GUIDE Guide to the Essential Japanese Souvenirs A guide to shopping at Japan's major airports
Shop for last-minute yet highly original and authentic souvenirs
The airport is an ideal place to purchase souvenirs for friends and family without having to carry them around for the rest of your trip. All three of Japan's major international airports offer numerous options for those in search of suitable souvenirs, luxury gifts and general goods.
Narita International Airport
As the busiest international airport in the country, Narita is the main gateway in and out of Japan. As such, the terminals are filled with shops catering to both tourists and business travelers.
Souvenirs from Narita
The airport offers a wide range of traditional goods that make for the perfect souvenir. Head to terminal one to find shops specializing in Japanese fabrics, confectioneries, tea, lacquerware and more. What's more, the third floor is home to the Japan Origami Museum, where you'll be able to view a display of some 400 origami works and purchase various origami-related souvenirs. In addition to traditional goods, there are also numerous shops specializing in Japanese pop culture, including a Hello Kitty store and a toy store.
Once past the security gate, you'll find numerous duty-free brands such as Chanel, Burberry and Cartier. General duty-free shops dotted throughout the terminal also offer cheap deals on liquor, tobacco and cosmetics.
Grab snacks, books and medicine before your flight departs at one of the many convenience stores located throughout the terminals. If looking for a place to eat, note that most restaurants and bars are located prior to the security gate on the third and fourth floors.
Tokyo's other international airport provides closer convenience to the center of the city, with Shinagawa Station a quick 20-minute train ride away. While this airport is smaller than Narita, there are still numerous places to buy souvenirs, tasty food and luxury items.
Souvenirs from Haneda
Shop for souvenirs prior to entering the security gate at the Tokyo Pop Town shopping area located on the fifth floor of the passenger terminal. The stores here cater to fans of contemporary Japanese pop culture, with numerous anime character goods and toys on sale. More traditional souvenir shops are scattered throughout the terminals.
Duty-free stores include Jimmy Choo, Bottega Veneta and Gucci. You'll also be able to shop for discounted liquor, tobacco and cosmetics.
Numerous dining options and everyday shops are located at the Edo Market shopping area on the fourth floor of the passenger terminal. Grab a bite to eat, or shop for last-minute goods prior to your departure.
Kansai International Airport
The main hub servicing Osaka, Kyoto and the rest of western Japan, Kansai International Airport welcomes international travelers from across the world. Find gifts characteristic to the Kansai region, along with all the other amenities expected from an international airport.
Popular souvenirs from Kansai
In addition to all the typical fare, you'll find certain souvenirs that are unique to the Kansai region. Consider purchasing a box of umeboshi (pickled plums), which are a popular export from nearby Wakayama. Many treats are also themed around Osaka's famed takoyaki (grilled octopus balls) and okonomiyaki (savory pancakes).
The terminal 1 duty-free area is home to top brands such as Tiffany, Hermes and Rolex. You can purchase liquor, tobacco, and perfumes at one of the several duty-free shops located past the security gate.
Grab snacks, candy, medicine and other last-minute goods at one of the many general shops scattered throughout the terminals.
Quick and easy souvenirs
Limited carry-on luggage and jam-packed overhead bins make international travel a hassle, especially when trying to bring gifts back home for loved ones. Many Japanese souvenirs are perfect for such restricted conditions, as they're compact, resilient and cleverly packaged. Since Japan has a regimented gift-giving culture, you'll find rows of perfectly designed gift-wrapped boxes full of sweets, crackers and jellies. Other stress-free gifts include tea, small plastic figurines and Japanese stationery.
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