Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Wednesday In Japan... Omiyage

Small gifts from a trip, to give to family and friends at your destination and when you get back home.
Omiyage-gifts go beyond the little souvenirs that you can find on any street corner in America. Although I did find some fabulous key rings from a Walgreens in Tucson that I used as tags on several gifts once that were a huge hit....
They should be thoughtful and nicely wrapped.
Japanese homes are very small so the best gifts are ones that can be consumed or useful.
I remember once giving the most beautiful Honeydew Melon I have ever seen, complete with curled stem and one leaf in a box with tissue strips to the wonderful mother of Yuko. Melons are expensive in Japan and a luxury, so they make a fabulous gift. I bought it in Japan for a thank you, goodbye gift.
Hard to find or different chocolates, cookies or some wine from a certain region are always wonderful.
Kids are somewhat easier David took a small Nerf suction dart gun back to his nephew and was a huge hit.

Omiyage that David and Yuko brought for me.
In front a Totoro pencil bag with color pencils and scarves made from cashmere and silk from the sister of Yuko.
Umbeboshi, pickled plums, from a super friend I really miss. Several boxes of my favorite cookies, thin wafer cookies wrapped around a soy rice cracker, from Yuko's Mother. I love and miss my Japanese Family and friends.
From David and Yuko several bottles of Sake, fabulous green bottle and the pink box, lots of my favorite spicy miso ramen, spicy crackers, and bottles of spices I can't find in Tucson.
David always gives me one found object. The little black/white plastic rectangle on the left, is a handle cover from a Japanese Taxi. In Japan the driver automatically opens and closed the door so some taxis have covers made for the door handle.

I always take one suitcase filled with gifts when I go to Japan. I lost the before photo of the suitcase but here is a photo of my bag when I got home. I filled half with paper goods and of course wonderful items from the Ghibli Shop but the rest is over filled with gifts given to me. I repacked this bag about three times.

exciting. . . parsnip
music. . . You Make It Easy, Air
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  1. What cool gifts! I used to take a collapsible suitcase with me when I traveled, just for the stuff I'd bring home. Now, security is so tight, it's difficult to take much or bring much back!

    1. I always have a stuffed suitcase when I come back. Even though Japan is very strict they are super helpful. But I agree it was easier years ago. The crazy Middle East has ruined it for us all.

  2. I love gifts that involve a little bit of thought and effort. Just lovely.

    1. I so agree, they don't always have to be super expensive but thoughtful.

  3. The joy and thought of these gifts and their exchanges makes me feel happy today. We always bring each other a rock or something we find on our trips. I love your "found object" gift the most :)

    1. This is going to sound very weird but I always use to bring a rock back from places I visited. Now I think maybe they belong were Nature placed them and it is not my place to take them. I must be so weird !

  4. You have a gift for gifts - pardon the pun - and it seeems to run in the family.

    1. Yes we love our gifts... and teh pun is very appreciated.

  5. Oh my! I would LOVE to visit the Ghibli Shop! love the Totoro pencil case.