Omiyage: souvenirs. Typically, this means food-related “souvenirs” of a recent journey, away from the family, coworkers, social club… seriously though, for every trip I take away from Okinawa, I have to budget quite a bit of yen for omiyage. That being said, when others return, I get to try a variety of little nibbles from all over. Yeah, omiyage is serious business. Do not return from a trip without some.

Especially after holidays, these show up in abundance. Social custom dictates that you eat whatever it is that your colleagues, friends, family, or whoever bought. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. Below are only some of the types of omiyage I have received– there are many kinds out there.

Sakura pie cookie. Shaped like a cherry blossom petal, flaky biscuit sprinkled with sakura sugar. WIN!

IMG_4432

Konbu (seaweed) candy from Hokkaido. Um, yeah. Not bad per se… but LOSE. Sometimes I wonder if my colleagues are just playing pranks on me (“hmm, what can we get the gaijin to eat next??”).

Matcha and chocolate mini cakes. OISHII~~~! WIN!

Almond chocolate sandwich cookie and matcha/azuki bean biscuit. WIN.

IMG_3918

White bean paste and matcha bean paste cakes. WIN.

IMG_3553

Sable cookie shaped like Dove… meh. Not a win, but not a lose.

IMG_3155

Famous Amaou Strawberry roll. WIN!

IMG_3325

Hokkaido rare cheese: win.

img_6428

Awa cookie: not a win, not a loss. It is pretty though.

img_5811

Buttery crispy sandwich cookie. Win.

img_5877

Not pictured: Ebi (shrimp) “cracker” and Mentaiko (fish roe) “cracker” (Japanese: senbei せんべい). I get more of these type of senbei than I care for; I am not really a fan of these fishy crackers, but they are cheap so I think I lot of people buy these to bring back.

Obviously there are many, many more not shown… I only recently started snapping a picture so I could remember some of my favorites (and least favorites). All of these were picked out by Japanese and Okinawan friends/colleagues.

Oh, and if you every need to bring back omiyage from Tokyo, I suggest picking up the famous “Tokyo Banana” (sold in the airport!). Honestly, I think they are gross, but Japanese people love them! I cannot explain it. Out of all the omiyage I have brought back to my lab colleagues, those are gone in seconds. Chocolates of almost any variety are almost universally disliked or at best vaguely tolerated (okay, I also work with ALL males, I am sure this is different if you have females). Otherwise, omiyage selection is still a bit of a mystery to me, no matter how often I buy it.

If you want to see what sort of omiyage to pick up while in Okinawa, visit this next post: Okinawa Omiyage: お土産.

Advertisements

2 thoughts on “Omiyage: お土産

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s