Looking for the best Japanese gift ideas? You’ve come to the right place! At The Japanese Shop, we have decades of experience sourcing and curating the very best Japanese gift items, all made in Japan. Here, we share 26 of our most popular Japanese gifts, with something for all tastes, occasions and budgets.
26 Best Japanese Gifts
1. Traditional Kokeshi Doll
One of our most popular Japanese gift ideas is the traditional Kokeshi doll. Our Kokeshi are hand-painted in Japan, and are crafted using traditional carving methods from Cherry and Mizuki trees to ensure their authenticity. Kokeshi dolls are full of character and make a charming addition to the home.
Japanese incense is often considered to be the best incense in the world. Many people enjoy burning incense in the home as it helps to create a relaxing environment and is perfect for both aromatherapy and meditation. If this sounds up your loved one’s street, then a Japanese incense gift set would be a lovely present. Not only are they presented beautifully, but they also feature a range of scents.
3. Japanese Bowls
If they love to spend time in the kitchen, why not treat them to some beautiful Japanese bowls? Bowls with unique colours and intricate designs make meal time that much more enjoyable, and will be a hit with any guests. Perfect for any occasion, but especially for a loved one who’s just moved home! From ramen bowls to rice bowls to serving bowls, there’s something for everyone.
4. Shugi Bukuro
Shugi bukuro are a special, intricately designed envelope intended to be used to gift money. Shugi bukuro are most traditionally used for wineddg gifts, however they can be used on multiple special occasions. You can learn how to use shugi bukuro authentically in our guide, or watch our video here.
5. Silk Kimono
For a graceful and sumptuous Japanese garment gift, you should consider an authentic silk kimono. Lightweight, comfortable and beautiful in design, each silk kimono is made in Kyoto using the highest quality silk. This is definitely a luxurious Japanese gift item that will last them for years.
6. Lucky Cat
Lucky cats are an iconic symbol of Japan, and they make for a special Japanese gift idea! Traditionally called maneki-neko, their upright paw is said to bring good fortune to the owner. A lucky cat is a meaningful gift, and would be extra special for someone starting a new job, graduating from school or moving to a new city.
7. Japanese Tea Set
Much like in the UK, drinking tea is a part of Japanese culture. Green tea and matcha tea are more popular in Japan, and you may have heard of the traditional Japanese tea ceremony. If you’re gifting someone who loves herbal tea, a beautiful tea set or tea cup would be a lovely present. Or, if they’re a matcha tea enthusiast, you could opt for a unique matcha tea bowl set, with bamboo whisk and spoon included!
8. Calligraphy Set
For the artistic friend or family member, why not gift a traditional Japanese calligraphy set? Calligraphy is growing in popularity as a relaxing, mindfulness activity that all ages can enjoy and master. Don’t forget to add a an introductory guide book for those who’ve never tried it!
9. Japanese Jewellery Box
Japanese jewellery boxes make for a super unique Japanese gift idea. These little jewellery boxes are perfect for taking on the go, and the unique twist-to-open mechanism keeps all their accessories nice and safe. At The Japanese Shop, we sell these jewellery boxes in a range of beautiful fabrics to suit anyone’s tastes.
10. Vintage Kimono
If you’re looking for a Japanese gift item that’s authentic and completely one-of-a-kind, then take a look at our vintage kimono. As each kimono is vintage, there is only one design of each, and you’re helping to prolong the life of these stunning garments. We quality-check each piece before adding them to our collection to ensure they’re in excellent condition. Perfect for a friend who loves sustainable clothing!
Everybody loves fresh flowers in the home, no matter the time of year, which makes a traditional vase a very good Japanese gift. Japanese vases come in a range of interesting shapes and gorgeous colours, so whichever design you choose will be sure to make a statement.
12. Woodblock Print
Woodblock prints (Edo moku-hanga) are some of the oldest and most traditional types of art in Japanese culture. They make for an extremely special gift that would make a statement in the home. All our prints are completely hand crafted by members of the Tokyo Traditional Woodblock Manufacturing Association using traditional Ukiyo-e carving and printing techniques which have been used for centuries. We also offer the option of selling the prints framed, so it's completely ready to display!
For the friend who loves Japanese cooking, or Asian cooking in general, authentic chopsticks (hashi) are a great gift idea. This way, they can finally enjoy their Japanese meals in style! You can either choose from a range of individual designs, or go for a complete gift set. And, make sure to share our step-by-step guide on using chopsticks if they need a refresher!
14. Japanese Cookbook
From sushi to okonomiyaki to Japanese noodles, there is a lot of love about traditional Japanese food. Not only is Japanese food generally considered very healthy, but it is also one of the most unique and impressive cuisines to master. If you think they’d enjoy trying to make a bit of everything, a general Japanese cookbook is a good choice. Or, you could opt for a specialised sushi-making or ramen cookbook – there’s plenty to choose from!
Origami (the art of folding paper) is a traditional Japanese pastime that provides a wealth of benefits. Not only is origami an outlet for us to be creative and mindful, but it can also help cognitive and motor skills. Origami paper sets come in a range of amazing designs and colours, and of course there are project books to follow too (including books and sets designed for kids!).
16. Daruma Doll
Daruma dolls are another unique and thoughtful Japanese gift idea. Iconic in style, daruma dolls are typically red, rounded and depict a bearded man (Dharma). They are also weighted at the bottom to avoid falling over – this symbolises perseverance. The history of daruma dolls is rich, and they make a great gift of encouragement!
17. Year of the Animal Kokeshi Doll
In Japan, each birth year has its own animal. Originally adopted from Chinese astrology, there are similarities between the Chinese and Japanese zodiac calendars. You’ll need to know their birthday before deducing their zodiac animal (we give a summary in our Japanese birth year animal guide). Gifting a year of the animal Kokeshi is a thoughtful gift and a fun way for them to learn about the typical personality traits behind their animal!
18. Lucky Owl
Lucky owls are a popular Japanese gift idea – they’re a perfect pocket-sized gift and are believed to protect against hardship. You can gift lucky owls in various colours, with each colour representing a different message. For example, a pink owl is believed to bring you love (making for a cute anniversary or Valentine’s gift!) whereas a black owl keeps you in good health.
19. Japanese Kitchen Knives
The Japanese are known for their premium quality kitchen knives, making the ideal, luxury gift for the master chef in your life. Our Japanese knives are made with the highest quality Damascus steel, and crafted in the same style as the katana Japanese sword. Not only are these knives amazing to use, they’re also exquisite to look at.
Despite their similarities, yukata and kimono are actually different Japanese garments. Yukata are generally more casual and lightweight than kimono, making them perfect for wearing in the summer or at home. This is a good Japanese gift idea for someone who loves the style of a traditional garment with maximum comfort. We have a range of authentic designs to choose from, with all of our yukata designed and made in Kyoto.
21. Sake Set
Sake is a delicious Japanese drink that can be enjoyed year round – drink it hot in the winter and cold in the summer. Sake is traditionally served in a sake bottle and enjoyed out of small, sake cups. These sets are ideal for a sake fan; they’re beautiful in design and will make a real statement when inviting friends over for a drink or two.
22. Lipstick Case
For the person who’s always on the go, a Japanese lipstick case is a lovely gift! Lipstick cases are small enough to pop in any bag, housing your lipstick safely. They also come with a mirror for touch-ups, and are covered in beautiful Japanese fabric. This is a particularly popular gift for ladies and a great stocking filler!
23. Wind Chimes
Wind chimes are very popular in Japan, and we can understand why! They add charm to your space and are relaxing to listen to. Wind chimes are a good Japanese gift because they’re dainty, a symbol of good luck in Japanese culture, and are important to feng shui.
24. Japanese Plates
Japanese plates are a beautiful way to add some interest to the kitchen and the home, especially perfect for the person who loves to cook and host! Modern and stylish, our Japanese plates are designed and made in Japan with earthenware and porcelain.
25. Christmas Kokeshi Dolls
Many of us love to decorate our entire homes for the Christmas season, and a Christmas Kokeshi doll would be the sweetest addition. Christmas Kokeshi are extremely popular and are Japanese gift items that would be cherished over the years.
26. Furoshiki Cloth
Japanese furoshiki cloth is a traditional wrapping cloth that is most often used to wrap gifts, however it can also be used keep your things safely together when you’re on the go or even as a decorative wall hanging! Furoshiki is considered a more eco-friendly alternative to standard wrapping paper, so it’s a lovely gift idea for anybody looking to be more sustainable. And, with a range of stunning Japanese designs, there’s something for every taste. We hope our list of best Japanese gift ideas has left you feeling inspired and ready to treat your loved one (or yourself!). Explore all of our authentic Japanese gifts online, and don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions about our collections. And don't forget that we offer complimentary Japanese-style gift wrapping on almost all items! Are you following us on Instagram and Facebook? This is where we share all of our new-in items, so come and join us!