Every year when I go to Japan, I reserve half of my luggage for souvenirs. Which includes lots of food, stationaries, beauty products, clothes and actual souvenirs for family and friends. It can be overwhelming for some people to enter one of those 100 yen stores (everything for a hundred yen) or Donki Hotte that’s literally packed with billions of different types of everything. So here’s a list to give you an idea of what kind of things you might want to take back home.
It’s tough to pick just one product or brand because they are all fantastic at a reasonable price. You probably won’t recognise the majority of the brands like Lulumun, Kanebo, Isehan and many others, but you don’t have to remember their names because as my friends say, “If it’s from Japan, then it’s good quality.” So if you find something that you are interested in, buy it!
I usually stock up on face masks, nail polish and eyeliners since I always run out of them and every time I go shopping, I find a new collection. Especially of face masks with funny designs like ninjas, Pokemon, animals and so on. They barely take any space in your luggage so you can go nuts and have a spa party back home.
Another product that I can’t live without is the Shiseido Tsubaki hair set. This is the only shampoo and conditioner that works for my thick Asian hair and it is the only product that makes it shiny and smooth. The incredible aspect of this product is that it’s suitable for every type of hair, many of my friends and family have tried it and they all love it.
Most of the “must buy” clothes from Japan are for winter- comfy clothes that keep you warm. Cotton socks and kigurumi (onesies) are the most fun to shop for because there are soooo many different types that they have stores specialised in just them. With all kinds of cute designs like cartoons, every single Disney characters, animals and cool patterns. The onesies might take some space in your luggage, but they are totally worth it once you see how cosy they are.
Uniqlo store – This high tech clothing store never fails to amuse me with their practical clothes. They have ultra-light rain and winter jackets that can fit into a bag the size of your fist! No more struggling to fit your massive jacket inside your luggage! This excellent Japanese brand also has a collection of HEATTECH thermal clothes with so many products like cardigans, leggings, bra tops, shirts and even blankets.
In Japan, there are equally as many non-eatable products as there are eatable ones. If you go to a supermarket wanting to get a snack, you’ll probably spend about an hour and a half picking one because the choices are endless. There is something for every taste, mix and even cooking style – like fried chocolate which is pretty yummy and crispy.
I usually pack my luggage with wasabi snacks, yakisoba instant noodles, and sauces with sesame and for yakisoba and barbecue.
I’m not the biggest sweet tooth and I don’t eat sweets very often, but I can’t resist Japanese sugary snacks. Like this heart-shaped Genji mini pie that melts in your mouth and basically every candy by Meiji and Glico. Like the classic Pocky chocolate sticks and the cute mountain and mushroom-shaped chocolates, Takenoko No Sato.
I have recently become obsessed with this matcha (green tea) Kit Kat, which was a surprise to me mixing green tea and chocolate but they actually fit perfectly together.
Akihabara is the most famous area in Tokyo to shop for electronics because of the department stores located there, but you can find Bic Camera, Yamada Denki and Yodobashi Camera, at all the main streets of the city as well. Other general department stores like Tokyū Hands and Loft have their own electronic floors with massive sections dedicated to just phone covers and accessories to try.