Many of us have been eagerly watching the news to find out the latest countries to be included in the Vaccinated Travel Lane. While more countries are starting to open up to us, Japan is, unfortunately, not one of those countries. As such, those of you, along with your buddies, who would love to travel to Japan will just have to continue waiting for the Vaccinated Travel Lane to be established before you can make plans to visit the beautiful country.
In the meantime, here’s how you can cheer your buddies up and help them feel like they’re in Japan! Read on to take a look at our list of 12 Japanese Christmas gifts you can get for them.
1. Japanese Tea Set
When it comes to Japan, you can’t miss out on attending the traditional Japanese tea ceremony, For the uninitiated, the tea ceremony involves preparing and drinking green tea in a traditional tearoom with tatami flooring.
While you may not be able to recreate the same atmosphere of the ceremony with the tatami flooring, you can still gift a Japanese tea set to your recipient so that they can try it out themselves.
This particular tea set is called the Cosaji Tea Pot & Small Tea Cups Set in green, and is made of porcelain from Mizunami City, Gifu Prefecture in Japan. It is also available in other colours like white, peach, and pastel orange.
When adding to cart, you can also indicate that you would like gift wrapping. For an additional S$2, you can opt for the Mizuhiki Wrapping, a traditional Japanese craft that is absolutely essential when exchanging gifts in Japan.
The Cosaji Tea Pot & Small Tea Cups Set retails for S$71 and is available online on Huls Gallery Singapore. You can also visit their physical store at 24 Duxton Hill, Singapore 089607 to look at the selection they have before making a purchase.
2. Japanese Green Tea
If you would like to match the Japanese tea set, you can also grab a few packets of authentic Japanese green tea for them to brew with their new set.
Kokoro Japan offers an assortment of Japanese green tea and you’re bound to find something that will suit your recipient. Choose Sweet Sakura Tea’s Green Tea with Cherry Blossom & Leaf for a slight sweetness.
Alternatively, opt for the Itoen Oi Ocha Sencha Green Tea for some original matcha.
Of course, if you feel that you would like to provide your recipient with a little more variety, you can go with the Itoen Oi Ocha Premium Assorted Tea Bags.
The Sweet Sakura Tea’s Green Tea with Cherry Blossom & Leaf is available here for ¥715 (~S$8.53). The Itoen Oi Ocha Sencha Green Tea is available here for ¥755 (~S$9), and the Itoen Oi Ocha Premium Assorted Tea Bags is available here for ¥2,373 (~S$28.30).
3. Japanese Bowls
Japanese bowls don’t just serve a practical function of holding our food as we eat, they are also a form of art. That is why many people who visit Japan like to purchase tableware as a souvenir. If your wanderlusting buddies have not had the chance to visit Japan to purchase them, it will be perfect for you to gift it to them.
The Yoshidaya Peach and Bird Kutani Bowl Set is a set of five small bowls that are just nice for you to serve side dishes in. The artwork on the bowls is also hand-painted by a skilled artisan specialising in Kutani ware, making the bowls even more exquisite.
This set of five is a suitable gift for families, and it can even double up as a housewarming gift.
The Yoshidaya Peach and Bird Kutani Bowl Set retails for S$189 and can be preordered from the official website of Musubi Kiln. They are currently having a promotion which entitles you to 5% off this set. Simply apply the coupon code: PREORDER at checkout.
4. Sushi Socks
Know someone who loves travelling and gag gifts? Here’s a good way to combine the two of them.
Yes, it looks exactly like a sushi set you can buy from Japanese marts, but they’re actually socks! This particular set comes with five pairs of socks neatly folded in a way to make them look like the Japanese delicacy. It’s a practical, yet cute gift for someone who loves Japan.
The Five-Pair Sushi Socks set retails for S$43.50 and is available for purchase on Amazon. The set is also available in one-pair, two-, and three-pairs.
5. Japanese Snack Box
For many of our wanderlusting buddies, travel experiences are not the only thing that keeps them going. In fact, it’s the joy of trying the local food and snacks that the countries offer. So if you focus on satisfying their tastebuds, you won’t go wrong.
This box right here is the ultimate snack box you can give to your loved one.
This box is named The Largest Snack Box EVER, and it’s not difficult to see why. It includes 19+ full-sized snacks and 200+ individually packed pieces. Some of the items you can expect to see are: Funwari Meijin Mochi Puffs: Hokkaido Cheese, Seaweed Tempura: Setouchi Sudachi Citrus Flavor, 20th Century Pear Langue de Chat Cookie, and White Strawberries.
These snacks are shipped directly from Japan, guaranteeing freshness and uniqueness like no other.
The Largest Snack Box EVER retails for USD199.95 (~S$269.05) and can be purchased on Bokksu. Other gift boxes are also available on the website, including a Matcha Box that retails for approximately USD49.95 (~S$67.21) and a Mystery Box that retails for USD79.95 (~S$107.58).
6. Mini Japanese Zen Garden
Known to boost mindfulness and promote meditation, a Japanese mini zen garden makes a great gift for anyone looking to relax at the end of the year and prepare for the upcoming year. They can put it on display on their office desk so that they can relieve some stress whenever things get a little tough at work, or they can place it at home in their living room to look at whenever they come home.
This set is good as it offers a DIY experience for your giftee where the items come individually packed in a box, allowing your giftee to let their imaginations wander as they garden.
7. Japanese Sake Set
According to science, the cup or glass that you use to drink alcohol can affect the way it tastes. And that is why we have so many different types of drinking vessels.
So if you know someone who loves to drink Japanese sake, it is only right that you gift them a Japanese sake set so that they can truly savour the alcohol.
This intricate set features a bird painted in the midst of blossoming flowers. Even when not in use, these would look beautiful on the kitchen countertop or the home bar counter.
This Bizan Kiln Sakura and Bird Kutani Sake Set retails for S$72 and is available online on Musubi Kiln.
8. Japanese Sake
And if you’re getting a sake set, you can also consider purchasing Japanese sake so that your giftee can immediately try out the beautiful set that you’ve bought them.
This Dassai Junmai Ginjo 45 sake is ranked one of the better ones that you should drink in 2021 by experts. It is known to be one of Japan’s most esteemed brews, and boasts a sweet taste with a potent aroma.
9. Japanese Pagoda Light
How about getting a Japanese pagoda light as a present this Christmas for your loved one who loves to travel? Some people may still have their fears about travelling now, but that doesn’t mean they can’t bring other cultures here for the time being.
This particular pagoda light is powered by solar energy, which makes it perfect to be placed in the balcony or in the outdoor garden of your recipient’s home. One full charge will allow the light to run for six to eight hours, making it the perfect nightlight and an aesthetic decoration in the day.
The Nacome Solar Pagoda Lantern Garden Statue retails for S$80.61 and is available on Amazon.
10. Japanese Wind Chime
It gets slightly more chilly in December, so why not buy your recipient a Japanese wind chime? Every time the wind blows, the delicate wind chime will tinkle pleasantly. This not only brings about a relaxing atmosphere, it might also remind them of a holiday in Japan.
This Japanese wind chime in the shape of a snowman is adorable and well-suited for the season of Christmas.
Or stick to a classic bell design that is not only minimalistic but also very classy.
11. Japanese Hanko Seal Stamp
Another common souvenir that people who travel to Japan like to get is their very own Japanese Hanko. A Hanko is a carved stamp of that one can use whenever they are required to sign their name, including legal documents. The stamp will usually incorporate either the first, last, or full name of the individual.
You can choose to customise one for your giftee by looking on Etsy. Go with a wooden piece if your friend is more traditional.
Or pick a more extraordinary one with a tassel attached to it.
12. Japanese Hanko Necklace
If your recipient doesn’t seem to have any use for a Japanese Hanko, why not get them a Japanese Hanko necklace instead? It is also one-of-a-kind and will show your recipient that you’ve put a lot of thought into it.
And here’s a bonus. This necklace not only carries your recipient’s name, but it also works as a real Hanko stamp. All your recipient has to do is get some ink and stamp their necklace into it to use!