Coco Tran — Curated Aesthetic Travel Blog By Film Photographer Coco Tran https://cocotran.com/best-things-to-get-from-japan/

WHAT TO BUY IN JAPAN : 47 AMAZING things to get from Japan

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Are you wondering what to buy in Japan? If you’re Planning a trip to Japan (lucky you!) get ready to bring an extra luggage for all the awesome things to buy in Japan. I’ve got a list of the best things to get from Japan so you know exactly what to get from Japan and where!

 I just got back from a three-week trip to Japan and as someone who doesn’t typically purchase souvenirs while on vacation, shopping in Japan just hits different.

Japan is a fascinating country with interesting facts and history about Japan. I have written a lot about it on my Japan blog. So if you’re interested to know what to buy in Japan keep reading as there’s so much we are going to get into.

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Coco Tran — Curated Aesthetic Travel Blog By Film Photographer Coco Tran https://cocotran.com/best-things-to-get-from-japan/

What ti buy in japan : 47 Amazing things to get from Japan

Planning ahead, since our JAL (Japan airline) allowed two check-in luggage, I brought my carry-on and shared a medium duffle bag with wheels and another duffle bag with wheels one that I was able to roll into the first duffle bag. Not knowing if I would utilize the extra luggage space. I’m so glad I planned ahead because I bought so much stuff to bring back from Japan. I wish we had brought more!

I wrote a few articles separating all the awesome treasures I purchased from Japan. Viral must-have Japanese skincare I brought back, Japanese candies and snacks, awesome handcrafted household items, and lastly clothing vintage and new.

best place to stay in takayama

You can read about those in the links. This is a general list of things to get from Japan to get some ideas!

Japan is a shopper’s paradise, with countless unique and authentic things to buy in Japan to take home. From traditional handicrafts, to cutting-edge electronics, the variety is endless. So I made this comprehensive guide and it covers the ultimate souvenirs to buy in Japan, from must-have classics to cool must buys in Japan. And a few viral and hidden gems. Read on to learn more

What is the best thing to buy in Japan? Best Things To Get from japan overview

  • Traditional Crafts – Folding fans, chopsticks, ceramics, textiles, custom Japanese steel knifes, nail clippers,
  • Pop Culture Items – Anime figures, plush toys, accessories
  • Japanese Cosmetics and Beauty– tons of Japanese cosmetic brands only available in Japan
  • Japanese snacks & food – Kit Kats, rice crackers, sake, matcha
  • Japanese Ceramics
  • Homewares & kitchen – Maneki neko cats, origami, dishware and ceramics,
  • custom Japanese kitchen knifes, and Japanese nail clippers
  • Japanese Stationery – Washi tape, memo pads, pens
  • Japanese Clothing – shopping in Japan for Yukata, jinbei, kimono
  • Japanese sweets 🍭 and Japanese tea (🫖 Hojicha and matcha)

what to buy when in japan

Great Souvenirs to get from japan: Traditional Japanese Crafts

Japan has a long and rich history of exquisite traditional craftsmanship. Handmade items purchased directly from artisan workshops make wonderful souvenirs. Here are some of the best things to get from Japan

Japanese Calligraphy Brushes & Ink Unique Things to buy in Japan

Japan is known for excellent quality brushes. It’s a centuries-old craft. If you are into calligraphy you already know this. You can make your own shodo artworks and calligraphy at home.

Places to buy: art supply shops. you’ll find a ton of them if you just google : art supply in Google maps when you’re in Japan.

Best things to get from japan caligraphy brushes

Related: 2 Weeks in japan Itinerary, 3 weeks in Japan Itinerary, 2 week in Japan Itinerary Slow Travel Guide, 5 Day Japan Itinerary, Japan Best Snack Box,

Folding Fans (Sensu) : cool things from japan

These beautiful paper, silk, or bamboo fans have many meanings in Japanese culture. Available in a huge variety of patterns and designs, they make lightweight, meaningful souvenirs.

Coco Tran — Curated Aesthetic Travel Blog By Film Photographer Coco Tran https://cocotran.com/best-things-to-get-from-japan/

I purchased a beautiful black bamboo one. It’s perfect for hot days and I love how aesthetic and easily it opens and closes.

Tip: Purchase a sleeve for it to keep it safe. They range from $600 yen to 10,000+ yen.

Places to buy: Asakusa’s Nakamise Shopping Street, Kyoto’s Gion district

Homeware & Kitchen What To buy in Japan

Chopsticks (Hashi)

Chopsticks with unique designs, like ukiyo-e woodblock prints or Mount Fuji scenes, are quintessential Japanese souvenirs. They make great souvenirs since they are handmade high quality, practical, and beautiful.

Tip: Many shops will customize your name on the chopstick. I already have wonderful chopsticks at home so I didn’t purchase some but now I wish I did!

Best things to get from japan chopsticks

Places to buy: Tabino Yado gift shops, Loft department stores, Kyoto and Tokyo local shops. There are plenty of shops eveywhere.

Japanese kitchen Knifes

Japanese Knifes are popular among chefs from all over the world. You have to check out Tokyos Kitchen & Homeware hub in the Asakusa neighborhood. The Tokyo street and neighborhood in Asakusa Togo to is Kappabashi street. It’s the home of all things home and “kitchen town”.

Most popular are the Japanese Kitchen Knifes. I purchased a beautiful one from a popular shop that world renowed chefs shop at. The owner is very nice and they speak English.

They gave us suggestions on all the different type of steel and knifes and helped me pick out a knife that we can bring home with us. It’s a gorgous knife and it’s the sharpest knife in our kitchen.

Tip: Some stores will offer tax-free while others will require you to go to the nearest tax refund center to get a refund. You can bring knifes back to the States if it’s in your check in luggage.

where to buy Japanese knifes in Japan?

: Kappabashi street by Asakusa shrine. The kitchen capitol

Japanese Steel Nail Clippers

This may seem like a strange thing to buy but let me tell you that there is a reason why these are the best nail clippers you’ll ever use.

They are tack sharp and so well made. It’ll last you forever. The brand I suggest and that is most popular is Kai. There are several variety of them. There is a plastic one with a nail catcher and a all stainless steel with a nail filer.

I elected to buy both because it’s something we will always need/use!

Coin Purses for Souvenir Savings

You’re going to be getting a lot of coins during your trip to Japan, so one of the handiest souvenirs you can grab is a coin purse! Not only are they great for keeping all that yen organized as you explore, but they don’t take up much space in your luggage. It’s a win-win.

While you’ll see basic coin pouches in many shops, keep your eyes peeled for themed ones at specialty stores like Mandarake for anime and gaming or Loft for cute characters.

In Oishi Park to see Mt. Fuji, Thomas (my husband) got a beautiful little triangle leather coin purse that he got at the shop there. I’ll upload a pic once I find it but it’s one of the most unique and beautiful one’s we saw while in Japan.

The “otaku” shops like Nakano Broadway in Tokyo have tons of options . Since cash is still preferred over cards in Japan, a cool coin purse gets plenty of use even when you get back home and want to reminisce about your travels.

Related: How To get Cash in Japan ATM for No Fee

So don’t just get a boring old travel wallet. Grab a coin purse you actually love and get excited to use. It can stash your yen on the go and spark happy memories of your time in Japan every time you take it out!

Things to get in Japan: Japanese Ceramics & Pottery (Tōgei)

Some of the best things to get in Japan are handmade goods. From sake cups to tea bowls, Japanese ceramics are renowned worldwide for their sublime artistry. I came across so many beautiful ceramics shops! I was on the hunt for flower shaped plates and a tea set.

Coco Tran — Curated Aesthetic Travel Blog By Film Photographer Coco Tran https://cocotran.com/best-things-to-get-from-japan/

Here are some ceramics I purchased. They are all handmade by artisans in Japan.

Places to buy: Arita and Imari villages in Kyushu, Kiyomizu-dera temple shops in Kyoto (is where I found mine)

best things to get from japan

Ceramic Coffee Filters

Another unique find and hidden gem in Japan. We found a shop on the way to Kiyomizu dera temple in Kyoto that sold this beautiful and handmade ceramic coffee filter that filters tea and coffee but also the water. It was only $35 and cheaper than their online store.

Japanese Traditional Iron Teapots

If you appreciate the art of tea, you know that these traditional Iron teapots are the real deal. These actually infuse Iron into the water and make tea & matcha a distinct taste.

Tip: The Iron teapots you want to look for are unlined on the inside.

Where to buy: I found several shops in Gion in Kyoto that sells them.

Japanese Ceramic Tea Sets

Handmade ceramic tea sets are one of the best things you can buy in Japan. Some are handpainted and some are handmade by artisans. I purchased a lovely handmade tea set that can also be a sake set. I loved the thin edges and the aesthetics of it. Matches our home Japandi aesthetics.

Where to buy: You can find them in shops in Kyoto and Tokyo and generally eveh. Kanazawa shops has some really pretty ones too.

Japanese Sake Sets

Ceramic Matcha Bowls

Japanese tea 🫖

some of my favorite purchases have been tea 🍵 such as Matcha powder and tea leaves and Hojicha tea. they also make excellent gifts from Japan for friends and family.

where to buy tea in Japan: I purchased tea mainly in Kyoto you’ll find them in specialty tea stores in Gion district and at the aiport shops as well.

Must Buy in Japan: Japanese paper lantern light ( Noguchi light)

the Japanese artisan Isamu Noguchi created these beautiful Akari Noguchi Light pendants. We have 3 in our home. There are two shops that I have found that carry some of them. Although they are so popular they are often sold out. These are much cheaper to buy in Japan but you can also still get them on eBay.

where to buy Noguchi lights in Japan? Zeiko store in Tokyo and MOMA store in Shibuya (they were sold out in most models so you’ll have to email them ahead and see if they have them in stock)

Textiles & Fabrics best To Buy In Japan

If you are into sewing and crafts. Traditional Japanese fabrics like indigo-dyed cotton, bast hemp, and silk brocades make one-of-a-kind souvenirs to take back home.

Another unique Japanese things to buy is Japanese Textiles. Such as Tenugui cloths, noren curtains, furoshiki wrapping cloths. Great lightweight souvenirs from Japan.

Places to buy: Kurashiki, Fukui Prefecture, Kyoto Nishijin Textile Center, Takayama, Arimatsu, Tokyo Akasuksa neighborhood

Japanese Pop Culture Souvenirs: Things To Buy Japan

For anime, manga, and gaming fans, Japan offers endless otaku treasure hunting opportunities. From cutesy to creepy, you’ll find something to wow your friends back home.

anime souvenirs from Japan Anime Figures & Plush Toys

Poseable figures, nendoroids, plushies – stock up on merch from popular shows at Tokyo’s Nakano Broadway, Akihabara’s Animate, or Osaka’s Den Den Town.

Harajuku Fashion Accessories

Grab kawaii hair pins, fun socks, and decora jewelry on Takeshita Street. Don’t miss the pastel goth vampurin bags at Paris Kid’s for a very Japanese take on gothic style.

Retro Gaming Consoles & Arcade Merch

Relive the glory days with Famicom and Game Boy-themed merch from Super Potato in Akihabara or Book Off gaming stores nationwide.

Anime Blu-Rays & Manga

Pick up limited edition box sets of popular series unavailable overseas.

Places to buy: Animate, Gamers, Kinokuniya

Pokemon Center Exclusives 

Did you know Japan is home to 11 amazing Pokemon Centers packed with exclusive merch you won’t find anywhere else? Even if you aren’t a huge Pokeon fan, these stores are souvenir goldmines. 

 Some items like keychains and pins will be obvious exclusives with the Pokemon Center name on them. Others you’ll need to research online to identify what’s currently sold only at that specific location.

Best things to get from japan

It’s super fun for you to hunt down and collect exclusives across multiple Pokemon Centers. The stores themselves are also interactive playgrounds that bring the world of Pokemon to life. Between the exclusive goods and the cool experiences, Pokemon Centers are a must-visit for souvenir shopping in Japan!

So grab your Pokeballs and set out to catch ’em all – by which I mean the amazing Japan-only Pokemon Center exclusives, of course!

Daruma Wish Dolls : must buy souvenirs from japan

Daruma dolls are round, hollow papier-mâché dolls modeled after Bodhidharma, the founder of Zen Buddhism. They are made without pupils – the idea is that you draw in one pupil when you set a goal, then the other when you achieve it, so the doll motivates you to accomplish your dreams.

Daruma dolls are sold at temples and shrines around Japan as symbols of perseverance and good luck. Their hilarious round shape and grumpy facial expression have made them icons of Japanese popular culture.

Daruma

These dolls come in various sizes from mini keychains to human-sized. They are light and easy to pack so make fantastic souvenirs from Japan. The vivid red color is associated with warding off evil spirits. Get a daruma doll as your own personal goal coach or an amusing gift for friends.

The dolls are only sold around Japan, so they make very unique memorabilia of your trip. When you return home and look at your daruma doll, it will remind you of the amazing sites and culture of Japan!

Get mini sizes as souvenirs.

Place to buy: temples, shrines

Gachapon Machines – Quirky Toy Souvenirs

  • Gachapon are capsule toy vending machines ubiquitous in Japan – just put in a coin, turn the knob, and get a surprise toy!
  • They are called gachapon because of the sounds they make. Japanese collectors spend big money trying to collect full sets.
  • Most gachapon take 100 yen coins, though some deluxe versions with nicer prizes take 200 or 500 yen.
Coco Tran — Curated Aesthetic Travel Blog By Film Photographer Coco Tran https://cocotran.com/best-things-to-get-from-japan/
  • Prizes range from toys, mini figures, and accessories themed on anime, games, characters and more. A quirky souvenir!
  • Best places to find gachapon with cool prizes are Akihabara, with 400+ machines at Gachapon Kaikan, and Yodobashi Camera’s huge gacha section.
  • But gachapon machines can be found all over Japan – keep an eye out! You never know what fun, weird, or rare toy you might get.
  • They make affordable souvenirs and are sure to spark fun memories of your travels in Japan as you admire your capsule toy collection at home!

What to buy in Japan: Japanese Cosmetics and beauty

Japanese cosmetics emphasize gentle, natural ingredients and innovative formulations. Beauty products make fantastic souvenirs – either treat yourself or grab cute makeup items tailored to Japanese trends as gifts.

Must-Buy Cosmetics in Tokyo:

  • Shu Uemura eyelash curler – a cult classic praised for its quality and curling power, available at their flagship store in Omotesando.
  • Kiss Me Heroine Make mascara – gives dramatic doll-like lashes, found at drugstores like Matsumoto Kiyoshi.
  • Fairydrops mascara – provides long lasting volume, available at fashionable places like Shibuya 109 or Omotesando Hills.
  • DAISO silicone face masks – these affordable sheet masks are super soft and hug contours well, at any DAISO 100 yen store.
  • Fake eyelashes – Japanese lashes are very delicate and natural looking, can find cute styles at Don Quijote or Loft.

Related: Must buy Japanese Cosmetis and Japanese Skincare

Top Kyoto Cosmetics:

  • Juju and Shiseido facial sheet masks – available at pharmacies, these treats give radiant skin.
  • Yojiya oil blotting sheets – the famous brand provides oil and sweat control, found in their store in Downtown Kyoto.
  • Tawashi sponge – this traditional scrubbing cloth makes an eco-friendly exfoliating tool, at Nishiki Market.
  • Fan brushes – perfect for mineral makeup, find soft high-quality brushes at art supply shops.

I purchased some viral cosmetics and skincare to try out in Japan. If you want to know what I bought check out my video and post about the best cosmetics to buy in Japan.

Here are some more specific Japanese cosmetic items and brands that are popular must buys in Japan:

  • – SK-II Facial Treatment Essence – This cult favorite toner hydrates and brightens. Find it at high end department stores.
  • – Naturie Hatomugi Skin Conditioner – A gentle, no-frills toning lotion loved for its simplicity. Available at drugstores. 
  • – Rohto Melano CC serum – Works well on pigmentation and dark spots. Convenient, travel-friendly packaging.
  • – Pola sunscreen – Lightweight Japanese sunscreens that wear well under makeup. Good for preventing aging.
  • – Majolica Majorca Lash Expander Edge Meister mascara – A favorite for long, lifted lashes with a curved brush.
  • – Integrate mascaras – Come in colors like blue and purple for fun looks. Found in drugstores and fashion boutiques.
  • – Anessa sunscreens – Silky formulas perfect for outdoor activities and the beach. Especially popular is the Anessa Perfect UV Sunscreen line.
  • – Biore cleansing oils – Effective at removing stubborn makeup and waterproof products. Available at convenience stores.
  • Biore SPF 50 Face lotion- cheap and high quality that doesn’t leave your skin oily
  • – Hada Labo lotions – Iconic hyaluronic acid lotions that deliver serious hydration. Offered in several versions like Whitening, Anti-Aging, etc.
  • – My Beauty Diary sheet masks – Taiwanese import with top-notch formulas and ingredients. Shop at Loft, Don Quijote and Matsumoto Kiyoshi.

Popular drugstore brands like Canmake, Dolly Wink, Kate, and Fairydrops offer quality makeup at reasonable prices. High-end brands like Addiction, Suqqu, and RMK are perfect for splurging.

Take home innovative products you can’t get back home and recreate Japanese makeup looks. The artistic packaging also makes these fun gifts for beauty-loving friends.

Must buy in Japan for Japan Souveneirs:  Japanese Food & Japanese Sweets Snack Souvenirs

Bring back tasty edible treats for yourself or as gifts. From traditional green tea sweets to wacky Kit Kat flavors, Japan offers endless snacking opportunities.

What To Buy in Japan: Gummy Candies

You have to buy and try these unique Japanese gummy candies! You can find them at 7/11 or any konbiki stores as well as DonQ.

The texture of these are so interesting! I wish I bought more back. Everyone we gifted these to loved them. Trust me on this. just try it!

Related: Best Japanese Snacks to get from Japan

Kit Kats & Japanese Sweets & Regional Snacks

One of the Japanese sweets that you can bring back as souveneirs are Kit Kats in matcha, sakura, miso, and other exotic flavors are cult favorites. Also try Tokyo Banana cakes, Hiroshima’s momiji manjuu, and Hokkaido’s Shiroi Koibito.

Related: Best Japanese Snack Box

Mochi Japanese sweet rice cakes

Another great and yummy treat to share with your loved ones. We purchased the triangle ones with filling inside. There are many shops in Kyoto you’ll find these being sold. They are so yummy and so cheap!

Japanese Sake & Plum Wine

Sample then take home the best sake from Hida Takayama, or famous plum wine from Yame and Ume-no-hana. Don’t forget a traditional ochoko cup!

Matcha Green Tea Products

Everything matcha makes a perfect gift – it’s healthy, iconic, and delicious! Bring home matcha kit kats, green tea, matcha cookies, mochi, and sencha.

Coco Tran — Curated Aesthetic Travel Blog By Film Photographer Coco Tran https://cocotran.com/best-things-to-get-from-japan/

Authentic Ramen Kits From Japan

Dehydrated noodle packs, broth mixes let you recreate ramen at home!

Tip: I brought back a lot of ramen and as long as it is dry ramen even if it’s a meat product you can bring it back to states. I had no issues at customs.

Places to buy: Ramen Street in Tokyo, ramen shops, DonQuotei

Dried Seafood

Packets of crunchy dried squid, shrimp, kelp make great flavorful snacks. Places to buy: supermarkets, Nishiki Market

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Fun Japan Souvenirs To Buy in Japan

These homeware souvenirs will remind you of Japan’s unique aesthetic every time you use them. They also make great gifts.

goshuincho Japanese stamp books as souvenirs

  • Goshuincho are booklets for collecting stamps or seals from temples and shrines visited in Japan
  • Each shrine and temple designs its own unique stamp and calligraphy with the date and name
  • Make a monetary offering, then visit the goshuin counter to get your book stamped
  • Can buy new goshuincho at stationery shops or at the stamp counter when you arrive
  • As you collect stamps across Japan, it charts your one-of-a-kind journey in a beautiful keepsake
  • The covers are decorative and the pages fill up with striking and varied calligraphy and stamp designs
  • Great way to commemorate the different shrines and temples you visit during your travels
  • An increasingly popular souvenir as the customized stamp books feel very personal and special
  • The stamps, calligraphy and book itself become a memory of your explorations around Japan
  • Highly recommended as a unique and artistic souvenir to look back on fondly for years to come!

Maneki Neko Lucky Cats

With raised paw beckoning fortune, these cute cats come in many colors and styles. Place near your entryway or cash register to invite wealth and luck.

Origami Decorations & Crafts

Japanese paper folding art is used to make everything from ornaments to jewelry. Pick up origami decor and try making your own using how-to books.

Chopstick Rests & Mamezara

Cute and creative chopstick rests are a fun way to infuse some Japanese flair into everyday dining. Mamezara mini plates keep soy sauce tidy.

Character Stationery

Cute pens, memo pads, sticky notes featuring Doraemon, Rilakkuma, Pompompurin, and more.

Coco Tran — Curated Aesthetic Travel Blog By Film Photographer Coco Tran https://cocotran.com/best-things-to-get-from-japan/

Places to buy: Loft, Tokyu Hands

Lucky Charms : Japan things to buy as Souvenirs

Known as omamori (お守り), these are small amulets sold at Japanese temples and shrines that provide good luck and protection. Omamori feature Buddhist prayers or Shinto spirits thought to offer blessings for different purposes – common types ward off evil, bring academic success, heal illness, ensure safe childbirth, and more.

The charms are sold in vivid embroidered pouches that make attractive souvenirs. Omamori make wonderful gifts for friends and family or as a special memento of your own to look back fondly on your time in Japan.

Popular places to buy omamori charms:

  • Sensoji Temple in Asakusa, Tokyo – The iconic temple sells a wide variety ranging from health to traffic safety.
  • Fushimi Inari Shrine in Kyoto – Get a fox omamori representing Inari, the shrine’s deity that offers prosperity.
  • Meiji Jingu in Harajuku, Tokyo – Consider an omamori for relationship or academic success.
  • Naritasan Shinshoji Temple near Narita Airport – Pick one up right before flying home for travel safety.

Look for the omamori stall at any temple or shrine you visit during your travels in Japan to get one matching your own unique wishes!

Tokyo Tower vs Tokyo Skytree vs Shibuya Sky

Tsuko-Tegata

Tsuko-tegata are small wooden plaques sold at temples and shrines in Japan. During the Edo period, travelers had to carry these passports issued by local authorities to move between different regions and provinces.

Today, tsuko-tegata are sold as souvenirs and serve as proof you visited a particular temple or shrine. They come printed with the site’s name in calligraphy and often have an attached bell or tassel.

Popular places to find tsuko-tegata include:

  • Sensoji Temple in Asakusa, Tokyo
  • Fushimi Inari Shrine in Kyoto
  • Todaiji Temple in Nara
  • Itsukushima Shrine on Miyajima Island

Tsuko-tegata make wonderfully meaningful souvenirs from Japan. Get one stamped at each temple, shrine, and landmark you visit to commemorate your trip. Display them together once home to reminisce about your travels every time you see them.

The handwritten calligraphy and historic roots of these wooden plaques make them special relics exclusive to Japan. They are lightweight and easy to pack. Give tsuko-tegata as gifts or as a personal keepsake of your own adventures.

Woodblock Prints

Known as ukiyo-e, the traditional Edo period prints etched onto wood make lightweight wall art. Great for décor.

Japanese Tea Boxes

Keep green tea or matcha powder in beautifully crafted Japanese cedar wood tea boxes.

Japanese Wooden Combs

Handmade wood combs, called kushi, are another historic Japanese craft and are engraved with lovely designs.

Magewappa Bento Boxes

Lightweight but sturdy bento lunch boxes made by bending strips of wood. A reusable and eco-friendly souvenir.

Buddhist Altar Pieces

Mini wooden plaques, offering dishes, and bells sold at temples for your own homemade Buddhist altar.

Japanese Dishware: what to buy in Japan

For me, a must buy and what I’m most excited for things to buy in Japan. To add an authentic flair to dinner parties with handmade plates, bowls, and cups featuring traditional or modern motifs. These are excellent souvenirs from Japan.

Japanese Lacquerware

Boxes, bowls, chopsticks made of lacquered wood. Beautiful and functional.

Places to buy: Wajima, Aizu, Takayama

Hasami Porcelain from Japanese maker

Unique, lightweight tableware handmade in Nagasaki.

Coco Tran — Curated Aesthetic Travel Blog By Film Photographer Coco Tran https://cocotran.com/best-things-to-get-from-japan/

Places to buy: Hasami shops

Japanese Bamboo Products 

Vases, trays, spoons, baskets. Sustainable and eco-friendly.

Places to buy: Arashiyama bamboo grove shops, Takayama, Kyoto

Must Buy in japan: Japanese Stationery

Japan makes the cutest, coolest stationery on Earth. Stock up on these hot items.

Washi Tape

Decorate notebooks, packages, and more with this masking tape printed with gorgeous Japanese motifs. Buy rolls at 100 yen shops.

Washi Paper

Beautiful handmade paper used for origami, cards, art prints. Best places to buy: Kyoto’s Nishijin Textile Center, Mino washi shops

Stationery Sets

Cute sticky notes, memo pads, pens and more come packaged in Keroppi, Pompompurin, and other Sanrio characters.

Mt. Fuji Pens

These ballpoint pens have a tiny Mt. Fuji and flag on top. Popular inexpensive souvenirs.

Cool things to buy in Japan: Japanese Clothing Things to buy from japan

While some traditional clothing items can be pricey, Japanese loungewear and summer yukata make affordable souvenirs.

Jinbei Summer Kimono

These lightweight cotton kimono are worn at summer festivals and make comfortable pajamas or beach cover-ups. I purchased one set to wear at home. They are so comfy and aesthetic.

Yukata Summer Kimono

Colorful yukata worn at festivals often have beautiful floral or landscape designs. They make striking lightweight souvenirs.

Same with this one. I purchased a Yukuta and a Kimono second hand from a shop in Kyoto. You’ll find a lot of the vintage shops selling second hand beautiful yukatas and kimonos. They range from 2,000 -25,000 yen.

Coco Tran — Curated Aesthetic Travel Blog By Film Photographer Coco Tran https://cocotran.com/best-things-to-get-from-japan/

Tabi Split-Toed Socks

Add these traditional socks to complete your yukata outfit. One size fits all.

Silk Kimono

These kimonos are more intricate and are usually worn outside. There are a lot of kimono rental places that rent these type out. I purchased one second hand and I’m so happy with it! I can’t wait to wear it out during cherry blossom season.

Best high-end things to buy in Japan

Beyond pop culture and crafts, Japan offers endless innovative, design-forward souvenirs to delight aesthetes.

MUJI Household Items

MUJI’s elegantly minimalist homewares, snacks, and stationery make souvenirs with timeless appeal.

Issey Miyake Foldable Garments

Famous fashion designer Issey Miyake’s signature pieces unfold from a compact shape into wearable clothes.

Omotesando Street Luxury Hand Bags

Japan’s high fashion mecca has flagship boutiques for brands like Louis Vuitton, Chanel, YSL and Gucci to splurge on.

Tips on purchasing luxury hand bags in Japan

From my experience Designer handbags are much cheaper to buy in Japan than in the states and you don’t have to pay tax as it’s tax free. (as of 2024 the yen is lower ghan USD so you have more purchasing power) I purchased a YSL bag for $2200 vs what it’s sold for in the us for $2800 + US tax.

Where to Buy: Tokyo is your best bet. Ginza and Ometadsando is where you want to go as all the high end shops are located here.

things to do Asakusa  in Tokyo's

Camera Gear Souvenirs from Japan

Japan is a haven for photography enthusiasts – so much so that you’ll find massive electronics stores like Yodobashi Camera packed with endless aisles of camera gear. As a photo junkie, these shops made my heart race!

Yodobashi sells way more than just cameras – you’ll also find home goods, toys, and gachapon machines as you explore the various floors. But the camera sections will make any photographer weep tears of joy. Shelves upon shelves stacked with lenses, filters, tripods, camera bodies…you get the picture (pun intended).

There are over 20 Yodobashi Camera stores across Japan, with the largest being the shop in Akihabara, Tokyo. My tip if you want to grab souvenirs for your camera-loving friends or yourself: go wild at Yodobashi!

Given how skilled Japanese engineers are, you can find camera equipment not readily available overseas. Even as technology changes, photos you take with your souvenir gear will help you reminisce about your time in Japan down the road.

Just be sure to keep your receipt and manufacturer’s warranty info if you do make high-end purchases. But for camera nuts, Yodobashi Camera is paradise and the ultimate place for geeky, long-lasting souvenirs. Say cheese!

Tokyo tower vs skytree

How To Save On Tax When Purchasing and shopping in Japan

Hey there fellow traveler, before we dive into all the amazing souvenirs, I’ve got a hot tip to save you some yen. As a tourist in Japan, you can get tax-free shopping on certain purchases over 5,000 yen at participating stores. Cha-ching! 

Just make sure to bring your passport, since you’ll need to show it to get that sweet tax refund at the register. It’s a nice perk only available for foreign visitors that you don’t want to miss out on. 

The tax-free benefit applies at tons of shops across Japan from electronics stores to fancy department stores to duty-free sections of the airports. 

Definitely take advantage of it when buying pricier items like cameras, watches, and luxury fashion. But it can add up to big savings even on smaller purchases that meet the minimum.

Before embarking on a shopping spree for the coolest Japan souvenirs, I’d recommend stopping by the tourist info centers at major shopping areas like Ginza, Shinjuku, and Osaka Station. The friendly staff there can hook you up with info on where you can shop tax-free nearby. 

Now that you’ve got the inside scoop on saving money, let’s get to the good stuff – all the incredible souvenirs you’ll want to splurge on! Keep tax-free shopping in mind as you browse to maximize your shopping budget.

Souvenir Shopping in Japan by City

Almost every town in Japan offers at least a few special local souvenirs. But some places are souvenir shopping hotspots:

Tokyo Best things to buy in japan 

Here are some additional places for souvenir shopping in Japan and descriptions of what to find there:

Tokyo Tower vs Tokyo Skytree vs Shibuya Sky

Where to Go Souvenir Shopping in Japan Major Towns

Where To Buy Things in Japan Kyoto

Nishiki Market – Known as ‘Kyoto’s Kitchen’, this lively covered market has hundreds of food stalls and shops selling local delicacies like sweets, teas, and sake that make great edible souvenirs. 

Arashiyama – On the scenic Arashiyama bamboo grove footpaths, find shops specializing in bamboo products like baskets, vases, wooden combs, and folding fans.

Fushimi Inari Shrine – At the base of this iconic shrine’s mountain path, vendors sell souvenirs like keychains, charms, and fox masks representing Inari, the shrine’s deity. 

Gion District – In Kyoto’s traditional geisha district, shop for beautiful handmade crafts, antiques, pottery, and more in the narrow streets lined with machiya townhouses. 

Tokyo tower vs skytree tower

Where To Buy Things in Japan Osaka

Den Den Town – The heart of otaku culture, this district is filled with anime, manga, and gaming goods. Pick up limited edition merch and unique souvenirs.

Kuromon Ichiba Market – Called ‘Osaka’s Kitchen’, this lively market has seafood stalls and shops selling Japanese kitchenware and food items perfect as edible souvenirs.

Dotonbori – The iconic billboard-lined canal is bordered by shops selling local specialties like takoyaki octopus balls and traditional crafts as souvenirs.

Shinsaibashi-suji – Osaka’s covered shopping arcade over 600 meters long has a huge variety of stores for fashion, crafts, electronics, and more.

Where To Buy Things in Japan Tokyo  to bring back

Asakusa – Grab traditional souvenirs like fans, kimonos, and Noh masks along Nakamise-dori leading to Senso-ji Temple. 

Akihabara – An otaku paradise with stores filled with the latest anime, manga, figurines, retro gaming items, and electronics. 

Ginza – Tokyo’s upscale shopping district is home to luxury department stores and brand flagships, perfect for splurging on exclusive souvenirs.

Harajuku – Takeshita Street is filled with colorful and kawaii fashion, beauty, and character goods while Cat Street has a laidback bohemian vibe.

Asakusa – Nakamise Shopping Street &

Harajuku – Takeshita Street

Shibuya – Tokyu Hands, Loft

Akihabara – Animate, Kanda Myojin Shrine

Where To Buy Things in Japan Kyoto

Nishiki Market

Arashiyama Station Area

Fushimi Inari Shrine

Nishijin Textile Center

Where To Buy Things in Japan Osaka

Shinsaibashi-suji Shopping Street

Kuromon Ichiba Market

Dotonbori Canal Area

Hiroshima & Miyajima

Hiroshima Station Area

Itsukushima Shrine on Miyajima

Omotesando Shopping Street

Where To Buy Things in Japan Takayama

Miyagawa Morning Market

Kamisannomachi Street

Sanno-machi Historic District

Sapporo

Odori Park

Tanukikoji Shopping Arcade

Ramen Yokocho

Don Quijote Discount Stores

Amazingly, you can find cool Japan souvenirs at Don Quijote (Donki) 24-hour discount stores located all over Japan. Browse wacky sweets, beauty gadgets, anime goods, and household knickknacks among the organized chaos.

Secret Tips for Shopping for Souvenirs from Japan

After all that, a few tips to make your souvenir shopping as smooth as possible:

  • Seek out locally made crafts and food specialties for the best gifts and memories.
  • Check if your home country allows certain items to be imported before buying food and agricultural products.
  • Look for lightweight items to save room in your luggage. Paper fans, textiles, and stationery pack flat.
  • Duty-free shops at the airport offer last-minute souvenir shopping on your way home.
  • Have bigger or fragile items like ceramics or sake shipped home directly from the store.
  • When buying electronics, shop tax-free and choose models compatible with your country’s electric system.

More Japan Articles

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The Perfect Souvenir from Japan

With this huge variety of authentic, well-crafted items to choose from, you’re sure to find the ideal souvenirs from your travels in Japan. Spend time browsing colorful markets, quiet workshops, and dazzling department stores to discover souvenirs you’ll treasure for years.

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