gifts to bring back from Japan

Mar 5th, 2005, 05:29 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 7,925
gifts to bring back from Japan

Hi all,

I got an email from my brother, he's in Singapore currently and his headed for Japan. He asked me if I want anything special from Japan. The only things that spring to mind immediately are stuff like kimonos, cherry blossoms, hello kitty, etc. He said give him some ideas and he'll take a look around.

any ideas to send his way? (our family always brings back representative gifts for EVERYONE in the family when we travel).

flygirl is offline  
Mar 5th, 2005, 07:37 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 15,149

He won't have any trouble finding shops that would give him many ideas for gifts. Where is he travelling? Different areas have different specialties like Hakata dolls in Fukuoka or things made with gold leaf in Kanazawa.

Tea and things tea, like cups and pots. Third in my collection of wooden tea jars is one with gold leaf embedded in it. It will be easy to remember that it came from Kanazawa.

emd might be able to give you some info about woodblock prints among other things.

At the airport he can pick up boxes of Japanese sweets. There are boxes for 500 yen but most are between 1000 and 2000. The boxes are in colorful wrapping paper and each piece is individually wrapped and placed in a spot in the box. The displays at the store show one opened box so that you can see what is inside. It comes out to be quite a bit of packaging. This reminds me that I still have one last box of strawberry mochi from my last trip.
mrwunrfl is offline  
Mar 5th, 2005, 07:46 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 6,267
ok, stop please, I am drooling. I'm trying to be good and lose another couple of pounds before next Sat. when all bets are off.

On the woodblock prints, I can give you advice when I get back. I know about purchasing them in the U.S. but am not leaving for Japan til next weekend to do some woodblock shopping in Tokyo and Kyoto. I think woodblocks are a great gift because they are of course flat in the suitcase- just get them protected in a proper sleeve and cardboard on each side before going in the suitcase. And they are unique and beautiful. Authenitc antique woodblock prints w/natural dyes are expensive (those are my preference) but you can get more modern ones or reproductions for $100 or so, and some for $25-30 in Japan apparently. I'm now going to be daydreaming on woodblocks prints all day today at the multiple basketabll games I am atending.

emd is offline  
Mar 6th, 2005, 04:35 AM
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 231
Hi everyone, just having a look and thinking back to the wonderful time we had in Japan - about gifts...woodblock prints are great gifts.As well for us what was successful was traditional artworks on cloth(sometimes silk)- we bought some for ourselves as well, about $25(Aus) and had them framed - they look stunning!! We also bought some cheap porcelain cats (considered lucky in Japan)- Japanese glassware is another possibility -try the department stores or Oriental Bazaar in Harajuka (Tokyo).Japanese masks, netsuke,other antique bone/ivory(?)ornaments (sometimes a bit naughty)traditional medicine containers can be bought at Gion (Kyoto).Try also flea markets. Other people on this site might be able to direct you where you might find these in Tokyo.
albaaust is offline  
Mar 6th, 2005, 01:53 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 7,925
hey all, thank you for the suggestions!! will report back.
flygirl is offline  
Mar 7th, 2005, 05:20 AM
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 2,148
Other things that are easy to find and light to bring back are chopstick sets (I bought a beautiful set of 6 each in a different type of wood for about US $6.00) or purse accessories (like makeup case, eyeglass case, lipstick case, etc.) made from kimono silk (also between US $5.00 and $10.00) good places to buy such items are department stores (they usually have a "souvenir" department and they usually have great basement food departments for tea, sweets, etc.) or the street leading up to the temple in Asakusa. Also my husband loves his extra long (2 feet) carved wooden shoe horn (because you take your shoes off when you enter a home, a shoe horn is usually available at the door to help put them back on). That is harder to bring back, though, not because it is heavy but because it is long (it only fit in our luggage diagonally). Enjoy your gifts!
laurie_ann is offline  

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