July 05, 2016

Everyone’s Souvenir
What tourists buy for gifts nowadays


Your trip won’t finish till giving the souvenir to your friends

On the last day of your trip, you may think about what have happened in the past few days. This can be just with yourself or with your crew. It may have been a stress in the beginning of your trip just to order something at a restaurant, but through out the days you realize that you become able to talk to the locals.

“Hey, bring this with you. This is really good”

An old lady may tell you so to bring a parting gift with you…

A little sad, and a little nostalgic already, there is an unexplainable feeling day before going back home. When having that nostalgic time, souvenir can become a good remedy for you. There are families, friends, and partners waiting for you to come back, and as explains above, your trip won’t be over till you give the souvenir to those people. There is a saying in Japan that “Trip tales are good enough suvenir”, but really, we all want to get something physical dont we? Well, everyone feels more happier to get gifts than tales we think.

So, what do foreign tourists get for souvenir nowadays? It is now a common thing to see tourists holding electronics which are spilling out of their hands.
Recent trend, as it appears like is that people buy something that are “unique”, “handy” and “useful”, which are of course branded legitimately Japanese. The very popular place to get souvenir in these days is apparently at a pharmacy (a place more like Boots in UK and Walgreens in US where you can get prescriptions and buy cosmetics at the same time). Tourists buy surprising things as souvenir, which for local Japanese people is hard to imagine as souvenir. In this post, we have picked up some surprisingly popular Japanese products which are mainly favoured with Chinese tourists.



Top 3 Souvenir choices of Tourists Nowadays.

Let’s begin with talking about Inochi no Haha  “A” (directly translated as Life of the Mother A). This specific medicine works for stress and weariness which women experience during their menopause. Not only that, the medicine is also used as a remedy for hot flashes and stiff shoulder. This product has a long history, existing from almost 100 years ago. It has been updated over the years depending on both physical and mental changes women have gone through in different eras. In 2008, they introduce a new branch of remedy Inochi no Haha “White”  which specifically are made for younger generation of women.

Next one to come up is called Natto Kinazé. As the name Natto explains, this enzyme product is made from natural ingredients which are extracted from Japanese Natto, and it prevents you from blood clotting. Not just promoting healthy blood stream to you, but also it can provide you some weight loosing effects. Natto has a characteristic smell and stickiness as some of you already know, and it is no wonder that foreigners still encounter a hard time not being able to eat as is. However what if they are in the shape of diet pills? Reason why these are popular is probably for its easiness to consume. No more weird smell and stickiness!

The last but not least to come is Roihi-Tsuboko which is a product the most talked about between the foreigners. To give you a simple explanation, it is a medical skin patch that works for such as stiff shoulder and bruises.
A report says that the sales of this products is doubled up compared to what of last year’s. There is a great tourists consumption going on here. Some people have used this product before by getting this as Japanese souvenir from their friends, and buy this again for their own souvenir. Some people buy for its unique packaging. Apparently for some of the Asian people, the man’s face on its package looks auspicious, and maybe that is another reason why this product is favoured (the man does not exist just to note). This one is going to be luck bringing souvenir for some people.



So, why do you choose that?

A simple question comes to our mind, why such unique products are selling as souvenir? Roihi-Tsuboko is easy to understand as it is simple to use, but for other two Inochi no Haha “A” and Natto Kinazé are quite hard to understand its reasons for Japanese locals. We have asked the company which produce these products and here is what they say;

“These products are unique not only in overseas but also in Japan as well. The reason why so many people actually do get hold of these products, is because there are also people from overseas having the same ‘problem’ with Japanese locals. We assume that is why tourists also become glad of the products by finding out ‘So there is this way to fix it!’. We are also taking extra care on its catchy names and packagings. We think it is important that you can at least get some ideas on what you use the products for from its names and packages, even if you don’t understand Japanese.”

Now we see it. Japan knows how to solve everyone’s problem, as there is a Japanese saying that Japan knows how to “reach its hand to where itchy”.
Coming to wonder how many of Japanese people know of the fact that this is only possible with delicate national character and gentle service mind…
During this research, there has come in a rumor that an old lady from Russia are buying a dozen of diet pills. As you can see from this bulk buying, the overseas demand of Japanese goods are still increasing.


う〜ん、なるほど。さすが“かゆいところに手が届く国”ニッポン! 繊細な国民性と細やかな心配りがちょっとした製薬にまで行き届いているなんて、一体何人の日本人が気付いているのだろう。

writer / EMI.N
photographer / TOMOHIKO TAGAWA

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