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If you need souvenirs for family, friends and coworkers, reasonably priced presents are definitely appealing. However, since you’re already buying anyway, you’d want to choose something that will make the recipient happy, correct? Having said that, here are some recommended souvenirs from each area in Japan that you can buy for 1,200 JPY or less!

Tokyo

Ginno-budo Chocolate Sand (Almond) by Ginno-budo

Located in floor B1 of Gransta, Ginno-budo (Grapestone) is a specialty shop that houses a wide selection of sweets from hot brands that Ginno-budo created. The Ginno-budo Chocolate Sand (Almond) (a chocolate cookie sandwich in almond flavor) (712 JPY for 8 pieces, 1,080 JPY for 12 pieces), which won 2nd place in the Tokyo Eki Gentei Miyage Ranking (a ranking of souvenirs that are only available at Tokyo Station), is a staple product that has record sales of more than 50,000 pieces in a single day. It is a treat that is characterized by its crunchy texture, fragrant roasted cacao aroma, and luxurious appearance.

Tokyo Caramel Wafer Bars by Patisserie Kihachi

Tokyo Caramel Wafer Bars (1,080 JPY for 10 pieces) is the best-selling souvenir at Terminal 1 of Haneda Airport. The sweet milk caramel and slightly bitter caramel flavors are both popular, as they are both perfect combinations to the crunchy wafer bars. The chic design that is based on the navy-blue packaging also makes it easy to be given as a gift. It is an exquisite treat that people of all ages will love.

Yokohama

Kurumicco by Kamakura Beniya

Kurumicco (702 JPY for 5 pieces, 1,165 JPY for 8 pieces), a classic product made by Kamakura Beniya, is a pastry made of butter dough that is filled with homemade caramel and has bits of walnut inside. This handmade sweet made by artisans comes in a cute packaging that has drawings of squirrels on it. If you buy the 8-piece set, you can have a free message card from the cashier if you want, so you can add a message to your gift.

Hokkaido

Jaga Pokkuru 10-in-a-Bag by Potato Farm

Jaga Pokkuru (885 JPY for 10 packs) is manufactured and sold under the Potato Farm brand of Calbee. Named after Koropokkuru, a deity that brings happiness, this long-selling treat is made by taking Hokkaido-grown potatoes, slicing them into sticks, and then deep-frying them. It is characterized by the mild saltiness of roasted salt from Okhotsk, Russia, and its soft and flaky texture which is unlike the crunchy texture of other fried potato snacks.

Tokai

Kaeru Manju by Aoyagi Sohonke

Aoyagi Sohonke is known by its logo of a kaeru (frog) jumping in a yanagi (willow tree). Kaeru Manju (steamed bun with filling) (270 JPY for 3 pieces) is a souvenir that was inspired by this logo. It has been seeing steady sales since it was first produced in 1989 thanks to the rave reviews of its cute appearance. It has cemented its place as Aoyagi Sohonke’s best-selling product, with different flavors released each season, such as the matcha-flavored bean paste flavor (mid-April to late-August), the sweet potato-flavored bean paste (early September until mid-December), the chocolate-flavored bean paste (mid-December to mid-February), and cherry blossom-flavored bean paste (mid-February until mid-April).

Sennari by Ryoguchiya Korekiyo

Sennari (820 JPY for 5 pieces) is a classic souvenir made by Ryoguchiya Korekiyo, which is known as the oldest Japanese-style confectionery shop in Nagoya, with a history that spans over 380 years since it opened. This confectionery is a dorayaki (sponge cake sandwich with red bean jam filling) that offers a perfect fusion of soft, fragrant sponge cake and specialty bean paste that is made by thoroughly cooking Hokkaido-grown azuki beans. Aside from Azuki Tsubuan (coarse sweet azuki bean paste), Matcha An (uses local matcha) and Beni Tsubuan (coarse red bean paste) fillings are also available. It is an exquisite treat that will give you a glimpse of history with its burnt-in mark of the Sennari Byotan (Sennari Gourd), the commander’s flag that belongs to Toyotomi Hideyoshi.

Kansai

Kyo Hannari by Kyoto Gion Anon Honten

Kyo Hannari (840 JPY for 5 pieces) is a manju with a thick matcha-flavored bean paste. The matcha comes from Marukyu Koyamaen. Starting with the Anpone, this is a sweet that Anon, which is engaged in creating pastries that use anko (bean jam), spent more than a year working on, from completion until sales. With white bean paste as its base, it uses Ao Arashi matcha from Marukyu Koyamaen, a well-established tea garden in Kyoto’s Uji area. This confectionery is known for having a perfect blend of anko and dough, as well as its smooth texture. It comes in easy-to-eat, small and thin pieces, so you can give it as a souvenir even to children, women, and maiko (apprentice geisha) in Kyoto.

Kyoto Monogatari by Uchu Wagashi

Kyoto Monogatari (1,080 JPY for 10 pieces) is a set of rakugan (hard candy made with starch and sugar) that has been created under the theme “Ima no Kyoto” (Kyoto Today). Each piece of rakugan is a simple and carefully crafted candy made with Wasanbon sugar, which has a robust flavor. Boasting a melt-in-your-mouth feeling, this is a hard candy that will melt quickly and leave a great aftertaste. These colorful sweets that bear the names of Kamogawa, Heian Shrine, Five-Storied Pagoda, and Kyoto Tower in capital letters are the perfect souvenir from Kyoto.

Kyushu

Niwaka Senpei Toundo

Niwaka Senpei (648 JPY for 4 extra-large pieces, 648 JPY for 16 small pieces), which is characterized by a character with indescribably droopy eyes, is a delicacy that has long been loved in Hakata. Famous as a souvenir that represents Hakata, this senbei (rice cracker) is overflowing with humor. The character’s striking droopy eyes was inspired by Hakata Niwaka, a traditional theatrical performance loved by people in Hakata, wherein the punch line is delivered at the end of a light and witty conversation that is fully spoken in Hakata’s dialect. There is no doubt that everyone who gets this humorous senbei will have a lot of fun wearing it as a mask. The main appeal of this delicacy is that you will not get tired of its crispy texture, simple taste that comes from using fine wheat flour produced in Kyushu, and its ability to pair well with anything.

Hakata Marron by Akai Fusen

People love the Hakata Marron (Chestnuts) 8-in-a-Bag (605 JPY) because every piece is bite-sized and easy to eat. It is a luxurious dessert of lavish chestnut paste wrapped in butter-filled financier (a type of pastry). To create this dessert, Japanese chestnuts from Kyushu are slowly boiled with sugar to create a marron glacé, and then the glacé is finely crushed and mixed with bean paste to give this treat a grainy texture. Akai Fusen is particular about using Kyushu-grown ingredients, including chestnuts, eggs and wheat flour, and each piece of this pastry is handmade by artisans who have full knowledge about the local ingredients.

For those who want to get a hold of various kinds of souvenirs, as well as those who just want little souvenirs to take home with them, it is recommended to check out these affordable sweets that come in sets of only a few pieces!

[This article was originally published in Walkerplus on 08.08.2017]

*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.

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