souvenir

We visit a hidden store on the Imperial Palace grounds offering items you can’t find anywhere else

We visit a hidden store on the Imperial Palace grounds offering items you can’t find anywhere else

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!

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The latest souvenir trend amongst foreign tourists in Japan

The latest souvenir trend amongst foreign tourists in Japan

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.

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Scowling mascot brings a little fame to Japan’s least popular prefecture

Scowling mascot brings a little fame to Japan’s least popular prefecture

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.

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Here, Have Some Chocolate Cow Poop Mochi From Hokkaido

Here, Have Some Chocolate Cow Poop Mochi From Hokkaido

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.

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Hakone Opens an Evangelion Themed Souvenir Shop, Hopes They Don’t Get Overrun With Fans Again

Hakone Opens an Evangelion Themed Souvenir Shop, Hopes They Don’t Get Overrun With Fans Again

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.

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North Korean Souvenirs Unwelcome in Japan, Travelers Must Throw Everything Away

North Korean Souvenirs Unwelcome in Japan, Travelers Must Throw Everything Away

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.

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