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Please suggest gifts for Japanese Hosts.

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Please suggest gifts for Japanese Hosts.

Old Oct 28th, 2009, 06:53 AM
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Please suggest gifts for Japanese Hosts.

We will be staying with a retired Japanese couple when we arrive in Osaka and again with a single retired Japanese lady later in the trip. Can you suggest something which it might be appropriate to bring from Canada for them.

The obvious choices might be high quality maple syrup but that might be silly in the land of the Maple. Ice wine also comes to mind but it would have to be in checked baggage along with the syrup.

Not knowing any Japanese people (as yet) I would appreciate some advice.
Sue
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Old Oct 28th, 2009, 07:13 AM
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How's about smoked wild salmon filets? Can that even be brought into Japan?
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Old Oct 28th, 2009, 07:20 AM
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Whatever you take make sure it is beautifully wrapped. This is very important in Japan. J
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Old Oct 28th, 2009, 07:25 AM
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Smoke Moose!
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Old Oct 28th, 2009, 08:47 AM
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For the couple, sweets and whiskey, even though the Canadian stuff is doesn't compare to a good bourbon or Scotch. The Japanese have made a cottage industry of whiskey production due to their love of Scotch (no, the Suntory stuff doesn't come close) and would probably appreciate the gesture.
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Old Oct 28th, 2009, 10:09 AM
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Sukie,
How well do you know your hosts/-tesses?
In the days before liquid restrictions, I would have also recommended a good brandy or single malt scotch/whisky like Russ above, or a good bottle of wine from north America. But it's so much more difficult these days to bring with you unless you're buying at duty free. And if it's for more elderly retirees, then they might not drink.

Anyways, good luck.
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Old Oct 28th, 2009, 10:33 AM
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If you don't want to have to check luggage consider something like a pretty package of those candies made of pressed maple sugar into the shape of maple leafs or whatever or a calendar of beautiful Canadian scenery. But yes, the prettier the wrapping the better and don't be surprised if they don't open it in your presence. Just part of the cultural difference.
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Old Oct 28th, 2009, 10:33 AM
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Thanks everyone.

I do not know them at all. They are not elderly, mid sixties maybe. I can try to find out if they drink from someone who does know them, this same person told me to take something beautiful from 'your' country. I will go back to her for more information but would like some ideas before that.

Jules 39, thanks for the tip about wrapping that is the sort of think I need to know, as well as what it appropriate to take.

I thought about salmon in some form or another as I know the Japanese are big on fish. We do get great salmone here in Canada.

Now how do I wrap salmon beautifully? Sue
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Old Oct 28th, 2009, 01:22 PM
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Sukie, ice wine, maple syrup (or sugar), and Canadian rye whiskey (preferably Crown Royal) are all good suggestions. They like the royal insignia and purple bag. Just be aware that sometimes Crown Royal, etc. is cheaper in Japan than in Canada. As fellow Canadians, we have found all these gifts to be well received in Japan. (If they don't drink, alcohol will just go in their special closet for re-gifting.)
If you have a chance, check the stuff available at Canadian airport duty shops to get clues as to what Japanese visitors buy. Also the Air Canada catalog for on-board purchase (if you're flying AC)).
Be careful about smoked salmon. Though it's sold at airports, I do wonder as a meat product if it can be imported into Japan. As someone has suggested, a calendar or photo book from your region would also be appreciated.
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Old Oct 28th, 2009, 03:14 PM
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Sue, if you can import smoked salmon to Japan, the wrapping is no problem. You can buy it in that beautiful cedar box with a sliding lid and Haida designs on it. Hard thing to miswrap something that is rectangular in shape and already looks so "present-able."
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Old Oct 28th, 2009, 09:37 PM
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Lots of interesting things here:
http://www.studiocrafts.com/Corporat...an_20-50.html#

Maybe inukshuks?
http://www.abletrophies.com/products...fts__Inukshuks
Maybe one made from BC jade.

With an explanation of what they are (from the above site):

"Inukshuk is an Inuit word meaning "image of man´s spirit". Originally, the Inuit built these manlike sculptures of rock along Canada´s northern shores as markers to lead their way. Today they serve as symbols to remind us of our dependence on one another, and the importance of strong relationships.

You mentioned "land of the maple". Do Japanese use maple syrup?
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Old Oct 28th, 2009, 09:46 PM
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Ok, answered my own question. Japan is the number two importer of Canadian maple syrup, after the USA.

Found this on a forum:

In my experience, maple syrup is a luxury item that is rather expensive when purchased in Japan. When people do have it they put it on pancakes.

I often see people purchase maple syrup as gifts to take home to Japan.


It would be a good gift.
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Old Oct 28th, 2009, 10:21 PM
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Make a hamper of edible/consumable items rather than ornamental goods.Which they probably have or may not be to their liking.Better to play safe.Tea/Coffee,canned food including syrups,jams,sauces,high quality beef,smoked salmon,caviar and so on..apart from fine wine & whiskey as suggested above.Make sure the packing is as elaborate as possible.Good quality wrapper with bows & ribbons as also suggested above.Avoid using black or white as its associated with funerals.Funny though,Japanese are very ritualistic & superstitious.
Gift giving is an art by itself in Japan.Down play the value of the gift you give.Should'nt be seen as arrogant(pl dont get me wrong on this,in their culture they guage an individual a lot by actions & behavior).Hand it over in private and not in front of an audience.Present it with both hands & a gentle bow.
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