14 Best Japanese Souvenirs to Bring Home

Cherry Blossoms in Miyajima Island by Jordan Emery Cherry Blossoms in Miyajima Island by Jordan Emery

Japan is no doubt one of the most-listed destinations found on each tourists’ bucket list. Though there are many activities that can be done like Go Karting, Onsen bathing, one thing a traveler should never forget is to take home a souvenir. Aside from keychains and magnets, which are the usual go-to when guests buy something for their friends, there are a lot of options Japan has to offer when it comes to being remembered. Here are a couple of mementos that can be bought as a remembrance from a Japan trip:



Chopsticks are the prominent utensils in Japanese dining. Therefore, to bring home a pair is like bringing home a memoir of Japanese cuisine. Though chopsticks can be found almost anywhere in Japan, special ones can be bought at Hakone as chopsticks there feature designs inspired by Mt. Fuji. There are also lacquered chopsticks in Tokyo stores like Kappabashi-dori that show off adorable and modern designs.


Japanese Hand Fan (Sensu)


A sensu or a Japanese Folding Fan is a great way to combat the heat. Back in 6th-Century Japan, a sensu was often used in tea ceremonies and during Kabuki, a traditional Japanese dance. These were often placed in an obi sash of a yukata. Guests can carry these handy souvenirs in their bags while traveling. Foldings fans can be found in shops like Kyosendo, which are all over Japan.


Daruma Doll (Japanese Figurine Doll)

Daruma Doll by Masaki Ikeda Daruma Doll by Masaki Ikeda

Daruma Dolls are figures of bearded men that look grumpy or mean. However, these dolls do not show anger but are meant to encourage people with their goals and wishes. These are sometimes made of paper mache and are hollow. In culture talk, the roundness of the doll symbolizes the Japanese fighting spirit. These dolls usually serve as a “good luck charm” and is commonly bought during the New Year. Though these are often colored red, a lot of Daruma dolls come in different colors and sizes, from large figurines to pocket-sized ones. People can buy the dolls at shrines during early January and in shops like Kagurazaka’s Iwakura for the whole year duration.


Japanese Stationery

Aside from food and tourist sites, Japan is also home to stationery products. Items range from washi paper and tapes to stickers and notebooks. Pens, pencils, postcards, stamps and a whole lot of products are also available. Crafted paper items that are ideal for friends and family back home can be found at stores like Tokyu Hands and Don Quijote. Japanese stationery also provides the highest quality standard a stationery product has to offer.


Japanese Ceramics

It is said that Japanese ceramics or togei and pottery can be traced as early as 10,000 BC. The year was around the Jomon Period. Known for its ceramic traditions, it is no surprise that people can buy pottery souvenirs. Homeware souvenirs are popular as a take-home gift, which can be found in Kyoto stores. Make sure to have it wrapped carefully inside the luggage so that it can be brought home undamaged.


Japanese Wrapping Cloth (Furoshiki)

Furoshiki is a Japanese wrapping fabric that displays beautiful patterns. The word is translated as “bath spread”, or “bathing” for furo and “standing on a rug” for Shiki when translated separately. Back in 700 BC, these fabrics were a popular item in the Nara Period. It was used for transporting temple treasures and was also used in wrapping bento boxes. Today, it can be used to wrap almost all sorts of things. Try wrapping souvenirs in a Furoshiki!


Japanese Sweets and Snacks

In case people did not know, Japan is also home to different Kit-Kat flavors, which are only exclusively found here. Japan is no stranger when it comes to sweets as its shelves are always flowing with a wide range of snacks that are perfect for souvenir ideas. Sweets like the Bulgari Chocolate can also be bought in Japan as well as fruit rice cakes and taro pudding. These can be bought in stores and major airports.


Japanese Umbrella (Wagasa)

Originated in China, the Japanese oil-paper umbrella or the wagasa is one of the prominent figures in Japanese history and culture. It is often used for aesthetics, especially in cultural weddings and festivals. These can be found in souvenir stores and can be bought as gifts or as a personal remembrance. Though it can be used as a typical umbrella, it is an important reminder not to use it in the rain.



Kimono Rental and Yukata Rental in Osaka
A yukata is a casual type of kimono which are often described as the summer version of traditional Japanese clothing. These robes can be purchased in specialty shops, and when during the summer season, yukatas are available in supermarkets like Aeon. Those with traditional Japanese designs can be found at UNIQLO. These can also be bought at Asakusa or around the area of Kyoto.


Japanese Towels (Tenugui)

A Tenugui is an ideal Japanese souvenir, especially when traveling with a tight budget. These are Japanese cotton towels that are purposely made for drying the body and hands. Sometimes, a tenugui that comes with a design is framed and is used for home decoration. These towels have long been a part of Japanese history, making it all the more a must-buy for friends and family, also for the self.


Hanko Stamps

Inkan Stamps, also referred to as the Hanko stamps are name stamps that serve as signatures or a personal seal. Documents that are seen with these stamps mean that the document is legal or authenticated. These stamps can be bought at shops, but it is preferable to make a personalized stamp at specialty shops like Don Quijote. Visitors can make one for their families and friends too.


Japanese Hair Accessories (Kanzashi)

The Hairstyles of Geisha and Maiko
Kanzashi is a Japanese hair accessory that is used throughout Japanese tradition. These traditional hair accessories also referred to as the Edo Tsunami Kanzashi, are made of thin silk pieces. The silk is woven to resemble the shapes of birds or flowers. Though the kanzashiya has played a long role in history, it continues to be a modern trend and is often known as a souvenir that lasts. Specialty shops like Kanzashiya Wargo is where guests can buy casual hair accessory designs. Guests can also visit kimono shops if they opt for a more traditional design.


Japanese Wind Chimes (Furin)

A furin is a Japanese wind chime that is often hung outside houses or businesses. It is usually found under the roofs and gives a melodic sound when blown by the wind. The sounds come from the material known as the glass bell. These can be found in shops like Tokyu Hands.


Japanese Good Luck Charms (Omamori)


Omamori, also known as Japanese Lucky Charms, are found in temples, shrines, and other religious sites of Japan. It is used to wish for good luck and fortune, ranging from health and love to birth and safety. It comes in different designs and possesses a special purpose that promises nothing but positivity. This is a gift that represents one’s thoughtfulness when given to the other person.