Featuring beautiful packaging and regional flavors, Japanese food souvenirs are known as omiyage in Japanese. Even for local Japanese residents, it’s customary to bring back Japanese omiyage for your family, friends, or co-workers whenever you visit other prefectures in Japan. These edible Japanese omiyage are inspired by local delicacies and ingredients, making them delicious and unique souvenirs from Japan (both for your tastebuds and your friends’ tummies), and are sold everywhere! From local sweets to savory snacks, these Japanese food souvenirs are diverse as each prefecture in Japan.
If you are looking for the best souvenirs from Japan to give to all your family and friends, these specialty food omiyage make the perfect gifts as a little taste of your Japan experience. From Hokkaido to Tokyo to Okinawa, check out our list of Japanese prefectures and their regional food souvenirs below!
Hokkaido is famous for its high-quality dairy products and juicy Yubari King melons, but one of the best Japanese omiyage from Japan’s northernmost island is Shiroi Koibito cookies! These famous “white lover” biscuits are a homage to winter in Hokkaido with white chocolate sandwiched between two light slices of their signature biscuits. They are made by the luxurious local sweets company Ishiya and are some of the most iconic Japanese food souvenirs in the country.
A prefecture located in northern Japan, Aomori is famous for its juicy apples. One of the most popular omiyage from Aomori is the Kininaru Ringo, which are apple pies made from locally grown fuji apples. These delicious omiyage have a whole apple inside each pastry!
A famous snack from the town of Hachinohe in Iwate Prefecture, Nambu Senbei is one of the most iconic omiyage available in Iwate. These thin, traditional crackers often have speckles of sesame or peanuts throughout them, with a salty kick. They are known for being the final garnish in Hachinohe Senbei Soup, crumbled up over a local soup recipe made of meat and vegetables.
Hagi No Tsuki is a famous Japanese food souvenir from the capital of Miyagi Prefecture, Sendai. Inside this beautifully packaged omiyage, you will find a soft, plump sponge cake filled with decadent custard. The name of this iconic sweet references the hagi (meaning "bush clovers") and the tsuki (moon) and its shape.
Ichigo Miruku (meaning "strawberry milk") is the ultra-cute collab that brings together the iconic Hello Kitty with Akita’s folklore demons, locally known as namahage. You can grab a lot of namahage-themed souvenirs from Akita, as well as sweets and snacks that pay homage to the Akita inu (dog).
Yamagata Prefecture is famous for its sumptuous cherries, meaning that one of their most famous omiyage is a jelly with a whole cherry inside! Other than cherry-flavored souvenirs, their locally famous omiyage are known as karakara senbei. These sweetened rice crackers are folded into a signature triangle shape, each with a small toy inside!
Mamador or Mamadoru in Japanese is a famous cookie from Fukushima Prefecture. It is a cake-like sweet souvenir whose name comes from the Spanish word for "sucker."
Also known as tengu natto or wara natto (for "long" or "straw" natto respectively), Mito Natto comes from the Mito area of Ibaraki and is a local specialty. This prefecture is well known for its natto products, and this omiyage has natto (fermented soybeans) inside the straw casings! You can purchase Mito Natto to take away with you as a savory Japanese food souvenir from the local area.
The Utsunomiya region of Tochigi Prefecture astonishingly consumes the most amount of gyoza dumplings annually in the whole of Japan! So among other gyoza-themed omiyage, these locally-made senbei crackers are a great Japanese food souvenir from Tochigi.
Gunma is known as a famous region for hot springs in Japan (onsen). Onsen manju or hot spring steamed buns (usually filled with red bean paste) are said to have originated in Gunma. These soft and spongy sweets make for a great omiyage, and better still, you can take home onsen manju flavored Kit Kats!
Gokabou is a long, cylindrical Japanese sweet cake from Saitama Prefecture that is covered in delicate soybean powder. The name loosely translates to mean “5 grains are a family’s treasure.”
Chiba Prefecture is famous for its production of peanuts! This Peanut Monaka has a cracker that looks like a peanut with sweet azuki red bean paste inside it.
Known as the official omiyage and best souvenir from Tokyo, Tokyo Banana is a bite-sized, sweet banana-shaped sponge cake. This spongy and iconic souvenir is filled with cream and uses real bananas in its recipe.
This special Strawberry Cheesecake Kit Kat is the perfect Japanese food souvenir from Yokohama, the capital of Kanagawa Prefecture. Made with natural cheese and cream, these white chocolate-based Yokohama Kit Kats are delicious!
Also known as Kaki-pi, Kaki No Tane is a popular drinking snack that was initially born in Niigata Prefecture. Salty peanuts are mixed together with small crunchy senbei pieces which loosely resemble persimmon seeds.
Toyama is home to the local squid, hotaru ika. These savory senbei have squid inside the crackers!
Kanazawa, the capital of Ishikawa Prefecture, is famous for its gold leaf crafts. For a fancy souvenir, you can buy Gold Leaf Castella Cakes that are topped with edible gold!
Silky in texture and a reference to the region’s silk production history, Habutae Mochi is a special type of mochi from Fukui Prefecture. Typically in thin strips, these are made from rice flour and sugar (sometimes wrapped around soybean pastes).
Fujisan Yokan is the perfect souvenir from Yamanashi Prefecture, with different jelly sweets in the shape of Mount Fuji inside! This region shares the majestic Mount Fuji with Shizuoka Prefecture.
Daifuku mochi is a pounded rice cake with a filling inside it, traditionally red bean paste. However, kuri or chestnuts are grown in the Nagano area, so these Kuri Daifuku are the best souvenirs from Nagano Prefecture.
A traditional omiyage, Ayugashi represent the elongated shape of the local sweetfish that live in Gifu Prefecture’s Nagaragawa River. These Japanese food souvenirs are made from castella cake wrapped around a soft paste called gyuhi, which is made from sticky rice.
Other than being well known for its tea production, Shizuoka Prefecture in Japan is also very famous for its locally grown wasabi. This zingy horseradish flavor can be found in specialty Wasabi Kit Kats! Take these souvenirs home to your family and friends as one of the weirdest Kit Kat flavors out there.
Akafuku Mochi is a special type of mochi from the Ise region of Aichi Prefecture in Tohoku. The difference between these is that red bean paste is on the outside of these sweet pounded rice balls.
Ise in Mie Prefecture is one of Japan’s holiest sites, and the area is one of the country’s lesser-known (yet still extremely high quality) tea producers. Some Ise cha or “Ise tea” makes for a great souvenir to bring home along with some locally famous nagamochi (long, thin mochi cakes that are grilled and filled with red bean paste.)
Shiga Prefecture is home to Japan’s largest lake, Lake Biwa or Biwako, and is also known for its high quality Baumkuchen layer cakes. Originally introduced from Europe, you can buy these throughout Japan, but Shiga offers some of the best in the country!
Yatsuhashi is the most popular Japanese food souvenir from Kyoto. Filled with different flavors of bean paste, these triangular-shaped sweets are made from rice flour, sugar, and the secret ingredient: cinnamon.
Osaka is famous for being Japan’s foodie capital and home of signature dishes takoyaki (octopus balls) and okonomiyaki (savory pancakes). So, it’s no surprise you can grab these takoyaki flavored Pringles on your next visit to the Kansai region.
A famous dessert from the Hyogo Prefecture’s capital of Kobe, Kobe Purin or “Kobe Pudding” is an iconic local omiyage. Made from eggs and heavy cream, it is soft and delicious (and ideal when you can’t give your friends Kobe beef)!
Nara is known for its population of deer, who you can even buy shika senbei (deer crackers) for if you want to feed them. However, as the region’s mascot, this deer character represents the locally famous Todaiji Temple as well as the on-site deer, so you can get Nara Uta Senbei and other themed omiyage from Nara.
Wakayama Prefecture is famous for its plums, and subsequently the zingy umeboshi it produces. These pickled plums are not to everyone's taste, but they are a fun souvenir to try with your friends at home if you can’t get your hands on some classic Kagerou sweets from Wakayama.
Laying to the west of Kyoto Prefecture, Tottori’s claim to fame is its massive sand dunes, a prominent local attraction. Its best known omiyage is called Suna no Oka, which are rounded cookies lightly dusted with a sweet powder that resemble the sand of the dunes.
Shimanekko is the local mascot for Shimane Prefecture, so its face on a crunchy cookie makes for a perfect omiyage. You can find the cute-looking Shimanekko on many different souvenirs throughout the Shimane region.
Brightly packaged and with great appeal for kids, kibidango is a sweet dumpling from Okayama Prefecture in the Shikoku region. Usually made with a mix of mochi flour and millet flour, you can get them in plain flavor, kinako (soybean powder), and more.
Momiji manju are sweet bean cakes in the shape of maple leaves made with a cast iron grill. These are best known in Hiroshima as a popular Japanese food souvenir from Miyajima Island, just off of Hiroshima’s shores.
Tsuki de Hirotta Tamago is one of the most famous omiyage in Yamaguchi, with the name translating to “Eggs Found on the Moon.” Round and cute, it is a soft cake with a creamy filling that is flecked with chestnuts.
A Take Chikuwa is a cylindrical fish cake that is cooked with a bamboo rod running through it. This is a famous food from Tokushima Prefecture, and can be taken home as a souvenir with many shops selling them packaged up!
Named after the fine-grained sugar they are made from, wasanbon are dry and crumbly wagashi sweets that are traditionally made in the Shikoku region. Brightly-colored packs of multicolored wasanbon make a great souvenir from Kagawa or Tokushima.
This cute raccoon shaped wafer cracker is a signature omiyage of Ehime Prefecture! A Tanuki Monaka filling usually consists of a mixture of chestnuts with bean paste inside.
Imo Kenpi is amongst the most popular Japanese food souvenirs of Kochi. Made from local sweet potatoes (which are famously extra sweet) they are cut into fine strips and are fried to become delicious and crunchy chips!
A menbei is the combination of “men” from mentaiko (pickled cod roe) with “bei” from senbei (“cracker”). Pickled cod roe is a famous product in Fukuoka, so these thin crackers with a zingy mentaiko bite are a popular Fukuoka omiyage.
Yokan is a typical Japanese wagashi sweet that is made from bean paste, agar, and sugar. These Ogi Yokan are a specialty from Saga, and are an ideal souvenir from this prefecture.
Castella cake was introduced to the port town of Nagasaki, by the Portuguese in the 16th century. Castella has since become an iconic Japanese food souvenir of Nagasaki Prefecture. With a light vanilla flavor, this fluffy sponge cake comes in soft rectangular slices.
The ultra kawaii and iconic black bear with red cheeks is Kumamoto’s mascot. Better known as Kumamon, you can find this character everywhere in Kumamoto like on these Kumamon Imagawayaki, a sweet filling-stuffed pancake made in a cast iron grill; a typical snack at festivals.
The 10,000 yen note features the face of the famous academic, Yukichi Fukuzawa, who was born in Oita Prefecture. This senbei cracker has since been made in his honor as a souvenir in the shape of the note.
Cheese Manju is a small confection made of cream cheese encased in cookie dough. More than 200 stores in the Miyazaki area sell this famous omiyage.
Beni imo or purple sweet potato is locally famous in Kagoshima, the country’s largest producer of this vibrant vegetable. Proudly used as a local flavor, this Beni Imo Kit Kat from Kagoshima and Okinawa in Kyushu makes a great omiyage, mimicking the flavor of other purple sweet potato-flavored sweets you can buy from this tropical southern paradise!
Made with local salt, Chinsuko is Okinawa’s specialty shortbread cookie. These long-shaped, salty, sweet snacks often come in other colorful flavors like Okinawan sweet potato. Other popular types of Okinawa souvenirs include shikuwasa (a local tropical citrus fruit) flavored drinks and sweets.
In summary, using regional flavors and ingredients, each of the 47 prefectures of Japan have their own delicious specialty snacks that are perfect to give to family and friends. If you are looking for beautifully packaged Japanese food souvenirs, you can pick up some omiyage from whichever prefecture you are traveling through on your next trip to Japan!