18 items suitable as souvenirs for business entertainment and tips for choosing the right ones for foreigners.

Mayumi Folio
Mayumi Folio

It is hard to know what kind of souvenirs to choose for business entertainment, especially for foreigners.

Giving a small gift in lieu of a greeting is a well-established etiquette in Asian countries other than Japan.

You still want to give them something they will be happy to receive when entertaining Westerners, don’t you?

In this issue, we will introduce souvenirs that will be appreciated for entertaining foreigners.

The author, who lives overseas, has selected 18 Japanese items that are appreciated by people from overseas based on his actual experiences.

We will also introduce some tips for selecting souvenirs for foreigners, so please refer to them when entertaining foreign guests or on overseas business trips.


Points for choosing souvenirs for foreigners

Here are some pointers on selecting souvenirs when entertaining foreigners.

Please refer to this page for specific ideas on what points to keep in mind while making your selection.

Choose something that gives you a sense of Japanese culture.

If the recipient is a foreigner, it is important to choose an item that evokes a sense of Japanese culture.

Many foreigners are interested in Japanese culture, and there are so many aspects of Japanese aesthetics that are respected internationally, so beautiful and delicious Japanese foods are appreciated.

And sometimes, what we expect from a gift from a Japanese person is still “Japaneseness.

Choose from a selection of uniquely Japanese items such as traditional crafts that showcase the skills of master artisans, stylish Japanese-designed stationery, sake and confectionery.

Japan is a country with a souvenir culture by nature, so there is a wide variety of handmade souvenirs, and Japanese goods are so wonderful that even the politeness of the wrapping is a worldwide topic of conversation.

If you are considering a souvenir that will make a good impression, you will have a higher success rate if you meet their expectations.

Consider how much they know about Japan.

When giving something as a gift to a foreigner, consider how well he or she knows Japan.

It becomes difficult to give a gift of Japanese flavors that they have never tasted before to someone who is somewhat familiar with the country of Japan but does not know much about it.

Taste preferences are greatly influenced by customs and the environment in which one was raised, so it may be surprisingly difficult to find something that is too Japanese, so care should be taken.

Of course, there are cases where people are so impressed by their first taste that they fall in love with it, but if you want to choose something that will not fail, you will be pleased with something that is easy for the recipient to eat and has a slight Japanese flavor.

If you choose sweets, it is safer to choose easy-to-eat but Japanese-style sweets, such as green tea-flavored cookies, rather than high-end fresh sweets.

What would you give to a foreigner who knows Japan well?

On the other hand, for those who love Japan and have been to Japan many times, send a souvenir that is full of the wonders of Japan.

We recommend that you give a gift of traditional Japanese crafts, famous Japanese sweets, or other items that showcase Japanese craftsmanship.

Even if they love Japan, few people still have a deep understanding of the Japanese language, which makes it difficult for some to find their own specialties.

It is a gift filled with such Japanese skills that will impress foreigners who know Japan well. A gift filled with such Japanese craftsmanship will impress even the most Japan-minded foreigner.

Souvenirs can also be a great way to deepen personal exchanges, so please try to find a great gift for a foreigner who is interested in Japan.

Know the culture of the other country

What are some points to keep in mind when giving gifts to foreigners from Asian countries?

The culture of souvenirs for business entertainment tends to be unique to Asia.

Business manners and customs vary from country to country, and one should be aware of the common practices in each country.

In neighboring countries such as China, Korea, and Taiwan, the concept of offering a gift for business entertainment is very similar to the Japanese business etiquette.

Here is an article about business etiquette in different Asian countries.

What are some points to keep in mind when giving gifts to foreigners in Western countries?

On the other hand, in Western countries, gifts to people you have never met before basically do not exist as a matter of etiquette.

Be aware that in some countries, expensive gifts may be accepted as bribes.

Gifts with a personal touch tend to be appreciated, such as a gift to a person with whom you have become personally close or to celebrate the success of a project.

Basically, it is not very likely that a souvenir will affect your business, so don’t expect that to be the case.

Also, giving a souvenir as a reminder of your visit to Japan is often very much appreciated.

Culturally, giving a surprise gift as a Christmas gift is appreciated.

Souvenirs to Westerners should be considered as personal gifts, not as a matter of business etiquette.

The following links are to previous articles on business etiquette in different Western countries.

What are some points to keep in mind when giving gifts to foreigners in Arab countries?

The customs of Arab countries are very different from those of Japan, so it is important to take this into deep consideration when giving something as a gift.

Please note that in Arab countries, a gift from a person you have never met or a gift chosen out of obligation is very rude.

If you are going to give something, make sure it is something special and upscale.

We are pleased with the gift that we want you to receive because it is for you.

Also, food and alcohol should not be given to Muslims.

Some foods are contraindicated for religious reasons, so be careful. Alcohol is basically prohibited for Muslims, and only Halal food is allowed, so please take this into consideration when making your choice.

Here is an article about country-specific business etiquette in Arab countries.

As you can see, manners and common sense regarding souvenirs differ from country to country, so it is important to be careful about giving something in the general framework of a foreigner.

5 sweets that are good as souvenirs for foreign business entertainment

Sweets, which are a standard souvenir for business entertainment, are useful as a gift for business occasions because they disappear and can be shared by everyone.

Here we have selected items that are especially appreciated by foreigners.

We will also introduce Halal-certified sweets and vegan-friendly items for your reference.

Toraya “Small Yokan 14pieces

Image Image from: “https://www.toraya-group.co.jp/products/box-yokan-petite_boxof14”

Toraya is a high-end Japanese wagashi store with branches overseas.

After all, it is also a popular souvenir for foreigners.

Since yokan is made of only adzuki beans, sugar, and agar, it is a good gift for Muslims.

This is a perfect gift for people throughout Asia, especially those who eat sweet azuki on a daily basis.

Please deliver the elegant sweetness of Japan.

Although it is a fresh confectionery, it keeps well for a long time, making it an ideal souvenir. However, it is a little heavy, so care should be taken when giving it to customers who travel or carry a lot of luggage.

Product Information: Toraya “Small Yokan 14-pack

Official website: https://www.toraya-group.co.jp/products/box-yokan-petite_boxof14

Price (incl. tax): 4,320 yen

Product contents: 14 pieces, 857g

Item: Sweets

Allergenic ingredients: honey

Shelf life: Approx. 365 days

Coco Chou Chou “Shinshu Vegan Butter Sandwich – Grape

Image Image from: “https://cocochouchou-netshop.com/view/item/000000000175”

Shinshu Vegan Butter Sandwich – Grape” is a very special treat for vegans that can be served immediately upon delivery. It is a vegan and gluten-free butter sandwich, free of eggs, dairy products, wheat, and white sugar.

The grapes from the land of Shinshu are wrapped in a rich, butter-free cream made with coconut oil and cashew nut butter and sandwiched between crispy gluten-free cookies.

Although it does not last long, it is a product that can be enjoyed by our valued vegan customers with a polite taste of Japan.

Product Information: Coco Chou Chou “Shinshu Vegan Butter Sandwich – Grape

Official website: https://cocochouchou-netshop.com/view/item/000000000175

Price (incl. tax): 2,430 yen

Contents: 6 sandwiches (4cm x 4cm x 3cm high)

Item: Sweets

Allergenic items: wheat, eggs, dairy products, peanuts, nuts, soy products and manufactured in shared facilities.

Shelf life: 3 months frozen. After thawing, keep refrigerated for up to 3 days.

Ousando Honten “Tokyo Arare (chili pepper, dried laver, wasabi, powdered green tea)

Image Image from: “https://www.osama-do.co.jp/shopdetail/000000000045/ct19/page1/recommend/”

Certified Halal, Ousando Honten’s “Tokyo Arare” is a gift set filled with okaki crackers in a uniquely Japanese package.

This set includes chili pepper, classic seaweed, matcha green tea, and wasabi for a taste of Japan, making it a typical Japanese souvenir gift.

Product Information: Ousando Honsen “Tokyo Arare (Chili Pepper, Seaweed, Wasabi, Maccha Green Tea)

Official website: https://www.osama-do.co.jp/shopdetail/000000000045/ct19/page1/recommend/

Price (incl. tax): 1188 yen

Product contents: Seaweed, chili pepper and wasabi, 50g each

Item: Sweets

Allergenic items: rice, soybeans

Shelf life: 90 days from date of manufacture

Shiman Shu “Quattro Shrimp and Cheese

Image Image from: “https://www.quattro-ebicheese.com/shopping01.html”

Shimanshu’s Japanese macaroon “Quattro Shrimp Cheese” is a hot item from Shimanshu, a shrimp cracker specialty store in Ise-Shima.

The colorful and colorful shrimp crackers are a perfect snack for alcoholic beverages, and the rich cheese sauce melts in your mouth with its aromatic and light texture.

Pop and cute shrimp crackers will let you experience Japanese KAWAII culture.

Product Information: Shimanshu “Quattro Shrimp Cheese

Official website: https://www.quattro-ebicheese.com/shopping01.html

Price (incl. tax) 3,000 yen

Product Contents 24 bags (4 kinds)

Item: Shrimp crackers

Allergy items: shrimp, milk, soybeans

Shelf life: 10 months from date of manufacture

Uji no Hagoromo” by Kyuemon Ito

Image Image from: “https://www.itohkyuemon.co.jp/c/sweets/094426”

Tea specialty store Kyuemon Ito Kyuemon’s “Uji no Hagoromo” is a French baked pastry langue d’ocha made with an abundance of fragrant matcha green tea.

Foreigners will be impressed by the crunchy texture and the subtle taste of matcha green tea.

The matcha-flavored baked sweets, which are rare overseas, are easy to eat for foreigners who are not accustomed to Japanese sweets, so they are very much appreciated.

Product Information: Kyuemon Ito “Uji no Hagoromo

Official website: https://www.itohkyuemon.co.jp/c/sweets/094426

Shelf life: Approx. 30 days

Capacity: 10 sheets

Allergy items: wheat, milk, eggs, soybeans

Item: Sweets

Price: 1,370 yen

3 Traditional Crafts that Japan Connoisseurs Will Appreciate

Traditional Japanese crafts are appreciated as gifts for foreigners who are Japan connoisseurs.

By choosing a product with the finest Japanese craftsmanship, your sense of style will be well received, and you will love it as a precious item that you will really like and use.

It is also an ideal gift for those who have become close to you personally.

Kamawanu “Tenugui” hand towel eco-bag

Image Image from: “https://www.edocco.net/items/33549118”

Tenugui hand-dyed tenugui eco-bag” by Kamawanu, a brand that proposes hand-dyed tenugui in a modern style.

The eye-catching Japanese patterns will grab the hearts of foreigners.

This product can be used not only as an eco-bag for shopping, but also as a commuting sub-bag as it is large enough to hold A4 documents.

Eco-bags are ideal for souvenirs because no matter how many you have, they don’t get in the way.

Product Information: Kamawanu “Tenugui Hand Towel Eco Bag

Official website: https://www.edocco.net/items/33549118


Size: 37 x 31 x 9 (commuter bag (can hold A4 size))

Price: 3,800 yen

Maki-e ball-point pen “Senbazuru” (gold)

Image Image from: “https://www.thebecos.com/products/s0009-143”

This product is a ballpoint pen lavishly decorated with genuine gold leaf from Kanazawa.

Makie is a traditional technique representative of lacquerware in which lacquer is used to draw pictures and patterns on lacquerware, which is then sprinkled with gold and silver powder and further polished. Makie is applied to pens for everyday use, allowing you to incorporate the skills of Japanese craftsmen into your daily life.

It is especially appreciated by the wealthy in Asia and makes a great celebratory gift.

Prime Minister Abe sent this item to President Trump at the Japan-U.S. summit meeting held in February 2017, and this gem played an active role in the friendship between the U.S. and Japan.

Product information: Maki-e ball-point pen “Senbazuru (gold)” by Foilichi

Official website: https://www.thebecos.com/products/s0009-143

Size: 13.5* 1.2* 1.2 (core: 0.7mm)

Item: Ballpoint pen

Delivery time: 3 to 5 business days (+1 to 2 weeks if out of stock)

Price: 5,500 yen

J.Flavor * Suehirodo “Urushie Kumatori (with fan bag), Nagoya fan

Image Image from: “https://www.thebecos.com/products/s0149-005”

Suehirodo “Urushi-e Kumatori (with fan bag) Nagoya fan” is a fan made of Japanese paper and bamboo, painted with lacquer.

It has a simple and elegant luster that makes the wearer look classy.

A fan with a design that is not to your liking and is perfect for everyday use.

It is painted with kabuki shading popular among foreigners.

Even in foreign countries, it is very helpful to carry a fan in your bag during the hot summer.

Product Information: J.Flavor * Suehirodo “Urushie Kumatori (with fan bag), Nagoya fan

Official website: https://www.thebecos.com/products/s0149-005

Size: W41 x D2.5 x H22.5

Item: folding fan

Materials: Japanese paper, bamboo, bag polyester fabric

Delivery time: 3 to 5 business days (+1 to 2 weeks if out of stock)

Price: 4,600 yen

Two fashionable Japanese tea gifts that foreigners will love

The gift of tea is recommended when there are concerns about food ingredients.

When choosing a gift for a foreigner, one may need to be careful for health or religious reasons.

Japanese tea is of very high quality, making it a gift that will be appreciated, and because it is light, it is not a burden on luggage!

Nakagawa Masashichi Shoten “Tsukigase-cha” tea bag

Image Image from: “https://www.nakagawa-masashichi.jp/shop/g/g4547639467461/”

This gift can of tea grown in “Tsukigase” in Nara Prefecture, known since ancient times as a famous tea-producing region, is an assortment set of three types of tea: green tea in tea bags, Japanese black tea, and brown rice tea, which can be easily consumed.

The attention to detail and the luxurious and elegant design, made possible by the fact that Nakagawa Masashichi Shoten deals in fine Japanese goods, make this a gift that seems to lock in the splendor of Japan.

It’s a great gift for people who like a stylish atmosphere.

Product Information: Nakagawa Masashichi Shoten “Tsukigase-cha” Tea Bag

Official website: https://www.nakagawa-masashichi.jp/shop/g/g4547639467461/

Items: Green tea, Japanese black tea, brown rice tea

Price: 1,188 yen

Ippodo Tea Shop “Uji Shimizu Stick

Image Image from: “https://www.ippodo-tea.co.jp/products/matcha642512”

This product from Ippodo, a long-established tea company, is a green tea that makes it easy to enjoy matcha in cold water, individually packaged for each serving.

It has a simple taste with only clean sweet granulated sugar and matcha green tea.

Matcha is a popular Japanese flavor called “MACHA” that is gaining popularity overseas. It is a tea gift that is appreciated by foreigners because they can easily drink matcha with water.

Small and reasonably priced, it is a good choice for a small souvenir.

However, since it is a low-sugar product, foreigners with a complete sweet tooth should be wary.

Product Information: Ippodo Tea Store – Uji Shimizu – 12 sticks

Official website: https://www.ippodo-tea.co.jp/products/matcha642512

Item: Powdered Green Tea

Price: 1,188 yen

3 Sake Souvenirs for Foreigners

If you are a foreigner who likes to drink, sake is still the best choice.

There are quite a few people who like sake but do not know what to choose, so they are quite impressed when it comes to good sake recommended by a Japanese person.

Gifts of alcoholic beverages are strictly prohibited for Muslims and should never be given at the last minute before departure, as they are not allowed in airplane luggage weight or carry-on!

Fuji Nishiki Shuzo “Fuji no Sake Hiryu Noriun

Image Image from: “https://ys-f-j.jp/”

Junmai Daiginjo and gold leaf sake, the highest grade and gorgeous sake in the ranks of Japanese sake.

Fuji standing in a bottle, the recipient will be unintentionally moved by the impact of the design.

Fuji, you can enjoy it as a light that changes light by placing the included LED light under Mt.

The special packaging, wrapped in an elegant paulownia wood box and wrapped in a luxurious red glossy cloth, is also very attractive.

The accompanying furoshiki can also be selected from eight different dignified patterns, making it a perfect souvenir for foreigners.

A service is also available to engrave a name or message in gold letters.

Product Information: Fuji Nishiki Shuzo “Fuji no Sake Hiryu Noriun

Official website: https://ys-f-j.jp/

Item: Sake Junmai Daiginjo with gold leaf

Price: 22,000-25,850 yen (varies depending on the type of furoshiki)

Imadaiji Sake Brewery “NISHIKIGOI

Image Image from: “https://imayotsukasa.co.jp/product/celebration/”

Nishikigoi-NISHIKIGOI” is a daiginjo with a bottle design reminiscent of Nishikigoi.

You can enjoy the internationally acclaimed design, which has won various design awards worldwide, including the Gut Design Award, and the deep sake flavor that is firmly rooted in the tradition of the Imadaiji Sake Brewery.

The glamour of the label makes it an ideal gift for congratulations, and its strong impact makes it a suitable souvenir for foreigners.

Product Information: Imadaiji Sake Brewery “Nishikigoi

Official website: https: //imayotsukasa.co.jp/product/celebration/

Item: Sake

Capacity: 720ml

Price: from 6160 yen

Masuichi-Ichimura Sake Brewery “Junmai Sake Yamahai Wooden Oke Brewing Shirogane

Suggested Citation: “https://www.masuichi.com/view/item/000000000021?category_page_id=all_items”

The Masuichi-Ichimura Sake Brewery’s famous sake “Shirogane” is produced in the old-fashioned, time-consuming way.

It is a very popular item, as it is the first time it has been reissued in 50 years.

The bottle, designed by Kenya Hara, a leading Japanese graphic designer who also serves as MUJI’s art director, is an impressive example of Japan’s design capabilities.

The refined taste and design of these items will please even VIP foreign guests who know all about good things.

Product Information: Masuichi-Ichimura Sake Brewery “Junmai Sake Yamahai Wooden Oke Brewing Shirogane

Official website: https: //www.masuichi.com/view/item/000000000021?category_page_id=all_items

Item: Sake

Capacity: 720ml

Price: 11,000 yen and up

Two products that allow you to enjoy stylish Japanese design in your daily life

Japanese-ness is not only traditional.

Stylish designs and functional Japanese products are the envy of the world.

Here you will find simple, functional products for everyday use.

UNIBALL ONE “Japanese taste color

Image Image from: “https://www.mpuni.co.jp/company/press/20230607-53109.html”

The high quality of Japanese stationery is recognized around the world.

The level of ballpoint pens in particular is one of the best in the world in terms of technology and design, and are high-end products that are three to five times more expensive when purchased overseas.

This product, Uniball One’s “Japanese Taste Color” is a high quality Japanese ballpoint pen set that offers a combination of colors that is uniquely Japanese.

It is also very comfortable to use.

If you want to give something practical as a souvenir, we recommend the gel ballpoint pen set.

Product information: uniball one “Japanese taste color 3 color set” 2 types

Official website: https://www.mpuni.co.jp/company/press/20230607-53109.html

Item: Gel ballpoint pen

Contents: 3 kinds x 2 sets (Hannamori-tsutsumi: cherry blossom monaka color, jade color, chestnut kinton color)

(Miyabi-zumizumi: Kikyo, Mame-Daifuku, and Biwa colors)

Price: 396 yen per set

Kosaikodo “Assortment of 17 kinds of Hyakuraku incense

Suggested Citation: “https://kousaido-ec.jp/products/hya-91”

This product, Kosaikodo “Hyakurakko Assorted 17 Kinds” is an assortment type incense set with a stylish design and 17 different scents to enjoy.

The set includes an elegant sandalwood fragrance and easy-to-use lavender and apple scents that are perfect for daily use, and will bring a moment of peace and tranquility to your recipient.

Japanese incense is popular overseas as well.

It is an ideal souvenir for people in Arab countries who especially like good smells, and for Europeans.

However, incense is considered unlucky to give to people in the Chinese-speaking world because it is associated with funerals.

Product Information: Kosaikodo “Hyakuraku incense assortment 17 kinds

Official website: https://kousaido-ec.jp/products/hya-91

Item: Incense

Contents: 17 kinds of incense (Magnolia, Lemon, Lemon, Kinmokusai, Huo incense, Apple, Peach, Cherry, Lotus, Lavender, Vanilla, Marigold, Green tea, Bamboo, Camphor, Sandalwood, Coffee, Incense) x 6 sticks, 1 long incense dish (celadon)

Price: 5,500 yen (tax included)

Three souvenirs of Japanese pop culture

Many foreigners like Japanese pop culture, such as anime and manga.

It may be a little nerve-wracking as a souvenir for business entertainment, but if the recipient is a “Japanese pop culture enthusiast,” then a souvenir that allows the recipient to enjoy pop culture will make a big impact. If the recipient is a “fan of Japanese pop culture,” then a souvenir that allows the recipient to enjoy pop culture will have a lasting impact.

Tokyo Banana “Pikachu I found it!

Image Image from: “https://www.tokyobanana.jp/products/banana_pokemon.html”

Pokémon’s popularity transcends national borders and is spreading throughout the world.

Tokyo Meika Tokyo Banana,” with its cute Pikachu package, features Pikachu not only on the package but also on the confectionery.

The flavor of the banana spread on the fluffy sponge cake is so delicious that even foreigners will be impressed.

Product information: Tokyo Banana “Pikachu: I Found It!

Official website: https://www.tokyobanana.jp/products/banana_pokemon.html

Type: Confectionery

Price: 1,296 yen (tax included) for 8 pieces

Shelf life: 7 days

Storage method: Store at room temperature away from direct sunlight, high temperature and high humidity

Allergy: wheat, egg, milk, soy, gelatin, banana Alcohol free

Kyoto’s famous fresh yatsuhashi sweets, “Oni-no-Burai Otabe: Highest-ranking Swordsman “Hashira” – Fresh yatsuhashi with sweet bean paste (Nikki and green tea flavors)”.

Image Image from: “https://www.otabe.kyoto.jp/kimetsunoyaiba/”

Kyoto Famous Sweets Nama Hachitsubashi sells a limited package of Otabe Demon’s Blade.

The popularity of Onimete has also spread around the world and is very popular, especially among the younger generation.

Both azuki bean paste and mochi are familiar sweets to people in Asia, so they make great souvenirs for the younger generation of anime lovers.

Please let the recipient know that the expiration date is 10 days.

Product information: Kyoto famous confectionery “Oni-no-Ba-edged Otabe – Supreme Swordsman “Hashira” – Nama-hattatsuhashi with tsubuan (sweet bean paste)”.

Official website: https://www.otabe.jp/view/item/000000000603?category_page_id=ct263

Type: Confectionery

Price: 713 yen for 10 pieces (tax included)

Shelf life: 10 days including manufacturing date

Storage method: Store at room temperature away from direct sunlight, high temperature and high humidity

Allergy: rice, azuki beans, green tea, soybean flour (contains soybeans)

Bunmeido “Doraemon Dorayaki

Image Image from: “https://www.bunmeido.co.jp/item/126”

Doraemon’s high visibility is still exceptional.

This product is “Doraemon Dorayaki” with cute Doraemon branding from Bunmeido.

Throughout Asia, Doraemon is popular among people of all ages, and it is known that Doraemon’s favorite food is dorayaki.

If you get such a Doraemon dorayaki from a Japanese person, you are sure to be impressed.

Product Information: Bunmeido “Doraemon Dorayaki

Official website: https://www.bunmeido.co.jp/item/126

Type: Confectionery

Price: 1,080 yen for 5 pieces (tax included)

Shelf life: 30 days including manufacturing date

Storage method: Store at room temperature away from direct sunlight, high temperature and high humidity

Allergy: wheat, eggs, milk, soybeans


When choosing a souvenir for a foreigner, select a gift based on what is uniquely Japanese, while taking into consideration the recipient’s tastes and how well he or she knows Japan.

The culture of souvenirs for business entertainment differs from country to country, but the one thing that they all have in common is the importance of having chosen them with the recipient in mind.

Please take a look at the products we have introduced in this article and try to prepare a souvenir for business entertainment that will be appreciated.