The Tokyo Shopping Guide for Traditional Souvenirs
10 traditional things you must buy from Tokyo and where to find them
Ibasen (Japanese fan)
Ibasen was founded in 1590. Over 400-years since the establishment, IBASEN keeps the traditional skills of “SENSU” foldable fan, “UCHIWA” fan, “WABUNGU” Japanese-style stationeries until today.
Chikusen (Yukata fabric)
Chikusen has been dealing in dyed kimonos since 1842 – choose between the formal silk Edo komon (think tea ceremony) and the more casual, lightweight yukata (think fireworks and festivals).
Kiya (kitchen knives)
Kit your kitchen out in every kind of high quality Japanese knife you'll ever need from this cutlery specialist established in 1792. They are always experimenting with new technology and materials, so your knives will be cutting edge.
Saruya (tooth pick)
Saruya has been producing toothpicks since 1704 – an impressive feat of longevity that makes more sense once you've actually used one of their handmade wonders. There's a good range of box sets on offer, many of them featuring toothpicks wrapped in paper slips bearing fortunes and love songs.
Ozu washi (Japanese paper and stationaries)
So thin, delicate and pretty is the traditional paper sold at Ozu Washi that it's almost impossible to resist touching.
Kuroeya (Japanese lacquerware)
Kuroeya has been dealing in fine-quality lacquer ware since its founding in 1689. Lacquer ware is the generic term applied to utensils generally made of wood and coated with the sap of the Japanese lacquer tree.
In woodcut engraving for producing Ukiyo-e prints business since 1928. The Adachi Institute prides makes reproduction of Ukiyo-e prints by employing the same skills, techniques and materials that were used in the original woodcut print makers in the 18th and 19th centuries. Their studio and showroom are located in Tokyo (approx. 30 min car ride from the hotel).
As the main theatre for kabuki in Tokyo, Kabukiza is a top attraction. On the basement level, the souvenir shop stocks a fantastic assortment of goods related to the traditional form of drama – if you’re not keen to go all the way with kabuki make-up, then try the face mask designed to look like the real deal. This is a great place to stock up on souvenirs and gifts.
Probably the best-known gift shop in Tokyo, this is a useful one-stop outlet for almost everything: dolls, china, kimonos, yukata, furniture, antiques and books on Japan. Ideal for stocking up on presents and souvenirs in one easy trip. Prices are generally moderate, and staff speak English.
Maruyama Nori was founded in 1854 –at the end of the Edo period– in the Nihonbashi district of Tokyo and carried out the wholesale trade of dried seaweed. Since 1980 they have also been supplying superior quality tea under the brand name of “Jugetsudo”. Inheritor of 150 years of tradition, and uncompromising on product quality, they would like to convey to thier customers by means of tea and nori, the particular spirit of Japanese cuisine, authentic values and delicate flavors.