In the Land of the Rising Sun and Confused About What to Buy? 10 Charming Souvenirs to Buy in Japan to Bring Back Home (2019)

In the Land of the Rising Sun and Confused About What to Buy? 10 Charming Souvenirs to Buy in Japan to Bring Back Home (2019)

If you're visiting Japan for the first time and can't figure our the best places to visit in Japan and confused about what to bring back home as souvenirs for yourself as well as for your loved ones, look no further, you've come to the perfect place to know about the best Japanese souvenirs along with some of the best places to visit in Japan.

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Tourism In Japan

Japan, unsurprisingly has become the fastest growing travel destination of the world in the last decade. The number of tourists visiting japan is increasing day by day. According to the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), 28.7 million travellers visited Japan in 2017, and why not? You can get every imaginable tourist attraction here ranging from ancient temples, insanely high skyscrapers, beautiful landscapes, snow-covered mountains and bright and lively beaches. Japan has a lot to offer to make your trip a cherished memory for life. This article will not only be a guide for you to find the best places to visit in japan, but more than that, we will tell you about some cool, precious and memorable souvenirs you can bring back from Japan.

10 Must Buy Things and Souvenirs to Bring Back from Japan

These are some must buy items whenever you visit Japan, ranging from traditional Japanese gifts to modern merchandises and goods!

Traditional 'Sensu' Folding Fans

‘Sensu’ are traditional folding fans from Japan. Popular media image of Japanese culture has made them somewhat familiar to us but what many people don’t know is that they were actually considered a weapon in ancient times, a lethal one. As the time passed, it changed into a luxury item and a carrier of Japanese culture and history, although you can get them in other parts of the world too, and for a bit less price too but only the Japanese made sensu have the authentic vintage vibes that you should be looking for in a memorable item. These are made from traditional local fabric and wood, and are decorated with a plethora of beautiful patterns and different colour schemes.

Special Japanese Tea: Matcha

One more traditional treat, the Matcha. Japan undoubtedly produces one of the best, if not 'the best' green tea in the world. Tea in japan has a history, that’s as old as Japan itself. 'Matcha' is a tea that was used in Japan only on special occasions and ceremonies. Historical documents suggest Matcha was also used in some parts of China, and it is prevalent to this very day. Matcha not only has a very distinct and lovable flavour, but it is also beneficial to one's health. You can easily enjoy a Matcha with other desserts and beverages too, this is definitely one of the best items you can take back home from japan.

Tokyo Banana Cake

It is included in one of the best delicacies offered by Japan. These are cream filled cakes and are available in every major city as well as airports of japan. It is made by strained banana puree which after baking is steamed to make it spongy and to give it a soft and smooth texture. The mouth-watering taste is sure to make you even lick your fingers again and again. It comes in a variety of flavours including Tokyo banana (original flavour), Tokyo banana heart, Tokyo banana panda, Tokyo banana honey, Tokyo banana caramel custard, Tokyo banana KitKat, Tokyo banana strawberry cake, Tokyo banana matcha cake and many others.

Your Favourite Anime Merchandise

If there is one thing from Japan the whole world is crazy about, it’s everyone’s favourite, Anime! From Naruto to Dragon Ball Z to Attack on Titans and what not, there are a plethora of such animated series that have captured and won the heart and soul of audiences all over the world. Japan is the biggest market for anime and manga in the world. So, you can find every anime merchandise you can dream of, here. You can buy a sea of magazines, action figures, props, cosplay costumes and some special edition manga which is released in Japan only. Also, you can find anime series which are yet to be translated for the western world before your anime loving friends.


If you believe in taking back religious artefacts and symbols from holy places, then this one is definitely for you. An Omamori is a Japanese amulet that you can find in shrines and Buddhist temples, it's a beautiful little blessed item that you can also gift someone. What’s even interesting is that if you know someone who is going to take an important exam soon then you should really take back this for them as it is widely believed to be a lucky charm for students, you can also find Japanese students with Omamori dandling on their bags in exam times. It’s a great traditional Japanese souvenir to grab.


If you are a fan of vintage wine or if you know someone with a hobby of tasting and enjoying great wines from all over the world, then you should consider checking out ‘Sake’. It’s a delicious Japanese rice wine which can be found almost everywhere, but if you need the best quality then you should checkout Kyoto’s Fushimi Castle, it provides authentic and classic Sake. The alcohol content in a traditional Sake is kept between 15-20%.


Admit it, you can never be ‘too old’ for toys and when the toy is a special one which has its roots, far back in history then it’s really worth buying. Japan offers you Kendama, a toy which has been around since ages, travelling from China to Japan. It’s a three-piece toy that is somewhat similar to a mixture of yoyo and the classic cup-and-ball game, but it is much more fun and skilful to play it with, you have to catch the stringed ball with the small sword like holder. They come in different sizes decorated in beautiful traditional Japanese patterns and artwork, bring one home for your child or friends because not only children but adults too can enjoy some leisure time with it.


Kimono is a beautiful traditional Japanese garment, whenever you see a portrayal of traditional Japanese women culture on television or social media, this is the outfit you see them wearing. This will prove a memorable buy from your Japan trip because if you buy the hybrid kimonos that many shops offer, you can seamlessly combine and wear them with your jeans and T-shirts. In Japan, they have a tradition of wearing Kimonos on special occasions and you can do the same. On top of that, these shops also offer Kimono for men, so you and your partner both can flaunt traditional Japanese fashion in your home land!

The Many Flavours of Kit Kat


For some reason, KitKat is insanely popular in Japan, so much that they even have review sites of KitKat flavours! Unsurprisingly, this results in Japan having the greatest collection of unique and tasty flavours of KitKat in their arsenal.

You can find every international flavour along with many traditional Japanese flavours which are of course, Japan only, like Uji Hojicha Kyoto Edition, Masuizumi Japan Sake Kit Kat, Azuki-sando Tokai Hokuriku Edition, Amaou Strawberry Kyushu Edition, Momoji Manju Hiroshima Edition, Strawberry Cheesecake and a lot more. Out of these numerous special flavours, one really sticks out and that is the ‘Sakura-Matcha’ flavoured KitKat, usually they are only available during spring season in Japan.

Sakura in Japan is what otherwise known as cherry blossom, these chocolates have a unique and delicious blend of cherry blossom and Matcha tea and white chocolate, you ought to try these out.


Japan has a really unique culture which sometimes gives great emphasis on things we tend to ignore, like packing a gift or lunch box for a loved one. They have a special kind of cloth for this duty, named 'Furoshiki'. These are multipurpose textiles but are generally used to wrap Bento lunch boxes and gifts in Japan. They are square in shape and come in a variety of bright colours and beautiful patterns, you can also use them to make beautiful hand bags, right now they are trending among the tourists, it’s a new concept that seems to capture the curiosity of a lot of people. These are also available easily in many shops in every major Japanese city.

Wagashi Candies

Japan never fails to amaze travellers with its sea of traditional delicacies and sweets, it has a diverse and old collection of traditional dishes and desserts too. This sweet is one of them, Wagashi is prepared with plant based ingredients, starting with mochi, that is Japanese word for rice paste and then red bean paste and fruit paste is added to it.

These candies are often served with matcha tea, that we already mentioned and are so soft and sweet that you will definitely not want to share even one piece at all. They are usually divided into 8 categories, each one of which also comes in various flavours, some covered in fruit cream, some are served simply while some are loaded with nuts. These are a must buy souvenirs from Japan.

Warabi Mochi

Warabi mochi is a kind of Japanese rice cake that has a look of jelly-cube, that is enough to tell it’s going to be very tasty. It is prepared using ingredients like bracken starch, sugar and water and in past, the roots of Japanese plant ‘Warabi’ were also used to be part of the preparation, hence the name, Warabi. If you want to feel its full glory in pure Japanese traditional style then you should consider eating it with Kinako or Anmitsu, which is the Japanese word for sweet toasted soybean flour. Grab these ingredients along with Warabi-Mochi and you are all set to enjoy a Japanese treat in the comfort of your home.

Must Visit Places in Japan

Now that you know the items that you shouldn’t miss buying when in Japan, we have a list of places too that you should definitely visit to make your Japan trip worth it.

Kenrokuen Garden

The Kenrokuen garden is included in one of three most beautiful landscape gardens in Japan, alongside Mito’s Kairakuen and Okayama’s Korakuen, this garden was founded in Edo period of japan that lasts from 1603 to 1868. We recommend that you should really visit this garden specially if you go there in autumn or winter season while it snows because at that time it takes its most beautiful form, and if you can, visit during night. The reflecting lights make it one heavenly sight to watch.


If you want your japan trip to be an uplifting experience, you should see Koya-san. Koya-san is located amidst the beautiful mountains of Kansai, covered with forests, it’s a sacred temple town. This will introduce you to the traditional Japanese environment and the serene surroundings of nature with meditating monks. You can even stay at the temple with the monks, this will definitely help you to get free from all city-life burdens. It also has a 1200 year-old Okunoin forest cemetery dedicated to samurais.

Fushimi Inari-Taisha Shrine

If you are staying in Kyoto, the Fushimi Inari-Taisha shrine is the place to visit, it is located outside the JR Inari station which is the second station from Kyoto station along the JR Nara line. Dedicated to god Inari, it is a very beautiful shrine with a number of vermilions torii gates which are a delight to watch and observe.

Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden

The Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden was the living place of Naito family in the Edo period. It’s a large park that is situated near Shinjuku station which you can reach through Shinjuku Gate, that is just a ten-minute walk east from the 'New South Exit' of JR Shinjuku station or else you can take a five minute walk from Shinjuku Gyoenmae station on the Marunouchi Subway line. It opens from 9AM to 4PM and the entry fee is $2 for adults and even lesser for kids and elderly people.

Beaches of Ishigaki

If you are in Okinawa, Japan in summer or in early autumn, then you are in luck because this is the time you can fully enjoy the beauty of Ishigaki beaches. To reach there you have to take a flight to Ishigaki and then travel by ferry. We advise you to avoid holidays because the beaches get crowded in those days, from Ishigaki you can also explore the other islands in the Yaeyama archipelago, this place will definitely provide you with the thrill and excitement you need from a holiday trip.


After the fun and adventure, if you want to just lie down in the peaceful arms of nature then Takayama is the destination for you, Takayama has a tourist town of Hida-Takayama where you can experience and enjoy the life in a rural environment. It is located near the northern Japan Alps, the historic traditional Japanese towns are well preserved here. You can get here by taking trains via Toyama, Matsumoto or Naguya.

Kinkakuji Temple

This temple is standing tall from almost 600 years in the capital of Japan! This is the place you should go if you want to capture the rich Japanese history. It's considered one of the iconic landmarks in japan to visit. Kinkakuji translates to ‘golden pavilion’ and was built as a residence for Shogun Ashikaga Yoshimitsu (1358-1409), you can see its breathtaking reflection in the pond. You can reach there through Kyoto Station by bus number 100 or 206 (15 minutes, 230 Yen). It opens from 6 AM to 6 PM but during autumn season, special night illumination hours are added to watch cherry blossoms till 9 PM.

Hakone Open-Air Museum

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This museum contains breathtaking artworks from the work of famous artists like Picasso, Henry Moore, Taro Okamoto and Yasuo Mizui, the artworks are kept on display both outside and inside the museum. You can get here by either Odawara Station or Odakyu Hakone Yumoto Station, taking the Hakone Tozan line train to Chokoku-no-Mori Station and then a little two-minutes walk to reach the museum.

Himeji Castle

This castle is one of the few monuments to have been beautifully preserved to show the prototypical Japanese castle architecture, it was built in 14th century and is still standing firm with a renovation done in 2015. Himeji Castle is situated around one kilometre down the Otemae-dori Street from Himeji Station and you can get here from the station's north exit in a 20 min walk or else a five-minute ride by bus. It is usually crowded too, so it can take you almost 2 to 4 hours to explore the whole place.

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From our editorial team

Go and Explore the Japanese Culture

Japan is one of the best counties to visit if you want to experience some rich history and cultural heritage. Try and explore as much of this country as you can and bring back some of these exquisite souvenirs to take away some tradition of this amazing country back home.