Merry blogmas! Or, it’s holiday blog gift guide season. This is the last one of the season (from me) … We’re hitting our mail-by date tomorrow here in Okinawa (and incoming gifts from the states probably won’t get here in time if ordered now). But, if you want to send a little taste of Japan to a friend in another part of the world this season, this guide is for you!
* note: this post contains some affiliate links; you won’t pay any extra, but if you purchase with this kind of link, I will receive a small commission.
I’ve mentioned these Kose eye masks before … and they bear talking about again. I started a tiny wave of buying frenzy on Instagram when I reviewed them a while back. For good reason too … they’re crazy affordable and they WORK. If you’re local, you can probably find them at most drugstores and even grocery stores (I bought mine at my neighborhood Kanehide (two birds) but I can’t find them at every store I’ve been to) for less than on Amazon, but if you need to ship them Amazon may be your best bet this time of year.
Next up in our Japanese blogmas … snacks! Japanese snacks are super fun! They’re always changing up the flavors and offerings and each geographic area will have their own local flavors in many products (ala Japan’s famous Kit Kats). I have friends that have bought Japan Crate subscriptions after moving from here and they seem to like that service (the pictures look super cute, too). Amazon also sells a variety of that kind of thing, like this one:
A word to the wise though … if you are in Japan, these snacks are (of course) much less expensive to buy local. If you can hand carry (or are sending other stuff too), you would be better off to make a run to Don Q before you do, cost-wise.
Another skincare idea … both Japanese skincare newbs and skincare junkies alike would love these two products. I’ve waxed poetic about this Softymo cleansing oil before, and the foaming cleanser from Hada Labo is a cult classic among skincare diehards. Hada Labo is sort of the La Roche Posay of Japan, as far as skincare nerds are concerned.
For a wide variety of gift recipients this blogmas: Kokeshi dolls are a beloved gift for many foreigners in Japan. There are so many variations (and beautiful antiques) available in Japan. This kit from Amazon would be a good fit for an artistic child or adult (heads up … you will want to have your own paints and brushes if you aren’t into one brush and primary colors only).
You may not want to encourage socks-and-sandals wearing amongst your family and friends, but tabi socks fit the bill for a fun and cute Japanese gift, particularly for a smaller gift (white elephant, kids and teens, teacher gifts, stocking stuffers, etc).
Baumkuchen … baumkuchen haunted my dreams during and after my first trip to Japan. When I moved here, I’m not going to lie that being able to buy and eat my ‘measuring tape cakes’ again was at the top of my reactions. I actually don’t love many of the ones sold in Okinawa (mainland baumkuchen is overall superior in my book) … but the cakes are like the string cheese or Twizzler Pull n Peel of Japanese deserts … tasty AND fun to eat.
Finally, if you’re in Japan (or headed this way) and looking for fun omiyage gifts … don’t forget about your local Daiso (or especially, your local ginormous Daiso). If you are new here, Daiso is the Japanese miracle known elsewhere as a dollar store. Most items are 108 yen (100 yen plus tax, or about $1 USD), and most are also, amazingly, made in Japan. Daiso, like everywhere in Japan, changes up its offerings seasonally, but they generally (particularly the big ones) offer some really cute (and usually good quality) Japanese souvenirs. Little stationary sets, calendars, ninja pens, and sushi erasers are scattered from one end of the shop to the other (make sure you venture outside the shop’s souvenir area for all kinds of additional Japanese adorableness). The tea and coffee cups, dish ware, and bento sets are a must-see.
What are you sending home for the holidays? Is there a go-to gift that you ALWAYS pick up? AND, if you’re a blogger, what blogmas gifts are you recommending this year? Let me know in the comments!