20 Special Souvenirs to Buy at a Japanese Ryokan
To remember and share your travel in Japan, special and unique souvenirs would be a great idea. In this article, we introduce original souvenir items you can find in Ryokan and hotels, so you can pick up your souvenirs comfortably during your stay.
Dec 23 2015 (Sep 09 2020)
1. Custom-made Bars of Soap at Tawaraya Ryokan (俵屋旅館) in Kyoto
Tawaraya Ryokan (俵屋旅館) is the oldest Ryokan, a Japanese traditional hotel/inn, which was founded in 1704. This historical ryokan has been registered as one of the ryokans for international tourism by the Japanese government, and its guests include celebrities all over the world. The first-class quality hospitality of Tawaraya Ryokan guarantees that you will have a perfect and most satisfying holiday. The hotel amenities include special bars of soap, which are custom-made for Tawaraya Ryokan. This special soap has been a popular souvenirs among the guests of Tawaraya Ryokan.
HP: No official website available. For reference, please visit: www.kyoto-club.com/tawaraya/ (Japanese Only)
Address: Oike-sagaru, Fuyacho, Kyōto-shi, Kyōto-fu, Japan (Google Map)
2. Cream Rice Crackers (くりーむサンド）at Chigira-Jinsentei, Ikaho-onsen (千明仁泉亭, 伊香保温泉）
Known as the setting of a Japanese tragedy novel, Fujoki/Hototogisu (The Cuckoo), Chigira-Jinsentei is an onsen (hot spring) ryokan that creates an aura of retro yet modern atmosphere. Carbonic acid rice crackers are common local confectionery in popular onsen tourism sites, but the hostess (okami-san) came up with the idea to have rich creams in between the rice crackers, giving it wafer-like texture. The chic packaging makes it almost too beautiful to tear open.
HP: www.jinsentei.com/ (Japanese Only)
Address: 45, Ikaho, Ikaho-machi, Shibukawa City, Gunma Prefecture, 377-0102, Japan (Google Map)
3. Authentic Shōchū (本格いも焼酎) at Marukoma Ryokan (丸駒/丸駒温泉 千歳市支笏湖)
Marukoma Ryokan is very rare in that the natural hot spring is directly welling out of its baths. With only rocks to separate its outdoor baths from Shikotsu lake, you can enjoy the scenic nature while bathing in onsen, just like when Marukoma Ryokan was established in 1915. To produce the authentic Shōchū, a type of Japanese distrilled alcoholic beverage made with potatoes, natural mineral water from Shikotsu lake is used. In addition to this authenic Shōchū packaged in a beatiful blue bottle, Marukoma Ryokan offers many souvenirs including original Saké and wines.
HP: www.marukoma.co.jp/ (Japanese Only)
Address: 7, Horobinai, Chitose, Hokkaido Prefecture 066-0287, Japan (Google Map)
4. Rice Bran Facial Wash (美肌ぬか袋) at Ikoi Ryokan in Kurokawa Onsen (阿蘇郡 黒川温泉）
Ikoi Ryokan is located in the famous Kurokawa onsen area, which has been selected one of the 100 best Japanese onsens. The traditional and wooden building of Ikoi Ryokan produces a relaxing atmosphere with its simple and modest interiors including a Japanese-style fireplace. The rice bran beauty facial washis a popular souvenir item among the visitors of Ikoi Ryokan. With the organic skin care ingredients of rice brans, it clears and moisturizes your skin.
HP: www.ikoi-ryokan.com/ (Japanese Only)
Address: Kawabata-Dori, Kurokawa-Onsen, Minamioguni, Aso District, Kumamoto Prefecture, 869-2400, Japan (Google Map)
5. Chiffon Cake at Otogino-Yado Komeya, Sukagawa-Onsen (「お米のおやつ」/おとぎの宿米屋, 須賀川温泉)
Otogino-yado Komeya has 23 rooms, each designed and decorated with different themes, spread in the idyllic scenery of the Otogino Forest. In the idylic Otogino Forest, there are 23 rooms, each with different themes. In all 23 room, you can enjoy the natural hot spring (onsen). This unique ryokan has a warm, welcoming atmosphere that makes you feel at home. For souvenirs, our recommendation is the chiffon cake, which is made with locally procuded rice and egg, flavored with apricot liquor.
HP: e-yoneya.com/ (Japanese Only)
Address: 168-2, Kasagi, Iwabuchi, Sukagawa City, Fukushima Prefecture, 962-0043, Japan (Google Map)
6. Original Origami Set (おり紙セット) at Andon Ryokan Tokyo (行灯旅館, 東京都)
The uniqueness of Andon Ryokan Tokyo is that the ryokan itself is designed to look like an andon, a traditional Japanese lantern. Located near the Tokyo Sky Tree, it has excellent transportation access to Ueno and Asakusa, popular tourist areas among visitors from around the world. Among the many original souvenir items from Andon Ryokan Tokyo, our pick is the original origami, beautifully printed sheets of paper cut in squares. Folding the origami paper into various shapes of animals and objects has been a popular pastime in Japan, and it has been gaining popularity overseas. This set of beautifully printed sheets of paper reflects the aesthetics of Andon Ryokan Tokyo, and it takes very little space in your luggage. On every Tuesday, you can take an origami lesson to learn and make your own origami handcraft work. HP: www.andon.co.jp/
HP: www.andon.co.jp/jp/ (Japanese Only)
Address: 2-34-10, Nihonzutsumi, Taito-ku, Tokyo, 111-0021, Japan(Google Map)
7. Chocolate Bars at Imperial Hotel, Tokyo (スティックチョコレート/帝国ホテル 東京)
Celebrating its 125th anniversary this year, the Imperial Hotel is one of the most prestigious hotels in Japan. In every moment during your stay, you will find the hospitality of the Imperial Hotel. There are many souvenir shops including a delicatessen, but our recommendation is the chocolate bars, a popular long-seller which has about a year-long best before date. This carefully made chocolate has a delicate and rich taste, and it is also available for purchase at Tokyo station and Haneda airport.
HP: www.imperialhotel.co.jp/j/tokyo/index.html (Japanese Only)
Address: 1-1-1, Uchisaiwai-cho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, 100-8558, Japan (Google Map)
8. Kanaya Hotel Cookies at Nikko Kanaya Hotel (金谷クッキース/日光金谷ホテル 日光市)
Nikko Kanaya Hotel was first established as a Nikko Cottage Inn in 1873, near Nikkō Tōshō-gū (a Shinto shrine in Nikko City). The recipe for Kanaya Hotel Cookies has been the same as it was made in Nikko Cottage Inn. Many decades ago, Kanaya Hotel produced its own butter and milk, which were rare commodity in the old days. The lightly sweetened cookies have wonderful crispy texture, which makes it impossible to stop eating!
HP: www.kanayahotel.co.jp/nkh/ (Japanese Only)
Address: 1300,Kamihatsuishi-machi, Nikko City, Tochigi Prefecture, 321-1401, Japan (Google Map)
9. Original Candy at Tokyo Station Hotel, (松屋 東京丸ノ内 オリジナル栄太郎飴/東京ステーションホテル, 東京駅)
Tokyo Station Hotel has witnessed the history of Tokyo for about a century. While keeping the tradition and history including its red brick building, which has been registered as a national important cultural property, Tokyo Station Hotel welcomes you with a modern spirit of hospitality. Our recommendation for sourvenir is the original candy. It is a collaboration of a long-establishes Japanese sweets shop called Eitaro (榮太樓總本鋪) and a Matsuya department store. The candy has three flavors, English tea, brown sugar and Japanese plum, and they are packaged in cans printed with the illustrations of Tokyo Station Marunouchi building.
HP: www.tokyostationhotel.jp/ (Japanese Only)
Address: 1-9-1, Marunouchi, Chiyoda-ku, 100-6701, Tokyo (Google Map)
10. Narazuke at Nara Hotel (奈良ホテルオリジナル奈良漬（瓜）/奈良ホテル)
In a corner of Nara Park, you will find the imposing building of Nara hotel which maintains its atmosphere as it was established 100 years ago. Narazuke is a well-known local pickle of Nara region, and this is the same pickles served at the hotel during breakfast. The magnificence of Nara Hotel and the casualness of this pickle may be an interesting combination. As it has a lighter taste, this Narazuke is easier to try for first-timers.
HP: www.narahotel.co.jp/ (Japanese Only)
Address: 1096, Takabatake-cho, Nara City, Nara Prefecture, 630-8301, Japan (Google Map)
11. Micuras Pajama & Bathrobe at Hotel Micuras, Atami (ミクラスパジャマ＆バスローブ/熱海温泉 ホテルミクラス（熱海市)
The historical Atami Onsen (熱海温泉) is one of the three most famous Onsens in Japan. With its long history, Atami Onsen still attracts many visitors. Hotel Micuras has a great ocean view, and you will see the Sagami Bay, the sun rising from the horizon and the fireworks in the summer. The popular souvenir item among the guests at Hotel Micuras is the original pajama and a bathrobe. Having sold over 5,000 so far, the pajama and bathrobe are proven to have excellent quality and comfort and will be a good choice for souvenir.
HP: www.micuras.jp/index.html (Japanese Only)
Address: 3-19, Higashikaigan-cho, Atami City, Shizuoka Prefecture, 413-0012, Japan (Google Map)
12. Matchbox-shaped Sticky Notes at Akakura Kanko Hotel (マッチ型ふせん/赤倉観光ホテル 妙高高原 赤倉温泉)
Established in 1937 and located in Myoko Highlands (1,000 meters above sea level), at Akakura Kanko Hotel, you will enjoy not only the beautiful scenery but also many seasonal activities including skiing and golf throughout the year. There are many original souvenir items available for purchase. Among them, we recommend these cute matchbox-sized, retro-chic sticky notes.
HP: www.akr-hotel.com/ (Japanese Only)
Address: 216, Tagiri, Myōkō-shi, Niigata-ken 949-2102, Japan (Google Map)
13. Chouhichi-ya Glass Beads, Renaissance Resort Okinawa (長七屋 ホタルガラス/ルネッサンスリゾートオキナワ（恩納村）)
If you would like to have a beach holiday, Okinawa is the perfect place to visit. Under the bright sun, you will be welcomed by the blue sky and beautiful ocean. Although there are many souvenir items made by regional handcraft work, we recommend the accessories made with handcrafted blue glass beads that symbolizes the mystic blue color of the sea cave in Okinawa. These beautiful accessories are only available in Onna-son area in Okinawa. There are many other souvenir items to check out, such as the Ryukyu pearls and corals.
HP: renaissance-okinawa.com/ (Japanese Only)
Address: 3425-2, Onnna-son Yamada, Kunigami District, Okinawa, 904-0416, Japan (Google Map)
14. Original Aromatic Essential Oils at Fujiya Hotel, Hakone (オリジナルエッセンシャルオイル/箱根宮ノ下 富士屋ホテル 箱根町)
Fujiya hotel, founded in 1878, is one of the most well-known classical hotels in Japan. Just by looking at its buildings and facilities, you will be amazed by the architectural aesthetic of this hotel. When you stop by at the front desk, you might notice the faint relaxing scent of the original essential oil. The original essential oil is a nice souvenir item, and its blend includes Japanese cypress, giving it a unique Japanese touch.
HP: www.fujiyahotel.jp/ (Japanese Only)
Address: 359, Miyanoshita, Hakone-machi, Ashigarashimo District, Kanagawa Prefecture, 250-0404, Japan (Google Map)
15. Cloud Postal Service at Hoshino Resort Tomamu (雲のゆうびん屋さん/星野リゾート トマム（トマム）)
Tomamu is a popular skiing resort destination in Hokkaido, but its popularity is not just during the winter. From May to October, many people visit Tomamu to see Unkai (雲海), a sea of clouds. If you would like to send a piece of your memory directly to anywhere in the world, you can do so by purchasing the original postcard at the terrace that overlooks the sea of clouds and posting it into a special mailbox.
HP: www.snowtomamu.jp/winter/ (Japanese Only)
Address: Nakatomamu, Shimukappu, Yufutsu District, Hokkaido Prefecture 079-2204, Japan (Google Map)
16. Chocolate Hanamame at Nakazawa Village, Kusatsu (チョコラーテ花豆/中沢ヴィレッジ（草津温泉）)
Kusatsu Onsen is undoubtedly one of the most well-known Onsens in Japan. When you visit the town center, you will see the traditional Onsen town with hot spring fields, ryokans, Onsen Manju (温泉まんじゅう）, a steam bun with a sweetened bean‐jam filling. Nakazawa Village is a resort hotel where visitors of all ages can enjoy the hot spring and leisure activities. Our recommendation for souvenir is the original chocolate made in the hotel. Inside the rich chocolate, you will find a Hanamame, a kind of beans which is a local specialty of Kusatsu. This chocolate goes well with alcoholic drinks as well.
HP: 0932.jp/index.php (Japanese Only)
Address: 618, Kusatsu-machi, Agatsuma District, Gunma Prefecture, 377-1793, Japan (Google Map)
17. Kokeshi-doll Themed Goods at Yunohara Hotel, Sakunami Onsen (こけしグッズ/湯の原ホテル（作並温泉）)
A kokeshi doll is a traditional doll for girls in Japan, and recently this cute doll has regained popularity. Among the kokeshi dolls from Sakuhara region, it is only those made by Hiraga Kokeshi that have a special, gentle smile. You will meet those kokeshi dolls welcoming you with their smile at Yunohara Hotel. Of course, you can purchase the kokeshi dolls and bring their smiles to your home, but there are many other kokeshi-themed goods such as stickers and socks to share your memory from the trip with your friends and family.HP: www.yunohara.co.jp/ (Japanese Only)
Address: 1, Motoki Sakunami, Aoba-ku, Sendai City, Miyagi Prefecture, 989-3431, Japan (Google Map)
18. Milk Jam at the Windsor Hotel Tōya (ミルクジャム・ザ・ウィンザーホテル洞爺)
Windsor Hotel Tōya was the meeting place for the 34th G8 summit in 2008. Located at the mountaintop that looks Tōya Lake and Uchiura Bay, this first class hotel is surrounded by the nature of Hokkaido. Among the visitors of this elegant hotel, the popular souvenir is the original milk jam, which has a rich, caramel-like taste. It goes perfectly well with breads.
HP: www.windsor-hotels.co.jp/ja/ (Japanese Only)
Address: 北海道虻田郡洞爺湖町清水 (Google Map)
19. Original Japanese Teapot Set at Hotel Niwa, Tokyo (オリジナル急須セット/庭のホテル（東京都）)
Hotel Niwa is located in a culturally rich area that is close to the Tokyo Dome, Budōkan, the antique bookshop areas of Kanda. 'Niwa' means a garden in Japanese, and as its name says you can see the seasonal plants and flowers in the courtyard of this hotel. Our recommendation for a souvenir from Hotel Niwa is the Japanese teapot set, which comes with the original Japanese teapot made in famous Tokoname region, a bag of quality tealeaves from a well-known Japanese tea specialty shop, Ippodō, and a traditional tea leaves container. This is a good souvenir choice for everyone who loves Japanese tea culture.
HP: www.hotelniwa.jp/ (Japanese Only)
Address: 千代田区三崎町1-1-16 (Google Map)
20. Home-made Soy Sauce at Konji Ryokan, Shinhirayu Onsen (自家製しょうゆ/建治旅館（新平湯温泉）)
In the heart of Japanese food lays the soy sauce. Believe it or not, some Japanese people love the simple recipe 'a raw egg dropped onto a bowl of rice, with a hint of soy sauce' so much that it now has its own acronym, 'TKG,' which stands for Tamago Kake Gohan. The home-made soy sauce by Konji Ryokan has won the heart of hardcore TKG fans, which guarantees its quality and taste.
HP: www.konjiryokan.com/ (Japanese Only)
Address: Okuhida Onsengo Hitoegane, Takayama City, Gifu Prefecture, 506-1432, Japan (Google Map)
The information in this article is accurate at the time of publication.