Everyone knows that Japan is the land of everything adorable and refined, from its pop-culture to its culinary. The intricacies of the Japanese food design and presentation are a sight to behold. When it comes to gift giving, the Japanese often take it very seriously, and gift giving is itself an art with every little detail taken into account.
When in Tokyo, check out the lovely selections of gourmet souvenirs which are perfect for almost any special occasion, be it for birthdays, business functions, or Christmas parties. These gourmet souvenirs are unique and can only be found in only in Tokyo.
The food sections of department stores, confectionery shops, airport terminals or even train stations are a treasure trove filled with artisanal sweet delights waiting to be discovered!
1. Kabuki Pattern-Wrapped Okaki
Okaki are Japanese rice crackers that are either baked or fried, typically seasoned with salt and pepper. For gift giving, you can buy okaki wrapped in pochibukuro envelope featuring the pattern of a kabuki costume.
Get them at: Kakiyama
2. Kuya Monaka
Kuya Monaka is a speciality sweet with thick homemade azuki bean paste as filling and two crunchy outer shells. Because they’re often sold out, it’s best if you place an order beforehand. Check out other seasonal Japanese treats as well.
Get them at: Kuya
3. Tokyo Banana Sponge Cake
The light and fluffy sponge cake by Tokyo Banana is pretty similar to Twinkie, but with more unique flavours to choose from, including almond milk cream, caramel and maple banana. The sponge cakes come in various decorative patterns, like the giraffe-patterned and cheetah-patterned cakes.
Get them at: Tokyo Banana
4. Original RaisinWich
The Original RaisinWich is a European-style sweets made of raisins and special cream for filling sandwiched by two vanilla-flavoured butter cookies. The products often sold out, so it’s highly recommended that you place your reservation in advance.
Get them at: Paris Ogawaken
5. Handkerchief-Wrapped Assorted Candies And Nuts
The Japanese truly take pride in gift-wrapping, as seen in how they’d wrap gifts using patterned handkerchiefs. You can mix and match candies, nuts and even tea bags in a box wrapped in gorgeous patterned handkerchiefs.
Get them at: Mamegui
6. Tokyo Balm Tree Box
The Little Balm Tree is a small sponge cake on a stick that comes in various flavours, including chocolate and caramel. During festive seasons, the cakes often come in special packaging, with two to six cakes each box.
Get them at: Nenrinya
7. Walnut Cookies
Packaged in boxes with adorable illustrations of squirrels, the walnut cookies by Seikotei come in two different flavours, walnut and chocolate walnut, with four to ten cookies in a box. The boxes often feature different illustrations based on holiday seasons. If you’re not a fan of nut-based cookies, check out their cheese or coconut cookies.
Get them at: Seikotei
8. Crispy Karinto
Karinto is a deep-fried snack flavoured with brown sugar and is crispy in texture. The karinto sold at Azabu often have a very long queue, but it’s worth the wait!
Get them at: Azabu Karinto
9. Japanese Butter Cookies
The Japanese butter cookies are light, delicate, and semi-sweet powdered with various flavours such as sweet potato, wasanbon (Japanese fine-grained sugar), matcha, and strawberry. The cute and buttery cookies come in attractive traditional packaging.
Get them at: Wa.Bi.Sa