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41 Awesome Japanese Gift Ideas (+2 to Avoid)

Japanese gifts

Looking for the perfect Japan-themed gift idea? We’ve searched hundreds of ideas to identify 41 top-rated choices. Whether you’re seeking a gift for an exchange student, business associate, or general lover of all things Japan, we’ve got you covered with ideas that are sure to garner a “doumo arigatou” (thanks a lot). Gift giving is an important cultural ritual in Japan. If traveling in Japan, make sure you bring a few gifts in case you need to reciprocate.

The perfect game for sushi lovers and their friends. Similar to Jenga, but with chopsticks to remove the pieces. Adds some unique elements such as “wasabi punishments.”

$33.52
$38.00

An ancient Japanese tradition, the art of bonsai involves growing trees in small pots. They and come in a wide variety of species, including flowering and fruited trees. These dwarf trees will bring joy and good luck to their owners. Bonsai Boy, a well-regarded specialist nursery, has hundreds of great options on their website linked below. We like the Flowering Bougainvillea and the Flowering Dwarf Korean Lilac. Next-day shipping is available Monday through Thursday for an extra charge. Ships within the USA only.

Prices vary

Crafted in the tradition from the former Kaga Province, this adorable mug is the perfect gift to a loved one or special friend. The two cats sit side by side, surrounded by little sparkles of color. Has a hand-made gift shop quality that’s hard to find.

$24.99
$24.99

“Master the art of letting go” with this water-based painting canvas. Wet your brush and paint ephemeral designs that will disappear as the water evaporates. A great way to relax and de-stress, the Buddha Board gets rave reviews from consumers who find it uniquely satisfying.

$27.00

From rural tea houses to hip urban noodle shops, travel writer Matt Goulding chronicles his 5,000 mile journey through Japan’s unique and diverse food culture. Goulding goes into depth on seven distinct regions of Japan, and explains how the unique subcultures lead to delicious food and distinctive culinary traditions. Contains 195 color photos.

$22.88
$22.88

A truly unique gift idea, these sushi socks come rolled up in a box and include salmon, tuna and octopus nigiri varieties. You’ll be the hit of the party with this fun, creative and comfortable sock tray.

$19.99
$19.99

Give your Japan lover a special surprise with a personalized necklace featuring their name in Japanese. Made from 925 Sterling Silver and available in 5 different sizes.

$39.95
$39.95

This groovy graphic guide makes exploring Japan a whole new world of adventure. Take a whirlwind trip to Japan through the eyes of a cartoonist, seeing unique spots to eat anything and everything, shopping, anime, cosplay, festivals and more.

$2.99
$13.08

This starter kit contains the key accessories needed to make Japanese-style ceremonial Matcha tea. The box contains a Japanese-made pottery bowl, a bamboo whisk and holder. Makes a great relaxing morning ritual. Don’t forget to add a bag of Matcha tea powder to your order.

$39.99
$39.99

Japanese absolutely love scarves, especially those made from 100% silk. If you’re looking for a gift idea for someone from Japan, we recommend an impressionistic scarf such as pictured here. If you’re not Japanese yourself, you may not want to guess what specific Asian cultural pattern may appeal. A European-style impressionistic painting will certainly be appreciated.

$28.99
$28.99

Even in the depths of winter months you can keep your home spring-like with these lovely cherry blossom lights. Whether for holiday decor or an evergreen touch, this 10-ft set of 30 lights will keep you dazzled.

$16.99
$17.99

This artfully illustrated, 30-page coloring book includes classic Japanese imagery ranging from a Mt Fuji vista to traditional decorative fans. The scenes are inspired directly by artist Joyce Will’s own travels to her family’s country of origin. Her love for Japanese culture and eye for beauty shine through in this fun coloring book. Makes a great activity on a long-haul flight to Japan!

$9.18
$11.39

Recommended by Anthony Bourdain, Global knives set a standard for Japanese culinary excellence unmatched by others. They are handmade in Japan by skilled artisans who carefully weigh each knife for accuracy. We recommend against giving knives to Japanese people, as in Japan they can symbolize the ending of a relationship. Nonetheless, a wonderful gift for someone who appreciates Japanese culinary excellence of non-Japanese decent.

The Japanese lacquerware tradition is estimated to have originated around 5000 BCE during the Jōmon period. This ancient artistic tradition is still alive today makes for a quintessential Japanese gift. This bowl is painted with cranes and is perfect for rice or miso soup.

$25.19
$25.19

Quince is a sour Japanese fruit that blossoms fragrant flowers. This cute quince-scented candle comes in a pagoda-shaped box. It has a lovely citrus smell.

$28.00
$28.00

This beautifully designed porcelain tea set is engraved with kanji calligraphy. The set of four cups and a tea pot have a sturdy, yet earthen-handmade feel. Comes packaged in a gift box.

$31.99
$39.95

Subscribe your Japan enthusiast to a fun subscription box featuring different snacks and candies each month. You can choose how long to subscribe – just a month, or a full year and cancel at any time. There is a classic version (pictured here) and a slightly less expensive tasting version available at the same link, both featuring fun themed selections. The box ships from Japan, so may take a little time to arrive after ordering your first. We recommend creating a card to give on the specific occasion (holiday, birthday etc) to let him or her know what’s coming in the mail soon.

$44.99
$44.99

Calling all connoisseurs of sake: who would’ve thought you’d have your very own Kit Kat flavor? The subtle flavors of sake are coupled with the soft extravagance of white chocolate. Imported from Japan with real alcohol content (0.8%) and sake flavor, these 12 mini Kit-Kats are a sumptuous treat.

$17.00 ($1.89 / Count)
$39.00 ($4.33 / Count)

Enjoy sake in traditional Japanese style with OliaDesign’s tasteful 5-piece set. Including a sake server and 4 cups, this set is perfect for a dinner party with friends or family. The attractive white and red blossom ceramic pieces are microwave and dishwasher safe.

This classic cookbook should be on the kitchen shelf of every serious Japan lover. It contains 500 drawings and 230 traditional recipes, in addition to useful cultural details that most cookbooks gloss over.

$26.99
$26.99

This set of Japanese chopsticks are painted with subtle little flower blossoms and tiny bits of glitter mixed in, adding a special effect. They come in a tastefully designed case with Japanese text, making it easy to wrap up as a gift. They are lacquered and dishwasher safe.

$8.98
$9.99

Brighten up your doorway with this unique handmade tapestry curtain. Creating privacy and decoration in your living space or office, create a zen-like tranquility that guests and family members can enjoy.

$25.00
$25.00

Experience a luxurious Japanese hot spring bath in the comfort your own home. Simply add one of the 18 sachets to your bath to relax in the richness of minerals and emerge with soft, scented skin.

$14.99 ($0.79 / Ounce)
$14.99 ($0.79 / Ounce)

Nobody can resist an adorable panda, even if it is stealing from you! This cute little guy makes saving fun for children and adults, peeking out of the box to swipe your coin with his paw.
$16.99
$17.99

A delightful collection of snacks for any lover of Japanese food. Featuring all your favorites: Baby-Star Ramen, Pokemon Ramune, Shimi Corn and many more delectable delights. 20 delicious items of candies, chocolate and snacks you won’t be able to resist.

$7.00 ($7.00 / Count)
$21.99 ($21.99 / Count)

These strawberry rice-cakes are gummy goodies no-one will be able to resist. A rich strawberry filling is surrounded by soft marshmallow goodness. Your taste buds will be taken on a trip to Japan with this classic sweet treat.

$6.99 ($0.99 / Ounce)
$6.99 ($0.99 / Ounce)

HC’s jigger is a versatile addition to your bar- craft cocktails and mixed drinks in style using Japanese stainless steel. The brushed finish adds a touch of class as you precisely measure up to 1 ounce using the small jigger and up to 2 ounces with the large.

$14.99
$14.99

Hokusai’s classic ‘The Great Wave’ is now available as a tasteful and attractive T-Shirt. This 100% cotton, classic-fit T-shirt is sure to remain a timeless piece of your wardrobe. It is machine-washable and available in a range of colors to suit everyone’s taste.

$19.99
$19.99

Including 6 equally cute kokeshi dolls, these colorful erasers are made from recyclable non-PVC material and made in Japan. Not only use them as an eraser, but take them apart and put them back together for some light-hearted playtime.

$4.62
$4.62

This solar-powered Samurai figure animates the art of cutting sushi as his head bobs. It’s finely crafted and sure to please the most discerning collector.

$46.81
$46.81

Light up your garden with this adorable solar-powered pagoda-style lantern. Measuring 14 inches tall, it can withstand the elements and is super easy to set up and use.

$69.99 ($20.00 / kg)
$69.99 ($20.00 / kg)

Your valuables will fit snugly in this adorable Japanese goldfish purse. The colorful fabric is patterned with elegant kimono designs with a gorgeous goldfish on the underside. 5.5 by 6 inches, it’s the perfect size for your purse, phone or any small item.

$3.00
$4.77

Wabi-sabi is a Japanese aesthetic philosophy that finds beauty in things that are impermanent, incomplete and imperfect. Learn to appreciate life’s simple beauty with this engrossing paperback book. Including history, culture, art, design, and spirit, there is a lesson for everyone in wabi-sabi.

$8.25
$10.49

Pack your lunch up in authentic Japanese style using these cute bento boxes. Complete with a double-stack box with band and lunch bag, the food-safe plastic is decorated with subtle plum designs to enjoy as you eat your lunch.
$17.98
$17.98

Manga, anime, J-Pop, Pokemon- Japan was once a part of your life- here is your new, updated guide to Japan’s truly fascinating geek culture. Captured and explained in intimate detail, with a range of articles on different aspects of geek culture featuring photographs and sidebars.

$2.99

An ideal way to rest and rejuvenate your mind, unwind as you color in one of the 72 beautiful Japanese-inspired illustrations. With detachable sheets and compact size, you can color on-the-go and share your creativity with others.
$19.80
$19.80

Some toys are timeless, and this classic paper balloon is one of them. It will be an endless source of fun as you blow it up and bat it around. It has a mysterious secret- leave the inflation hole open and bat the ball around, it will only get bigger!

Known for quality and reliability in Japan, Tiger rice cookers are the classic choice to cook rice. Featuring simple yet elegant floral designs, this 5.5 cup cooker keeps your rice warm for up to 12 hours and has a non-stick pan, making it easier to serve and clean.
$137.02
$168.00

Learn to create the wonderful kusudama, a sophisticated form of origami that features incredible ball designs. Kusudama were originally used as incense holders. With instructions for more than 40 stunning designs, decorate your home or give a kusudama as a unique gift.
$12.75
$15.53

Known worldwide for its unsurpassed quality, Kobe beef is a special treat that’s coveted by the Japanese. The perfect gift idea for a high-stakes (no pun intended) business deal or any connoisseur of fine food. It is shipped frozen and vacuum-sealed for freshness.

What Japanese-themed gifts should you avoid giving?

1. Anything with unlucky number 4 or 9 (or in quantity of 4 or 9).
2. White flowers. They are typically associated with funerals.