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Gifts for Japanese people


24 Oct 2003
Going to visit some people in Japan in a couple months. Any ideas as to what Japanese people would like to receive from America? Age groups would be: children, early teens, middle agers, crusty old fogies. I.e., every age except in the 20's-30's range.

I think probably NY Yankees stuff with a certain outfielders name on it will be required (we're from NYC), other than that, not so sure.
Just bring them food, so that that way, when you hand them a present they won't be thinking "Oh god, an inferior AMERICAN product!"

lol -.- but i'm sure whatever you bring will be fine, its the thought that counts right? :) Good luck!
Might be worth checking.....

with customs, the post office, airport security about what you can and can't do or bring. They recomend not wrapping gifts to go through airport security now days. Life has so many rules and regs nowdays that don't make sense to the average person. The last thing you want is to spend money on what you think is a good gift and have it confiscated by some official. A quick phone call might save you a problem down the line.30 years ago American cigerettes and Johnny Walker were always well received; don't know nowdays ?? Good luck and enjoy your trip !!


"The last thing you want is to spend money on what you think is a good gift and have it confiscated by some official."
very good advice!
as for what i do, usually music or magazines (like entertainment mags or hip-hop cds -- .those tabloid magazines are a hoot also)
but one (me/i) never really knows if it's well received...
Speaking of getting things confiscated...Ever try getting through customs in France with an antique crossbow?
Well, when I had a Japanese friend visit me in America, she brought my family candy, a really nice scarf (that was actually from Australia), and some authentic Japanese things....
When I give her gifts...I try to stick with things you can only find in America....and that's hard to do! So, anything with American words on it works for me!
My friend's uncle went to Japan and brought the family he was staying with some St. Louis Cardinals hats and balls. He said they really liked all that baseball stuff.
Christmas Gift

Christmas Gift

-> Every Christmas I send of course the Holiday card, and 1 (or 2) music CD's from the greatest decade in music (1970-1979).

-> I pick great music from the 70's, thats sort of forgotten

-> The CD's are cheap, because they are 25-30 years ago.

-> Example: Best Of Linda Rondstadt was $ 11.00

p.s: graduated High School 1973

Chocolates. Try some nice Fannie May. Since I'm from Chicago, I always bring nice little boxes of Frango Mints with pictures of Chicago on them.
-Make it something from your locality.
-Foods work well, particularly sweets.
Psuedo-Japanese food stuffs from America are always fun as well. I recently gave my host family some bags of so-called Tokyo Snack Mix and Osaka Rice Crackers I had picked up at a world market fair here. :)
The baseball stuff is a good idea. Throw in some Ichiro stuff while you're at it. He's the main one they follow.

If you get food stuffs, it should be nicely packed if possible. Don't go for super sweet stuff like milk chocolate or really sugary treats. Go for nice cookies that go well with tea/coffee or salty stuff that goes well with beer. Or fishy stuff like smoked salmon.

For the kids, I'd get them some kids books in English or a kid's picture dictionary.
Through my work i have noticed, that at least those Japanese people who visit in our shop, really like design stuff. The price doesn't matter if they really like it...
So, maybe if you could find some design items in a reasonable price, by american designers/artists?And add a leaflet telling about the artist? Of course that gift would be for people over 20...and if you do buy something, it should probably be something quite simple, so it would fit in every home and also in to the Japanese taste.
i gave this book of (english language) sayings/quotations to a friend's boss a year ago
If I were a your freind, I would like anything with the letter N.Y. (make sense??) Nowadays, Hideki Matsui is very populer here so I recommend something with his name or team name NY Yankees.

What else.....
I would like to have American flag. I know we can get it here in Japan. But if i get it from USA , I will be happier than i buy here,

Don`t be too serious. Just bring them with the letter USA or NY in English. They will be pressure.

ツ(sorry for my poor English....) Hope you can understand what i am saying.
Originally posted by まりも玉
(sorry for my poor English....) Hope you can understand what I am saying.

Thank you! (Don't apologize for you're English, it's much better than my Japanese).
kov - It's been awhile since your post, but since I'm in the same boat as you, I thought I'd share my ideas. I doubt we'll be giving gifts to the same people anyway. ;)

I'm going to give Jazz/Blues CDs, Yankees stuff (natch), and some artsy - but nothing kitsch - from the Metropolitan and Guggenheim museums' shops.
Sounds almost exactly like what we're doing. Guggenheim, music, Yankees stuff and CBGB shirts (for the guys who hate baseball).
Originally posted by kov
Sounds almost exactly like what we're doing. Guggenheim, music, Yankees stuff and CBGB shirts (for the guys who hate baseball).

LOL. I had the hardest time thinking up good gifts that represent NYC to someone in Tokyo (or anywhere else for that matter), and the things that I finally come up with are about the only items that I can come up with! :)

I'm also going to see if I can find some good Broadway stuff (coffee table books, music, and such) since tourists, U.S. or otherwise, always like to go to see a show.

I suppose there're stuff representing Long Island, but...
If you're from Canada, maple syrup and candies might be a very good idea :p

50 ml contains 167 calories (about 700 kilojoules) .... can keep the calmest kids hyper for a while :p

What's the going price for a can of maple syrup now in Japan ?

The data I can get is that it's about 27-30 dollars CDN for a gallon (makes sence since 500-or-so mLs sell for 7 dollars more or less)

I wonder if it's taxed as customs, even if you declare it as a gift o_O
Ah now iron chief has given me the idea of starting an illegal porn ring in japan!

1 more question, Normal porn has to be censored in japan but anime does not? what.
But at the same its considered more taboo then human porn bye many people, ranked up with S&M ect?

<--- good at hijacking threads!
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