Forget The Sushi, These Are 40 Japanese Gifts Japan Lovers Actually Want

Written by: Lara
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Shrine and mountain in Japan

Are you tired of giving the same old sushi box to your Japan-loving friends and family? While there’s nothing wrong with Japanese gifts that appreciate the art of sushi-making, there’s so much more to Japan’s rich culture and history that can inspire unique and thoughtful Japanese gift ideas.

From traditional crafts and fashion to cutting-edge technology and pop culture, Japan has something for everyone. That’s why we’ve put together a list of 40 awesome gifts for Japan lovers that are sure to impress and delight any Japanophile. Whether you’re shopping for a special occasion or just want to surprise someone with a little piece of Japan, this is the list you need.

So forget the sushi and get ready to discover some truly unforgettable Japanese gifts!

Are you short on time? Check out the editor’s top three Japanese gifts by budget.

Save these Japanese gift ideas

Don’t forget to save these Japanese gifts for the next time you need inspiration.

40 unique Japanese gifts

Japanese gifts for large budgets

#1 Japanese secret box

Japanese secret box
Photo courtesy of Amazon

A Japanese secret box is a puzzle box that can only be opened when a certain set of moves is performed. It’s a great way to keep your secret stuff hidden. It can also serve as a super safe piggy bank since no one will know how to open it.

And since traveling is quite an expensive hobby (especially traveling to Japan), a piggy bank is not a bad idea for Japan lovers!

#2 Japanese mochi ice cream kit

Japanese mochi ice cream kit
Photo courtesy of Amazon

If you are looking for Japanese food gifts look no further. This mochi ice cream kit is an awesome gift for people who love Japanese food and who love to try and make it at home.

Oh, and in case you are like me and have no idea what mochi ice cream is. It’s an ice cream ball that consists of an ice cream filling and a chewy outside made out of pounded sticky rice.

#3 DIY sake kit

International DIY Food kits Sake
Photo courtesy of Uncommon Goods

Here is another great DIY Japanese gift idea for people who love food and drinks; a DIY sake kit.

Sake is a traditional Japanese type of rice wine, and this kit includes (almost) everything they need to produce it at home!

And for homebrewing pros who already have all the equipment at home, this sake homebrew starter on Amazon, is a better alternative.

And if you’re looking for Japanese gifts for lazy people who do love sake, check out the next item.

#4 A bottle of sake

Photo courtesy of Drizly

As I said, this is a great gift from Japan for someone who loves sake, but who is too lazy to produce his or her own bottle. Simply order a bottle of sake from Drizly!

#5 Home zen garden

Home zen garden
Photo courtesy of Amazon

If you are looking for a Japanese gift idea for the home, this mini zen garden might be a great idea. It’s a beautiful decorative item and it is said to bring peace and calmness to a home.

It’s one of the best gifts for Japan lovers who are into meditation, and spirituality.

#6 Japanese-themed board games

Machi Koro game box
Photo courtesy of Amazon

I absolutely love board games. I guess that’s also why I think gifting a board game in the theme of a country someone loves, is one of the best gifts you can give!

There are actually quite a few Japanese-themed board games:

If you are looking for Japanese gifts for someone who is more into traditional games, check out the next item on the list!

#7 Traditional Japanese games

Japanese chess board
Photo courtesy of Amazon

Shogi (Japanese chess) is a fun traditional Japanese game. The idea is comparable to chess, but the pieces and rules differ. You can also find a travel-sized shogi game, where the board is foldable and magnetic, so perfect for travelers!

#8 Kyoto silk scarf

A silk scarf from Japan
Photo courtesy of Maison de la Soie

Japan has a long history of silk, so finding a gift made from silk produced and harvested in Japan is always a great gift.

One example is this silk scarf made from Kyoto silk.

#9 Japanese gifts for whisky lovers

Photo courtesy of Drizly

If you are looking for the best gifts for Japan lovers who also happen to love whiskey, I’ve got good news for you!

You can now find a gift that combines these two things exactly; Japanese whiskey.

I was quite surprised to learn that Japan is home to several whiskey distilleries. I guess I always assumed that it was something typical for English nations.

Anyways, Sensei is one of the most popular Japanese whiskeys, and I’m pretty sure that any whiskey lover, would love to try it.

#10 Japanese coffee maker

Japanese coffee maker
Photo courtesy of Amazon

This is probably the best Japanese gift idea for a coffee lover. A traditional coffee maker from Japan!

I must say the coffee maker looks quite complicated and fancy, but I guarantee, it’s super easy to learn how to use it. Simply give them a link to Coffee Bean Road which includes an easy step-by-step guide.

#11 Matcha gift set

Matcha tea set
Photo courtesy of Amazon

For those tea noobs like me. Matcha is a green fine ground powder that’s made from green tea leaves. It’s super popular for all sorts of drinks. But traditionally it’s also used for spiritual purposes. So it’s a super multi-functional cool green powder.

For more Japanese gifts for tea lovers, check out #30 or the next item.

#12 Japanese teapot

Traditional Japanese teapot and cups
Photo courtesy of Amazon

This traditional teapot is another great Japan gift idea for tea lovers.

#13 Manga-related gifts

A manga box of the Legen of Zelda
Photo courtesy of Amazon

I am definitely not the right person to ask for advice about which manga box to get for your recipient. The only thing I know is that mangas are extremely popular in Japan (and outside Japan). Many people who love Japan also love them. And that’s why I am sure they make great Japanese gifts for manga and anime lovers!

The Legend of Zelda is probably one of the most popular ones (because even I know this one).

If you’re like me, you’re probably wondering what in fox’s name is a manga.

They’re Japanese graphic novels. And if you think those are only for kids, think again. They are enthusiastically read by all age ranges. Mangas often serve as the base for anime shows. Check out the next gift if you have no clue what anime is.

#14 Anime-related gifts

Naruto shirt
Photo courtesy of Amazon

Alright, so from the manga gifts we sent straight into the anime gifts. I am not going to lie. I actually had to look up the difference between the two.

But apparently, mangas are the books, whereas anime is (as the same suggests) animated. So it’s movies and tv shows.

One show that’s particularly popular is Naruto. So that’s why I picked this Naruto-themed shirt. But if you know which anime show is your recipient’s favorite, then find something related to that show and you found an awesome Japanese gift!

#15 Zabuton: A Japanese floor cushion

Japanese cushion
Photo courtesy of Amazon

A zabuton is a traditional Japanese cushion that’s usually used to sit on the floor or for meditation. And this beautifully decorated one is handmade in Japan too.

#16 Japanese Lifestyle subscription box

Photo courtesy of Cratejoy

Got a friend who’s all about Japan?

Gift them a monthly mini-adventure with the Kizuna Lifestyle Box! Each box is a surprise bundle of Japanese culture, from charming ceramics to tasty snacks, all themed around Japan’s seasons and festivals. It’s like a monthly ticket to Tokyo, right in their living room.

Japanese gifts for mid-budgets

#17 Japanese language course

Japanese for beginners language course book
Photo courtesy of Amazon

Language courses are awesome gifts for travelers. If you pick a language from a country they love of course!

You could opt for an online Japanese course from Udemy or a simple book for beginners.

#18 Japanese candy

Japanese KitKat in different flavours
Photo courtesy of Amazon

Here is another awesome Japanese food gift; Japanese candy.

Candy from Japan is something truly unique (and in some cases a bit interesting). So if you want to give the taste of Japan in a gift, sweets are a great option. You could get this collection of KitKats from Japan, or gift a monthly subscription to Japanese treats!

I mean can you think of a better gift than receiving sweets from your favorite country every month?

#19 Japanese cookbooks

Japanese cookbook
Photo courtesy of Amazon

Cookbooks are another example of great Japanese gifts for people who love food and cooking. I selected a few cool cookbooks for all sorts of diets and cooks.

#20 Geta sandals

Japanese sandals with floral print
Photo courtesy of Amazon

Geta sandals are traditional Japanese flip-flips (kind of). Obviously, they come in all shapes and sizes. If you opt for the not-so-traditional geta sandals on Amazon, it’s a rather affordable gift for Japan lovers.

However, if you are looking for traditional Japanese gifts, you may want to check out the geta sandals from Japan Objects. They are slightly more expensive though.

#21 Japan-themed travel mug

Travel mug
Photo courtesy of Zazzle

Here is another great Japanese gift idea for a coffee lover; a Japanese-themed travel mug.

Check out Zazzle for a wide selection of Japan-themed mugs.

#22 Fun Japan-related books

Be more Japan book cover
Photo courtesy of Amazon

If you are looking for gifts for Japan lovers and bookworms then perhaps one of the following books might be a cool idea.

#23 Japan-themed water bottle

Water bottle with cherry blossom
Photo courtesy of Zazzle

As you will see later on in this list, anything related to cherry blossoms is always a good gift for Japan lovers.

And a water bottle is super practical for travelers (and non-travelers) because it will help them to reduce the amount of places bottles they use (perfect for sustainable travelers). So it’s a win-win for everyone.

But don’t worry if you don’t like the cherry blossom design, Zazzle offers plenty of Japanese-themed water bottles.

#24 Sushi-making kit

Sushi kit
Photo courtesy of Amazon

If you are looking for the best Japanese food gifts, this post has a few awesome gifts for you. You’ve already come across a few of them. But obviously, one of the best is a sushi-making kit.

It is probably not the most unique Japanese gift idea, but come on, what Japanese food lover, doesn’t love sushi?

#25 Japan travel guide

Lonely Planet Japan guidebook
Photo courtesy of Amazon

Travel books about Japan are awesome Japanese gifts for someone who is going to travel to Japan soon. Of course, you have to check whether they already have a guidebook. But even if they already have one, you can try to find one for a specific region, city, or natural park.

Some great Japan travel guides include:

#26 Japanese kimono

Woman wearing a Kimono with a print of a cat
Photo courtesy of Amazon

A kimono is probably the most famous piece of clothing in Japan. They are traditionally worn by both men and women, have long sleeves, and are worn from the shoulders down to the heels. As you search for kimonos on Amazon, you will notice straight away that the offers are not quite the traditional kimonos you’ll find in Japan.

I’m not here to tell you which one’s a better gift. I’m just here to show you where to find them.

For traditional Japan gifts, check out Kimono Yukata Market.

For the more affordable and modern ones, head over to Amazon.

#27 More traditional Japanese clothing

A jacket in Japanese style
Photo courtesy of Amazon

I mentioned the Kimono as one of the great gift ideas from Japan, but obviously, you can find more traditional clothing from Japan.

I am not going to pretend to be an expert in Japanese clothing, so I am just going to send you over to Japan Objects for more information and inspiration. Or if you are familiar with some of the items, check out:

  • Hanten – A winter coat
  • Samue – A linen pair of pants and shirts
  • Maekake – An apron

#28 Cherry blossom-related gifts

Artificial cherry blossom
Photo courtesy of Amazon

If you think of Japan, the cherry blossom will surely pop into your mind.

Simply check out Amazon to get some inspiration for cherry blossom-related gifts. Or go for these artificial cherry blossoms, to give the permanent feeling of the cherry blossom season in Japan!

#29 Takoyaki maker

Takoyaki maker
Photo courtesy of Amazon

If you are looking for gifts for Japanese food lovers, a Takoyaki maker is exactly what you need!

Takoyaki are typical Japanese octopus balls, made from wheat flour batter and octopus. And to make them you need a specific pan; the takoyaki maker!

Best Japanese gifts for small budgets

#30 Tea gifts from Japan

Japanese twig tea box
Photo courtesy of Amazon

If you are looking for Japanese gift ideas for tea lovers, look no further. This Japanese twig tea is perfect for tea drinkers who would love to taste Japan at home.

Alternatively, head over to my tea gift guide.

#31 Japanese martial arts courses

In my safe travel gifts guide, I have already shared the idea of gifting a self-defense class for travelers. But gifting a Japanese martial arts course would be an even better gift for Japan lovers!

It’s a win-win. By learning about Japanese martial arts they will do something related to the country they love and you will know they’re learning skills to help them stay safe on the road!

Udemy offers online courses for various martial arts, but also check out schools in the area that offer classes.

For boxing fans though, have a look at these 25 unbeatable boxing gifts!

#32 Travel chopsticks

Travel chopsticks
Photo courtesy of Amazon

Do you need gifts for Japanese food lovers, who can eat sushi anywhere, anytime?

Then these travel chopsticks are perfect!

They can take them anywhere, ditch the plastic sticks, and enjoy their sushi in the traditional Japanese way.

#33 Japanese-themed gifts: socks

Japanese-themed socks
Photo courtesy of Amazon

Aren’t these socks the cutest Japan gift ideas for a small budget?

Or is it me getting carried away by my love for socks again?

#34 Japanese coloring book

Adult coloring book in Japanese style
Photo courtesy of Amazon

Coloring books for adults work really soothing and relaxing. So if you are looking for gifts for Japan lovers who could really use a bit of relaxation, this coloring book is perfect.

Check out Amazon for different styles of coloring books.

#35 Japanese-themed tote bag

A tote bag
Photo courtesy of Zazzle

Tote bags can make great Japan gift ideas. If you buy a Japanese-themed bag of course ; ). And luckily you can find a lot of those on Zazzle. I quite liked this vintage tote bag.

#36 Japanese good luck charms

Omamori charms in a cotton bag with Japanese signs
Photo courtesy of Amazon

Omamori charms are amulets that are often sold in Japanese and Buddhist traditions and are said to bring good luck or protection.

#37 Japanese hand fan

Japanese hand fan
Photo courtesy of Amazon

Hand fans are both practical and fashionable gifts from Japan. People often think they originated in China, but Japan actually holds that title. For more background information about fans, where they originated, and what their function was in the military, you should definitely read this in-depth guide.

For those who simply want to buy one as a gift, check out Japan Objects for a traditional fan.

However, for cheaper, but less traditional options head over to Amazon.

#38 Japanese gift ideas for the home

Tokyo anime-style wall art
Photo courtesy of Amazon

Japanese-themed wall art is a great gift for Japan lovers at home. This way they can decorate their entire home with the country they love the most. I quite liked this poster of Tokyo in anime style. But simply check out all the options on Amazon.

#39 Japanese keyring

Japanese style keyring
Photo courtesy of Amazon

These keyrings are great Japanese-themed gifts if you just want to give something small and thoughtful. You could go for this cherry blossom one, or pick one of the many options on Amazon.

#40 Japanese travel journal

Japanese travel journal
Photo courtesy of Amazon

This Japanese-themed travel journal is a great Japanese gift idea for someone who will travel to Japan soon! If you would rather find a traditional travel journal, check out these 25 cute travel journals.

Save these Japanese gift ideas

Did you save these gifts for Japan lovers on Pinterest yet?

The 40 best Japanese gifts

AUTHOR

Hi, I’m Lara, a 30-year-old travel-lover (but who’s not these days?). I love reading, puzzling, world-heritage sites, researching, and making lists, which comes in quite handy when you’re making lists of travel gift ideas!