Are you looking for a birthday gift for an elderly Japanese person but don’t know about that person’s interests?
Or has a Japanese friend just announced that she is getting married, making you wonder what to choose as a wedding gift?
With 50 gift suggestions divided by each event, this article will definitely help you find ideas for a meaningful gift.
Please refer to it to find the most suitable gift for the person you want to give it to.
- Give gifts to Japanese people on Valentine’s Day (February 14)
- Give “obligation chocolate” on Valentine’s Day (February 14)
- Give gifts to Japanese people on White Day (March 14)
- Give birthdays gifts to Japanese people
- Give gifts to Japanese people on wedding occasions
- Give gifts to Japanese people on the occasion of a baby’s birth
- Give gifts when visiting Japanese patients
- Give gifts when visiting a Japanese house
- Give gifts to Japanese people when leaving work
- What to say when giving gifts to Japanese people
Give gifts to Japanese people on Valentine’s Day (February 14)
Chocolate, fresh chocolate, cookies, Macarons
Valentine’s Day in Japan is a day when women give gifts to men.
If you want to start a dating relationship with the guy you like, girls will choose Valentine’s Day to give gifts and confess their love.
If you are in love, your girlfriend will give her boyfriend a gift to make the relationship closer.
The gifts often chosen for Valentine’s are chocolate, cookies or Macarons.
Of course, if you are skillful, you can also make your own chocolate to surprise your lover.
Give “obligation chocolate” on Valentine’s Day (February 14)
In Japanese there is a very interesting word “Giri Choko” (義理チョコ), which means “obligation chocolate”.
Giri Choko is the chocolate that female friends give to male friends, male colleagues, and male bosses on Valentine’s Day.
To easily distribute to many people, girls often choose large bags of chocolate at affordable prices instead of expensive boxes of chocolate as gifts for their lovers.
Giri Choko of course has absolutely no meaning to express love at all, but is just a beautiful gesture to increase the cordiality between colleagues.
Giri Choko will help make the atmosphere in your office much more exciting. If you are a woman, you can also give it a try on Valentine’s Day.
Give gifts to Japanese people on White Day (March 14)
Candy, Chocolate, Macarons, flowers, tea
In Japan, March 14 is called White Day.
White Day is a return day for Valentine’s Day (February 14), so on this day, men will give gifts to women.
If your female friend is your lover or someone you want to date, of course you should give it back.
In case you cannot respond to your female friend’s confession, you can reciprocate by giving a cheap candy with a refusal so that the other person does not misunderstand.
Give birthdays gifts to Japanese people
If you are close enough to want to give each other birthday gifts, you probably know more or less the other person’s preferences, so choosing a gift is easier, right?
But if you are concerned about cultural differences, or have not thought of a suitable gift, please refer to the gift suggestions below.
Birthday gifts for casual friends
If it’s just a normal friend, you can give a cake or candy (like Flan cake, for example).
Edible dishes don’t require you to know too much about your partner’s preferences, and they’re easy to find and buy, so they’re very convenient.
Birthday gift for female friend
Lip gloss, hand cream, essential oils, massage pillow
Cosmetics are always at the top of the list of birthday gifts for women.
Among them, lip gloss is often chosen because it is easy to combine with many other types of lipstick and does not affect the other person’s favorite lipstick color.
Hand cream is also the perfect gift to give to female friends.
Especially in the winter, when I receive hand cream as a gift, I really like it!
Or if your partner often faces work pressure, you can choose gifts like essential oils or hot eye masks to help her relax.
Essential oil diffuser
1,999 jpy ~
Birthday gift for wife or girlfriend
Fresh flowers, necklaces, watches, handbags
For the birthday of an important person like a wife or girlfriend, you must definitely choose something beautiful to give.
In addition to fresh flowers, soap flowers are also very popular gifts in Japan.
If you know your partner’s preferences, accessories such as necklaces and watches are also meaningful gifts.
If you want to give a handbag, you don’t need to think too much, because for women, handbags are never enough.
Birthday gift for male friend
Handkerchiefs, key wallets, t-shirts, thermos cups
In Japan, the gift for male friends is often a handkerchief. Simple, easy to use, the other person doesn’t need to be shy about receiving it.
If you’re a little more sophisticated, you can choose a key wallet. Both convenient and “cool”, guaranteed that your friend will be very happy to receive it.
If you know your partner’s preferences, you can also buy a t-shirt that’s a little different, or a thermos is also a good idea for guys who like to drink iced coffee.
Birthday gift for husband or boyfriend
Pen with engraved name, massage pillow, watch, wallet
You can choose a pen with your name engraved as a birthday gift for your husband or boyfriend.
Ballpoint pens with engraved names can not only be used for work, but also have a unique meaning, so they are very meaningful.
If you want to give a massage pillow as a gift, don’t hesitate too much and just buy it.
Japanese people are famous for being overworked, so there’s no reason to not like receiving a relaxing gift.
If you want to give a watch or a wallet as a gift, you should find out the other person’s preferences to choose the appropriate color and design.
Birthday gift for the elderly
Pillows, pajamas, fresh flowers, sweets
When giving birthday gifts to the elderly, choose items that help relax and reduce fatigue.
In Japan, there are many types of pillows with smart designs or pajamas with soft materials, helping grandparents have a better and deeper sleep.
If your partner likes flowers, you can choose a bouquet of fresh flowers.
The simplest and surest thing that everyone will like is giving sweets.
You can choose TORAYA’s Yōkan or BUNMEIDO’s Castella, for example. These are all long-standing and famous sweet brands in Japan, very popular with older people in Japan.
3,846 jpy ~
Give gifts to Japanese people on wedding occasions
Cup set, bowl set, chopsticks set, towel set
Partly due to high organizational costs, partly due to their typical shy personality, Japanese people often limit the number of guests attending weddings, usually only inviting relatives and extremely close people.
If you are not invited to attend but are only informed about the wedding, you can send some gifts to celebrate with that friend.
Popular wedding gifts in Japan are cup sets, bowl sets, chopsticks sets or towel sets. In general, items that are both useful for the new family and the couple are fine.
ARITA ceramic bowl set
5,500 jpy ~
Give gifts to Japanese people on the occasion of a baby’s birth
Organic baby towels, baby clothes, diaper “cakes”, baby aprons
For those who have just given birth, it is most appropriate to give items that the baby can use, such as organic towels or clothes with materials that are soft and safe for the baby’s skin.
In Japan, people often give diaper “cakes” to newborn babies.
The diapers are rolled up and arranged into a cake shape, with a cute teddy bear attached.
It’s both impressive and usable, so I’m sure any mother who receives it will be very happy.
Or more simply, you can give us a weaning apron so that when your baby gets a little older, you can use it right away.
Give gifts when visiting Japanese patients
Fresh flowers, fruit baskets, sweets, juices
If someone you know is hospitalized, please send them a gift to comfort them.
In addition to fresh flowers, you can choose edible dishes such as fruit or sweets to make the patient’s mouth less pale.
Give gifts when visiting a Japanese house
Beer, candy, desserts
If you are invited to dine at a Japanese house, bring beer or candy as a gift.
It doesn’t have to be an edible dish. If you know the host’s preferences, you can also choose other gifts with a cost of around 2,000 jpy ~ 3,000 jpy.
Give gifts to Japanese people when leaving work
In Japan, when leaving work, people often give candy to colleagues as a goodbye.
Cake boxes with many individually wrapped small cakes are an ideal choice because they can be easily shared with many people.
KAZARIS biscuits (30 pieces)
3,880 jpy ~
What to say when giving gifts to Japanese people
Adding a sentence when giving a gift is also a typical feature of gift-giving culture in Japan.
Below are some suggested sayings that can be used in many contexts.
・How to read: “Kimochi bakari desuga, otsukai kudasai”
・Meaning: “Although it’s just a gesture, please feel free to use it.”
・How to read: “Itsumo arigatō gozaimasu. Sasayaka desuga”
・Meaning: “Thank you always. It’s just a small token.”
・How to read: “Senjitsu wa gochisōsama deshita. Kimochi bakari desu”
・Meaning: “Thank you for the other day’s meal. It’s just a gesture.”
In Japan, people give gifts to each other on many occasions. Depending on the event and object, the gift chosen is different.
For women, you can give cosmetics or cute items; for men, you should give easy-to-use items like handkerchiefs or Tumbler cups. For busy people or the elderly, relaxing gifts such as neck massagers or essential oils are suitable choices.
In case you don’t know your partner’s preferences, candy is the safest gift choice.
Whatever the gift, don’t hesitate to give it if you want to make the recipient happy.
Hopefully the suggestions in this article will help you find a meaningful gift to give to someone you cherish.