My three-day Japan trip wouldn’t be complete without bringing home something to remind me of my journey after time passes. I know not a few people who think that buying souvenirs is kinda kitschy, superficial and touristy, but I really don’t mind, whatever floats your boat as they say.
The perfect place to buy souvenirs in Tokyo is at Asakusa’s Nakamise Street. They have almost everything, if not really everything every keychain loving tourists love. Besides the almost one hundred shops lining its main avenue, there are other side streets I wasn’t able to explore where more touristy junks can be purchased. One of the nicest things I got here were a pair wooden Japanese dolls. It was expensive at ¥1,000.00 but they looked really cute and very Japanese.
An old friend was asking me to buy her a Katana sword ever since she got news that I was going to Japan. But a sword of that kind costs an arm and a leg! I couldn’t afford a ¥30,000.00++ sword so I got her the next best thing after it. A mini Katana; it was a fraction of the price and looked really cool. It almost got confiscated in the airport though; I didn’t know it has a real blade inside!
I was also tipped that G-Shock watches were really really cheap in Japan, like half the price cheap from the prices in our malls. And the best place to get them were at the Don Quijote (Donki to the locals) shops that dot most major cities in the country. The models in the shop in Shibuya were quite limited though, luckily I found an exact match of the one that A wanted. I was unable to get myself a G-Shock, unfortunately, as the ones for the guys were still a bit expensive.
And then there are the ref magnets! I love how fine and detailed the magnets are in Japan. I also like the fact that they’re not made of plastic or metal. I got myself a few for my own fridge and some more for my aunts back home. There were also a lot of keychains being sold at Nakamise Street but I’m not a keychain person. It’s interesting to note that the prices of these souvenirs are exactly the same with those being sold at the airport.
I’ve been craving for a green tea KitKat ever since receiving one a few months ago as a pasalubong. I didn’t know these come in different flavors, being used to the normal red ones being sold at convenience stores in Manila. There are more than 200 varieties; from the mild sakura macha to the totally weird wasabi and soy sauce-flavored ones. We’ve been on the lookout for these ever since arriving in Japan but to no avail. Luckily, a few stores inside Narita Airport have them, no wasabi flavor though.
But the best souvenirs I got from Japan were those that didn’t cost me a single yen. The colorful and finely folded crane and turtle origami given by the Hotel Okura were really beautiful. I decided to permanently tuck them inside the pages of my yellowing travel journal.
Being a Scrooge left me with quite a chunk of yens left in my wallet after my three-day jaunt in Japan. I exchanged most of these to peso as soon as I got back home but decided to leave a few as a souvenir. Since most money changers don’t accept anything lower than ¥50.00 coins, I now have a chunky coin purse filled with ¥10.00 coins. It’s burstingly full I can even spare a few, want some? :D