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The seventh (and eighth) of my images of Japan collection October 3, 2006

Posted by urbanblue in Images of Japan.

Souvenirs. Ah, it’s always tricky to know what to buy when you’re on your hols. Here in the land of the rising sun, you won’t find any sticks of rock, sombreros, wicker donkeys or “My friend went to Japan and all he got was this lousy T-shirt” T-shirts. So to prevent any further angst as to what you can get, in an unprecedented act of kindness, I have provided not one but two pictures in today’s “images of Japan” collection.

The first one is a picture of traditional Japanese dolls, or “ningyo“. Admittedly these are not to everyone’s taste (you certainly won’t find any in my tastefully decorated abode), but they are a popular gift. Different regions have different kinds of dolls, you’ll find something very different if you were to go looking in Kyoto or Fukuoka for example. But the most popular Japanese “omiyage” (souvenir) is sweets, featured in the second picture. Japanese sweets tend to be made with ingredients that most westerners would associate with savoury dishes, i.e. red beans, pulped rice, sweet potatoes, green tea etc. As such, they again may not be to everyone’s taste. But certainly worth a try. If in doubt, stick to “sembe” (rice crackers). Everyone loves them.

Other suggestions would be “washi” (traditional Japanese paper), “geta” (wooden clog-like sandals), “sensu” (traditional hand-held fans), “o-hashi” (chopsticks), “shikki” (lacquerware) or “yukata” (light summer kimonos for men and women – don’t expect to get a full traditional kimono unless you’re willing to pay literally the price of a small car).

Or a good old postcard.

Japanese dollsJapanese Sweets



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