If you aren’t particularly familiar with Japanese culture, it might seem challenging to find authentic Japanese gifts to impress the Japanophiles on your shopping list. But don’t fret just yet! We’ve created a unique collection of 50 Japanese gift ideas guaranteed to make this the best Christmas, birthday, or housewarming yet.
Whether you’re looking for cool DIY food kits or funny novelty gifts (or a combination of both— sushi socks, anyone?), we’ve got you covered with options ranging from traditional to kawaii (cute)! So sit back, relax with a zen garden, enjoy a cup of delicious matcha and check out this curated list of authentic Japanese gift ideas.
50 Authentic Japanese Gift Ideas
If you’re shopping for someone that loves Japan and its unique culture, then you’ve come to the right place!
Zen Garden with Boat Bridge
You could give a gift that helps the recipient relax and unwind, like this peace-promoting zen garden. They can arrange all the included parts to create a unique landscape to suit their individual tastes. This zen garden would make a lovely addition to the living room or office decor, and you can choose from 11 options with different objects.
Japanese Style Cast Iron Teapot with 4 Tea Cups
Are you in need of Japanese gift ideas for a classy woman? You can never go wrong with a beautiful tea set. This one includes a gorgeous cast iron teapot, trivet, and four matching teacups. It truly is a beautiful statement piece any Japanophiles are sure to love.
Hada Labo Tokyo Skin Plumping Gel Cream
Japanese skincare brands are a reason in themselves to be obsessed with Japan. If you know some women or men that ditched K-beauty for J-beauty, then they’re sure to love this incredibly hydrating gel cream from Hada Labo Tokyo. It is formulated with three types of Hyaluronic Acid to help plump skin and reduce fine lines and wrinkles.
Japanese Traditional Rabbit Moon Bento Box Set
Does your friend keep commenting on Facebook videos of people preparing bento box lunches? Okay, same, because they manage to make everything look almost too cute to eat. Surprise your bento fanatic pal with their very own adorable set! It includes two containers, chopsticks, and a cute little bag to carry it all in!
8 Piece Japanese Cherry Blossom Dinnerware Set
Japanese cherry blossoms are iconic foliage and the national flower of Japan. Their beauty takes on a muted, understated aesthetic in this gorgeous dinnerware set. It might finally be time for your sister, cousin, or old college pal to retire that mismatched set of their mom’s hand-me-down plates and embrace some *fancy*. If you’re looking for Japanese gift ideas for a new couple or as a housewarming gift, we think this dinnerware set is just the ticket.
Japanese Sake Set Bottle And Two Cups
If your favorite Japan fans are more interested in drinking than eating, this sake set could be a very cool gift for them. This is an authentic collection of two cups, called “Ochoko,” and a sake bottle, called “Tokkuri.” You can choose between two different designs, a classic girl in a kimono or a more erotic alternative. Considering it comes with two cups, we think these could be a great Japanese gift for a couple or just a couple of sake enthusiasts.
Japanese Karuta Game Ogura Hyakunin Issyu
This game is not meant for casual Japanophiles because you have to read and understand Japanese to play! This traditional and authentic game is based on Ogura Hyakunin Isshu, an incredible anthology of 100 poems. Players listen to the poems being read aloud and try to match them to the coordinating card. This set includes a CD with the poems read in random order, making it easier for individuals or couples to play the game.
Coloring Book Japan Edition
Coloring books came back with a vengeance a few years ago, this time hitting the adult market thanks to their relaxing properties. This coloring book features fantastical scenes of animals, nature, and landscapes across 67 pages. Pick up the coloring book along with a set of colored pencils, and the recipient will be ready to get lost in this beautiful fantasy world!
Japanese Style Donabe Rice Cooker
It’s dinner time, and when that generic rice cooker just won’t do, it’s time to branch out with one of these Donabe rice cookers. It is an authentic clay pot used in Japan for centuries to make fluffy rice and traditional stews. This pot would make an excellent Japanese gift for an individual or couple… primarily because it only creates enough food to serve one or two people.
Japanese Kimono Fabric Cosmetic Goldfish Small Purse
This cute coin pouch would make an excellent gift for any woman that wants to show her appreciation for Japanese culture with a casual, everyday accessory. This small coin purse is a fun, whimsical, yet helpful choice for storing loose change, jewelry, and other trinkets. You could even use the bag as a lovely way to wrap another present like a necklace or another fun novelty good.
Bachan's - The Original Japanese Barbecue Sauce
“Yakiniku,” often just referred to as Japanese barbeque, is undoubtedly delicious and popular worldwide. However, finding authentic, high-quality Japanese barbeque sauce could be challenging outside of Japan. If your friend has been craving yakiniku since their last trip to Japan, indulge them with a two-pack of this delectable and authentic sauce, made with a generations-old family recipe in small batches.
Composition Notebook, Japanese Cartoons Printed Cover
Note-taking just got significantly cuter thanks to this Japanese cartoon printed composition notebook. If you’re back to school shopping for a Japanese culture fan, they are sure to enjoy this fun notebook. We’re not sure if anything can really make notetaking fun, but this will at least make it aesthetically pleasing.
Japan - Culture Smart! The Essential Guide to Customs & Culture
If you know someone that is interested in traveling to Japan or enjoys parts of the culture, this book could help them learn more about specific customs they might not have encountered on social media! This book is available in Kindle, audiobook, and paperback forms for however they like to read and learn best.
Bokksu - Authentic Japanese Snack & Candy Subscription: Classic Box
Bokksu partners with multiple family-run candy and food makers in Japan for exclusive collections of absolutely delectable treats, all packaged together in awesome monthly subscription boxes. This subscription is one of our favorite Japanese gift ideas for someone that needs a consistent hookup to delicious Japanese food and snacks!
We highlighted the Bokksu subscription snack boxes in a previous article about the best gifts for gay men because they’re an incredible LGBTQIA+-owned business! But of course, we had to mention them again here because they have an astonishing hookup to authentic Japanese snacks and treats.
Variety of Japanese Omamori - Japanese Good Luck Charms
These cute trinkets aren’t just for show; they’re also authentic Japanese good luck charms! You could pick one of these for all of your friends and loved ones, and choose specific charms to reflect their particular needs, such as “good luck in any exam” for students, “traffic safety” for new drivers, “health- fight sickness” for someone that is ill, and plenty more. With so many options to choose from, there is the perfect good luck charm for everyone on your shopping list!
Japanese Ramen Udon Noodle Bowl with Chopsticks Gift Set
Japanese food lovers rejoice; we’ve found a gorgeous gift set made for you guys! If your boyfriend, best friend, or college pal could live entirely off of ramen, then you might want to give them this beautiful bowl and chopsticks gift set. You can choose from 12 unique designs to match the recipient’s style.
Japanese Flash Cards
Do you know someone that wants to watch their favorite anime without subtitles? Or are they planning their dream vacation to Tokyo and want to pick up some helpful phrases? This set of flashcards could help them learn some of the basics of speaking Japanese for their next trip across the Pacific. This portable set includes 60 essential phrases to help them get started mastering a new language.
Enso Knife Set
Japanese Enso knives are known for their superior sharpness, durability, comfort, and precision— qualities that any hobby or professional chef is sure to appreciate. Not to mention, these are made with gorgeous hammered Damascus for an eye-catching design. This seven-piece set would be a welcome addition to any Japanese food lover’s kitchen.
Bento for Beginners
Did you give someone those bento boxes listed above, but now they have no idea what to fill them with? This bento cookbook has loads of easy ideas and inspiration for creative bento lunches. It is available in Kindle, paperback, and even spiral bound options for however they prefer to read and learn!
Makeup Brushes Sets
Japanese beauty brands are top-notch, and these makeup brushes from Hakuhodo are no exception. While they are a bit on the expensive side, your J-beauty obsessed friends will notice the difference when they use these high-quality brushes. These beauty tools could be an excellent Christmas or birthday present for women (or anyone else) that loves to experiment with makeup and look fierce.
Folding Hand Fans for Women
Whether the recipient uses them to cool down on a hot day or to add Japanese-themed decor to their home, these fans are a beautiful Japanese gift for any Japanophiles. They are available as sets of two and come in three unique print options.
Delamu Sushi Making Kit
We’ve found the perfect Japanese gift for an avid sushi lover, this 20 in one sushi bazooka roller kit. Gone are the days of paying $20+ for a spider roll; now, sushi lovers can make their favorite foods from the comfort of their homes. This set has everything they need to become a sushi rolling master and create various types like Temaki sushi, Nigiri sushi, Gunkan, and more!
Japanese Matcha Tea Set
Although matcha just recently started gaining popularity in the western world, it has a rich and long history in Japan. Japanese matcha has been part of the culture for centuries, and this tea set helps to hint at the ceremonial significance. This authentic matcha tea set could be a great Japanese gift for someone that loves the beverage and the culture surrounding it.
Premium Japanese Ceremonial Grade Matcha Green Tea Powder
No matcha tea set is complete without a delicious tea! We’ve found the perfect match-a for their new beautiful tea set, this authentic matcha powder harvested and produced in Okabe, Shizuoka, Japan. This powder can be used in traditional ceremonies or even added into baked goods or smoothies for a “superfood” boost.
Usaburo Japanese Kokeshi Doll - Kimiko's Brown Kimono
Kokeshi dolls are traditional wooden figurines with origins in the Tohoku region of Japan, which was hit hard by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami. These dolls were traditionally children’s toys but have also become popular collector’s items in recent years. This one features a girl in a beautiful kimono decorated with an exquisite cherry blossom design. This doll is a thoughtful Japanese gift for someone that enjoys collecting authentic novelty goods and trinkets from Japan.
Noren Ukiyoe “The Great Wave off Kanagawa” Curtain
Noren are traditional Japanese curtains or fabric dividers. They were originally hung between rooms, over windows, and other areas to shield the home from dust. While most western homes have wooden doors between rooms, these curtains could still make beautiful decor hung on a wall or used in dividing space in a studio-style apartment. This one in particular features the famous print, The Great Wave off Kanagawa, by Japanese artist Hokusai, first created back in the 1800s. This curtain is one of our favorite authentic Japanese gift ideas from the list, and we’re sure the recipient will love it just as much!
Cherry Blossom Decor String Lights
Add a sweet element to any Japanophile’s home decor with these beautiful cherry blossom string lights. This gift set includes a two-pack of string lights, each measuring 10 feet long. These would be a beautiful Japanese-themed gift for women, girls, or anyone who wishes to experience Japan’s actual cherry blossom festivals.
Orient 'Bambino Version IV' Japanese Automatic Dress Watch
If you’re shopping for someone more interested in Japanese high-end brands than cute trinkets, then this sleek watch could be an excellent pick. Orient watches combine elite Japanese craftsmanship with everyday wearability and style, creating a timeless piece that looks just as fashionable with jeans as it does with a three-piece suit. Get this watch for anyone that loves sophisticated style and quality designs.
Traditional Furoshiki Cloth
Make your wrapping part of the gift with this set of traditional Furoshiki cloth. These beautiful pieces of fabric are traditionally used for wrapping goods, and there are nearly endless ways to tie them. Users can transform the material into a shopping bag for groceries, wrap a present elegantly, or carry their bento in style.
Sushi Lover Throw Blanket
If your sushi-loving friend, brother, or mom can’t quite figure out how to make their own rolls, they could at least roll themselves up in this sushi-themed blanket. This cozy throw will look fantastic, casually draped on any Japanese foodie’s couch or rolled on on their bed.
Traditional Japanese Ai-e (Ukiyo-e) Indigo Patterns Porcelain Plates
We’re not quite sure if we want to eat off these plates or hang them elegantly on a wall. Thankfully, those are both wonderful options for the recipient to decide between! This set includes five porcelain plates, each with unique indigo patterns. These deeper dishes are a happy medium between a plate and bowl, making them an excellent choice for saucy dishes like pasta or curries.
Sake Kasu Soap
Sake kasu is fermented rice mash leftover from the sake brewing process. Now, you might be wondering, why would anyone want to wash their hands with fermented rice? Sake kasu is chock full of nutrients and enzymes thought to support a healthy skin microbiome (the collection of microscopic organisms that live on the skin). It is a common ingredient in Japanese skincare products and is an excellent complement to moisturizing goat milk.
This beautiful bar of flower-shaped soap is pretty enough to give as a gift and energizing enough for your skin that you might want to pick one up for yourself as well.
Japanese Indigo Shibori Dye Table Runner
Shibori is the traditional art of dyeing fabric and is often associated with indigo dyes. This centuries-old art form is used to create an array of gorgeous textiles in beautiful blue hues, like this eye-catching table runner. This table runner would be an excellent home decor piece for those interested in authentic Japanese art and culture.
Swimming Koi Sculptures
You don’t need a water feature to capture the unique aesthetic of a Japanese koi pond. If you know someone that loves Japanese architecture and landscaping but doesn’t necessarily have the space or time for a backyard overhaul, consider giving them some of these eye-catching koi sculptures. They’re available in either deep blue or fiery red/orange and come in small, medium, and large sizes.
Women's Charmeuse Kimono Robe
This gorgeous kimono is a perfect choice for anyone that wants to relax and unwind in a luxurious silky robe. These kimonos come in a long, floor-length design and are available in 29 different original prints.
Japanese Miso & Rice Bowl Set
These bowls are handmade in Japan with rustic-inspired glazes for a unique and authentic take on dishware. They come in a set of six bold bowls perfect for serving rice, miso soup, desserts, and so much more. These bowls would be a great Japanese gift for anyone that enjoys making (and eating) Japanese food!
Spirited Away No Face Man Automatic Coin Piggy Bank
Any Studio Ghibli fan will adore this Spirited Away piggy bank featuring the ravenously hungry No Face Man. Just like in the film, this funny No Face Man piggy bank is ready to consume anything you have to offer him! Once his plate is heavy enough with loose change, he automatically lifts the plate and consumes the coins. This novelty piggy bank would be a cute and useful trinket for any anime fan.
Little Dumpling Booties
If you’re looking for the cutest baby gift of all time, we think these might be it. These handmade wool booties transform the cutest little feet into the cutest little dumplings, but unfortunately, you can’t eat these up. These would make an adorable baby shower gift for anyone, but especially for a couple or expectant parent who enjoys Japanese food.
The Unofficial Studio Ghibli Cookbook
We can’t be the only ones that get mouth-watering hungry watching the delicious creations our favorite anime characters eat, right? Suppose you know someone that is just as obsessed with the scrumptious-looking animated food as they are with the Studio Ghibli films themselves. In that case, you have to give them this Unofficial Studio Ghibli Cookbook. We suggest gifting this as a Christmas or birthday present to someone you live with, so you can enjoy some of the anime-inspired delicacies!
Origami Menagerie Necklaces
If you have a friend, mom, or significant other that loves the look of origami but isn’t exactly the creative type, they can still enjoy the beauty with one of these origami style necklaces! They come in different animals like penguins, cats, elephants, and more, all crafted from sterling silver. This necklace is one of our favorite Japanese gift ideas for people that love unique accessories. You might even consider packaging it in the Japanese kimono fabric goldfish bag listed previously for an extra dose of Japanese-themed goods.
Sushi Socks Gift Box
We will be picking up a pack of these sushi socks for all our friends that are diehard Japanese food lovers. The unique and super cute packaging is absolutely enough reason to buy these, but don’t worry, the socks are also adorably patterned and fun. These are a fabulous gift for any sushi lover (or yourself, you deserve a treat too).
Owl Soup Bowl
These owl soup bowls are an absolute hoot! They are an extremely cute way for your favorite Japanese food fan to enjoy their ramen, miso soup, udon, and much more. It even has a space for the included chopsticks to rest when not in use. You can choose from two different designs, a snowy white owl or a sweet orange one.
Japanese Candy Box Assortment Snacks
Are you looking for a fun and easy treat to put in a Japanohile’s bento box lunch? Look no further than this 32-pack of assorted Japanese candies. This variety pack has everything a true connoisseur of Japanese candy desires, from the unique to the borderline weird (but still delicious). This assortment would also make great Christmas stocking stuffers or fun birthday treats!
DIY Mochi Ice Cream Kit
Mochi made it to the western world and is now taking over the dessert aisle with its unique flavor and texture. This DIY kit helps users create authentic and delicious mochi ice cream. It comes with everything they need to make up to 32 pieces, except for the ice cream, which understandably doesn’t ship very well. Grab this DIY kit for a Japanese foodie, and then maybe offer your services to help them try the equipment. That way, you get to taste their delicious creations!
Kawaii School Supplies
Before this stationery set, we never thought school supplies could be so darn cute! This Kawaii school supply set includes stickers, sticky notes, bookmarks, gel pens, and more to make note-taking potentially enjoyable. These stationery supplies would make an excellent birthday or Christmas present for women or girls (or anyone else, for that matter) that enjoys Japanese Kawaii culture.
Warrior’s Dreams Canvas Wall Art
This fearsome samurai is ready to defend his territory, or at least the recipient’s wall! This canvas print comes in a hanging scroll format that is ready to make a statement in any home. The bold gold and black print could match a wide variety of decor and summon the strong samurai spirit of the recipient.
Japanese Kawaii Large Heart Bag
This bag might be the dictionary definition of kawaii. This purse is absolutely one of our top Japanese gift ideas for those fascinated by Kawaii culture. The bag has a main pocket perfect for a laptop, clothes, or school supplies, an outer zippered pocket, and a transparent heart-shaped pocket great for showing off kawaii pins, stickers, or other accessories. Add the kawaii school supplies listed above, and you have a tremendous Japanese-themed gift!
Ramune Japanese Soda Variety Pack
Here is another option for anyone missing these popular Japanese sodas from their time abroad or anyone from Japan that moved abroad. This five-pack includes various fun, fruity flavors—original, blueberry, orange, strawberry, and melon—all packaged in Ramune’s signature glass bottles. Cheers to drinks that make you homesick or trying new international treats!
Frying Pan - Howl's Moving Castle
Calcifer finally made the jump from Howl’s hearth to this frying pan! Well, where else did you expect a fire demon to go? This novelty iron frying pan allows the user to create pancakes imprinted with Calcifer, or as we will now call them, Calcifer-cakes. This pan would be a fun Japanese gift for anyone that is a fan of food and anime. You could even pair it with The Unofficial Studio Ghibli Cookbook to continue the theme.
Sake Making Kit
This sake-making kit might be the gift set you were looking for when you clicked on this article, in which case we’re so sorry we left it for the final item (save the best for last, right?). This DIY kit helps users brew up a gallon of their favorite Japanese beverage. Pair it with the sake bottle and cup set earlier on this list for a Japanese-themed gift that will also help get the party started.
Japanese Gift FAQs
What are Traditional Japanese Gifts?
Japanese culture has elevated gift-giving to almost an art form, and there are multiple different types of presents one is expected to give (and receive) in Japan. Omiyage are souvenirs or trinkets that you give to close friends, family, and co-workers after going on a trip somewhere. They are generally unique local consumables or trinkets from the region you visited.
Additionally, there are three different types of “thank you” gifts people give in Japan—okaeshi, ochugen, and oseibo. Okaeshi presents are part of a culture of reciprocal gift-giving and are provided as a thank you for a gift you received. Some common and popular items could be alcohol, sweet treats, or hand towels. The value of your okaeshi gift is generally about half the value of the gift you received. The latter two—ochugen and oseibo— are given as a thank you to anyone you feel has helped you, such as parents, a close teacher, a boss, or other family members. Ochugen gifts are given halfway through the year, and oseibo are given at the end of the year. Appropriate items are generally helpful things such as kitchen or pantry supplies like cooking oil, soy sauce, and other nicely packaged gift sets that are readily available at stores in Japan.
What Should I Get for My Friend’s Birthday In Japan?
Typically, only immediate family members, significant others, or very close friends will give the birthday person a gift to celebrate their day. Instead of a present, friends might treat them to a meal at a restaurant, including a birthday cake or dessert. Unless you’re incredibly close, there is no need to splurge on an expensive gift for your friend’s birthday.
What is a Traditional Japanese Christmas Gift?
Exchanging Christmas gifts is another newer custom in Japan, probably from the influence of western culture and media. However, unlike western cultures, Japanese people don’t have the same expectation for heartfelt or meaningful Christmas gifts. Useful things like kitchen supplies or cold weather gear like hats and scarves are perfectly acceptable Christmas gifts in Japan.
What Can You Not Give As a Gift In Japan?
White flowers of any kind are associated with funerals, so it is generally best to avoid giving those as a gift in Japan. Speaking of plants, there is also a superstition that potted plants promote sickness, so if you want to provide flowers, definitely avoid potted ones. Additionally, the numbers four and nine are considered unlucky, so it’s best to give gifts in other amounts.