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Gifts?

Frederick, Maryland
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36 posts
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Gifts?

Hello, I hope am not wearing out my welcome on these forums, but I have so many questions!

I was just wondering what you'd all recommend as gifts to bring to Japan to bring to hosts,etc.?

I'd like to bring small things that are really unique or special, but I can't really think of anything. A friend told me he took lots of liscence plates a while ago, to give to kids. He said they loved 'em! I was thinking post cars or something, but that just seems so ordinary. ...any thoughts?

Thanks for any suggestions!

-Seth

tokyo
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1. Re: Gifts?

If you're staying at someone's house or visiting someone's house, then generally something that doesn't take up a lot of space. Generally speaking, you want to bring alcohol. Whisky seems to be the safe choice for men, wine also works. Any local alcohol produced in your area would be good as well. Other small foods and treats are ok as well.

London, England
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2. Re: Gifts?

I would like some suggestions for this as well, especially what to give to volunteer guides.

Alcohol is difficult to transport, especially for those of us who do not check luggage.

Are books or magazines in English a good present? Or fridge magnents? or small pisture books from our home town? Or is the world so international now that anything we might bring is either available in Japan or not wanted?

Japanese presents are so beautiful, it is hard to imagine what would please.....

Japan
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3. Re: Gifts?

I've found that gifts from my home town area are much appreciated, as well as good conversation starters. Post card sets that illustrate where I live, small paintings/prints done by local artists, Native American art items (like small paintings, a small piece of pottery, a small woven basket....) Screen savers with images from our state, small picture books of local sites. Smoked salmon is usually OK, but mostly ours is too dry. Anything your region is famous for that is small and portable would be appropriate.

For young people, I take key chains or small charms for hanging on back packs with local baseball team logos, my state outline/state bird etc.

United States
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4. Re: Gifts?

In my experience, books and magazines in English would definitely not be a good choice, for the average household. They are widely available (if a bit pricey) in Japan for people who can read them, and for people who cannot they are useless and might seem presumptuous. Japanese kids have to study English for quite a few years in school (and they generally read it better than they speak it) but few of them master it, and there seems to be a great deal of discomfort around it on the part of many people.

I've seen photo souvenir books of some famous American tourist sites (Grand Canyon, San Francisco) with Japanese texts and if you can find one your area it might a big hit. A picture book for your region with limited English text would also be okay, but again, I would be considerate about the amount of English needed to enjoy the book.

Small or consumable items that represent your local area are really the best.

United States
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5. Re: Gifts?

Leagle, I just read your post again and recognized that your primary interest was volunteer guides (as opposed to the OP, who was asking about hosts, etc.)

I guess for a volunteer guide, you can assume that they are interested in English (or at least actively trying to use it), so it would not be presumptuous to give them a book with English text. But still, be aware that their mastery level might be fairly low. A photo book with captions would be better than a sparsely illustrated, heavily texted book on local history.

London, England
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6. Re: Gifts?

Thank you Bearkun and Japantravelteacher,

You have given me a valuable framework for thinking about these things.

I really apreciate it.

I have wanted to go to Japan for a very very long time and am thrilled that I will finally make it happen this October!

Frederick, Maryland
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7. Re: Gifts?

Thanks alot for the ideas, everyone!

-Seth

8. Re: Gifts?

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