For birthdays, passing exams or even Christmas: it is not always easy to find the right present. We are happy to help. Among these Japanese gift ideas there is something for every Japan fan, or gifts for yourself if you cannot travel to Japan at the moment.
Whether you’re a traditional culture lover or an anime lover, there is something for everyone on this list.
For connoisseurs: Japanese tea as a gift
When you think of Japan, the thought of Japanese green tea comes straight to your mind. If you don’t know exactly what will go down the best with the recipient, Japanese tea is always the right place for you.
There are many famous tea brands from Japan such as Itoen and Lipicia. Itoen is a cheaper brand, while Lupicia is more in the luxury segment.
For everyone: face masks with special designs
Long before 2020, face masks could be seen on Japanese faces, which often seemed strange to visitors. Now there are masks that match every outfit thanks to their color and print – and Japan is still a pioneer when it comes to stylish masks.
You can already buy a large number of masks on Amazon Japan, from Demon Slayer to other masks with cute designs. There are masks for women, men, and children – a great way to get kids to keep the mask on too.
For anime fans: Japan-exclusive anime box sets
For anime fans in your life, there are no better gifts than exclusive DVDs or Blu-Ray box sets of your favorite anime.
If you are looking for newer versions, you shouldn’t miss newer box sets like the 2020 edition of Makoto Shinkai’s “Weathering With You” (天 気 の 子).
If the recipient isn’t a great Makoto Shinkai fan, Ghibli movies may be a better choice. Popular titles are:
- Spirited Away – 千 と 千尋 の 神 隠 し
- Princess Mononoke – も の の け 姫
- My Neighbor Totoro – と な り の ト ト ロ
- Howl’s Moving Castle – ハ ウ ル の 動 く 城
For those with a sweet tooth: Japanese snacks and sweets
When you think of Japanese sweets, you may initially only have Matcha Kitkat and Pocky on your mind. But Japan has so many other goodies to offer too.
Many of them are perfect fillers for the Advent calendar or are suitable as small additions to larger gifts.
Some of our favorite snacks from Japan are:
- Vegan cup ramen
- Jagarico Potato Snacks
- Matcha kit cat
For special people: Hanko name stamp
Hanko is a relic of the past: name stamps. They are adorned with the person’s family name and are still used today to sign official documents. The Japanese government started removing the stamps step by step in 2020 – so they may not be that easy to find in the future.
Some companies specialize in non-Japanese names – you can translate your name into Kanji, but mostly katakana (Japanese characters used for loan words) is the appropriate choice.
For language learners: Japanese text books
A present for someone who wants to learn Japanese? How about a text book to start with? Textbooks from Japan are a great gift idea – even if at first glance it looks more like work than a gift.
There is no better time to learn a new language than now. And who knows? Perhaps the book is the first step on the way to perfect Japanese for a loved one?
For fashionistas: Japanese yukata
One of the most popular traditional garments, which is often worn at festivals and official ceremonies, is the yukata. Even today it is not uncommon to see Japanese in yukata in the summer – especially during matsuris or during fireworks.
While kimonos are considered formal wear, yukatas are more casual everyday wear – they are also often offered in onsen or hotels as pajamas. Some students have kimono clubs where they learn how to put the clothes on properly.
While kimonos often cost over several thousand euros, yukatas are a little cheaper. There are some yukata models for less than 100 euros. While the quality isn’t that high, they are a comfortable alternative to western pajamas.
For the organized: stationery items
Anyone looking for a gift that strikes the balance between kawaii and practical will definitely like stationery from Japan. Anyone who has been to a store like LOFT before will miss the great selection of pens, notebooks and erasers.
Therefore, every Japan fan will definitely be happy to receive such an article and show it off at school or in the office.
These were only a few tips for gifts for Japan fans, of course, but one important question still arises: How and where can I buy gifts from Japan?
Unfortunately, sellers in Japan often do not ship abroad, which is why you need a proxy shopping service like ZenMarket for shopping in Japan. For 300 yen (approx. € 2.30) service fee per product you can order from almost all Japanese websites, including the Pokémon Center Japan or the Japanese versions of Amazon and Rakuten.