The idea of traveling to a new country can be as exciting as it can be stressful. Yet, daily, millions of individuals pack their bags and courageously take trips to foreign territory. And of the several top destinations visited, which include as Paris, Dubai, New York and more, we find the many-sided country of Japan. Every year, the country receives countless tourists on its land. Explorers get to experience a memorable trip as they make their way to the iconic peak of Mount Fuji, graze through the bamboo and monkey forest of Arashiyama and so much more. Though as in every destination spots, the question constantly swirls about when it comes to what to bring back. Because unfortunately, one cannot encapsulate Japan in a tiny box and offer it as a gift.
Therefore if Japan is your next travel destination, here are 10 souvenirs you should strongly consider bringing back to family and friends(or keep to yourself) to give them a glimpse of your amazing experience.
10 Bento Box
Japan's food compartmentalizing methods can easily put us, foreigners, to shame. Have you ever found yourself reaching into your lunch box only to find a soggy sandwich waiting inside? Or perhaps your DIY salad bowl did not exactly turn out the way you expected to and turned into a dressing-loaded mess. If so, you might want to consider getting a few bento boxes from Japan before you go. The latter allows for beautifully-curated lunches which keep your meals and snacks perfectly stored, mess-free. To make things even more fun, some bento boxes even allow you to store some chopsticks.
9 Tabi Socks
Tabi Socks are a go-to souvenir if you go to Japan. These adorable mittens for feet are considered traditional Japanese socks. Moreover, the interesting socks allow for separation between your big toe and the other toes. How ingenious is that? That way you may sport these socks with sandals and related footwear. Indeed, wearing socks and sandals is a thing in Japan and proudly so. Especially when paired with a traditional kimono. Keep your feet warm and stick to the country's traditions by purchasing these goodies and taking them back home with you.
8 Japanese Whiskey
Japan is reputable when it comes to Whiskey. Indeed, the country produces some of the finest whiskey in the world. For instance, Suntory's Yamakazi Single Malt snagged the number one spot in the 2015 World Whisky Bible competition. Hence, you may consider grabbing one of these prior to your departure.
The most prominent brands recommended are Nikka Yoichi Single Malt, which is economically-friendly for the frugal. Though, if you have a bit more cash in store, you can grab some Suntory, the award winner itself. This one would be a great souvenir for anyone who enjoys a stark drink.
7 Matcha-flavored goodies
Matcha-flavored items are all over Japan. Any food item you may imagine is made available to you in the delicious, powerful green-tea form. Kit Kats. Ice Creams--and even cheese! There isn't anything that can escape matcha. You can easily pick your favorite matcha-flavored item at a grocery store or local shop and so at a very cost-friendly price. As long as you do not confuse matcha with the tongue-burning wasabi, you should be fine.
6 Tenugui Towel
These traditional cotton towels are a must for your souvenir and we are certain your mother will enjoy these most. The classic Japanese memorabilia are dyed with exotic patterns and can be used to absolutely anything.
That is from washing your hands to adding some decor to the bathroom or anywhere else in your home. Perhaps you could even pair it with your newly purchased bento box for a true Japanese souvenir combo. Additionally, you may pick from a range of different designs which are each beautiful in their own way.
5 Bonsai Tree
Lovers of plants and greenery will want to make sure they grab this souvenir before they come back home. The Bonsai tree is indubitably a staple of Japanese minimalism. The art of bonsai stems from 6th-century China but has since gone onto becoming a famed Japanese art. Although it is a delicate plant, hence you may consider gifting it to a plant-lover who will enjoy nurturing it daily. The plant is also known to add a relaxing vibe and establishing a truly zen environment. If your airline policies allow you to fly with these exotic goodies, you should definitely consider grabbing one. If not, no worries, you can grab some bonsai seed packets to grow them at home.
4 Daruma Doll
The Daruma Doll is Japan's most popular good luck charm. You will surely spot these at any gift shops during your visit to the country. Daruma Dolls are made of paper mache and reflect the father of Zen Buddhism, Daruma. The aforementioned object is meant to symbolize positivity and perseverance towards one's personal goals. It also comes with a ritual to promote good luck throughout the year: purchase a daruma at the beginning of the new year, color one eye and set a goal--then watch it come true! This is the perfect gift for the optimist.
3 Hanko Stamp
In Japan, important documents are usually signed with the use of a Hanko instead of a signature. The latter is similar to a personal stamp, but it is traditionally made out of wood or plastic.
The Hanko stamp used to have your name on the end of it and served as an official "seal." Today, you can easily make a fake one just for fun and keep it as a souvenir. Some are custom-made, but many are pre-made with Western names and cliche phrases like "I love sushi."
2 Sensu Fan
These iconic paper fans are a great souvenir idea. Considerably, they are much more sophisticated to the fold out papers we used to make in grade school. You may encounter one of these if you visit Japan during the summer as they do serve best as a handheld fan and great self air-conditioning option. If you're looking to take things a step further during the hot seasons, you can grab a foldable fan to make sure you're covered.
1 Sheet Masks
Japan is known for its elusive skin care regimens which indubitably promotes healthy and youthful skin. As such, you may consider grabbing a few Japanese sheet masks before you head home. Skincare fanatics will love this as the masks are so varied and cater to differing purposes: troubled skin, moisture, and the list go on. These beautifying tools are great for late nights spent pampering and watching television shows. Some can even be worn overnight and removed in the morning.