Looking for fresh, unique gift ideas this Christmas? Japan has weird and wonderful gifts galore for foodies and hoarders. From fish sandals to Pocky collections, here are just a couple of recommendations:
Japanese Snack Box Subscriptions
What better way to surprise someone than with Japanese snacks? Japan is famous for its vast array of snacks and their even more diverse flavors. Most of these snacks are only found in Japan, and even if they are available in your country, the price will probably be a bit much for the amount that you buy. The good news is that snack box subscriptions offer an affordable way to munch on these exclusive yummies. For $15 – 25 per month, you can get up to 15 different snacks depending on your plan. Some companies offering such subscriptions include Bokksu, Japan Candy Box, Tokyo Treat, Japan Crate, and Wow Box.
Fun Anime Coin Bank
You’ve no doubt seen some T-shirts, posters and other paraphernalia of your favorite anime in Japan. But did you know that anime merchandise can serve practical purposes as well? Anime coin banks are a great gift for your Studio-Ghibli-obsessed friend whilst also helping them out with their finance management. These quirky objects can generally be found at anime outlet stores, or at giant tech stores like Yodobashi Camera and Bic Camera for 2000~ yen.
Japan is famous for its crazy KitKat flavors. With over 300 of them ranging from Matcha to Rum Raisin, the colorful variety of Japanese KitKat makes it the perfect Christmas gift. For a more traditional Japanese taste, I highly recommend these local KitKat flavors: Wasabi KitKat, Adzuki (red bean) KitKat, Momiji Manju (maple steam buns) KitKat, Sake KitKat, and of course the classic Matcha and Houjicha KitKat.
Depending on where you live in Japan, the flavors available for purchase at supermarkets and wholesalers will vary, but generally boxed KitKats are 800 yen while bagged KitKats are 300 yen. For a fancier gift, the KitKat Chocolatory Store in Tokyo offers limited edition gift sets for up to 3000 yen.
Kintsugi Repair Kit
Kintsugi is a traditional Japanese practice where you fix broken ceramics by joining them with gold. It originates from Japanese values of ‘mottainai’ (avoiding wastefulness) and appreciating beauty found in the flawed. For a truly authentic, high-end Christmas gift, why not buy your loved ones a DIY kintsugi repair kit? Meijiro Japan sells these kits starting from 8,000~ yen. While expensive, these kits make for a gift that is both functional and quintessentially Japanese.
Christmas Themed Wagashi
Tired of normal Christmas cakes? Wagashi Christmas snacks take traditional Japanese sweets-making and put an extra delicious twist on it. Takashimaya offers a 4000 yen Christmas cake with cute snowmen, holly, and Santa Claus designs – all made from traditional wagashi sweets. Sasaya Shoen and various other wagashi shops also offer Christmas themed small cakes and treats that range from 2000 to 3000 yen. In fact, why not take it a step further by going to a wagashi-making class? Kyoto Yoshihiro offers a class on how to make wagashi for an affordable 2000 yen per person. The sweets they make change with the seasons, so if you book now, then you’ll be able to make Christmas-themed sweets to serve as delicious handmade gifts from you to your loved ones.
Japanese Face Masks
It’s a face mask in a face mask! Japanese skincare is widely renowned for its efficacy in Asia. For all those beauty lovers out there, these face masks featuring ninjas, samurais, Noh actors, and famous Japanese folktale characters are a funky way to enjoy your weekly facial. You can buy these masks in almost all pharmacy chain stores in Japan as well as wholesalers in popular tourist districts, and they only cost 1000 yen for 5 face masks!
Mister Donut Winter Limited Edition Pokemon Donuts
The best thing about holidays in Japan is the number of limited edition foods, and Mister Donut offers a cute, Japanese spin on your traditional donut. Combining our beloved Pokémon characters with Christmas flavors, you can get a trio of donuts in the Christmas Pokémon collection for around 600 yen, as well as Pokémon-themed tapioca sodas for around 600 yen each. Food is always a good fallback option for Christmas gifts, but cute Pikachu donuts are a surefire way to delight the recipient!