User Tools

Site Tools


Collection of ideas on what to bring in for present. Ideal criteria: good to transport, something the production country is famous for, something not available or very expensive in the destination county. Sending by parcel is also an option for many of these goods.

What to bring from Japan to Germany?

  • sweets/お菓子:
    • with macha, this is not available in Europe
    • with ginger, it is sold in Europe, but not many variations in sweets exist
    • calpis concentrate, bottle: This is only sold in Asia shops in Germany, so very rare.
    • きなこ大(kinako daizu), roasted soy bean, with powder from soy beans
  • food/食べ物:
    • 味噌/Miso: this is not known in Europe. One can advise to use it in a soup, or stick it on cucumber. Especially with cucumber it's very tasty for Germans. Not sure if it is allowed to be brought in just a bag, but in a glas or tin it should be ok.
    • Kimuchi: while not beeing typical Japanese, many Europeans like it
    • ところてん: Europeans eat noodles always warm. Bringing in meals with cold noodle is a good idea.
    • ご飯スパイス: This spice, often violet, can be put on cooked rice. Also ふりかけ is unusual in Europe. One should explain the usage well though, relatives tried to make tea from the spice and wondered why there is no taste.
    • seasonal foods: autumn sweets with 栗/chestnut/Kastanie
    • うどん: not sold in Germany
    • 竹のこ: a piece of young bamboo, sold in plastic these can be used many months. Can be cooked, and eaten like salad.
  • tea/茶:
    • green tea: buy teabags, the variant sold in supermarkets or コンビに. The taste is much better to most “green tea” sold in Europe
    • こむぎ茶: this is not available in Europe
    • 茶漬け: this powder can be used ontop of cooked rice, and when hot water is added a nice dish gets available
  • sake/日本酒: but selecting is hard, and glas bottles are heavy
  • things not sold/rare in Europe:
    • plastic sushi, as it is sold in the area around Asakusa
    • socks with single places for toes
    • small gadgets/toys, for example sold at Tokyu hands
    • If one is meeting a hardcore Japanfan, it might be worth to bring a set of matcha, teabrush and teakettle for making real green tea. But most europeans consider this as to much effort to use.
    • origami papers and instructions for folding some simple figures

What to bring from Germany to Japan?

  • sweets:
    • many sweets are not available in Japan, or only in restricted variations: Haribo strawberry and so on
    • licorice (Lakritze) (but many Japanese dislike it)
    • not sold in Japan: Kinderschokolade, Toffifee, Negerküsse, Hanuta, almost no mint sweets - so “After eight” might be interesting to bring, Manner waffle
    • chocolate: for example bags with many small chocolate pieces of different kinds, each by itself wrapped in paper. Bigger supermarkets in Germany allow you to fill bags yourself, payment is based on weight of the bag.
    • Kinderschokolade: seems like its not sold in Japan
    • Ricola Kräuterbonbons – Alpensalbei
    • Pullmol (Kirsche)
    • Dr. Oetker Vanille Pudding or Paradies Creme
    • Götterspeise (preparation instructions need to be translated), Brausepulver (or tablets which dissolve into drinks)
  • food:
    • salami, sausages: should be brought in metal cans, fresh is not allowed. In Germany, also thin sausages are sold in plastic, to be eaten with bread or as snack (Kernbeisser).
    • currywurst: it is forbidden to import fresh/open currywurst, but supermarkets now have already cut currywurst in plastic containment available. After heating up in the microwave, these are quite good.
    • beer, in cans its easier to transport
    • instant coffee (expensive in Japan, not much variation)
    • bread, cheese: but these are not easy to keep fresh over transport
    • Malzkaffee: this type of coffee seems not to be sold in Japan
    • Spätzle, Knödel von Knorr, Gemüsebrühe, Tea - many kinds available
  • seasonal specialities:
    • around Christmas, ginger bread (Lebkuchen) and Stollen are available
  • products like shampoo are quite expensive in Japan. Koelnisch Wasser is a famous perfume, 'Klosterfrau Melissengeist' a famous medicine (but educate about the high alcohol part, should not be taken by children or when driving)
  • for German learners: no longer needed schoolbooks are nice for German learners.
  • for children: books with pictures are great, especially when showing daily things of live, which are partly different from Japan (“Wimmelbuecher”)
  • Skat card, and explaining game “mau-mau” is nice for older children
  • sets for “Bleigiessen” as it is done on Europe sometimes on Silvester
  • Frühstücksbrettchen with nice pictures/writings, they can be used for cooking

Commercial serives

japan/presents.txt · Last modified: 2022/08/15 12:14 by chris