Japan has a totally unique souvenir culture. Known as omiyage, souvenirs in Japan are usually sweets or snacks in pretty packages that are exclusive to certain prefectures, areas, or even train stations. It’s custom to bring home such omiyage from the place you visited, and offer them to your friends, family, and even co-workers. Being the biggest and most visited city in Japan, it’s only natural that Tokyo offers a wide variety of omiyage to choose from. The place with the most extensive selection of Tokyo omiyage is Tokyo Station, but you can also find them in airports, as well as some popular tourists spots (ex. Tokyo Tower). Let’s take a closer look at some of the most popular sweets and snack you can bring home as souvenirs:
cover photo credit:Janine
1. TOKYO BANANA
TOKYO BANANA is Tokyo’s best-known omiyage. The ‘bananas’ are actually individually packaged sponge cakes with various fillings. Their shape is supposed to resemble a banana, and the filling flavors range from chocolate and vanilla to custard and matcha. There are over ten varieties of Tokyo Banana, and each of them is characterized by a specific pattern printed on the cakes.
Name: TOKYO BANANA Red Brick House
Address: 1-9-1 Marunouchi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-0005 (JR Tokyo Station in Yaesu Central Exit Gate)
Business hour: Every day 6:30am-9:30pm
Phone number: (+81)120-384-440
Official website: http://www.tokyobanana.jp/language/en/
2. Japanese Sweets from Funawa
If you’re looking for something a bit more Japanese than custard-filled sponge cakes, you might want to check out Funawa – a chain that specializes in traditional Japanese sweets. They have several branches in Asakusa and one inside Tokyo Station. Their most popular omiyage is Ankotama – a box with colorful agar-glazed bean paste balls. Another popular choice is their yokan, and you can also opt for a box that contains both Ankotama and potato yokan.
Address: 1-9-1 Marunouchi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-0005 (JR Tokyo Station, under the central passage Tokaido Line)
Business hour: Every day 6:30am-10pm
Phone number: (+81)120-278-215
Official website: http://funawa.jp/
3. Choco Sando
Choco Sando is another Tokyo Station staple. It is produced by a confectionery shop called Gin no Budou and features various fillings sandwiched between two thin cookies. The most popular choice is the chocolate variety, which is a chocolate lover’s dream. There’s also a ‘brown and white’ Chocho Sando, which features white almond cream instead of chocolate. If you prefer matcha, the Matcha Sando is right up your alley – it comes with vanilla and matcha cream sandwiched between green tea flavored cookies.
Name: Gin no Budou
Address:1-9-1 Marunouchi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-0005 (JR Tokyo Station B1 Gransta)
Business hour: Every day, 8am-10pm
Phone number: (+81)3-3216-4560
Official website: http://www.ginnobudo.jp/
4. R.L waffle cake
The R.L waffle cake are a skillful mix of Japanese and Western confectionery mastery. Delicious flavored cream is laid out between two Belgian waffles, then pressed and cut in the fashion of Japanese sandwiches. This makes it easy to hold and eat without getting your hands and face all dirty. You can buy RL Waffle cakes in individual packages, or get a variety of flavors in a box of eight.
Name: R.L waffle cake
Address:1-9-1 Marunouchi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo (JR East Tokyo Station B1F)
Business hour: Every Day, 8am-10pm
Phone number: (+81)3-3287-1234
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5. Izumiya cookies
Izumiya was the first ever Japanese confectionery shop to make and sell Western-style cookies. Their cookies are the perfect omiyage for that cookie monster in your life – and they also have a sense of history to them. Izumiya sells them in regular paper boxes and even metal tins, which are perfect for keeping your cookies intact all the way home.
Address:1-9-1 Marunouchi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-0005 (JR Tokyo Station, North Exit)
Business hours: Every day, 8am-10pm
Phone number: (+81)3-6268-0154
6. Mameya Bean Snacks
Mameya is a store that specializes in bean snacks. They offer a wide variety of flavors – from chocolate and sugar to strawberry and matcha. They also sell a variety of savory flavors, such as regular roasted soybeans and dried red and white beans. As a bonus, their packaging is adorable, usually featuring classic Japanese motifs – perfect for bringing home as a souvenir from Tokyo!
Address:1-9-1 Marunouchi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo (JR East Tokyo Station Underground 1st Floor Gransta)
Business hours: Every day, 8am-10pm
Phone number: (+81)3-5223-1313
As you can see, Tokyo has a wide variety of edible souvenirs to choose from. From Western sweets like cookies and waffles to traditional Japanese ones, like youkan and anko, there is something for anyone to enjoy!
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