Many people are fond of Japan. Whether we are talking about art, cinematography, or literature, cool or funny gadgets, or even anime, this country was always capable of providing exciting things.
If you have a friend like that, who is a Japanese culture follower, the most appropriate gift would be something connected to it.
However, if you want your present to be appreciated, make sure you understand where this person is coming from, and what part of the culture he or she loves.
This Roundhill piece is a room divider with Japanese motifs and is ideal for providing privacy in small spaces. The wooden table frame is lightweight, but also very stable, and it comes with a black finish.
The material used to fashion the panels is white rice paper, and it features a red and black plum branch reproduction. Because of its weight and the fact that it folds flat, it is quite easy to move, store, and use right away.
This Roundhill room divider comes in a size of approximately 71-inches W and 71-inches H, and each panel is around 17-inches W and 71-inches H.
OMyTea Grassflowers Folding Fan
OMyTea’s product is 100% handmade, and it is fashioned from Bamboo and Linen.
The dimensions of the Grassflowers series piece are 8.27-inches x 13.75-inches opened, and 8.27-inches x 0.4-inches folded.
If you ran out of ideas when it comes to buying a gift for your mother, girlfriend, aunt, or sister you can consider this alternative. The item is not only suitable for women of any age, but also for various types of activities, such as dancing, stage performances, decoration, and let’s not forget the primary purpose – for keeping things cool.Click to see the price on Amazon!
If you like cooking and are a fan of Japanese-inspired items, the AUGYMER chef knife is the perfect acquisition.
The piece features a Japanese high carbon Stainless steel blade, which ensures sharpness over a long time. The multi-purpose knife is suitable for cutting, slicing, mincing, chopping, and dicing any meat, fish, or vegetables, and even more, with the least possible effort.
Featuring an ergonomic, curved design, fashioned from hardwood, the handle offers a safe and comfortable grip when handling.
The package comes with a sheath, providing you and your children with extra protection against accidental injuries.Buy from Amazon.com for ($39.99)
Japanese Soul Cooking
In case you like Japanese food and wish to learn how to prepare it yourself, we suggest this collection of over 100 recipes, which comes in handy for home cooks who want to explore new techniques and ingredients.
Tadashi Ono and Harris Salat introduce you to an enchanting, livable style of preparing food.
Japanese Soul Cooking is a captivating examination of the unexpected origins and worldwide influences behind famous recipes, supplemented with gorgeous location photography, which captures the essence and the energy of this cuisine in everyday life. The recipe collection brings popular Japanese food to the Western home chefs.Click to see the price on Amazon!
Seb’s Kitchen Japanese Tea Set
The tea set contains six handcraft ceramic pieces, which can be an excellent companion for savoring tea, and also make attractive home decor. The kit is perfect for a gift, as it comes in an exquisite box.
Containing five tea cups and one teapot with a stainless steel filter, the set is all you need to start a tea party. It is also dishwasher and microwave compatible.
The teapot and the cups are black with white and pink floral motifs, a design that would fit into most home decors.Buy from Amazon.com for ($39.99)
Pink Sakura Night Lamp TC23
If you are a Japanese culture enthusiast, you will definitely appreciate this night light lamp.
Fashioned from washi paper, printed with floral motifs, and trimmed with gold, it can surely find a place in your home. Washi stands for wa=Japanese and shi=paper, which inspires power, beauty, and quality in the Japanese culture.
The night light lamp can also be used in your kid’s bedroom, as the light is sufficient to get you in the right direction, in the middle of the night, but discreet enough to allow your toddler to sleep.Buy from Amazon.com for ($16.99)
Paper Nano Kyoto Temple Building Kit
Not knowing what it represents, you could easily mistake this Japanese temple with one of your kid’s desk toys.
The Paper Nano kit is an accurate representation of a Japanese temple with considerable attention to details. High-tolerance laser cutting generates the parts required to create precise replicas of famous landmarks and also architectural history.
The paper components are made to bend, fold, ridge and curl, for you to be able to create beautiful reproductions, that you can proudly display once you are done with the building.
The kit comes with complete detailed guidelines, and the final project usually reaches 3.5 by 3.5 inches.Buy from Amazon.com for ($9.59)
Kawaii Japanese Panda Cat Ramen Shirt
T-shirts represent suitable gifts for almost all types of life events, especially when you are out of ideas. If your friend is also into Japanese culture or anime, this item is a perfect choice, ideal for both teenagers and adults.
The Japanese animation shirt is lightweight and features a classic fit, double-needle sleeve, and bottom fringe. You should cold wash it with similar color clothing and dry it over low heat.
This Kawaii item comes in different colors; therefore, you can buy it as a present, even if your friend is a man.Buy from Amazon.com
Bath & Body Works Body Lotion
If you wish to have a hydrated skin, it is recommended not just to drink a lot of water, but also to use a quality body lotion.
Drinking water is not such a big problem as finding a good moisturizer might be. The market is full of these products, and it can take some time until you find the one suitable for you.
The Japanese Cherry Blossom lotion has excellent reviews. Buyers state that it doesn’t just keep the skin hydrated all day long, but it also smells very good, and it maintains the fragrance throughout the day.Buy from Amazon.com
Matcha Tea Gift Set
The Matcha Tea item is a beautiful set containing everything needed to prepare a cup of matcha green tea. For a tea enthusiast, a present such as this one could certainly make his or her day.
The handmade ceramic matcha whisk holder comes with a handcrafted tea bowl, and 1 oz of organic matcha green tea powder.
Two more components make this set complete and they are a handmade bamboo whisk and a bamboo spoon. Using this set to prepare tea can become a unique experience, taking you straight to the origins of this tradition.Click to see the price on Amazon!
How to find cool Japanese gifts
Japan, in general, and the Japanese culture, in particular, always seem to be in vogue in one way or another. Certain elements of traditional Japanese society and cuisine were very popular during the ‘80s and ‘90s, anime became prevalent among the internet culture starting with the 2000s, while Japanese literature and cinema is a constant subject of interest for the more artistically inclined. We won’t even begin to count all the popular trends that came from Japan throughout the years.
Of course, what inflames the westerner’s imagination most in recent years are all the cool high tech gadgets that the innovative Japanese seem always keen to deliver. We live in the age of the popular tech device, after all, and technology isn’t something that only nerds partake in anymore.
Since Japan’s cultural influence on the West is so multifaceted, it can be nearly impossible to choose a good gift for a Japan lover with nothing to go on other than his or her interest with the country. People of different ages and education levels admire wholly different aspects of Japanese culture, and often times the categories they define don’t even overlap.
Where Japanese gifts are concerned, you’ll have to pay particularly close attention to the character of the friend you’re buying them for, and that’s why we put this criterion as first one on our list.
How we chose the coolest Japanese gifts
Take the person who you are buying for into account
Popular Japanese culture seems to have established a foothold in the internet in recent years through anime. Essentially Japanese cartoons, which is to say anime, is nothing new, and we doubt there is anybody out there who didn’t watch them as a child or teen. The whole culture associated with it, however, only came about a decade ago.
Western fans of anime are known to attach excessive importance to the Japanese cartoons they watch, and often times extend that passion to other things Japanese.
Since these are generally young men in their 20s, and most anime is directed at teenagers or children, it’s pretty safe to assume that their interests don’t really include the higher aspects of Japanese culture, such as traditional art or literature.
So don’t bother going for anything sophisticated when shopping in this category; either purchase something anime-related, like a plastic figure of a popular character, or stick to weird trinkets or toys. As long as they are from Japan or Japan-related, you’ll be able to get away with spending under a dozen dollars.
Most regular people are particularly interested in items that have a certain Japanese unique quality, mainly through their functionality, or exhibit a particular technical innovation that’s not found in the west.
If you’re shopping for someone with a higher brow, consider going for an item that bears some connection to Japanese traditional culture (you know, sushi, rolled up paintings, origami and that sort of stuff).
The Japanese weirdness factor
Japanese weirdness is somewhat of a common trope, and so we find many of their habits hard to comprehend and a lot less so the clips that make it to youtube from their TV shows. You can say this is one of the things we find both strange and endearing about Japan.
If you’re going to buy an item that’s somewhat connected with the country, make sure it has that little tint of weirdness we’ve paradoxically come to expect. Your choices on the matter range pretty wide, from something like a catalog displaying the 1000+ flavors of kit-kat to a hug pillow that comes with its own rubber arm.
These products are sure to cause chuckles for the friends with an interest in Japan and don’t even have to detract from the item’s functionality. After all, we can enjoy 1000+ flavors of chocolate covered wafers just as well as any people on Earth.
Besides all the high tech gadgets that the technology enthusiast might be inclined towards, Japan also produces a high variety of regular day to day items with applications that we might not even have thought of. After all, they have slightly different needs and demands than the American public and tend to hold different things as important.
The best Japanese gift reviews tend to praise items whose utility is very much relatable with our needs, yet for some reason aren’t already widely available for sale on the American continent. Would you like, for example, a robot arm to support your head while you type? Or a gadget that converts the tunes on a magnetic cassette to MP3?
Many of us would, but apparently not enough to create the type of customer demand that would make these items common in the United States. Considering this aspect, a Japanese gift might be a good opportunity to help your friend address a somewhat specific need that he or she might have, but for whom the domestic market doesn’t provide.
If you’re buying for a person who you don’t know very well, you could go for something with near universal applicability, but not that much in the way of usefulness. Something like a rice cookie making machine, which promises to shave off as many as ten minutes of the entire cooking time, once in a blue moon when the average American is baking rice cookies.
Don’t forget about culture and history
After all, Japan is very much a nation, not just some workshop that churns out slightly odd consumer goods of narrow utility. If the case is that you’re buying for someone who has an interest in the actual country, it would be a good idea to take its history and culture into account.
The coolest gifts from Japan should somewhat reflect the place’s character and past, but they don’t have to be tourist trinkets or wall hangers either. If your friends are hipsters, they might be impressed with traditional cooking ware, cutlery, or even toys, which can make good children and baby gifts.
There are still some companies who make traditional Japanese everyday items and they might be worth checking out.