You must have known by now about my love for Japan. The love I have been declaring every day. One of the things I love most about Japan is the abundance of cute stuff this country has. It’s so easy to buy souvenirs from Japan (not so easy on the wallet) and I did some the last time I was there. Here are some of Kawaii items I managed to put in my overweight luggage.
1. Cute socks
If it’s up to me, I would wear a different pair of socks each day for the rest of my life. And if it money had allowed, I would have bought all the different socks displayed in the picture above, except for the Frozen ones, I don’t get the hype around Frozen, maybe I am too old for that?
Cute socks make good souvenirs. They are affordable, take very little space, functional and did I mention cute? I ended up buying the Inside Out ones for my cousins and myself, obvs.
2. Everything lavender
If you go to Hokkaido, especially Furano, you are bound to see all kinds of lavender items in the gift shops. Don’t think twice, stock up your lavender essentials for your boss, aunty, cousins or exes for lavender is a souvenir that’s truly universal. I brought back lavender keychain, fridge magnet and dried lavender which would last for months.I also sent a lavender card with real lavender stuck on it to my BFF in Sydney.
Japanese knives are famous worldwide, a fact I found out only recently when I roamed around the Tsukiji fish market before dawn. The knives are derived from Japanese sword craftsmanship, known for the sharpness and versatility. Maybe that’s why it makes all the sushi chopping look so effortless. I didn’t buy it though, since I wasn’t sure how to explain having a knife wrapped inside my onesie to the TSA.
4. Folding Fan
The beautiful folding fan is a Japanese delicacy with a rich history behind it. This is a perfect gift for the ladies in your life. The only lady in my life is Mama Geek. I got her a blue fan with two gold fishes drawn on it. She loves anything with a couple of fishes on it. It reminds her of her love to Papa Geek, she said. Anyways, she loved the fan and has been taking it with her everywhere. This fan is a cheaper and more convenient alternative to Yukata.
5. Anything Muji
Oh Muji, the holy grail of everything minimal and functional. My love affair for Muji has been rolling in the deep for a long time. There is always something useful I could score every time I go inside the Singapore Muji store (though the Hulk would disagree). Japan Muji was like ten times better. It has EVERYTHING you could think of for your minimalist and organized daily life. I got green tea powder both for hot and iced, traveler wallet and countless zipper bags.
Doraemon is a beloved Japanese manga character. He is a robotic cat who traveled back from the 22nd century. Depends on where you are from, you might not know anything about it, or if you are like me, you might have spent your childhood watching him on the TV every Sunday. And if you did, I am sure the ones you are bringing back this blue cat souvenir for would love it as well.
Electronics are cheaper and more up to date in Japan. Not all, but some, including Apple products, especially if you know where you could get a good deal. I bought packs of Instax camera film, which cost half of what I used to pay for here. Side note: was so tempted to get Instax wide, unfortunately neither my luggage nor my credit card agreed.
There are a few Disney stores scattered around Japan, including Shibuya with its three level store. Don’t forget to visit one and rejoice with Mickey, memories and uber cuteness. I got the Jasmine bracelet for my cousins and some Disney baby stuff for the kiddos.
Read all about this green blob thingy here. It’s a small, yet meaningful or at least, would stay interesting for a long time. So get one or ten for people back home as souvenirs from Japan. I got one for my colleague, Sydney based BFF and myself.
Japan is deeply associated with cat as it’s the most famous good luck symbol in this country. Cat paraphernalia are there anywhere and everywhere you go. It would even turn you into, dare I say, a cat lover. Bring one home for the cat lover in your circle (*uhuk* ..me) or at least for yourself as a remembrance of Japan and increase your good luck.
I hope this list inspires you to shop for your loved ones, or send me Kawaii stuff, or send me to Japan so I can buy these souvenirs for you. If you need more inspiration, read my first instalment of souvenirs from Japan, that doesn’t include seaweed. Hence the blog post title, which admittedly one of the weirdest titles posted here, but eh.. Stay awesome!