Every Christmas season, there are usually two types of shoppers: those who wait until the last minute and those who plan ahead. For those of you who are last-minute Christmas shoppers, this blog may be a lifesaver. We have assembled a list of gift ideas that you can buy from Japan at affordable prices for kids, your friends, family, partner and/or coworkers. Most of the gift ideas we suggested below are within a 3,000 yen budget.
Also, just in case, take a look at our Japanese vocabulary words related to this blog’s topic:
Shopping – 買い物 (kaimono)
Present/gift – プレゼント (purezento)
Christmas – クリスマス (kurisumasu)
Kids – 子供 (kodomo)
Friends – 友達 (tomodachi)
Family – 家族 (kazoku)
Partner – 恋人 (koibito)
Coworker – 同僚 (douryou)
Christmas Gift Ideas from Japan 2021
Table of Contents
Christmas Gift Ideas for Kids
1. Gift sets
The first Christmas gift idea we have for you is gift sets for kids. Gift sets are usually toy containers with colorful characters on them and they have snacks and trinkets inside. You can visit stores and supermarkets like Toys “R” Us, AEON and Ito Yokado or shop online.
2. Colorful water bottles with candy inside
Kids always need to hydrate in a fun way so why not get them a colorful water bottle and fill it with chocolates and/or candy inside? You can buy them almost anywhere, but the kids’ water bottles we found are from Yodobashi Camera and Rakuten.
3. Minigames or toys from Flying Tiger
From our personal experiences, Flying Tiger is a great store to visit when it comes to buying small and clever gifts, especially for kids. They have many locations spread throughout Japan where three of them are located in Tokyo (Shibuya, Shinjuku and Odaiba). If you’re looking for Christmas gifts for a one-year-old, Flying Tiger may have something for them as well.
4. LEGO set
You can never go wrong with LEGO playsets when it comes to buying Christmas gifts for kids who like to get creative. Of course, the higher you go in price, the more exciting the sets can be, but for this blog, we have found a couple of nice Christmas-themed LEGO sets within the 3,000 yen budget.
Christmas Gift Ideas for Families
As we get into the colder months, even the slightest breeze makes our hands and faces feel like ice. A great Christmas gift for families (and even friends) is getting them warm apparel. Uniqlo’s HEATTECH apparel can make an ideal gift for family members. HEATTECH has specially made materials that help warm up your body when it makes contact with your skin. They have a variety of items which range from socks to long-sleeve shirts to dresses. Almost all of their products are within 2,000 yen. Below are the categories of their HEATTECH apparel.
2. Kaldi gift sets
Kaldi offers a variety of food and drinks imported from all over the world. They have chocolates from Germany and Switzerland, coffee from Brazil, wine from Italy and cheese from France. A great Christmas gift idea for your family members is to gather a variety of foods and drinks and put them in a nice basket or gift bag. Kaldi has many locations in Japan, where 97 of which are in Tokyo.
3. Snack baskets
Families have a connection to food. Any special event requires food. With that said, similar to the Kaldi gift set, you can gather memorable snacks or sweets you think your family will like. You can send it for them to cherish them or, if you’re with them, you can enjoy it with them. You can purchase snacks almost anywhere: supermarkets, department stores and specialty snack shops.
Christmas Gift Ideas for Friends
1. Fukubukuro 福袋
Fukubukuro is a lucky bag filled with items selected by the store. Usually, the items are not revealed until after you purchase the bag and open it. A great perk about fukubukuros is that all the items inside of them are discounted. The purpose of the bag is to have the stores get rid of inventory before the new year rolls in. This will be a great gift for friends who like surprises. Here is a list of some of the stores that sell fukubukuro:
2. Warm-up kit
As the winter months are approaching, people are pulling out their sweaters, scarves and gloves. Blankets and anything that can keep them warm are recently on their minds. With that said, a creative Christmas gift idea would be to assemble a kit for warming up during the cold season. Find a nice gift bag and stuff it with hand warmers, a mug with a spoon, tea and/or coffee, fuzzy winter socks, and maybe some cookies to go with the tea and/or coffee you chose. Your budget can stay within the 3,000 yen budget, but if you’d like to splurge a little for your friend, by all means, buy the high-end items. Below, here are some items to help you get your kit started:
3. Hand cream set
During the wintertime in Japan, the air becomes very dry. Face, neck and hand areas become dry and can eventually crack. To prevent skin damage from the weather, gift your friend(s) some nice hand cream. There are many good-quality brands in Japan that sell hand cream which we’ll list below for you:
4. Food certificate/gift card
If you have a picky friend or you’re having difficulties finding a good Christmas gift for your friend, get them a gift card/certificate to eat at their favorite restaurant. You can get gift certificates through JCB. If you want to get a good deal on gift certificates, you can go to the discount ticket shop. They’re usually called 金券ショップ (kinken shoppu) and are in busy areas. All you need to do is ask for ギフトカード (gifuto kaado), the amount and pay for their discounted price.
Christmas Gift Ideas for your Partner: Girlfriend/Wife
Flowers can never disappoint. If you’re trying to find the best Christmas gift for your girlfriend or wife, get her a big bouquet of flowers. Make them roses if you want to give a high-quality gift. Below are two well-known flower shops in Japan so you can get the best quality flowers for your girlfriend or wife this Christmas season. You can also easily find local flower shops near train stations which are also good quality.
2. Humidifier/aroma diffuser
Now that we’re approaching the winter season, it’s time to whip out the humidifiers. It becomes very dry towards the end of fall and all through the winter. With that said, a Christmas gift idea for your girlfriend or wife would be either a humidifier or aroma diffuser. Diffusers are actually humidifiers but you can add essential oils to add a scent to a room. If you’d like to add a bit more to the gift, maybe add some essential oils to the gift. You can find some within the 3,000 yen budget but here we recommend a few items a little over the budget to help you find a nice quality gift.
3. Tea/coffee set
If your girlfriend or wife is a coffee or tea drinker, we recommend you get her a gift set. If she’s a tea drinker, maybe buy her nice quality tea from brands like TWG and a teacup set from KEYUCA. If she’s a coffee lover, you could get her coffee beans from Starbucks and coffee-dripper-and-cup-in-one from Yodobashi Camera.
Christmas Gift Ideas for your Partner: Boyfriend/Husband
1. Nifty smartphone case
If your boyfriend or husband could use a nice phone case, this would make a great Christmas gift for them. Phone cases could have card holders, stylish straps, wallet attachments and other features. You can purchase cases online or at miscellaneous stores like Loft.
Another Christmas gift idea for your boyfriend or husband is a wallet. Maybe stuff a gift card to their favorite place if you want to be a little extra. Prices for wallets can range depending on the quality of the wallet. If you’d like to throw it in a gift set without it being too expensive, you can visit online stores like Rakuten or Amazon Japan. However, if you want to go big, you can, of course, you can get a wallet from high-end brands like Paul Smith, BVLGARI, CELINE or Coach.
3. Tech gadgets
If your man is the gadget guy, buying him a tech gadget as a Christmas gift may be your best bet. This Christmas gift idea is a bit more on the high end in terms of pricing, but if you’re trying to find him a fun and useful gift, a tech gadget may be it. Below are some products we found:
Christmas Gift Ideas for Coworkers
1. High-end snacks or sweets
Giving out high-end snacks or sweets is a great Christmas gift for your coworkers in Japan. You can purchase them at delicacy shops, department stores and even supermarkets. They will all have Christmas gift box specials as well. Try to stay away from cheaper brands, especially when it comes to giving out gifts in a business setting in Japan.
2. Mug/drink set
As we’ve mentioned before, a warm drink gift set is ideal for the winter season. For each of your coworkers or special coworker, you can put together a gift bag with warm drink goodies such as a mug cup with a box of tea bags and a cute bag of chocolates and/or cookies. The food goods can be found at Kaldi and the mugs can be purchased from KEYUCA.
3. Starbucks gift card
Coffee or tea drinks can always suffice while you’re working, so to save you from thinking too much about what Christmas gift to get for your coworkers, get them a Starbucks gift card. You can learn how to purchase one by visiting their website here (you will need to translate the site to English if you can’t read Japanese).
...and that's a wrap!
We hope this blog of Christmas gift ideas helped you this holiday season. Shopping is always tough and becomes more of a challenge every year. Let us know if you have any other suggestions. Happy shopping!