If you or a loved one is missing Japan and bummed that you can't travel due to Covid restrictions, this is the perfect list of Christmas gifts to feed that Japanese nostalgia.
*This may come as a shock, but I actually do NOT get a commission from any of these links other than the Tokyo Treat box, so just enjoy these suggestions :D
1) Japanese Diffuser
If you've been to Japan, you know that these diffusers are EVERYWHERE! My favorite brand is actually the Muji brand, but they're a bit expensive online. Both photos are links to the diffusers pictured. And yes, Muji exists in the US so there shouldn't be any shipping issues!
2) Just One Cookbook
The first time I saw this lady's website I fell in LOVE. I really missed authentic Japanese food and she has a large collection of amazing recipes! You can just make the things you miss at home! Give yourself or your foodie friend the gift of her beautiful e-cookbook!
3) Japanese Pantry Ingredients (Miso, Ponzu Sauce, Sweet Soy Sauce, Matcha, Rice Seasoning, etc.)
On the Just One Cookbook website, she also has a shopping area that includes Japanese pantry goods. So it's almost just a one stop shop...definitely worth checking out what she has. If you can't find what you're looking for there, a lot of ingredients are also available on Amazon. Miso Easy is a good one for Miso soup lovers, and Pacific Wakame is one of our household staples!
4) Tokyo Treat Box
My kids LOVE these boxes! We get them every so often and they are pumped when they see them in the mail. They have two subscription options (that you can cancel anytime), but the premium one comes with a drink and the good snacks so I definitely recommend that one! Sidenote: they always come with Kit Kats and include many fun, seasonal favorites :D
5) Japanese Slippers
If you don't already take your shoes off in your home, go ahead and get some Japanese house slippers and get started (don't forget a separate pair for the bathroom)! You'll feel like you're in a Japanese home in no time :D
6) Japanese Sweets
All I can say about Japanese Sweets is OMG. Check out these Ichigo Daifuku (Strawberry Mochi) and other fruity sweets made by K. Minamoto. They're beautifully wrapped and already arranged into gift boxes for the perfect, lightly sugared culinary adventure:
7) A Uniquely Japanese Handbag
Boutique bag stores are (in my opinion anyway) one of the funnest things to do in Japanese malls. Check out this bag that is a very popular Japanese style, including the super fun and unusual bag charms!
Finding seasonal Starbucks mugs or tumblers in Japan is nothing short of a challenge. The really cool ones seem to sell out as soon as they hit the shelves! Luckily, Japanhaul.com has the complete winter 2020 lineup available! If you don't live in Japan (and even if you don't love Starbucks' Coffee) these are fun to collect (the Sakura tumblers seem to be the favorite and the hardest to get)!
9) Anything Godzilla
My son has been obsessed with Godzilla since he was just two years old. So I had to include this one! If a child or any other Godzilla enthusiast wants to commemorate their time in Japan this statue or beautiful vintage picture would be a thoughtful gift.
10) Japanese Teas
Get Japanese teas from a family owned business in Odawara sent right to your home! This family has been dealing high quality teas since the 1700's, so I'd say they're definitely masters of their craft!
11) Japanese Konjac Sponge
Completely natural and packed with nutrients for the skin on your face and body, these Japanese sponges are made from the Konjac plant (a porous root vegetable). They gently remove dead skin cells to leave you with a smooth, glowing complexion!
Available online here: https://konjacsponge-japan.com/
*I actually love Konjac soaps but can't seem to find them anywhere online. There is a shop in Kamakura called Konnyaku Shabon and if anyone is able to get to it, I can't say enough good things about their squishy soaps!
12) Hand-made Japanese Knives
Japanese knives are world-renowned! Check out these beautiful hand-crafted chef's knives for the chef in your family :D (This link is to the Portland location's store)
13) Yakitori Grill
The smell of yakitori wafting through a busy alleyway is one of the things I truly miss about Japan. That and the fact that these little sticks of magic are only like 80 Yen each! Either way, with this handy little tabletop grill, you can be a yakitori pro in no time.
14) Japanese "Water-Touch" Umbrella
All throughout Kamakura and Enoshima Island, as well as many other touristy places, are shops full of beautiful, unique Japanese umbrellas. These kind are often outside the shop and get sprayed with water so people can see flowers show up when they get wet! They're pretty cool. I have this exact red one that can be found on Amazon. In Japan, they're only about $10 but if you really want one, you can pay extra to have one sent to you :)
15) Hobonichi Techo Planner
These planners have developed a cult following for their simple yet efficient design! At least two relatives have expressed a lot of interest in these on my trips! If you know someone that loves keeping a daily planner, and that might like activities like scrapbooking or crafting, this might be a great gift! There are many creative ways to use them (look on Pinterest) and check out this link to learn about them in greater detail: