'Tis the Season for Christmas gifts from Japan!

By Ashley Owen
Updated: December 5, 2022

As the holiday season approaches, you’ve probably been racking your brains to come up with ideas for the perfect presents to give your friends and family. This year, instead of the usual socks and bath bombs, why not surprise them with some authentic gifts from Japan? From foodie treats to traditional cultural accessories, there are all sorts of amazing Japanese gifts out there to suit whoever you’re buying for. Keep reading to find out about some of our favorites!

A bundle of Christmas gifts, with a red box tied with thin white ribbon in the foreground

Gifts from Japan

Gift-giving is a huge part of Japanese culture. From Valentine’s Day chocolates to temiyage presents that you bring when visiting someone’s house, there are many occasions when it’s appropriate – or even expected – that you give a gift. 

One of the most important types of gifts from Japan is omiyage, or Japanese souvenirs. These are gifts that people bring back for their friends, family and coworkers when they return from a trip (either international or domestic). A key element of omiyage is that they should be a local product, and they’re usually edible treats such as cookies or mochi rice cakes. Beautifully presented boxes of local delicacies are a common sight in airports, train stations, department stores and tourist spots, and they make fantastic gifts to bring back from Japan.

Regardless of the type of gift you’re giving, the way that it’s presented is key. In fact, you could argue that the way Japanese gifts look is more important than what they actually are! This is why you’ll notice that all gifts from Japan are immaculately wrapped in either exquisite paper or traditional furoshiki cloth. Don’t worry if your wrapping skills aren’t up to scratch, because in many stores the clerks will offer to take care of it for you!

A gift wrapped in a dark blue furoshiki wrapping cloth with gold detailing

Christmas Gifts from Japan

When it comes to Christmas presents, the Japanese custom is a little different to that in the west. Rather than being a family occasion, Christmas is more of a time for couples to enjoy a romantic date night and exchange presents as a way to celebrate their love. However, whether you’re looking for Japanese gifts online or buying souvenirs from Japan during a trip to the country, you’re sure to find presents that are perfect for everyone.

To get you inspired, here are 17 of the top Christmas gifts from Japan:

  1. Chopsticks
  2. Japanese Tableware
  3. Kokeshi Dolls
  4. Daruma Dolls
  5. Japanese Juice Set
  6. Japanese Tea
  7. Japanese Tea Set
  8. Wagashi Sweets
  9. Japanese Soy Sauce
  10. Japanese Spices
  11. Japanese Knives
  12. Sake
  13. Shochu
  14. Japanese Whisky
  15. Japanese Artwork
  16. Jewelry and Hair Accessories
  17. Japanese Fans
  18. Instant Ramen

1. Chopsticks 

A pair of black and brown chopsticks on a white background, with a gold bunny-shaped chopstick rest next to them

Chopsticks are the best way to enjoy Japanese cuisine, so they make a wonderful present for foodies. You can find both traditional pairs and ones with more modern designs, to suit who you're buying for. Plus, they’re great gifts to bring back from Japan because it’s easy to fit them into your suitcase! You can find the perfect pair of Japanese chopsticks from our gourmet market.

2. Japanese Tableware 

An overhead image of a black bowl beside a pair of black chopsticks, all on a red tablemat

The first bite is with the eye, so presenting your dishes in high-quality Japanese tableware ensures they taste as good as possible! Porcelain ramen bowls, elegant sake cups and delicate chopstick holders are all really cool Japanese gifts for friends who love to cook. Browse Japanese tableware and other goods in the byFood gourmet market.

3. Kokeshi Dolls

Three kokeshi dolls in a row against a green background

If you’re looking for more traditional Japanese gifts, kokeshi dolls are a great choice. Carved out of wood, they originate from northern Japan and have a simple shape with no arms or legs. The hand-painted finish makes these charming figurines beautiful for use as display pieces.

4. Daruma Dolls

A round red, black and gold daruma doll with two blank white eyes

Daruma are another interesting option for traditional Japanese gifts. These round dolls are symbolic of good luck and perseverance, and are weighted at the bottom so that they don’t fall over. They have blank eyes, and the custom when you receive a daruma is to make a wish and fill in one eye. When you reach your goal, you fill in the other one. This makes them ideal for your more ambitious friends!

5. Japanese Fruit Juice Set 

A full bottle of mikan fruit juice next to a glass full of orange mikan juice, with a green leafy branch in the background

Japan is famous for its luxury fruit industry, and the country's fruit juices are second to none. From mikan (Japanese satsumas) to peach, these rich and refreshing hand-pressed drinks are as elegant as they are delicious. Shop for delicious Japanese fruit juice in our gourmet market.

6. Japanese Tea

A close up overhead shot of a glass bowl full of dried, long, thin green tea leaves

From high-end gyokuro to smoky roasted hojicha, loose-leaf teas make a wonderful choice for gifts from Japan because they’re such a significant part of Japanese culture. Don’t worry if your friend doesn’t have a teapot, because you can always get teabags instead. Buy quality Japanese tea on byFood.

7. Japanese Tea Set

A beige bowl of bright green frothy matcha tea, next to a whisk and a pot of green matcha powder

When it comes to really special Christmas gifts from Japan, a full tea set is unbeatable. A matcha bowl and whisk allows someone to enjoy their own tea ceremony at home, or you can choose a traditional teapot and cups so they can brew the perfect tea every time.

8. Wagashi Sweets

An overhead close-up image of four wagashi sweets on a wooden plate: a pink flower, a white flower, a purple flower and a round multicolored one

Authentic wagashi sweets have long been a popular pick for gifts from Japan. The majority are suitable for both vegetarians and vegans, and they’re so beautifully decorated they look more like a work of art than confectionery!

9. Japanese Soy Sauce 

Six mini bottles of dark brown soy sauce in a row

As a staple ingredient in Japanese cuisine, good quality bottles of soy sauce are excellent Christmas gifts from Japan for those who enjoy cooking. There are a surprising variety of styles available, so a set of miniatures ensures your friend can get creative in the kitchen! Try one of our premium bottles of Japanese soy sauce from our online gourmet market.

10. Japanese Spices 

A white and green packet of sansho powder against a white background

Soy sauce is far from the only seasoning used in Japanese cuisine, so flavorsome spices and condiments such as yuzu powder and sansho are fantastic gifts for broadening someone’s culinary repertoire. You can find a variety of Japanese spices in byFood's online market.

11. Japanese Knives

A Japanese knife with a dark brown handle and broad silver blade against a white background

Japanese knives are renowned as among the best in the world thanks to their artisanal craftsmanship and the precise cuts they make.

There are specialist blades for everything from vegetables to fish, so you can find the perfect option for your lucky recipient depending on what they like to cook. You can find high-quality Japanese knives in the byFood gourmet market.

12. Sake

A brown bottle of sake with a blue and white label on wooden decking with green fields in the background

Sake, or Japanese rice wine, is arguably the country’s most famous type of alcohol. From celebratory sparkling sake to box sets of aged local varieties, these bottles make really cool Japanese gifts to raise a toast with over the holidays. Browse sake and other Japanese alcohol in our online market.

13. Shochu

A gold gift box with a white cushioned interior, holding two bottles of shochu with gold tops, and a third bottle standing beside it

For something a little different, a bottle of shochu might be just what you’re looking for. Although very popular within Japan, this traditional Japanese spirit is still relatively unknown internationally, so can be a great conversation starter. Browse for shochu or other types of Japanese alcohol from our online gourmet market.

14. Japanese Whisky

Six different bottles of Japanese whisky lined up on a bar with a brick wall in the background

Japan is well-known for being one of the world’s top producers of whisky, so if your dad or partner is fond of a tipple, then a bottle is definitely worth considering if you’re searching for Japanese gifts for him.

15. Japanese Artwork

A print of Hokusai's Great Wave

Another option for Christmas gifts from Japan is authentic artwork for recipients to hang on their wall. From stunning cherry blossom images to replica Hokusai prints, there are styles to suit all personalities and homes.

16. Jewelry and Hair Accessories

A close up photo of the back of a woman's head, with two round Japanese hair accessories in her hair, one purple and red with a red tassel, and the other green and gold

When you’re shopping for Japanese gifts for her, jewelry and hair accessories are always a reliable choice. For example, you can get traditional hair clips and bands crafted with gorgeous kimono fabric, or stunning necklaces and bracelets made with Ryukyu glass from Okinawa that replicates the color of the surrounding ocean.

17. Japanese Fans

A Japanese fan decorated with cherry blossoms, trees and a person in a kimono open on a black table, with an open book in the background

Speaking of accessories, traditional sensu fans make really cute Japanese gifts. With a wealth of designs to choose from, you can either use them practically to keep cool in the summer, or display them as artwork in their own right.

18. Instant Ramen

chopsticks lifting noodles out of a bowl of instant noodles.

Some of the best flavors of Japan can only be experienced in restaurants, but thanks to the ingenious invention of cup noodles, ramen can be enjoyed anywhere!

Share the taste of famous ramen shops from around Japan. The smaller ones make great stocking stuffers! You can get your Japanese cup noodles and other treats on the byFood online market.

Gifts from Japan for Everyone

As you can see, if you’re searching for gifts from Japan this Christmas, there are plenty of options out there to choose from. So no matter which lucky person you’re buying for, you’re sure to find the perfect present for them. Just remember to wrap it beautifully to make it truly authentic! 

We strive to be as accurate as possible and keep up with the changing landscape of Japan's food and travel industries. If you spot any inaccuracies, please send a report.
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Ashley Owen
Ashley is a freelance travel writer from the UK who spent the last two years living in Japan, and is about to embark on her next adventure to New Zealand. She's always on the lookout for exciting new vegan treats wherever she goes!
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