The final shopping spot before leaving Japan is the airport. In addition to cosmetics, souvenir selections are plentiful, including airport originals and products unique to Japan. Since you are on your way back home, you don’t have to worry about increasing luggage. It’s time to get those last minute souvenirs you missed.
Narita International Airport
Gourmet tastes from all over Japan
Narita International Airport, the gateway into Japan, contains a market complex with gourmet tastes from all over Japan. From Japanese sake to wine, from Japanese sweets to Western deserts and seasonal fruit, the dazzling selection will make you want to try a bit of everything. Japanese rice, recently garnering popularity abroad as well, is available in small packs for convenient transport home.
Japan Origami Museum
Origami is a traditional Japanese pastime of folding paper into shapes such as plants, animals, and household items. Narita International Airport houses the Japan Origami Museum, which displays some 400 origami works. These intricately crafted origami pieces are all inspirational. And of course, an origami shop and books on origami are available, presenting the perfect chance for you to give it a try yourself.
Japan Traditional Crafts
Narita International Airport also has a shop that displays the best of Japanese craft culture, with items such as Japanese paper and high-class lacquer made from traditional Japanese techniques and shimmering white pearls. Take a look at wonderful craftworks, each made with the polished skill of artisan.
When thinking of Japanese tea, green tea generally comes to mind. There are different brands of Japanese teas all over Japan, and Japanese people love tea so much that the brands compete with each other to produce the best flavors. The airport contains a wealth of items perfect for souvenirs, such as cans of tea wrapped in Japanese paper and a plentiful assortment of tea leaves in small pack sets. Also, enjoy chocolates and cookies made with “matcha,” a powdered green tea that is recently garnering popularity outside of Japan as well. The mellow bitterness of Japanese tea and sweetness of deserts create an exquisite harmony.
Kansai International Airport
Japanese and Western Sweets
A very popular Japanese treat from the Kansai region is the famous Kyoto confectionary called “raw Yatsuhashi.” Cinnamon flavored rice cake skin is wrapped around azuki bean paste. A variety of flavors are available, such as matcha (green tea), black sesame, and even a special version made with cherry blossom petals sold only in the spring. (For best flavor, store up to about 10 days at room temperature) Western sweets such as chocolates, cookies, and baked confectionaries are also extremely popular as souvenirs from Japan. Purchase assorted sets of original Kansai Airport baked confectionary made by famous chefs and popular items from famous stores: flavor is guaranteed. Also available is a plentiful assortment of Western style sweets made with matcha and unique to Japan.
Umeboshi (pickled and dried Japanese plums)
A common sight in the Kansai Airport souvenir retail area is the “umeboshi.” These pickled plum fruits pack a stimulating burst of saltiness and sourness. They are especially popular as a famous local product in Wakayama Prefecture, neighboring Osaka Prefecture. Their unique flavor isn’t for everyone, but they are definitely a must-try as a traditional health food item. Some of the specialty umeboshi even sell for as much as 200 yen and up for one plum.
Takoyaki (grilled octopus balls) and okonomiyaki (grilled savory pancakes)
Many travelers through Japan have thought, “I want to share authentic takoyaki and okonomiyaki with my family and friends!!” And at Kansai Airport, they have discovered frozen takoyaki and okonomiyaki. You have to check the time limit on carrying these items home with you, but some products allow plenty of time for transport. And the price is reasonable at around 1,000 yen per box. When you return home, just heat up in the microwave to recreate the authentic Osaka flavor!!
Drug stores, 100-yen shops, and home electronic shops
Kansai Airport contains drugstores (cosmetics), 100-yen shops (assorted goods sold for 100 yen each), and home electronic shops (small electronic products). Travelers with last minute regrets such as, “I should have bought that,” or, “I want one more of these,” can rest easy with these convenient shopping areas. The scale is small compared to shops in the city, but they feature an abundance of products popular among foreign travelers.