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Food gifts for Japanese friends?

alohatiki Jul 30, 2009 10:09 AM

My Husband and I are going to visit Tokyo at the end of August, he does a lot of informal business and has a lot of friends in Tokyo, and as per Japanese Custom wants to bring small "omiyage" ( gifts) to give people there. When his friends come here they bring small gifts like Japanese Tea, Dry Noodles, etc- the gift is usually something small and transient/can be consumed- I.E. something that won't take up space in people's houses, and something that is local specialty or delicacy of the area they are visiting from.

We have given See's Candy as gifts in the past, but with the Summer heat we don't want to transport Chocolate. Any suggestions from the SF Bay area of what to bring?


  1. Delucacheesemonger Jul 30, 2009 01:15 PM

    Cho Shiku Bai sake from Berkeley is a very good nigori sake, and quite inexpensive.
    Comes in a variety of sizes, put in check in luggage. Cowgirl creamery products, not necessarily the cheeses, from Ferry market, might work as well.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Delucacheesemonger
      Robb S Jul 30, 2009 06:00 PM

      Wow, there's just so much great sake made in Japan that I think just about anything else would be a better gift (unless you're looking for a gag gift). If you're going to the trouble of transporting bottles, then a bottle of California wine would be much more appreciated.

    2. Debbie M Jul 30, 2009 06:41 PM

      There was a similar thread a few years ago. The advice given still holds up:


      1. l
        lost squirrel Jul 30, 2009 09:54 PM

        Also, there is a See's Candy outlet in Omotesando. Another confectionary might be a better choice if you stick with chocolate.

        1. oonth Aug 1, 2009 11:25 AM

          I've taken high grade sea salt from the UK before as a present which has gone down quite well. Some Japanese folk (including my girlfriend's dad) like their speciality salts.

          1. d
            deraumai Aug 1, 2009 07:11 PM

            More ideas here on another current thread


            1. a
              alohatiki Aug 2, 2009 08:15 PM

              thanks, i am getting some good ideas. Anything I think up is a liquid and I don't want to risk the checked luggage. Coffee is a good idea since it is big deal in San Francisco now. I also like the idea of nuts, easy to transport.

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