As you may have noticed, Japan has pretty much mastered the art of sprucing up food. We’ve already seen a plethora of tools to create bear-shaped rice or smiley face sausages, but we’re particularly excited about a certain product we just discovered up north in Hokkaido. They’re called “message kombu” and the heartfelt messages made out of seaweed are sure to put a smile on anyone’s face.
What would you get if you crossed the ancient capital of Japan with the massively successful Dragon Quest series of video games? Nope, it’s not a silly question, since this collaboration has already been realized in the form of “Nara Quest,” the funny title for a handful of amusing souvenirs from Nara Prefecture that parody the famous game franchise. Read on for a look at the clever goods!
If you’re lucky enough to take a trip over to Tokyo, it’s best to bring a little slice of Japan’s capital back home for those who missed out on your trip. But with all the delectable sweets and beautifully packaged treats, it can be a little overwhelming to choose the right one. So before you leave, be sure to take a look at this list of the top 10 omiyage you can only buy at Tokyo Station.
Sushi was once a strange delicacy confined to the shores of Japan. Thanks to its health benefits, the humble sushi has since travelled the world, popping up in all sorts of remote and obscure locations from Iceland to the Middle East.
Now sushi is on the move again, this time coming with you on your travels and hugging your luggage in the form of clever suitcase covers. With four designs to choose from, baggage claim carousels are set to look like giant sushi train conveyor belts this summer!
The Imperial Palace of Japan is a popular destination for tourists around the world. Aside from being the residence of the modern line of Japanese emperors, it’s also known for being the location of Edo Castle, home to the Tokugawa Shogunate. Being such a place steeped in culture and history, it’s definitely worth checking out, but that’s not the only reason. Tucked away in the imperial palace is a little known shop humbly called Kunaicho Seikatsu Kyodokumiai (Imperial Household Agency Cooperative) which sells food and items related to the imperial household. These items can only be found at this shop and they can’t be bought on-line.
This shop is largely unknown to even Japanese people, so our reporter Yoshio went in (after making the necessary reservation) to discover what limited edition treasures the Kunaicho Seikatsu Kyokumiai had to offer. Let’s see what he found in his photo-filled report!
Recently, tourists in Japan have been flocking to Kappabashi-dori, also known as Kitchen Town, before returning to their home countries. They come to the small shopping area located between Ueno and Asakusa, Tokyo in search of a hot souvenir item not entirely unique to Japan.
Shimane Prefecture, ever heard of it? If your answer is a resounding “no,” you’re not alone. The oddly shaped prefecture stretching along the western coast of Japan is barely known within its own country, let alone abroad. But one disgruntled mascot is out to bring Shimane’s shortcomings to light, making fun of the prefecture’s lack of popularity and population, and giving the area a little boost in positive publicity online.
About half of the milk in Japan is produced in the beautiful and vast countryside of Hokkaido, the largest of Japan’s 47 prefectures and northernmost of Japan’s four main islands. As such, cows have become a symbol of the prefecture. Walk into any souvenir shop in the prefecture and you’re bound to find a few locally-produced snacks with bovine-inspired packaging.
On a recent trip to Hokkaido, one of our reporters came across one such snack that was a little less run-of-the-mill than your usual butter cookies: “Cow Poop?” chocolate mochi.
Following the opening of Evangelion Store Tokyo-01, and with the release of the third installment of the reboot series, Evangelion 3.0: You Can (Not) Redo, a new Evangelion souvenir shop is scheduled to open in the town of Hakone on 14 July.
Hakone, which serves as the backdrop for the Evangelion story (where it’s renamed as Tokyo-3), is happy to be home to the second official Evangelion store, called “Eva Shop” but is also hoping they don’t get a repeat of what happened two years ago.
Our correspondent who travelled to North Korea recently met with an unwelcome reception at Narita airport as he returned via Beijing. “Customs officials, without any idea it was about to happen, spent about 10 minutes going through my things” he described. “It’s a sketchy country, so I guess they have to do these things, but still – it’s disappointing.”
The result of the search was that he had to give up every single souvenir he got in North Korea.