KIMJAPAN--buying baby gifts in japan

Dec 12th, 2012, 08:56 PM
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KIMJAPAN--buying baby gifts in japan

Hello Kim Japan, I have seen you often replying on this board and know you live in Japan and thus thought I will ask your advice.
I have an upcoming trip to Japan in the very near future. I would like to purchase some newborn baby gifts for a grandchild during my trip.
Knowing prices are higher than those in the US, I was wondering if you can tell me if there are some special items I can look for in Japan for newborns. I want to buy something just for a fun gift, a souvenir kind or whatever. I have already presented the baby with tons of stuff, so this is just extra things from my travels.

Do they sell some sort of special cups or maybe spoons, I realize they use chopsticks! Or you can tell me what do Japanese grandparents or friends buy for newborns. Or are there any special rattles, mobiles etc. Also could you give me a name of some department store that would have a large children's sections .I am guessing Japenese probably love giving money/cash as is a tradition in Asia.

Would love to hear from you. I am always impressed to note how much you know and how well you share the info. with Fodor family.

I think you live in Tokyo, but I will not be there, I am planning to go to Kyushu.

Thanks for your help.
ileen is offline  
Dec 12th, 2012, 10:35 PM
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Hi Ileen,
Actually I live in Kanazawa, but no matter. All department stores have children's sections, and there are Toys R Us and other baby stores as well. In places like Aeon or Don Quihote, baby goods and clothes are very inexpensive.

When my daughter was born we received lots of gifts. The ones we used the most were book cards (tosho card), towels, blocks. We didn't receive money but we are also not Japanese. I've not heard of money being given for birth except by the employer/insurance system, though - actually we got that, just not from friends.

You could wait until you visit and take a photo of the family together at a studio - nice keepsake. Or buy what the parents think they want a few weeks after birth. I had bought and received many things I never used so waiting may be safer.
KimJapan is offline  
Dec 13th, 2012, 01:09 AM
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What type of gifts we are talking here.
jaycube is offline  
Dec 13th, 2012, 08:02 AM
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Kim Japan---Sincere thanks for your reply and some ideas and names of stores.
The grandson was born few weeks ago and we have already given an array of gifts needed by newborns. But since we are traveling to Japan, I just wanted to get something unique from there. I will definitely look at the stores you have mentioned.
Are book cards like the flashcards in USA?
I guess money gifts are often given in China and India etc. so may be not popular in Japan. Good to learn that too.
I bet your family enjoys the Japanese culture.
THANKS for your help.

Jaycube--thanks for asking. But I dont know what I want, I am just asking for some ideas as often there are different sort of stuff available in various countries.
Grandson is now few weeks old and has tons of everything. I was just wanting to buy something fun and unique from Japan.
ileen is offline  
Dec 13th, 2012, 11:46 AM
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Japanese love babies, and have some of the most adorable baby things in the world. Honestly, you'll be overwhelmed with choices!

For a boy, you might consider getting a little "Hanten", otherwise known as a baby hapi coat. They also have really cute cotton short/jacket sets in traditional Japanese fabrics. There are some really fun shoes and hats too.

We were lucky to be in Japan when our first daughter was a baby, and the Yen was 285 to the dollar. We bought enough clothes to keep her in fashion till first grade. As the quality is so good, daughter #2 got good use of them and we still have select pieces that our grandchildren will get.

As Kim Said, Don Quijote (nicknames "Donkey") has great prices, if you aren't claustrophobic. If so, any Depato will do.
lcuy is offline  
Dec 13th, 2012, 06:14 PM
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lcuy--thanks a ton for great ideas.
I did not know the yen was once 285!! Goodness, right now I think it is around 86 or so to a dollar. Thus, have to shop very, very carefully. But will keep your ideas in mind and hopefully will find Don Quijote in Depato in Fukuoka. Maybe there will be some other stores too.
I think it will be fun.
ileen is offline  
Dec 15th, 2012, 03:54 AM
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Book cards are like money but cards you can use to purchase books, magazines and stationary goods. We still love them and receive them kind of often. They are great for anybody, take up no space and you buy however much you want and they can be used incrementally.
KimJapan is offline  
Dec 15th, 2012, 04:24 PM
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Here is a link for the Don Quijote stores in Fukuoka:
rsm is offline  
Dec 15th, 2012, 09:02 PM
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KimJapan---Thanks again for explaining the book cards. Seems to be a great idea for gifts.

RSM Thanks also for the link. I am looking forward for my shopping during my trip.

Have a great weekend.
ileen is offline  
Feb 10th, 2013, 06:16 PM
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Hi KimJapan,
Thought I will share my shopping experience with you and other Fodorites. I appreciate all the help I got on this board.

I was in Fukuoka so was able to find Don Quijote near Nishijin Train station. This store was huge and was literally jam packed with stuff. Narrow aisles and many shoppers made it little bit hard to find items.
Their baby department did not have much although they had tons of stuff for older boys and girls.
But I did find some sembai and Pokey to bring back home. The prices were good at this store.
I was lucky to find a couple of 100Y stores in the top levels of the large department stores.
It was amazing to see all the stuff they carry at that low price.
I thoroughly enjoyed buying many porcelain bowls, plates and cups in extremely pretty designs suitable for gifts.
The stationery items are exquisite in Japan and I really stocked up on a lot of cards, letter writing paper (I love sending real letters) and even some very pretty lunch boxes for kids.
Thanks for your help. Have a great day.
ileen is offline  
Feb 12th, 2013, 12:04 AM
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Thank you for sharing your experience.
KimJapan is offline  
Feb 16th, 2013, 12:56 PM
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Oh, I'm sorry I'm too late to help on your query but incase anyone else searches this thread in the future... I bought a couple of baby gifts in October as I knew friends were expecting a baby this month (and happen to be huge Japanophiles).
I bought some a face cloths with Totoro (a Japanese cartoon character they love) -- there was a huge selection, they were really beautifully designed and a bit different to the cartoon/ Disney characters we're familiar with and can find in the UK.
Also bought a tiny kid's chopstick and case set, plastic, sort of like trainer chopsticks kind of like we'd buy baby plastic cutlery here.
There were all kinds of cute clothes, of course, the fun being to find ones with uniquely Japanese designs / text or images.
For slightly older kids, such an enormous range of toys, stickers, candies and so on.
Kavey is offline  
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