Tokyo take-homes must be the most covetable in the world for travellers who appreciate beautiful things. I don’t need to give you ideas as to where to find lovely locally made mementoes, although it’s a task I’ve relished, as there’s no shortage of elegant shops selling enchanting souvenirs, or omiyage in Japanese, all over Tokyo.
Tokyo Take-Homes: Quintessential Keepsakes
What to Buy
The most quintessential Tokyo take-homes I could find a Tokyo subway tea-towel, elegant chopsticks, dainty handkerchiefs, delicate coin purses, colourful washi paper, ‘insulated bottles’ (thermos flasks), and traditional tenugui (above; as pretty as they are, they can be used for anything from wiping sweat from your brow to wrapping gifts).
Where to Shop
Department stores such as Mitsukoshi, Matsuzakaya, and Matusya are all great places to find gorgeous gifts, and our friend Yuto recommends Oriental Bazaar, which is fantastic for kimonos, yukata, dolls, woodblock prints, ceramics and antiques.
My favourite one-stop shop is Tokyo Hands, a terrific place that sells everything from kitchen goods to wet weather gear for monsoon. They produce a brilliant brochure aimed at tourists, directing you to the best floors for souvenirs which you can pick up from the information desk on your right as you enter the ground floor Shibuya-ku store.
Tokyo Hands is where Terence finally found his canvas knife case and a replacement meat thermometer (he accidentally left his in a lucky holiday rental kitchen somewhere) and I found my Kurochiku drink warmer (I’ve always wanted one; above).
I usually only do one ‘Take-Homes’ post per destination, but shopping is so fabulous in Tokyo that I have done a few for you, on Supermarket Souvenirs, Stationery Souvenirs and Kitsch Keepsakes for Kids. Fortunately everything is so light here I won’t need to pay for excess baggage.
Been to Tokyo? What’s your idea of a quintessential Tokyo souvenir and where did you buy it from?