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Japan Today

June 15, 2012

Most Popular Japanese Souvenirs

Traveling to a foreign country is a wonderful adventure and a delightful experience for many people around the world. Most of the travelers would like to bring some souvenirs back to their home countries as memories of their exciting experiences overseas. However, it would be difficult for those tourists to make up their minds what souvenirs they should buy in an unfamiliar nation, especially if they were visiting Japan.

There are so many interesting as well as elegant souvenirs that represent the culture of Japan, and most of these souvenirs are actually quite famous throughout the world. For instance, Japanese traditional dolls and food replica samples have become symbols of Japan in many western countries. In order to facilitate foreign tourists who are not familiar with Japan to decide what souvenirs should bring back to their home countries, the followings may serve as references of some of the most popular Japanese souvenirs rated by several foreign travelers: 


Maneki-Neko:

Maneki-Neko, which is a statue of beckoning cat, perhaps can be seen everywhere throughout the nation from restaurants, shops, offices, and even banks. It is like a lucky charm, and Japanese people believe that it brings good fortune and wealth. The origin of maneki-neko comes from Gotoku-ji Temple in Tokyo where stores hundreds of maneki-neko in various sizes brought by people praying for their business success, as well as for their missing or ill cats.

    

Yukata and Uchiwa:
Whereas kimono, a Japanese traditional garment, is more formal and usually worn in winter; yukata is a casual form of light cotton kimono worn mostly in summer. Japanese women and children feel more pleasurable when they wear yukata and use uchiwa (Japanese hand fan) to join numerous traditional summer festivals throughout the nation.


  

 Geta:

Getas, traditional Japanese footwear, are usually preferred when people wearing yukata and going to festivals. Getas are wooden clogs or flip-flops that keep the feet well above the ground and make distinctive “clacking” sounds while walking.

 


  

Furin: 

Furin is a Japanese wind chime made usually of glass or metal and hung outside of a house or a modern building. Most people prefer hang furins in front of their windows or doors. In some Asian countries, furin is thought to be good luck and is also used in Feng Shui. Many people feel a light refreshing breeze when they hear the sounds made by furin in the wind.


In addition to the aforementioned, other souvenirs like Japanese chopsticks, tenugui (a thin rectangular cotton towel), paper lantern, wagasa (a traditional umbrella), daruma dolls, kendama (a traditional hammer-like toy), Kites, koma (a spinning top), and Japanese porcelain are all very popular as well. Regardless of which Japanese souvenirs foreign travelers would like to choose, the most important things are enjoying a new culture, as well as sharing joyful travel experiences with their love ones, families, and friends while visiting Japan.

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