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Jun 6, 2011 09:36 PM

Favorite food omiyage from Tokyo


We return home several times a year to visit family and friends and as such are starting to repeat our omiyage offerings. Besides some rice crackers and unusual candy (e.g. season KitKats) we haven't brought back much food yet. I thought it might be interesting to have a thread where people could share what travel worthy foods and snacks they love here in Tokyo.

So, whether high-end or low-end, what are your favorite food gifts from Tokyo - or just food you love that would travel well?

Many thanks

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  1. Karinto! There's a place in Tokyo that's well known for its karinto--can't remember the name off-hand. Not the one in Tokyo Station that's really about the gimmick (all sorts of different flavours), but a small shop that specializes in karinto--near a famous temple or shrine. . . Near Ueno? Aoyama? Can anyone fill in the blanks with my pitiful amount of information?

    I also like bontaname--similar candy is found in the US and Canada, but it originates in Japan. It's really from somewhere in Kyushu, not Tokyo, but it can be found at those shops that sell old-time candies.

    I don't know about the food likes and dislikes of your family and friends, but I also like to bring tsukemono for those who like pickles, and chirimen jako that's been simmered and mixed with walnuts. Also not Tokyo-specific, but still tasty.

    Cookies like Yoku Moku are always popular with my friends, too.

    Depending on where you live, you may also be able to bring in mikan, yuzu, and similar fruits (they can be imported into Canada, for example). They are very different from the mandarin oranges or similar normally available.

    1 Reply
    1. I remember! The karinto place is called Kagetsu!

      I love karinto, and the people I gave it to enjoyed it, too.

      1. The absolutely best places I have found are the prefectural antenna shops- which are aggregated loosely in the Yurakucho-Ginza area. Each shop offers small packages of local specialties. Interesting stuff like artisanal shoyu, unique dried seafood preps, different senbei, preserved snacks, all kinds of stuff. I try to hit some every time I’m back. We also go to the food floors of the large 100 YEN stores to get stuff.

        1. For high end, Henri Charpentier cookies/pastries. Some of their items are packaged so they are suited for travel, and they have some nice seasonal varieties - These are a big hit with Japanese friends. Available in several depachikas in Tokyo.

          My office favorite seems to be the seasonal kitkats. If they are different flavors from the last time, they are not repeats!

          And a candy that I bring home for myself is called "tappuri oishii" - pictured here: It used to be easy to find in Asian stores where I live, but not in years. It's fruit flavored hard candy with a soft center. The thing I like about it is that the fruit flavor is really intense (especially the grape). You can find it in most grocery stores, I think, and it's pretty cheap.

          1. Yes! I agree with Prasantrin's reply. My favorite cookies from Yoku Moku / cigare



            or Shiroi Koibito


            You can find them at major department stores in Tokyo.

            My favorite is Tokyu department store in Shibuya, Tokyo