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
Instagram/ Twitter /Facebook
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!
Authentic Kaiseki Japanese Restaurant in Shibuya - Kappou Sa...
For true lovers of the exquisite elegance that is Japanese culture, a traditional kaiseki meal is an experience that should not be passed up. Kaiseki is a traditional Japanese course meal, wherein each dish is an art piece made with the finest ingredients. Each dish is to be experienced with all five of your senses—the exquisite taste, the delectable aroma, the elegant appearance, the texture of the ingredients, and even the sounds of the preparation. While many may think that traditional Japanese culture can only be found in Kyoto, there are still traces to be found even in modern day...
Japanese Ice Cream: The Top 5 to Try!
Do you like ice cream? Many people love it, especially in the hot days of summer. It cools us down and cheers us up. In Japan, the total sales of ice creams for 2017 year was more than five hundred billion yen. There are various kinds of ice creams in Japan as well, and this article will introduce five must-try ice creams you should try in summer if you come to Japan. 1. Yukimi-Daifuku This is at the top of the recommendations list because it is one of the most unique ice creams in Japan. `Yukimi` means to enjoy a snow scenery, and...
Some Unusual Japanese Foods That Are Actually Good for You
Japan has the lowest obesity in the world and I believe the secret for that is in the food. A traditional Japanese diet is well balanced; they eat more fish than red meat, also plenty of fermented foods and vegetables. The Japanese diet is low in calories but also extremely nutritious. Even though all of these foods below are often called “weird” by most internationals and expats in Japan, they are super healthy and worth a try. 1. Natto Natto has been known by Japanese as a healthy food for more than 1000 years. Natto is fermented steamed soybeans mixed...
Best Bars for Foreigners in Sendai
Introduction It’s Friday night. You’re walking through the streets of Sendai, Japan. You‘ve just finished up another long day of sightseeing (or working, if you live there… or studying if you’re a student…) You could really use a break to unwind from the day so you call up your friends for a night out. Then they ask the obvious question: “Where should we go?” Before you start to fret trying to remember the names of your boss’s favorite bars and izakayas, and importantly, wondering which have the best service towards foreigners, read this! Here is a quick list of all...
Best Bars for Foreigners in Osaka
After having spent a day touring and sightseeing around various cities in Japan, there is no better way of ending the day than laying on your back as you sip a cold beer or two. If you happen to be a foreigner who is traveling around Osaka, one of the popular cities of Japan, you would surely be visiting a lot of sightseeing attractions. From the famed Osaka castle to the Dotonbori district, the city of Osaka would surely have you tired at the end of the day. For foreigners who want to spend the rest of the evening relaxing...
Izakaya Hopping in Kichijoji Harmonica Alley
Kichijoji has long been a famous tourist destination in Tokyo. Up until recently, Kichijoji has been ranked as the #1 most desirable place to live by Japanese and foreigners alike, and has a reputation for being a lovely and enjoyable place to live as well as visit. In the heart of Kichijoji, located less then minutes away from Kichijoji station’s bustling north exit, is the Harmonica Alley. Harmonica Alley (also known as “Harmonica Yokocho”), was originally a post-war black market; it now boosts over one-hundred bars, shops, and izakayas which are packed into it’s narrow streets. It continues to be...