Two weeks in Japan can result in quite a lot of souvenirs, especially in my case. Our hotel room was already itty-bitty, and even more so after two long weeks of excessive souvenir accumulation! From “omiyage” (gifts from our friends in Japan) to snacks, from useful items like mugs to not so useful items like plushies….there’s certainly a lot to cover!

Mugs & Kitchenware

If you know me, or follow me on social media, you might have noticed how much I love mugs, and coffee in general. I have quite the collection and it’s my favorite thing to buy on vacations. There is just something about mugs that tell their own little story and I get to relive the experience when drinking my morning coffee out of them.

Starbucks makes a line of mugs called the “You Are Here” collection and they are without a doubt my favorite. While the mugs can be a bit redundant in design, their quality is quite nice; the paint doesn’t chip off like some mugs I have had from random souvenir shops. So Starbucks recently released a line in Japan called the “Japan Geography series” to revamp the designs (they do this every so many years to change it up). My favorite out of the three I purchased is the Kyoto mug. I guess it’s just my liking of black clashed with the red, that you can find all over Kyoto, that speaks to me so much.

 Even though we really didn’t spend any time in the city of Nagano, Matsumoto is in fact in the Nagano prefecture, so that is why I bought the mug. There isn’t a Starbucks mug for Matsumoto, which has me thinking that the mugs are not based on the cities after all, but the prefectures themselves.

I regretted not buying this sushi mug the last time I was in Japan, although the one I saw didn’t have a handle. Since I work at a sushi restaurant, I had to have this mug and I made a point to get my hands on it this time. No regrets!

The Year of the Rooster mug! I had seen Starbucks release these every Lunar New Year and had always wanted to get one, but it seemed at the time that they were only sold in Asian Starbucks stores, although I think this year you can now buy them online in the Starbucks store. What!? Of course, the one year I was able to get one in stores!

There were a few other Ghibli mugs available and I wanted them all, but I settled on only buying one, so I got my favorite Ghibli film, My Neighbor Totoro! It was seriously such a hard choice.

Three things I received in my Starbucks Lucky Bag. The two bags of ground coffee I also received are already gone….we love our coffee. The Origami is actually quite nifty; it’s a super easy pour-over packet, shaped like origami (you don’t say), that you balance over your coffee cup. Super smart. Not sure what I am going to do with the demitasse cups I received, but they are pretty cute. There was also a water bottle that I use almost everyday now that I didn’t picture.
I am a huge Gudetama fan, as you will be able to tell further down….so I bought as many things Gudetama as possible, including this adorable bowl and pair of chopsticks.

Plushies

I also have quite the plushie addiction as well, that has been growing out of control. Trying to talk Colt into building a shelf or two to display… Beware, I kind of went crazy with the Pikachu’s.

Bought this Pikachu at the Kyoto Pokemon Center and thought she went well with this doorstep in Gion.

The cutest Pikachu ever. I should have bought the Luigi version as well….

Runner-up for the cutest Pikachu ever. Not only is Pikachu dressed as Meowth, but it also resembles a Lucky Cat!

No, the Daruma in the middle isn’t a plushie, but the two plushies pictured are daruma! Gudetama Daruma is mine and the Pikachu Daruma is Colt’s. So technically mine.

Picked up this mini Mt. Fuji on the trip back from Numazu. Mt. Fuji holds so many memories for us now.

We tried winning a giant Gudetama plushie from one of the popular claw games, but I swear it was rigged. So I found a slightly smaller one in an anime store and had to buy it to appease my anger at the rigged game.

An adorable Totoro with a leaf.

Colt bought me this insanely cute “tako” plushie. “Tako” is octopus in Japanese.

Books
There were seriously so many options of Japanese workbooks to choose from, but I chose these two to get me started. As much as I want to learn how to speak, read and write the language, I have yet to start working in them….oops. Can’t learn Japanese if you don’t use them Megan.

Accessories
The Japanese girls are super fashionable and I loved the way they wore their scarves, so I decided to buy two scarves that were on sale, as well as a Totoro scarf (with a matching beanie not pictured) that is actually kid-sized, I learned upon first putting it on. Oh well. Somehow it still fits, but just.

Somehow I managed to only buy one pair of socks compared to the seven pairs I came back with last time. Oh yeah, there were plenty that I wanted, but I tried my best to contain myself. But I couldn’t resist this slightly fuzzy Totoro ones…
This adorable little Kirimi-chan — a new Sanrio character that resembles a salmon fillet — bracelet came from my Sanrio Lucky Bag. Perfect for work days since I work at a sushi restaurant…
Beauty Products

I’m not the biggest beauty product junkie, but I did buy a handful of beauy things: face masks. Although I was eyeing those fake eyelashes and that Sailor Moon eyeliner…
I already used one Gudetama face mask, and I have these left. I’m trying to talk Colt into doing the Attack on Titan face mask with me, but he hasn’t felt like it yet. And then there is my impulse purchase of the Sailor Moon surgical face mask that I never had the chance to use in Japan since I never felt sick. I did in fact use one the other day since I have been sick all week…. There’s three total in the pack. There really wasn’t that much Sailor Moon merchandise that wasn’t crazy expensive, so I chose the face masks…

Other Things

Just some random items that don’t really fit in a category….

Huge Gudetama fan that I am, I racked up on quite a lot of Gudetama things. A phone case, lots of Gudetama keychains, a sweatshirt, a lock, a hanging bag (?), and a purse/backpack. Some of things I received from my Sanrio Lucky Bag I bought in Harajuku and somehow I luckily ended up with a lot of Gudetama things.

Last trip to Japan, I had a Samsung Galaxy Note 3 and couldn’t find any super cute cases for it. I vowed that I would get an iPhone solely for all the adorable cases Japan has for them. And guess what? I have an iPhone 6S Plus this time and once again, in the same boat. Except for the Gudetama case I lucked up with. So next time…..

Since none of the Pokemon stores we visited had almost nothing Mankey or Primeape, which is the Pokemon Colt says I am most like, I had to resort to buying the one thing they had: a pin. Sadness.

Also pictured with the Mankey pin are two rather pointless, but cute gacha items. They rest on the rim of your cup. Pretty cute and pretty pointless, but what gacha items aren’t?

One thing I love about Japan is their abundance of cell phone accessories. These are little charms that dangle from your phone that you insert into the headphone jack. There are actually more charms sold that come without the headphone jack insert, so I found a connector to use the charms that only come on a string. I hope that made sense.

Furoshiki! It’s literally just a decorative cloth that is commonly used for wrapping gifts or lunches. This one I bought is a mini Year of the Rooster furoshiki. Too cute not to purchase, even if I don’t ever use it.

Something I learned while in New York City: MUJI pins are awesome. There is a MUJI store in NYC that I visited, having no idea about it beforehand, and I made it a point to visit one on our trip to restock on some of their pins. Sounds silly, but I seriously love the way they write. Also pictured is a Sailor Moon cloth zipper-pouch I got from a gacha that I am using as a pen case for my MUJI pins.
Colt actually bought these, but I had to add them to the list. They’re called “kadomatsu” and are a traditional Japanese New Year decoration. We saw larger versions of these everywhere around Japan leading up to New Year’s Day, so we had to have some for our apartment. 
Food & Drink

Most snacks we bought, we ate instantly, but there were a few exceptions. We stocked up on some of our favorites just to bring home, trying new stuff while we were out and about and saving the favorites for when we were back home, going through withdrawals.
Some stuff we brought back, we already ate….like the:
  • Matcha Alfort Biscuits
  • Sakura Matcha KitKat’s
  • Purple Sweet Potato KitKat’s
  • Wasabi KitKat’s
  • Wasabi Rice Crackers

I found these gorgeous green tea containers and had to have them, they’re so pretty! They actually contain green tea leaves, which I have never handled before, but it’s not difficult and makes even better green tea. Good thing I have an adorable Pusheen tea-steeper that is perfect for the loose green tea! And I definitely won’t be throwing these containers away after the contents is gone; they’re too pretty to.

Omiyage

Here are a couple gifts I received from my Japan friends. It’s a popular custom to give each other gifts from where you are from or where you visited. First off, there are the handkerchiefs with their unique, beautiful designs. The two calendar designs came with my kimono from Mori-san. And last there is the Mt. Fuji art from Dr. Yoshida’s friends wife. I told her it was very pretty and she decided to give it to me! Not at all the expected response.

Other Souvenirs Not Pictured or That I Forgot About When Taking Pictures….

  • Pikachu Skytree stickers
  • Gudetama New Year’s stickers
  • Japan flag sticker
  • Mt. Fuji sticker
  • Dragon Ball stickers
  • Onigiri stickers
  • Onigiri magnet
  • Onigiri keychain
  • Onigiri molder (to make onigiri at home)
Yeah, I like stickers. I use them in my journal to border the pages and to spice the pages up, kind of like a scrapbook.
Surprisingly, I didn’t buy anything Harry Potter while at Universal Studios. They also sold super cute Harry Potter merch in stores like Kiddyland, but it was way over priced in my opinion. I regret this action tremendously now, but it’s too late!
I hope you enjoyed my makeshift haul of the things I brought back from Japan. It certainly was quite challenging packing my suitcases the night before we left. Luckily I managed to not go over on the weight limit. It was truly a miracle because I had to have been pushing it…..
Thanks for reading!

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