Omiyage in Japan

Omiyage are a part of the national identity in Japan, where manners and politeness allow for people to make a habit out of buying a specialist snack as a coming home gift. Omiyage, as the tradition dictates, are a food gift from a specific area or country, depending on where you are coming from. While local gifts are not really cared for in the West unless you are a big foodie (who wouldn’t want authentic Italian pesto?), most Japanese omiyage are simply sweets or crackers, going with the ideas of wagashi and senbei. Giving a foodie present is part of the reason most Japanese people go away for holiday in the first place. Bringing a delicious snack back from the area of Japan that you visit or alternatively, from abroad is the perfect way to break the ice with Japanese friends as well! Nothing says a good gift like a well-chosen omiyage.

Giving a foodie present is part of the reason most Japanese people go away for holiday in the first place. Bringing a delicious snack back from the area of Japan that you visit or alternatively, from abroad is the perfect way to break the ice with Japanese friends as well! Nothing says a good gift like a well-chosen omiyage.

The most popular local Japanese omiyage are sweets, and they differΒ from area to area in Japan. They are usually lined up in boxes in department stores in each prefecture, advertising the ingredient or special treat that the prefecture is known for. If you are in any particular area, check out the boxes at the front of the shop to see what the prefecture is known for. The fruits or products used in the omiyage present the best available, so you will certainly get to know the peak of the produce.

For each of the 47 prefectures in Japan, there is a famous product or sweet that it is known for. Unlike the idea of homemade gifts seen here in the West, omiyage cannot be home-made. The professional packaging and effective decoration are just part of the decorative charm. It is incredibly important that you take theΒ time to choose the best gift for the right person, as the omiyage is also a way of showing respect to the giftee.

For a list of all the most popular omiyage in Japan from each prefecture, click here!

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