Souvenirs from Japan
The culture of Japan has always treasured functional beauty. Everyday items are made to bring joy to user's senses, as well as practicality, making them ideal souvenirs from Japan. Wagasa, or umbrellas, are created from bamboo and designed paper and are used to provide shade and dramatic interest in theater productions. If you don't have the room in your luggage, tenugui cloths are a possible alternative. Printed with art, flowers or sayings, they can be used as headbands, decorations, or towels. A hand fan is small enough to fit in your carry-on bag, and woodblock prints are easy to ship. For those more concerned with impact, a tanuki statue or ceremonially dressed doll can liven up any living space with Japanese memories. A maneki neko, or good fortune cat, is very popular with tourists. The Gotoku-ji temple is the originator of this symbol, and you can find many shops selling maneki neko memorabilia surrounding it.
Japanese Food and Fun
Japanese souvenirs can also take a tasty turn. Tea ceremony sets are a popular gift, featuring bowls, scoops and bamboo whisks called chasen. You can serve your meals on porcelain dinner sets, featuring traditional motifs of nature and floral designs. Chopsticks are the perfect accompaniment to a bento box, a lacquered or plastic box used to serve food in. A sake set, composed of a pottery decanter and several pottery cups, would be an excellent memento of your trip to Japan. Not all souvenirs have to be serious, though. Handmade kites, painted to resemble ancient heroes and gods, are a fun choice for children, as well as wooden tops and kendama, a skill toy that requires much practice to master. For the young at heart, perhaps a fun mask in their favorite anime character would be appropriate, or a selection of manga, Japanese comic books.