The Gifted Blog

October 7, 2011

Japanese Gift Ideas?

Some exciting news - we're going to Thailand and Japan! A dear friend is getting married in Bangkok, and G has been invited to Shizuoka University to observe a lab and work with colleagues there. We leave in a week and a half. The countdown is on.

I've been thinking quite a bit about the matter of gifts for our Japanese hosts. The last time we went, we were able to put together a specific gift for our friends there, but this time I'm not sure who all we might need to give presents to!

I want to be ready with a few gift bags to give to our hosts at the university. I'd like them to be lightweight and have an American flavor. I'm anticipating that some students and maybe student families will be giving us a hand during our stay in Shizuoka. If you were me, what would you put into their goodie bags? How would you wrap them?

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7 comments:

  1. How exciting. Can't help with the gift ideas though. Hope you have a wonderful and interesting time.

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  2. Wow that is amazing! I agree that your gifts should reflect where you come from definitely like some handmade local stuff. As for exactly what that would be... hmm good question...

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  3. @Valerie - Thank you for your well wishes!

    @Michele Pacey - Yes, with all that is readily available in Japan, it is a little tricky to think about what to include that is unique and 'American'. I thought about picking up some postcards of our town but didn't think that our hosts would have much use for them after politely looking at them. : )

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  4. I like the idea of something from your town and I think postcards are a neat idea (they could be used as note cards?). Is there anything else branded with your town - like pencil cases, pens, rulers or other stationery items? Even stickers or brooches could make a fun gift?

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  5. Love it! I went to Japan a few years ago and it remains one of my favorite trips I've ever taken. How long will you be going for. As for what to gift, I would pick things that you think of as uniquely American and not stress too much. You honestly never know what people will be amused by. I remember among the gifts I brought for the hosts I stayed with (either in Australia or France, I forget) were jelly bellys and though I never could have predicted it, they were a huge hit.

    I think consumables are always a good idea because you don't have to worry about someone feeling the pressure to keep it around if it's not their style or thing.

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  6. Little chocolates and candies to sweeten their day! And/or fun little grab bag items from the $1 and $2 bins at Michael's, too! :) There are calendars, notepads, and other cute house stuffs in there! Have a blast and blessed journey!

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  7. Hey Charissa! I'm not sure I have any great gift ideas, but have lots of fun in Thailand and Japan! :) I agree with PPs, some kind of snack food that is local to you would be great. Maybe a s'mores kit with marshmallows, chocolate, and graham crackers? I also heard that it's hard to get vitamins in Japan, but I don't know if that's a little weird?

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