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gift wrap

Florida
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45 posts
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gift wrap

I will be going to Japan in July. I want to take a gift for my Good Will Guide and also for a Japanese friend whom I haven't seen in over forty years. In addition I want to take along some small gifts just in case I would like to show appreciation to someone. I read the thread "An appreciation gift for my Guide" on the Tokyo forum and it was very helpful

But I am confused by the advice that the wrapping is as important as the gift. The rules for gift wrapping that I've found are contradictory: I've read that the paper must be folded over in one direction but not the other; that white paper should never or always be used; that bows should never or always be used. I can't possibly create a beautiful package in the Japanese style that I see on YouTube. How do you suggest I wrap the gifts that I'm going to take with me? I've considered taking them to a professional wrapper in Japan, but there won't be time.

Queenstown, New...
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1. Re: gift wrap

Oh no, don't stress about the wrapping at all. The fact that you're giving Thankyou gifts will be well aprreciated enough.

Wrap as you usually would. In fact, coming from new zealand I usually get some nz-themed paper, which is always popular.

Kyoto, Japan
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for Kobe, Kyoto
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2. Re: gift wrap

I don't think you need to worry or stress so much about the wrapping on your gifts. It's not as serious as you've somehow concluded. :)

It's a nice and thoughtful gesture to have gifts to give out and the only people who would look upon you with disdain would probably be other foreigners who feel they have to follow some sort of cultural rule book when they are here and that will make them seem more Japanese and in their minds that's the best thing ever.

Japanese people will appreciate your generosity and not judge you by the folds of your gift wrapping.

New York, NY
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3. Re: gift wrap

You could present the gift in a "pretty" plastic or paper shopping bag or if it's small things, put them in those party favor netting-type pouches they sell at party or craft stores. I usually pack several plastic/paper shopping bags flat then throw the gifts in them after I arrive.

Japan
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624 posts
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4. Re: gift wrap

There are many wrapping rules for Japanese to Japanese. However, as a foreigner you are not expected to do any of that. People will love whatever you bring. In fact, I have a Japanese friend who saves all the wrapping paper from gifts I give her from the US. She says it is so cute and different from Japanese paper that she can't throw it out! So just wrap it and put bows or ribbon like you would to any friend. No worries.

Kyoto, Japan
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for Kobe, Kyoto
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5. Re: gift wrap

Thank you, Renga. Another voice of reason. :)

Foreigners don't need to try and act Japanese for something as simple as gift wrapping.

North Shore, MA
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for Salem
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6. Re: gift wrap

I don't wrap very well, certainly not to Japanese standards, and I've never been concerned about the Japanese rules, but I think my gifts have always been well-received. I will offer a wrapping tip: I don't wrap my gifts until I'm in Japan so that I don't have to worry at airport security and also so that the paper doesn't get torn in transit. Before leaving, I cut my paper to fit each gift (no worries about scissors that way), roll the pieces into a paper towel tube, toss a roll of tape into my bag (handy for other purposes, too), and I'm all set.

Queenstown, New...
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7. Re: gift wrap

Brilliant tip Route128North!

Another thought... if you received gifts from japanese visitors in america/ your home country, would you expect them wrapped the 'american' way, or would you treasure them more done the 'japanese' way (ok, maybe not the best example, because japanese wrapping is unique and fantastic, but you get the idea).

Flip-side... I always get everything wrapped in Japan, even the day-to-day stuff that's actually for me! These days alot of the wrapping is quite simple... a nice paper/ plastic bag, sealed with a sticker, and a nice 'ribbon' tied on front. Most of the time you'll be given extra carry bags so that you can present the gift in an unused bag, rather than the one you've been carrying the gift around in all day.

My absolute favourite is buying the special items from places such as Ralph Lauren (plain white handkerchiefs for my father's birthday) where the wrapping is stunning, and service delightful... walked to the door by the sales assistant, then purchase handed to you, and the assistant bowing (and waving) as you walk away.

oh... I want to go shopping in Japan again!

Florida
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8. Re: gift wrap

Thank you all for the very helpful suggestions. I've decided to take the gifts in my check-in bag, along with nice, new gift bags and stickers for "wrapping" at the last minute. If I can find some bags with a Florida theme, I'll use those.

Kyoto, Japan
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for Kobe, Kyoto
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9. Re: gift wrap

Great idea. Simple & easy and no worries about rules that don't apply to you. :)

10. Re: gift wrap

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