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Must-buy souvenirs on your next trip to Japan

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Must-buy souvenirs on your next trip to Japan

Japan has a wealth of cute and quirky items to buy as a reminder of your trip, or as a gift for friends and family. Here are three items that should be on any tourist's shopping list

Claire

Claire

Published on 06 Sep, 12:00

One of the highlights of any vacation to a new place is the opportunity to buy exciting souvenirs, whether for your friends, family and co-workers back home or for yourself as a memento of your visit.

Of course, Japan is no different in that regard and if you take some time out from sightseeing to do a little shopping you are bound to find some interesting and unexpected items. In fact, with such a wide range of options to choose from, it can be hard to decide what should get a space in your suitcase.

So allow me to help you narrow down the range of options by recommending some must-buy items for your next trip to Japan.

1. Decorative drinks

Japan loves to decorate for the different seasons and this extends to its food and drink products too. Companies such as Coca-Cola have released commemorative Coke bottles for different prefectures or to mark special occasions like the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

And beer companies have gotten in on the act too, with decorative drink cans for different times of the year, such as cherry blossom or sakura season. The drinks taste the same all year round of course but I feel that the cute can add to the drinking experience - as well as being great for posing for photos with!

Must-buy souvenirs on your next trip to Japan

Just remember to follow the rules on the alcohol drinking age and drink responsibly!

2. Gachapon

You may not be familiar with the word gachapon - or gacha for short - before you visit Japan but, believe me, you will know all about it by the time you leave!

Gachapon are little machines that dispense a small toy inside a plastic egg, and they can be found all over Japan, from inside train stations and electronics stores to even just on the side of the street.

They usually cost ¥300 to play, or sometimes up to ¥500 for more premium machines, with the prize being a random selection of up to six different designs of a toy.
A gachapon machine in Tokyo selling Super Mario toys - in this case, decorative bottle cap toppers.
A gachapon machine in Tokyo selling Super Mario toys - in this case, decorative bottle cap toppers.

Because the prize you win is completely at random, you can imagine that die-hard fans will want to try the machine again and again in order to get their favorite design or to complete the full set.

The gacha machine prizes change regularly with a wide variety of toys that will appeal to anyone. They are also so cheap and small in size that they make for a really great and easy souvenir.

3. Flavored KitKats

Think of chocolate in Japan and one name comes to mind - KitKat. Even though this chocolate bar is known all around the world, it has become linked with Japan thanks to the wide variety of flavors that are available only in this country.

Matcha green tea is a regular fan favorite, and wasabi is fun for a more unusual taste experience.

Flavored KitKats on sale at a supermarket in Japan. These share-size bags make for great souvenirs.
Flavored KitKats on sale at a supermarket in Japan. These share-size bags make for great souvenirs.

But for me, newer flavors like salted caramel and chocolate orange are the most delicious. These can be bought quite cheaply in large share-size bags with individually wrapped bars inside, which makes them great for sharing with family and friends back home.

Salted caramel flavored KitKats were one of the most delicious new flavors released in Japan recently.
Salted caramel flavored KitKats were one of the most delicious new flavors released in Japan recently.

What will you be filling your suitcase with the next time you take a trip to Japan?

Do you have a favorite KitKat flavor you want to stock up on?

Maybe it's a good idea to bring a spare empty suitcase just in case!

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Claire

Claire

Irish girl living in Tokyo, enjoying the mountains and nature that Japan has to offer.

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