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.
IRODO FABRIC STICKERS BY FUSOU CO., LTD.
Attach these fabric stickers to bags, pouches, T-shirts and more by simply rubbing them on – no iron needed. Ideal for creative types who love to personalize items.
ATTE CHOUCHOU AROMA STICKS BY ASSISTAREA CO., LTD.
So pretty in design, you’d never guess that these little cones are meant to be used as shoe deodorant. Perfectly eco-friendly, they’re made from discarded woodchips and rely on the natural antibacterial and deodorant effects of Noto Hiba trees.
GOKANKAKU PAPER FLOWER FRAGRANCE DIFFUSER BY MARUAI INC.
Created by a company that has been manufacturing paper products for more than 130 years, this gorgeous fragrance diffuser combines shoji paper with enticing fragrances, transforming one’s everyday environment into a more inviting space.
PORTABLE HIGH-QUALITY BRUSH SET WITH MAKIE BY HIROSHIMA ARTIST BRUSH MANUFACTURING CO., LTD.
Each makeup brush in this luxurious portable set features an exquisite maki-e (lacquerwork) style painting of goldfish on its handle, making this not only a practical (the brushes are collapsible so they’re super compact) but also a beautifully artistic gift for that special someone.
¥16,200 for set of three brushes, www.artbrush-hiroshima.com/en
OLYESTER ORIGAMI™ BY TOYOBO STC CO,. LTD.
Made with Toyobo’s new material Olyester®, a foldable polyester film, these waterproof, durable and glossy origami sheets fuse Japan’s traditional origami (folding paper) culture with the latest technology. Not only can they be folded into cranes, they can also be used as a fancy tablecloth or outdoor decor.
RECOLLE MINI PET URN by KAMBARA & CO., LTD.
Not something you’re likely to have come across before, but the pet lovers amongst us will appreciate the sentiment behind this item. If you or a loved one has lost a pet, the Recolle mini urn helps to keep the furry companion’s memory alive in a tasteful way.
SHIZUOKA EIGHT KINDS OF TEA BY SHIZUOKA CHA GIRL PROJECT
Shizuoka’s mountainous terrain is perfect for growing a wide variety of tea leaves and this tea bag set offers a selection of eight rare types of tea. The cute packaging is designed to look like a tea farm when lined up with other boxes, adding a playful element to your tea tasting adventure.
OFUKI EYEGLASS CLEANING CLOTH BY SOMARU
Using the same process as for kimono fabric dyeing, skilled craftsmen produce these eyeglass cleaning cloths from silk dyed with the Kyo-yuzen method – a technique that harks back to the Edo period and is uniqe to Kyoto.
MOUNT FUJI THE SPIRITUAL PEAK OF JAPAN BY KENSIN CO., LTD.
You’ve admired it, perhaps you’ve even hiked up it, and now you can keep an artistic and geologically accurate representation of Japan’s most famous peak on your coffee table or office desk. This mini Mt Fuji is created with 3D printing and is designed using map data.
SHINOBUE YOGAKUTYO SINONOME (SHINOBUE FLUTE IN WESTERN SCALE) BY OTSUKA CHIKUKAN GAKKI CO., LTD.
For the musical one in your life, the Shinobue (traditional Japanese transverse flute) is a stunning keepsake. While staying true to traditions and techniques used since the Edo period, this company has developed the Shinobue in Western scale so it can be played in ensembles with piano and stringed instruments.
TSUGARU VIDRO HANDMADE GLASSWARE BY ISHIZUKA GLASS CO., LTD.
Tsugaru Vidro is a handmade glassware line that embodies the beauty of Japan’s four seasons through the artisans’ skilled techniques. We love the Nebuta series, which is an exceptional collection that uses over 100 vibrant colors to express the dynamic energy of Aomori’s Nebuta Festival.
ENJU-MIYABI BY KAWASHIMATATEGU CO., LTD.
This series of Japanese traditional woodwork products is created using a technique called kumikozaiku. Each product is carefully handmade by skilled craftsmen and embraces the spirit of Japanese hospitality, omotenashi.
MUQU GOLF IRON HEADS BY MS MANUFACTURING DEPARTMENT CO., LTD.
Score a hole-in-one with this golf iron head that’s carved out of steel with unprecedented high precision. In collaboration with skilled craftspeople specialized in plating, grinding and etching, each iron head is tailored to its user.
¥360,000 (single piece), ¥2,160,000 (set of six), www.muqugolf.jp/index_e.html
CAT’S SMALL PRINT GIFT SET BY CERAMIC AI CO., LTD.
The traditional small print pattern komon has been reimagined into a modern design using adorable cats as a motif. These gift sets are adorned with uniquely Japanese items such as Senshu-made gauze towels and wooden chopsticks, porcelain mamezara (small plates) and chopstick rests, expressing gratitude and goodwill.
SPECIALTY COFFEE DRIP GIFT USING AWA WASHI PAPER BY ROSETTA COFFEE JAPAN CO., LTD.
Rosetta Coffee Japan’s specialty coffee drip assortment gift includes their most popular blends. This gift box is wrapped in traditional Tokushima Awa washi paper, making it a gorgeous gift for coffee lovers.
CLEAR AMAZAKE BY HANAMARUKI FOODS INC.
Made by finely squeezing rice malt from domestic rice, Clear Amazake is a transparent, non-alcoholic, sweet sake that can be enjoyed by everyone. No coloring agents or preservatives are used.
¥200 (RRP), www.hanamaruki.co.jp/amazake.html
QM WEATHER BY QUANTUM INC.
This one is for the picky interior decor fan, always browsing the latest home accessories trends. QM Weather is a new kind of IoT signage device that takes the latest online weather forecast and displays it visually so that you can “feel” the rain or shine.
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