We hope everyone is enjoying their holiday season. Christmas is a very large holiday in Japan so as the gift giving season ramps up, we wanted to share with you some authentic Japanese gifts ideas. There's something for everyone here! Oh, and メリークリスマス(Merry Christmas) is how you say Merry Christmas in Japanese.
Handmade Japanese Candles
Sasquatchfabrix, a boutique Japanese lifestyle brand, has handmade these candles from high quality ingredients sourced from Fukuoka. They were specially made by craftswomen using traditional crafting techniques and come in 3 scents: lotus, apricot, and conifer leaves. They can be bought directly from Sasquatchfabrix.
Blue Blue Japan Apparel
Blue Blue Japan makes some of the best indigo color and denim clothing in Japan. Opened in Kobe in 1990, they are a boutique store deeply rooted in traditional Japanese culture and techniques; all of their clothes are hand stitched, hand dyed with natural indigo plant, hand woven, and use the best natural fibers. You can learn more about the traditional Japanese indigo dyeing technique here. What you get is extremely high quality garments embodied with the essence of Japanese culture: wabi-sabi. Buy a few of their products from Unionmade.
Kimonos are traditional Japanese silk woven garments worn by women. Nowadays kimonos are only worn on special occasions, but many people have repurposed them to fit their daily lives. Kimono scarfs are made using traditional techniques and are a very fashionable way to stay warm during the cold winter months. Be sure to wow your family and friends with these Kimono scarfs from Kyotoya.
It's well known that Japanese kitchen knives are some of the best in the world. Forged using ancient techniques passed on from the sword making days, there is no better tool in the kitchen than a high quality Japanese knife. For all the cooks out there, these traditional Japanese knives from Korin are unlike anything you have ever used. They can be purchased directly from Korin.
For the Coffee Lovers
These gifts are sure to please all the coffee lovers out there. The Japanese company Hario makes high quality pour over coffee equipment that's popular with millions of professional baristas worldwide. With the Hario V60 Drip Kettle and Skerton Coffee grinder, you can be on your way to make a great cup of coffee. Iki Japan offers free shipping on your purchases and is cheaper than Amazon.
For the Tea Lovers
I haven't forgotten about you tea lovers. Japan, after all is the land of the best green tea. First step to making a great cup of tea, is getting the right kind of tea pot. This traditional steel Japanese tea pot by Iwachu is perfect for brewing and serving your tea, since it'll keep the tea warmer for a longer period of time. Iwachu has been making cast iron pots for over 100 years and praised by everyone in Japan for its craftsmanship. You can get a hold of one at Iki Japan.
Japanese Green Tea Box Set
Kyota and Shizuoka are the two areas of Japan that make the best green tea. This two-piece box set makes the perfect gift, as it includes premium loose green tea leaves from Shizuoka. You can get this box set directly from Japan via Japan Square.
Furoshiki is a Japanese traditional wrapping cloth. If you've ever received a Japanese gift, you know how beautifully wrapped it is. With a furoshiki you can not only use it as a gift wrapper, but as a carrier bag. For example you can carry wine bottles, watermelons or any other kind of fruit, as well as bonsai and other plants, books, bento boxes, food and so on. Furoshiki are so beautiful and versatile you can even use it as a tablecloth, wall decoration or a scarf. Grab your own furoshiki from Japanstore.jp.
Snack Gift Set
This Japanese snack set is sure to satisfy anyone interested in Japanese culture. It's beautifully wrapped in Japanese furoshiki and includes a variety of rice crackers (Okaki) as well as a pack of premium green tea. The Furoshiki wrapping fabric is reusable and can be used for a variety of things, from wrapping gifts and bento boxes, to using it as a decorative wall hanging cloth or table cloth. Best of all, it's free international shipping and is available via Hibiki-An.
Traditional Cedar Magewappa
For over 400 years, the city of Odate has been making high quality cedar wood boxes called Magewappa. The cold winters in this area make the cedars especially strong and beautiful. Magewappas are prized in Japan for their light-weight, good insulation, anti-bacterial properties, durability and the cedar aroma. Whether to bring Japanese culture into your life, to be eco-friendly, or to just keep the cedar aroma right beside you, you can own your own Magewappa by visiting Nagomi Ichiban online.
For the Foodies
Now you can make your own Japanese pickles and grated wasabi! Don't rely on the instant packages of pickles high in preservatives or dry powdered wasabi use in most restaurants. With this Japanese pickle press, and book on "The Art of Fermentation" you can easily make your own delicious pickles! And with this handmade copper grater specifically made for Japanese food, along with "Sushi: The Beginner's Guide", you can become a master sushi-chef too!
For the Hungry
Ready for the cold winter? Warm yourself by making a hot bowl of authentic Japanese udon with this high quality DIY udon set from Tsurutontan. With 12 restaurants, Tsurutontan is one of Japan’s most famous udon shops. Now you can enjoy their udon from the comfort of your own house. Get it from MadeIn.
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Nagano is not often spoken of as a primary tourist destination in Japan. But a couple of notable claims-to-fame make Nagano a very interesting place to visit indeed.