If you’re planning a trip to Tokyo you’ll want to leave plenty of room in your suitcase for souvenirs. From city shopping across Tokyo’s various districts to traditional Kintsugi-repaired ceramics and even world-renowned Japanese knives, there’s easily another suitcase worth of goodies you’ll want to bring back with you!

In fact, Japan even has a unique souvenir gifting practice called omiyage. The word omiyage (お土産) refers to gifts or souvenirs that travelers bring back from their trips for friends, family, and colleagues. However, unlike personal souvenirs, omiyage are specifically meant to be shared with others and are considered a social obligation in Japan.

In this blog, we’ll take you through the top Tokyo must-buy souvenirs to get on your next trip to Japan, both for yourself and any omiyage for your friends & family back home.

  1. Snacks & Candies
  2. Traditional Crafts 
  3. Stationary 
  4. Beauty & Skincare
  5. Culinary Tools
  6. Daily Health & Wellness

1. Snacks & Candies

Omiyage are typically region-specific products, often food items, that represent the place visited. This allows people to share unique flavors and experiences from different areas of Japan and because of the lower price are easier to gift in bulk. They are also readily available in a wide variety for purchase at Don Quijote‘s throughout the city.

1) Kit Kats

In Japan, Kit Kats are more than just a candy bar; they’re a symbol of good luck! The name “Kit Kat” is pronounced similarly to the Japanese phrase “kitto katsu,” which means “you will surely win” or “you will certainly succeed”. This made Kit Kats extremely popular in Japan with numerous exclusive flavors you won’t find anywhere else. With over 300 varieties ranging from matcha green tea to unique regional specialties, many flavors are limited edition or region-specific, even making some flavors highly sought-after collector’s items.

2) Tokyo Banana

Tokyo Banana is a beloved representative dessert for Tokyo, and shops selling the treat can be easily found scattered across the city. This banana-shaped sponge cake filled with creamy banana custard has become an iconic representation of the city since its debut in 1991. Its delightful flavor, cute appearance, and clever packaging make it a perfect gift embodying Japanese attention to detail and quality.

3) Umaibo

 

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Umaibo makes an excellent souvenir from Tokyo due to its unique flavor and affordability. These cylindrical corn puffs come in a wide variety of flavors, including classic Japanese tastes like takoyaki and mentaiko, alongside more unusual options. Umaibo is also lightweight and easy to pack, making it ideal for travelers with limited luggage space.

2. Traditional Crafts

Traditional Japanese crafts are a meaningful way to share the rich cultural heritage and unique artistic expression of Japan. These crafts, which include items like kokeshi dolls, ukiyo-e woodblock prints, and lacquerware, are not only beautiful but also embody centuries of refined techniques and cultural significance. Each piece tells a story and offers a glimpse into Japan’s history and aesthetics, making each souvenir more than just a decorative item.

1) Kokeshi dolls

 

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These charming, hand-carved wooden dolls, characterized by their limbless bodies and vividly painted designs, have a history dating back to the Edo period (1603-1868). Each Kokeshi doll is unique, reflecting the distinct style of its maker and the region it originates from, making it a meaningful and personalized gift. Beyond their aesthetic appeal, Kokeshi dolls symbolize good luck, wishes for a bountiful harvest, and appreciation for traditional Japanese artistry. Their compact size and beautiful craftsmanship make them an ideal keepsake that captures the essence of Japanese culture and creativity.

2) Kintsugi Repaired Ceramics

Kintsugi is Japanese art of repairing broken pottery with gold-dusted lacquer. This centuries-old technique embodies the Japanese philosophy of ‘wabi-sabi’, which finds beauty in imperfection and transience. Kintsugi transforms otherwise discarded, broken ceramics into unique works of art, in which the golden seams become a celebrated part of the object’s history rather than something to hide.

As a souvenir, a kintsugi piece represents resilience, renewal, and the idea that flaws can enhance beauty. It serves as a powerful metaphor for embracing life’s challenges and emerging stronger. Whether it’s a small dish or a larger vase, a kintsugi repaired item is a perfect conversation piece that carries deep cultural significance and aesthetic appeal, making it an exceptional and thoughtful gift from Japan.

3) Ukiyo-e Woodblock Prints

Ukiyo-e woodblock prints make exceptional souvenirs from Tokyo because of their rich cultural significance and artistic value. These “pictures of the floating world” capture the essence of Edo-period Japan, depicting scenes from everyday life, landscapes, and popular entertainment of the time. They also represent a time-honored and honed method of printmaking that inspired many other artistic movements throughout history.

Check out these other traditional experiences in Tokyo:


3. Stationary

Japanese stationery is world-renowned for its exceptional quality, innovative design, and attention to detail, making it a special and highly sought-after souvenir. Well-known brands like Midori, Pilot, and Muji all originated in Japan and offer products that are not only functional but also beautifully designed, often incorporating traditional Japanese motifs and modern minimalism. Japanese stationery is also well known for incorporating a unique touch of whimsy into otherwise purely functional items like calendars, stamps, to-do lists, and more.

1) High-quality Pens & Notebooks

 

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Buying pens and notebooks as souvenirs from Tokyo is a delightful way to bring home a piece of Japan’s renowned stationery culture. Japanese pens and notebooks are celebrated for their exceptional quality, innovative design, and meticulous craftsmanship. Stores like Kakimori in Tokyo allow you to customize your own notebooks, selecting covers, paper types, and bindings, making each item a personalized & practical keepsake.

2) Washi tape & Decorative Stamps

 

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Washi tape, made from traditional Japanese paper, comes in a myriad of beautiful designs, ranging from traditional patterns to modern, whimsical themes. It’s perfect for decorating planners, scrapbooks, and gifts, adding a touch of Japanese artistry to everyday items. Stamps, often featuring iconic Japanese motifs such as cherry blossoms, Mount Fuji, or traditional characters, are equally delightful and versatile. They can be used to personalize letters, cards, and crafts, making them thoughtful and creative gifts. Both washi tape and stamps are lightweight and easy to pack, making them convenient souvenirs that capture the essence of Japanese design and craftsmanship. Check out LOFT stores across Tokyo to find the perfect souvenir from your next trip!


4. Beauty & Skincare

Japanese beauty products are special due to their unique blend of tradition, innovation, and meticulous attention to detail. Rooted in centuries-old practices, Japanese beauty emphasizes natural ingredients known for their effectiveness and gentleness on the skin. Additionally, Japanese beauty products are designed with a minimalist yet effective approach, often combining skincare and cosmetics to prevent issues rather than just treating them. This philosophy, coupled with the elegant packaging and the cultural emphasis on aesthetics, makes Japanese beauty products highly desirable and thoughtful souvenirs.

1) Skincare (Shiseido, Shu Uemura, SK – II)

Purchasing skincare products from renowned Japanese brands like Shiseido, Shu Uemura, and SK-II as souvenirs from Tokyo is an excellent way to bring home a piece of Japan. Find Japan-only exclusives and sometimes even better deals from these globally-recognized brands on your next trip!

2) Hair (Fino, &Honey)

Japanese hair care products like Fino and &Honey make excellent souvenirs from Tokyo thanks to their exceptional quality and affordable price. These brands have gained international recognition for their ability to transform hair, leaving it soft & silky. Fino’s Premium Touch Hair Mask, has become a cult favorite for its intensive nourishing properties, while &Honey’s products are loved for their honey-infused formulas and elegant packaging.


5. Culinary Tools

Japanese culinary tools are renowned for their exceptional craftsmanship, functionality, and aesthetic appeal. These tools reflect centuries of tradition and refinement in Japanese cuisine, combining practicality with artistry. With this unique blend of form & function and world-renowned quality, Japanese kitchen tools make the perfect practical souvenir.

1) Ramen Chopsticks

 

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Ramen chopsticks are typically longer and have a more pointed & textured tip compared to regular chopsticks, making them perfect for enjoying ramen and other noodle dishes. Specialty stores like Ginza Natsuno, offer high-quality ramen chopsticks in various materials and designs: from simple wooden ones to more elaborate lacquered versions. Gifting these chopsticks allows friends and family to recreate a bit of the Tokyo ramen experience at home, making them both a thoughtful and practical souvenir that celebrates Japanese cuisine.

2) Japanese Knives

Japanese knives, including the Gyuto (chef’s knife), Santoku (all-purpose knife), and Petty (utility knife), captivate culinary enthusiasts worldwide with their exceptional sharpness, balance, and durability. Skilled artisans handcraft these knives using traditional techniques refined over centuries, creating tools that blend functionality with beauty. Additionally, the high-quality steel and meticulous attention to detail ensure a superior cutting experience and longer-lasting edge. When you purchase these knives in Tokyo, you often gain access to exclusive designs and can have them custom-engraved.

3) Matcha Brewing Tools

 

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Matcha, a finely ground green tea powder, holds significant cultural importance in Japan and is central to the traditional tea ceremony. However, you can’t enjoy matcha properly without using the right tools to brew it. In fact, many believe that the quality of your matcha depends more on the quality of your tools than the tea itself. Purchasing a high-quality matcha tool set, which typically includes a bamboo whisk (chasen), a tea scoop (chashaku), and a ceramic tea bowl (chawan), is therefore essential. By buying your set in Tokyo, you can often find authentic, handcrafted items from respected tea houses or artisans, ensuring superior quality and authenticity. Moreover, a matcha set not only serves as a beautiful decorative piece but also allows you to recreate the serene Japanese tea experience at home, providing a unique reminder of your travels and a way to share Japanese culture with friends and family.


Check out these culinary experiences in Tokyo:


6. Daily Health & Wellness Products

Japan offers a wide range of products designed to relieve your daily woes. From innovative ways to beat the summer heat, to mosquito patches & more, you can easily pick them up at your local drugstore, konbini or Don Quijote.

1) Ice-Non Shirt Mist

Look no further for a secret weapon against the heat this summer – This handy spray is like an ice block in a bottle! Simply spray the outside of your clothes 2-3 times to relieve mugginess and cut the heat.

2) Apanman Mosquito Patches

 

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These mosquito-repellent patches feature the beloved Japanese cartoon character Anpanman, making them ideal for families. Not to mention the convenience! By just applying one patch to the skin or clothing you can effectively repel mosquitos & more for your next adventure or picnic.

3) PAIR Acne Cream

 

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One of Japan’s recent viral products, PAIR acne cream is a must-grab from the Tokyo pharmacy. Formulated with Japanese skincare expertise, the cream is designed to be gentle on the skin while still being effective against acne and suitable for regular use. Many users also report seeing results quickly, with improvements in their acne within a few days of starting treatment.


Try these other activities and tours in Tokyo:

Looking for more day trips outside of Tokyo? Check out these great options from Trazy:


To discover more of the best things to do in Japan, visit Trazy.comYour Travel Shop for Asia!

 

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