Looking for something quintessentially Japanese for that perfect gift or souvenir? Each month, we round up some of our favorite artisanal items made by local craftsmen and designers, and October is all for the foodies…
Umi no Utage (Deluxe Assorted Shrimp Snack Gift Set) by Keishindo
Made entirely from ingredients sourced in Japan, this unique gift set features a variety of shrimp-themed snacks, all made from shrimp grilled whole in the “ippon-yaki” style, which Keishindo created after a long period of trial and error. Emphasizing the sea creature’s trademark red color and pleasantly crisp texture, this unique assortment of snacks makes a perfect gift for special occasions.
Ginza Heshire Cake by Kuma3
Produced by Kuma3, a Japanese restaurant in Ginza, the Heshire Cake is made with fermented butter from France, and features three flavors: Sweet Black Soybeans, Waguri with Chestnuts, and Matcha with Azuki Beans – all mixed into the rich, buttery dough by hand.
Lemonica by Liberte honpo Co., Ltd
Beloved by people of all ages, fried squid is an ever-popular snack, yet few people know that more than 90% of the squid fried in Japan comes from Kure and Onomichi in Hiroshima Prefecture. Lemonica was made with the aim of helping fried squid gain wider recognition as a well-known product originating from Hiroshima, blending the bite-sized seafood snack with homemade lemon salt from Hiroshima, which is another famous product from the western prefecture.
Mamena Macarons by Honma Co., Ltd.
Produced by a well-established company that has been making confectioneries in Hokkaido for over 110 years, Mamena Macarons is an innovative new sweet, bringing together fashionable French macarons and the taste of traditional Japan. With the aim of changing the image of red bean paste from being conservative and old-fashioned to something young and trendy, Honma Co. has teamed up with a prominent patissier to create five unique flavors of macarons representing the spirit of Japan. Bon appétit!
Nokogiriyama Baumkuchen by Fuyokankokaihatsu Co., Ltd.
Putting a spin on the traditional German cake, Nokogiriyama Baumkuchen is a dessert unique to the Boso Peninsula in Chiba Prefecture. Referencing the beautiful lines and layers of Mount Nokogiri in its design, this baumkuchen has a one-of-a-kind shape.
Baratz by ByJapan, Co., Ltd.
Amid the growing worldwide awareness for healthy eating, nori is gaining a new reputation as Japan’s superfood. To combat the declining interest in nori domestically, Baratz was brought to life as a tasty snack-mix of nori and nuts, demonstrating the wonderful and nutritious qualities of nori to younger generations.
Awaai Imokintsuba by Kurio Shoten Ltd.
Awaai Imokintsuba is a unique confection which fuses the taste of sweet potato, blueberries and edible indigo from the Tokushima region, the home of Japan’s famed indigo color. With the help from local high school students, who have been taught the know-how of producing indigo, this dessert not only brings together some of Tokushima’s most popular produce, but also helps bring new life to the local farming industry.
Nagasaki Mochimochi Gomatofu by Houmoto Sesame Tofu Co., Ltd.
Since the time of Japan’s national isolation, Nagasaki has been known for producing some of the country’s best sweet dishes. Made from roasted sesame seeds and served with kinako powder and kuromitsu syrup, Mochi Mochi Sesame Tofu is the reinvention of traditional sesame tofu, and has turned the once side dish into a fully fledged dessert. Produced with an unchanged method since the founding of the business, this sesame tofu is not only free from preservatives or coloring agents, but also lets you taste the history of Nagasaki.
Uji Matcha Chocolate Crunch “Cha-no-ki” by Hayashiyaakyutaro Co., Ltd.
In an age where ready-to-drink tea mostly comes in plastic bottles and cans, Uji Matcha Chocolate Crunch “Cha-no-ki” was created with the goal of passing on the flavor of matcha tea to future generations. This unique confection fuses Uji Matcha with traditional rice crackers from Arima Onsen to create a unique snack which is perfect for any green tea lover.
All featured products are part of Omotenashi Selection, a project that brings together fine handcrafted items from around Japan and shares them with international audiences.
For more info, go to omotenashinippon.jp/selection/en