Japan’s favourite cat is bringing cute back to melons this year — but how much will they cost?
Anyone who has climbed Mt. Fuji knows that besides the view, the best feeling is cracking open a drink at the summit. Is there anything more picturesque than standing on top of Japan and taking a nice long pull from a drink you most certainly earned?
Now you can bring back those memories while at sea-level with this beautiful glass that will turn all your drinks into a scene so beautiful you’ll want to write a haiku about it.
Believe it or not, train stations are one of the best places to buy gifts in Japan. Train station omiyage (gifts brought back from your travels) are usually edible, representative of the local culture, and are well-received by everyone from colleagues at work to friends or neighbors.
Whereas in the west we tend to keep a person’s personality and their likes in mind when buying a gift, thankfully in Japan, it’s much easier—just buy what’s most popular! In convenient Japan, you’ll find most of the decisions already made for you, so all you have to do is decide how many pre-giftwrapped boxes you want of each item, and you’ll soon be on your way. You can even wait until you’re on the train to buy them from the vendor pushing their cart up and down the aisles on the Shinkansen.
While initially the array of train station omiyage may seem baffling (hundreds of choices!), in this article we whittle it down to the most popular picks; the things that anyone would love to receive. We’ll start in Hokkaido up in the north and move down the archipelago station by station, highlighting the most popular gifts sold at each bullet train station. At the end, we also offer some suggestions on what to purchase if you’re looking for souvenirs from Japan to take abroad.
Although watermelon has always been traditionally associated with summertime in Japan, we’ve seen many more interesting watermelon-flavored summer gifts, or ochuugen, pop up compared to previous years, like this amazing watermelon-shaped mousse cake we taste-tested and raved about just last week.
Ochuugen, which were traditionally gifts presented as a token of gratitude to one’s parents and close family during the summer, are now given to anyone the giver feels indebted to around this time of year. As we’ve mentioned before, Japanese living spaces are sometimes smaller and more cramped than their western counterparts, especially in bigger cities, so the most popular gifts to give and receive are daily necessities, such as laundry detergent or cooking oil, and things that can be quickly consumed, like snacks or sweets. This year, Japanese traditional sweet company Yagumo Dango decided to hop on the watermelon bandwagon and release a limited run of watermelon dango as part of their summer gift set.
If you want to relive the childhood excitement of seeing your name on an ink stamp, now’s the time to start planning your trip to Japan! From 2016, you’ll be able to create a personalised stamp with more than just your name – think cute borders, shapes, colours and any type of photo you choose. Plus, you won’t have to send away and wait weeks to see your purchase because it will be dispensed in a minute or less from a high-tech vending machine!
Moms are awesome, there’s no denying it. Not only did they bring us into this world, for most of us, they made sure we were clothed and fed, bought us all sorts of unnecessary junk that we wanted just to make us happy, put up with all of our whining, cleaned up after us when we got sick, and lost countless amounts of money, hair, sleep, and probably even their sanity to make sure we led a happy life. That’s why there’s Mother’s Day (May 10 in Japan and the US), to celebrate all the great mums out there – be they birth mothers, adoptive mothers, or any other mother-figure in your life.
Hoping to find something a little different this year than the usual bouquet of flowers or fancy chocolates? We’ve found just the thing- a “toumorokoshi (corn)” gift set inspired by the Ghibli film My Neighbor Totoro. It’s too cute to pass up!
Finding the perfect gift for someone can be very difficult. Usually, if you spend enough time with someone and really listen to the things that they say, it should be easy enough to find a gift that they will appreciate, but maybe your special someone goes out and buys everything for herself, or you aren’t too sure about what she’s into lately.
So if you are having problems, we’ve got a handy DO NOT BUY guide for you. These are the gifts that women in Japan have received that didn’t make them happy at all, so avoiding anything on this list will certainly give you a good place to (not) start your shopping from.
On White Day, an unabashedly commercial holiday on March 14, Japanese men are expected to buy presents in return for the chocolate they received on equally commercial holiday Valentine’s Day. And with a recent survey showing that limited-edition desserts and sweets are top of women’s wish-lists for White Day, this new offering from confectioner Ameya Eitaro could tick all the boxes.
With designs based on real diamond cuts such as the Koh-i-Noor and the Pasha of Egypt, these are one sweet treat that certainly looks expensive.
There are some aspects of the modern western Christmas that Japan has adopted unadulterated, however, and one of those is the shopping. And while we’re sure there are plenty of awesome presents exchanged at this time of year, a recent report from Japanese magazine Peachy showed that almost fifty percent of Japanese people surveyed have received a disappointing present from Santa-san.
So what kind of rubbish presents have Japanese parents been putting in their kids’ stockings? Join us after the jump to find out!
Amazon Japan decided to hold its own Cyber Monday sale a few weeks after the North American counterpart. Through the campaign and sales data, they have announced the 20 most wanted Christmas presents in Japan. Clinching the top spot was none other than Sony’s PlayStation 4 which while not the dazzling success that it has been outside Japan has seen strong sales numbers since launch.
But what else do the people of Japan really want this Christmas? Check out the rest of the list below!
Most people prefer to open their curtains in the morning to find bright, clear skies waiting for them, but with the arrival of the rainy season (known as 梅雨 tsuyu, and written with the characters for “plum” and “rain”) here in Japan we‘ve got a long stretch of wet weather ahead. If that has you down, perhaps channeling your inner superhero when you wake up in the morning and stepping out with this ninja sword umbrella will brighten your day. And if fantasizing about slashing enemy combatants isn’t your thing, maybe the romaine lettuce-inspired Vegetabrella from Tokyo Noble is what you need to put a smile on your face.
Take a look at these five rainy day inspirations helping ensure Japan stays dry during drizzling days of June.
It’s so hard to know what kind of gift to bring for a baby shower. You have to know what the expectant parents need, the sex of the baby, the colors they like, what other people are bringing… It can take a lot of thought. Or you can just bring them something guaranteed to be original, useful and cute: Diaper Sushi! Read More
There’s a lot of things you can put in a box to please your girlfriend. And to the loving boyfriend, that smile of anticipation as she unwraps the box and the gasp of delight as she sees what’s inside is insatiable.
Earlier this week in China, one such loving boyfriend decided that he wanted to surprise his girlfriend with a box containing the most joyous gift he could think of: himself.
Yet when the package arrived at his girlfriend’s office, it was not a gasp of delight she let out but a shriek of terror, for inside the box lay her boyfriend, unconscious and deathly pale after passing out from oxygen deprivation.