stuff'.  Their homes are small and How many keyrings can somebody use? 

 

Those Alaskan note cards sound like one of those exceptions.

 

 

Edited by jkgourmet

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On 4/6/2019 at 12:33 AM, bxny said:

What would be an appreciated small gift to bring for our private guides?

 

We will be off to our next cruise around Japan in a week. We wondered about the same thing and asked a Japanese colleague of my wife what to being (since small gifts are sometimes the only tip the guides will accept).

 

She said to bring little chocolate easter bunnies (which are all over the stores in Germany now). Preferably from Lindt and may be the non traditional colorful ones... she said her family in Japan goes crazy when she brings them.

 

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5 hours ago, Miaminice said:

 

We will be off to our next cruise around Japan in a week. We wondered about the same thing and asked a Japanese colleague of my wife what to being (since small gifts are sometimes the only tip the guides will accept).

 

She said to bring little chocolate easter bunnies (which are all over the stores in Germany now). Preferably from Lindt and may be the non traditional colorful ones... she said her family in Japan goes crazy when she brings them.

 

Thanks, love that idea.

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Anything with the Tokyo Olympic 2020 logos. There are Olympic stores in a number of cities.

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Posted (edited)

Meiji Chocolates - a Japanese favorite. Small bottles of locally brewed sake, we saw some beautiful bottles with gold flakes inside.

(Ooops, sorry, just saw your “nonbreakable” request,  but others may be interested).

Edited by sippican

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Omamori are small charms sold at shrines and temples, they are easy to carry, easy to find and very Japanese. There are hundreds of different kinds for protection or luck of specific type.

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On 4/5/2019 at 3:33 PM, bxny said:

What would be an appreciated small gift to bring for our private guides?

 Maple syrup. They love it and it is very expensive in Japan

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We do not buy souvenirs any more. The stuff that we used to bring back really don't mean anything to those who did not go to that particular country. Most will end up as garage sale items. Now we bring back certain food/snack items for those at home to try. Something like Kitkat, they have so many flavors in Japan that you maybe able to pick some that cannot be found at your local stores. 

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We always bring back the boxed sweet cakes and jellies they sell everywhere including the airport. Family enjoy the surprise of different tastes like matcha nougat and pineapple cakes.

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Try THEIR cheesecake while there. It's very jiggly. We brought yukata/obi/socks for a teen who loved them. Also a fan for a friend watching our home while we were gone. For gifts for guides, we had ink pens printed in Japanese with "thank you" messages on them and handed them out to our guides along with our business cards from Vista Print which were printed in Japanese and English. (They were impressed.) A lot of the school girls wore backpacks with little dangling toys (e.g., miniature stuffed animals). They seemed very popular.

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On 4/30/2019 at 11:19 PM, ROCruiser said:

We do not buy souvenirs any more. The stuff that we used to bring back really don't mean anything to those who did not go to that particular country. Most will end up as garage sale items. Now we bring back certain food/snack items for those at home to try. Something like Kitkat, they have so many flavors in Japan that you maybe able to pick some that cannot be found at your local stores. 

Another vote for kit kats!

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I bought chopsticks for gifts. Then I bought a brush marker and wrote friends' names in Japanese on index cards to present with the chopsticks. There is a website that you give an English name and they spell it in Japanese. 

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I’ve read on Fodor not to bring gifts because it can make the guide uncomfortable that they have no reciprocal gift.  We will be using a paid guide so we thought me might just offer to buy his lunch.  I also read that any gift given should be given with two hands.

 

 

 

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On 4/5/2019 at 12:05 AM, Blamar said:

We are going to be spending a few days in Yokohama before the Celebrity Millennium  does a trans-Pacific in about a month.  I am starting to think of what kind of souvenirs would be good to bring back from Japan.  Any Suggestions for someone who won't have a lot of spare luggage space.  Nothing breakable since I am a klutz.

 

 

Kokeshi dolls.   Origami Cranes.  ten thousand flavors of Kit Kat since they don't make Pinky any more.  Obis.  hit the 100 Yen stores.   go to the snack aisle.   prepare to have your mind blown.  hashii and hashii oke.  they make gorgeous  fancy ones out of jade or  fine woods.  Yukatas.  and if you can find it, the fake food they use in restaurant displays.  

 

 

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