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Cool Japan Guide / 30 must-have souvenirs from Japan (2)

Have you ever happened to be in a foreign country, to wish to bring home some souvenir and to be unable to decide what to buy? In Japan, this may be an interesting topic, since there are so many options.

6/30 Wagasa (Traditional Japanese umbrella)

Japan has an old and strong tradition regarding umbrellas. The wagasa umbrella is used not only for rain protection, but also as an accessory for tea ceremony or in traditional theater (kabuki).
Even if it was replaced for day to day use by the cheap plastic umbrellas, the wagasa, made of bamboo and Japanese paper, is a symbol of traditional Japan and is one of the most popular souvenirs.

7/30 Furin

The sound of furin is one of the specific sounds of Japan, heard not only in traditional areas but also in modern buildings. Produced since the Edo period, the furin is a glass or metal bell, usually hung in front of the window or door, making sounds in the wind to announce a refreshing breeze.

Travel tip:
You can find furin in many tourist places in Japan, but you can find a wider variety at some fairs (like the Hozuki Ichi, taking place at Senso-ji Temple in Asakusa).

8/30 Ukiyo-e prints

The ukiyo-e, “pictures of the floating world”, appeared during the 17th century and are still quite popular. Representing landscapes, historical scenes, famous actors or sumo wrestlers, ukiyo-e is the main artistic genre of woodblock printing in Japan and is probably a must have in any Japan traveller’s collection.

9/30 Daruma dolls

Representing Bodhidharma (the founder of Zen Buddhism), Daruma are spherical dolls, usually red-colored amulets for good luck, prosperity and for power to accomplish goals. A Daruma doll is always sold without drawing the eyes. The owner, when making the wish, paints in the first eye and the second eye is painted in only after the wish is fulfilled.

Travel tip:
You can buy Daruma dolls from almost every gift shop, but if you wish something special, at the beginning of the year, various Daruma fairs are held throughout Japan. The biggest fair is held at Darumadera Temple in Takasaki, about 100 kilometers northwest of Tokyo.

10/30 Japanese chopsticks



The traditional Japanese chopsticks are made from lacquered wood with a pointed end, and come in several sizes (usually for men, women and children). They are different from the Chinese versions – Japanese chopsticks are shorter and more rounded. They are often sold in sets, as decorative objects, many of them painted with various motifs and they are a very pleasant souvenir especially for those who enjoy Japanese food.
Visit the Link: http://www.japantoday.com/category/travel/view/30-must-have-souvenirs-from-japan

By TS on Jun 14, 2012
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