How about buying souvenirs at a convenience store? Japanese souvenirs under 500 yen.
While sightseeing and good food are a must for Japanese travelers, “buy souvenirs” is definitely in the top five travel activities. Just to be clear, “buy souvenirs” is different from “go shopping”.
Buying souvenirs is a part of Japanese society where you buy things for others instead of yourself.
It’s not uncommon to buy souvenirs for upwards of ten people, including family, relatives, co-workers, friends, etc.
Westerner’s, they seem perplexed. It seems “souvenirs” are thought to be items you buy for yourself. While people do buy something for family and close friends, there is no custom to hand out souvenirs to workplace co-workers or classmates.
At the same time, Chinese and Korean tourists, like Japanese, spend time looking for items to give others. I often see these visitors searching for souvenirs to give out to relatives and co-workers, as well as filling requests from back home.
So I wonder, if I were a foreign visitor to Japan, what would be good souvenirs for everyone.
“Something easy that I don’t have to go out of my way to buy. I want to enjoy my trip, so I don’t want to spend a lot of time buying things for other people”
“Price must be under 500 yen”
“If possible, nothing bulky. Raw items or something with a short expiration date are no good”
When I considered these three conditions, the best answer is “buy at the convenience store!”
Japanese convenience stores are amazing. Open 24 hours, they have everything; magazines, stationary, snacks, drinks, and light meals. You can usually find an ATM, a clean bathroom for public use and you can even buy alcohol! (services may vary in each store)
These stores are everywhere! It’s not an exaggeration to say you can find a convenience store every 500 m you walk in Tokyo.
You don’t have to go anywhere special to buy souvenirs, you can wait until the night before you leave and run to the nearest convenience store!
Now introducing “Recommended Japanese Souvenirs” that have been carefully selected by Tokyo Nadeshiko.
Lightweight and compact beauty goods for female friends, wife, or mother
“Jouki de Eye Mask” (Heated eye mask) (2 pack)
“Kyusoku Jikan” (Herbal foot refreshment)(6 pack)
“Koi-gokujyun 3D Perfect Mask” (Moisture sheet mask)(6 pack)
“Silky Touch More Mask” (Filtered mask for dust, pollen, etc.)(7 pack)
You can find these items at drugstores too, but those are meant for home use and they are sold in larger quantities. If giving out to people as souvenirs, the smaller individual packs from the convenience store are best and if you have any left over, you can use for yourself.
Sweets for children and school friends
“Tabekko Doubutsu” (animal crackers)
“ALMOND” (chocolate covered almonds)
“galbo mini” (chocolate covered cocoa cookie)
A characteristic of Japanese sweets is their “moderate sweetness”. Unlike Western sweets these are not colorful or extremely sweet, making them good for people who are not too into sweet foods.
Japanese style snacks for relatives and older people
“Takumi no Kurumi Mochi” (chewy mochi with walnuts)
“Azuki Monaka” (red bean paste between thin rice crackers)
“Sugar Butter no Ki” (sandwich cookie with sugar butter cream)
Freeze dried food for co-workers
“Kani Zousui” (crab rice porridge)
“Shake Zousui” (salmon rice porridge)
“Ume Zousui” (plum rice porridge)
“Shake to Horenso no Cream Risotto” (salmon and spinach cream risotto)
“Tofu Misoshiru” (tofu miso soup)
You’ll probably be surprised at how delicious these are. Japanese freeze dry technology is the best in the world! (I researched it). Just pour in hot water and like magic you are greeted with the smell of real crab and a bowl of rice porridge. In Japan, those working in companies have these handy for lunch or as a light meal during overtime hours.
Bath additives for your bath loving friends
“Bub Wakangokochi” (bath tablet)
“Kikiyu” (bath powder)
“Geruma Bath” (bath salts)
nation that loves baths, we enjoy bath time at home with bath additives. You can expect to loosen those stiff shoulders, recover from exhaustion, good for cold sensitivity, etc.
Instant ramen for your boyfriend
“Cup Noodle Matcha Shitate no Seafood Aji” (green tea flavored seafood ramen)
“Kin no Men” (instant noodles)
“Ippudo Hakata Tonkotsu” (instant noodles with pork in the famous Ippudo style from Hakata)
Ramen is one of the popular foods among tourists in Japan. The progress of instant ramen that you can enjoy at home has come a long way, you can find noodles produced by popular ramen shops, limited time flavors, etc! Enjoy the flavor of a famous ramen shop long after you return home.
SAKE for your father
“Mugi Shochu, Iichiko” (barley shochu)
“Hakutsuru Daiginjo” (“White Crane” sake, made from highly polished rice)
Depending on the country, often alcohol isn’t sold at convenience stores or you can only buy it within certain hours. In Japan you can buy it 24 hours! There is beer and wine, but as a souvenir, Japanese sake, Shochu, is best. You can try different ones at the hotel during your trip and decide which to buy!
All items we introduced today were selected from my favorite convenience store, Seven Eleven. Depending on the store some items may not be available. Also turnover in these stores is fast, so after a month some items may change or disappear. Think of it as a once in a lifetime opportunity and make your selections.
Edit & Text: Tokyo Nadeshiko
Editor and writer. Writes lifestyle pieces centered on women’s fashion, and restaurant information, etc. A foodie born and raised in Tokyo