Jan 19, 2018
Not long ago, I wrote an article on 5 excellent souvenirs you can get from any 100 yen shop to bring home that really display the culture of Japan. 100 yen shops are great places to seek gifts because they are cheap (108 yen including tax), lightweight, and they have a lot to choose from. To exhibit even more great ideas, here are 5 more ideas that I will recommend for when you need to bring some gifts home to your family and friends:
1. Coin purse
Souvenirs are supposed to represent the culture, but practicality is very important too. Coin purses are definitely useful in everyday life, so consider these little colourful pouches for small change. They are also great ways to step your souvenir game up, as you can place some local coins in there, or better yet, get some delicious candies (also available at the 100 yen shop) and place a few in each purse before you hand them over!
In my previous article, I mentioned the idea of getting hashioki (chopstick stands) which also act as decorations. Of course, you can bring actual chopsticks back to share the culture with them, and it’d be fun to try even if they won’t get used to using chopsticks anytime soon. The best thing is that 100 yen shops easily have dozens of designs, so you can choose the pairs you think match them, and let them keep them as private chopsticks.
3. Traditional Toys
For the little ones, nothing will make them happier than toys. 100 yen shops actually have many traditional Japanese toys (especially wooden ones) to choose from, so you can find something to bring home that will impress the kids because they have never seen them before. One of my favourites is this anti-gravity dragonfly, and some other great ideas are the bamboo-copters and kendama.
4. Memo stand
These little stands are quite regular but extremely adorable. For friends at work, this is a great choice because they can keep them on their personal desks without taking up too much space and look at them every day. The manekineko (fortune-drawing cat) shown in the photo is a great traditional design, and the daruma doll is another common design that is excellent.
5. Japanese bowls
The first year I went home, I brought with me as souvenirs these Japanese rice bowls. Part of the reason was because of the pretty designs, but the bigger reason was that they were the types of bowls that I began to get used to in Japan, and I wanted to feel that my family was using the same kind as I did despite us living in different countries now. Those sold in 100 yen shops might not be the best of quality, but they are definitely sufficient and worth the price.
6. (Bonus). Soy-sauce plates
I said 5 but I just wanted to add one more idea: the soy-sauce plates. We’d normally use them for soy-sauce and wasabi, but in reality, you can use them for ginger, mayonnaise, ketchup, and whatever the heck you want! They are small and easy to bring too, so definitely a great choice as well!
Souvenirs don’t always have to be expensive. With these 6 ideas plus the 5 from my previous article, it should be apparent that 100 yen shops are actually great places for sourcing some Japanese gifts to bring home. What are your favourite choices of souvenirs from 100 yen shops? Leave your recommendations in the comments!
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