What does the Japanese word omiyage mean

Visiting someone in Japan? Remember the omiyage

The word iy 土産 omiyage literally means gift, souvenir or memory. These small souvenirs or gifts are very important in Japanese culture and can be seen in thousands of shops in tourist attractions across the country. As with everyone, these gifts are usually given on special dates or in return as a symbol of closeness and affection.

Omiyages are gifts that can be given to friends, co-workers, relatives, etc. at any time. However, there are cases when it is really necessary to do an omiyage, especially when visiting someone's house.

Omiyage is not a simple reminder, when visiting a person it is more than an obligation to take an Omiyage. Giving is part of an old samurai tradition called Giri (義理), which can be translated as "social obligation".

Types of omiyage

There are different occasions and types of omiyage that we can take. Let's see details of each one below:

Omiyage (お 土産) - The main tradition is to give memories of a trip to our relatives, friends and co-workers. Mostly a reminder of the place we visited.

Temiyage (手 土产) - Whenever we visit someone, it is necessary to bring a gift. Most of the time, it can be groceries, candy, fruits, and other foods that you can already find for sale as gifts. Visiting a friend who lives far away can bring something with you from the area where you live. There are no specific rules, you can take what you think is best as a gift.

Sashi-ire (差 し 入 れ) - You can give an inventive gift to a friend who is going to perform a task or request for you. It can be food, tea, candy, etc. After your friend finishes their assignment or favor, you can thank them with another gift called namedGawari Meishi (替 わ り 名 刺).

Omimai (お 見 舞 い) - You can bring gifts to a friend in the hospital. It can be magazines, books, and mostly flowers, but be careful not to give a flower that represents death, like lilies and camellias.

There are other occasions when you can give someone a gift, such as: B. New Years, Valentine's Day, birthdays when the person retires or changes jobs, or when a new neighbor moves into the neighborhood or a friend moves away. Gifts range from food to cash in envelopes.

How can you give the best gift?

Of course, you should know the person well and what they are going to like, but most people like food. Candy and consumables are the most common and inexpensive omiyage. To make the best gift, you need to remember that the appearance of the gift is just as important as the gift itself. Japan is very fond of personalizing and decorating things, so the candy box or packaging it is in should be wrapped is to be considered important.

When you travel to Japan, take souvenirs from your country with you instead of buying something local. You can also take branded items. If you live in Japan and visit another region, you can take something typical of that region with you. For example, green tea is very popular in Kyoto, you can bring something related to green tea. Okinawa has sweet potatoes, Hiroshima has lemon and Hokkaido cheese and milk. It will be easy to find a gift when visiting a tourist place. It will be difficult to make a choice.

If you are unable, you can bring a postcard with a stamp from a place you visited.

It doesn't matter if you are in an airport, small town, train station, temple, shrine, castle, park, building, garden or anywhere else in Japan. You always have a chance to find Omiyage to buy. Don't forget to buy your souvenir when you travel.

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