27 Traditional Japanese Gifts That Encapsulates The Best of Its Culture
Culture is a vast, complex concept that, in many ways, is beyond description. While your loved one is a lover of all things Japan, there’s no simple way to explain just what they so admire about this unfamiliar foreign culture. That being said, you can still find your loved one a gift that encapsulates the best of the Japanese landscape, bringing together iconic art, intricate imagery, and distinct style for a one of a kind vacation from the comfort of their own home. Below, you’ll find a collection of the best Japanese gifts available without ever needing to board a plane or pick up a new language; Deliver Japan straight to your loved one’s doorstep!
Best Japanese Gifts
Original Sushi Making Kit
Japanese cuisine lovers know that some days nothing sounds as appealing as a fresh, delicious sushi roll. However, frequent sushi outings can get spendy, and it can be difficult to make at home unless you have an original sushi maker. This kit includes rice spreaders, bamboo mats, the bazooka, five sets of chopsticks, and a professional quality knife, which is essential to clean sushi rolls. All of the tools and the helpful, step-by-step video tutorials will have you making restaurant-quality sushi in your own kitchen in no time. Or, gift it to the aspiring chef in your life and volunteer to help eat their practice rolls.
Fuji Rock Glass
Mt. Fuji is one of Japan’s most recognized natural landmarks and a World Heritage site. Old fashioned whiskey tumblers are classic, bringing to mind elegant dinner parties and evenings in the study with a roaring fire. The two have combined to bring a beautiful and unique gift for those Japanese lovers in your life. This otherwise traditional tumbler includes a glass rendering of Mt Fuji set into the base of the cup. Watch as the snow-capped peak changes colors depending on the drink in your glass. What’s even exciting is that this award-winning tumbler comes packaged securely in a lovely wooden box and ready to gift.
Traditional Japanese Origami Kit
Recognized around the world for the beauty and delicacy of its designs, origami is a Japanese past-time and art form dating back hundreds of years. This origami kit is an excellent gift for someone interested in traditional paper-folding art. Newcomers will appreciate the book, with its easy-to-understand and detailed instructions in both writing and illustration. More experienced folders will love the quality papers that come with 13 exquisite, gold-laced patterns. With designs ranging from a simplistic butterfly to a complex koi fish, this kit will provide hours of entertainment for all folding skill levels.
Paper Nano Byodo-in Deluxe Building Set
A combination of Japanese papercraft and more traditional model building, PaperNano produces models that are breath-taking in both beauty and detail. This build kit creates a tiny 6 inch by 4.5-inch replica of the Heian era Byodo-in temple near Kyoto. It allows you to recreate the architecture that has made this Buddhist temple so recognizable, from its sweeping rooflines to its vibrant color. High-quality paper with precision laser cuts that allow you to easily pop out the pieces you will fold and bend into your model. When you have completed your temple, display it while keeping it safe in the included shadow box.
Miya Kosui Sushi Set
Like many aspects of Japanese culture, sushi making has evolved into an art form and it deserves to be displayed as such. This lovely set from Miya includes two rectangular plates (8.75×5 inches), two small dishes perfect for dipping sauces, and two sets of high-quality chopsticks. With a beautiful aqua-green center and darker glazed edge, they will make your sushi presentation look both beautiful and delicious. Due to the delicate nature of the glaze, these dishes should be hand washed only and kept out of the microwave. A great gift either on its own or when paired with the Aya sushi kit.
Hand-Crafted Japanese-Style Fan
According to legend, modern folding fans originated in Japan. Beautiful and ornate fans have been a part of Japanese culture for at least 14 centuries. These lovely fans from Amajiji come painted with delicate designs which will remind you of fierce ninjas and graceful geishas. Used them as wall decor, an accessory on hot days, or a great addition to a cosplay outfit. They come in eight different prints, which means one for any occasion. Each of these silk fans is handmade and unique, yet still sturdy and durable enough to be used frequently.
Matcha Start Up Kit
In Japan, tea gained popularity among people of all social classes, especially the drinking of matcha tea and the ceremony that goes along with it. Matcha won its reputation for both its delicious flavor and health benefits. And just because you aren’t in Japan doesn’t mean you can’t have traditionally prepared matcha. This elegant tea set comes with all the tools you need to make traditional matcha, including a natural bamboo whisk and scoop for measuring. In five different color options, there’s a set to match almost any kitchen. As a beautiful gift set, purchase one for yourself and start enjoying the antioxidant properties of matcha.
Long Floral Kimono Robe
As one of the most globally recognized articles of traditional Japanese fashion, the kimono is also one of the most luxurious. Made of light-weight polyester satin, these beautiful robes will make you feel elegant and graceful the moment you slip into it. With traditional, square sleeves and sash fronts, they would make a great addition to a cosplay costume. At 53 inches long, these robes fit most women and with the beautiful floral patterns, they could be worn for many occasions, such as baby showers or bachelorette parties. Or, if you’re feeling like a homebody, curl up in your comfortable robe and enjoy some tea and a good read.
StatGear Pocket Samurai Knife
Fans of the hit YouTube show Unboxing Therapy will love this StatGear collaboration and official unboxing knife. Made from gold-plated stainless steel, this little guy is sharp and exquisite. The aircraft-grade aluminum handle is stamped with traditional Japanese sword details that will make you feel like a samurai every time you need to open a package. This knife comes with a stylish wooden desk stand so your blade is never far away. You never know when you might need to unbox something, but one thing you can be sure of is that the pocket clip will keep your blade secure at your side.
Natural Mast Humidifier
Humidifiers and scent diffusers are all the rage these days, but some people aren’t excited about all the chemicals found in artificial fragrances. Made from Japanese cypress wood, these lovely humidifiers from Masuza have a sleek and stylish design. Not only do they keep your air moist, but they also release a fresh, natural fragrance from the wood. The unique design and thinly sliced cypress allow the water to be diffused much quicker than a traditional diffuser. Handcrafted in Japan, these diffusers would make an excellent housewarming gift, or any other occasion.
Carddia Japanese Vocabulary for Beginners
The best way to experience the intricacies of Japanese culture is by discovering it firsthand. Don’t let your loved one spend their whole trip fiddling with dictionaries and translation apps, though – with the basics of the language down, they can spend less time lost and more time appreciating the community. Carddia flashcards are incredibly useful tools for a beginner Japanese speaker completely unfamiliar with the language, featuring common Kanji and Kana phrases on the front and the English translation on the back for full mastery of reading and speaking the words. 218 cards covering 10 important topics will provide your Japan lover with an impressive enough repertoire to get by as they immerse themselves in the country of their dreams.
KATSU Japanese Razor Folding Knife
A pocket knife is a classic gift, but alone is not one that screams Japan. However, one glance at the KATSU pocket knife will tell you that this is no ordinary blade; boasting complex Damascus steel and unique bamboo imagery, this blade incorporates an unmistakable Japanese flair into its design, creating a pocket knife as aesthetically pleasing as it is useful. The razor-sharp 3-inch blade is both strong and beautiful, the ideal reflection of your own loved one, and with an attached pocket clip on the handle, taking the KATSU on the go is a simple matter. Your loved one can embrace the strength and enduring nature of Japan with the immaculate stylings of this cool folding knife.
NIKKEN Oda Nobunaga sword Scissors
Your loved one might not be going off to battle each morning, but they’re still a powerful warrior in your eyes. And what gift is more worthy of a powerful fighter than the famous Samurai sword? Rest assured, the NIKKEN scissors aren’t really a sword: sheathed within this classic Japanese case lies a set of blades far more appropriate for the workspace. Featuring stainless steel blades etched with genuine Japanese characters, these lovely scissors elegantly encapsulate the look of the Samurai sword in a smaller, office-friendly form that is sure to amaze both your loved one and all of their co-workers alike.
Zoids Highend Master Model Kits
Japan might be most well recognized for its contributions to storytelling, especially in the form of manga and anime. If your Japanese lover grew up with a love for these traditional mediums of storytelling – in particular, the beloved anime “Zoids” – then no doubt they are familiar with the elaborate, detailed stories and characters these works inspire. Liger Zero perfectly demonstrates what makes anime and Japanese culture in general so beloved: an incredibly detailed and high-quality model of the beloved character, this Zoid is tough, exciting, and sure to thrill. “Zoids” fans will appreciate the attention to detail of its features and will enjoy spending hours piecing together this nostalgic, much-appreciated gift.
Flipbook: A Kitten's Way Of Greeting
A flipbook is a difficult medium to perfect, and no one brings the work to life quite like masterful Japanese illustrator Harumin Asao. Those with a love for all things kawaii will adore the journey of this gorgeous black cat Asao presents, watching with delight as he twists and twirls about the pages within. Simple, colorful designs and the clever use of visuals throughout the small flipbook ensure that you don’t need to speak Japanese to appreciate this heartfelt gift. Young and old alike can enjoy the incredible work captured within this tiny book and watch with glee as friends and family do the same.
Japan: The Cookbook
With such a long, unique history, it’s no surprise that the Japanese have adopted a number of incredible, incomparable dishes throughout the years. The Japan cookbook conveniently brings together 400 of the tastiest dishes from around the country, providing your loved one with recipes for soups, sweets, one-pots, and a number of other meals to accommodate every palate and diet. This affordable cookbook is an absolute bargain for the price, with every recipe receiving a thorough explanation and an Instagram-worthy photo to boot. Culinary friends will rejoice at the unique meal ideas contained within this handy book, as will your stomach when they offer to share their new favorite Japanese dishes! Just be sure you save room for dessert!
Katana Samurai Sword Shift Knob
Introduce a touch of Japanese style to every space in your loved one’s life – including the car! Since most of us have little functional use for a sword in our regular lives, this cool katana handle incorporates the iconic Japanese blade into your loved one’s daily commute by transforming their gear shift. A 6-inch, brass plated hilt, it is built, much like the original sword, for a secure, unwavering grip while still retaining the imagery and form of the classic katana, providing for a surprisingly authentic Samurai experience. Dealing with rush hour traffic can feel a bit like going to battle, so make sure your loved one is prepared to fight with their trusty gift blade in hand in any of 6 unique color options.
Kikkerland Samurai Umbrella
For those pedestrian warriors not so keen on taking the car, it’s still possible to embrace the Samurai feel without a genuine sword in hand. The gift Kikkerland umbrella mimics the handle and shape of the traditional Japanese blade, just without the sharp blade attached. Instead, this authentic katana handle is attached to a wide, 41-inch umbrella for those rainy-day walks to the office. Then, when the weather clears, your loved one can stash away their “weapon” in the included nylon scabbard, inspired by the scabbards of the warriors of yore. The Kikkerland umbrella is the ideal gift for the youthful Japan fanatic, combining work and play perfectly in this office-friendly ancient blade.
Onmitsu Black Spider-Man
We’re all familiar with city boy Peter Parker by now, but what if a more feudal hero were to be bit by a spider? This pitch Black Spiderman model, designed by the skilled sculptor Takeya Takeyuki, mixes modern Marvel Spiderman design with the unmistakable Japanese samurai armor that your loved one knows so well, creating a SpiderSamurai that foes should fear. With 4 interchangeable hands, Katanas, and webhooks equipped, Omnitsu Spider-Man is more than prepared to fight for his home and is sure to look good doing it – though, at only 8-inches tall, size is certainly not on this hero’s side!
The Original Sushi Stackers Kit
A delicacy forever intertwined with Japanese culture, sushi is a timeless treat every Japanophile can appreciate. Sharing a delectable dinner of fresh veggies and fish with family and friends doesn’t have to require an expensive trip to the nearest sushi bar, though – with the gift of a sushi tower, your loved one will be able to create culinary masterpieces of their own. Serve up sushi in 3 iconic shapes using this simple set of stainless steel stackers and introduce companions to the wonder of traditional Japanese flavors. For the host obsessed with fresh flavors and culturally appropriate cuisine, the stackers sets serve the ideal meal in only a matter of minutes.
Tokaido Board Game
A gift that brings family and friends together is always a gift worth giving. For the fan of all things Japan, Tokaido presents not only the opportunity to bond with loved ones, but also a glimpse of gorgeous Japanese imagery. Easy to learn and tough to master, everyone will be eager to replay Tokaido again and again as they develop their own strategies to succeed. This board game is suited for two to five players during each 45-minute session, allowing Tokaido to fit perfectly into the game night without anyone round dragging on. Featuring beautiful illustrations and addictive gameplay, your loved ones most appreciative of colorful Japanese stylings will rejoice after an evening playing Tokaido with their companions.
IUP OH! Sushi Game
If Jenga has started to feel tired and overdone, reincarnate game night with your local Japanese fanatic with this eastern reimagining of the old favorite! Instead of plain wooden blocks, IUP OH’s blocks are designed in the image of various flavors of sushi, adding a touch of playfulness to the familiar game. As an added challenge, the fun new game requires players to use the included pair of chopsticks to remove each block. Suitable for any Japanese lover ages 3 and older, it is a fantastic gift for anyone familiar with Jenga and eager to increase the challenge. But be warned: you might want to work on your hand-eye coordination before donning your chopsticks and digging into this emotive pile of sushi!
Megahouse Tuna Puzzle
Slicing up tuna for a savory sushi roll is one challenge, but is your Japanese lover prepared for the challenge of reconstructing this friendly fish? Though this PVC puzzle features only 33-pieces, rebuilding your fishy friend is no small feat thanks to the numerous similar pieces and the exacting cuts each boasts. Still, once they’ve put together this puzzling gift, your Japanophile is sure to have a greater appreciation for their favorite sushi filling. That being said, the Megahouse tuna puzzle isn’t suitable for consumption, so this fin-tastic Japanese gift is best suited for loved ones ages 15 and older.
Handicrafts Dhow Boat Sushi Tray
Any frequent host should know that the key to a memorable dinner party lies not only in the food, but also in the presentation. For those keen to serve traditional Japanese cuisine, the sushi tray boat delivers on both appearance and functionality. A wooden, brown boat standing at an incredible 27-inches long, this tiny boat tray includes more than enough room for an array of tasty sushi, soy sauce, and other accompanying treats. Handmade and vintage in style, it makes for a gorgeous rustic centerpiece at a celebration of the distant land of Japan and an incredible Japanese gift for those enraptured by this country’s undeniable charm.
Magnet Fridge Sticker Holders Ninja
Now that’s what they call a sharp-looking kitchen! The ninja star magnet stickers, designed after the well-known Japanese weapon, the ninja star, are sure to make a statement next time your loved one has company over. With the magnet located on the “embedded” point, each plastic magnet stickler appears to stick straight into the surface below as though thrown there in the midst of the last great battle. Each sticker set includes 5 magnets inside, perfect for holding notes, pictures, and all the home essentials a Japanese lover would want to show off.
Samurai Pet Armor for Cats & Dogs
Styled off the image of the Japanese Samurai, this handmade pet armor is a mighty get-up for your fluffy, soft-hearted pooch. Available in both red and black, and made from genuine leather, it is an impressive, quality costume for your impressive, quality dog that is sure to make him the star of the neighborhood. This unique dog costume only comes in size medium, so if you or a fellow Japan fan has a canine between 20-pounds and 40-kilograms, this is one iconic costume that you won’t want to miss. Give your pup the cool gear he needs to protect his home and guard his family – and look adorable the whole time!
The Japanese Warrior's [Unofficial] Manual
So you think you’d like to be a samurai? The life of the Japanese Samurai is fascinating and strange, but not beyond the comprehension of your friends and family. The Warrior’s Manual is a worthy Japanese gift for the scholarly academic with a passion for its history – and time to dig into an interesting, all-encompassing description of the life and customs of a Samurai. Through both images and thorough descriptions, the manual paints for the reader an image of the importance of honor in the life of the Samurai by detailing the practices and beliefs of this prestigious class of warriors. Your loved ones will be surprised by how much they didn’t know about this strict lifestyle, as well as by how enrapturing this handy manual proves to be.