7 Recommended Souvenirs from Shikoku That You’ll Want for Yourself
The Shikoku region is a single, large island consisting of four prefectures: Ehime, Kagawa, Kochi, and Tokushima. It faces out towards the Seto Inland Sea and the Pacific Ocean, and is filled with bountiful nature and culture. Its food culture is equally as rich, with an array of local foods and specialty products. If you’re visiting the region, don’t miss out on these unique souvenirs that you can only find there!
Jan 29 2019 (Sep 09 2020)
1. Baikodo Main Branch's Wasanbo [Higashi Kagawa City, Kagawa]
Wasanbon (和三盆) is a type of sugar with a not-too-sweet taste that's made from chikusha (a kind of thin and long sugarcane), and it is Kagawa Prefecture’s specialty product. The Wasanbon made at Baikodo is actually trademarked under the name Wasanbo (和三宝). The dried sugar candy that they sell is made from 100% Wasanbo sugar, and is both colorful and cute with beautiful shapes and patterns, making them popular for their unique appearance.
All of their candy is handmade, and their unique flavors coupled with a texture that just melts in your mouth make them quite delicious. They can last for up to a year, making them perfect as a souvenir. They have several varieties, such as the Wasanbo Meguri Ongaku (15 pieces), Flowers (18 pieces), Animals (15 pieces), and Kagawa (16 pieces), which are all just 648 yen a box.
2. Utsuboya Main Branch's Bocchan Dango [Matsuyama City, Ehime]
Bocchan Dango is a snack of dango (glutinous rice dumpling) on a stick that is said to have been loved by Japan’s literary master, Natsume Soseki. It is named after his novel, Bocchan, and has three distinct colors of dango: tea-green, yellow, and reddish-brown. This is one of the most standard souvenirs of Matsuyama City.
The dango is wrapped around anko (sweet red bean), resulting in a mild and simple taste that people love. It’s a unique product from a well-known shop, and goes particularly well with drinks like tea or coffee. It costs 594 yen for a box of five (individually wrapped), 756 yen for a box of eight, 1,188 yen for a box of ten (individually wrapped), 1,080 yen for a box of twelve, and 1,512 yen for a box of sixteen. Choose whichever one best matches your budget!
3. Juroku Bankan Ichiroku Honpo's Saka no Ue no Kumo [Matsuyama City, Ehime]
Saka no Ue no Kumo (1 for 108 yen, box of 6 for 777 yen, box of 10 for 1,296 yen) is a confectionery named after Clouds Above the Hill, a famous work of Shiba Ryotaro, a Japanese novelist. The round snack resembles an egg, but is actually designed in the image of a cloud. The outer layer is soft and the red bean paste on the inside has a mild flavor. It’s made using ingredients such as iyokan (a kind of Japanese citrus fruit), honey, and milk.
Juroku Bankan Ichiroku Honpo is also known for its impressive and unique exterior, as well as its spacious store interior. Feel free to take your time choosing souvenirs there.
4. Fukuju Shoyu's Sudachi Shoyu [Naruto City, Tokushima]
Sudachi (a small Japanese citrus fruit) is one of Tokushima’s famous local products. It’s a fruit with a wide range of uses, including in hot pot cooking, sashimi, meat dishes, fish dishes, and more. Sudachi Shoyu (474 yen for 150ml) is a soy sauce infused with the juices of sudachi, and is a product unique to Tokushima. It beautifully balances the soy sauce with the refreshing sourness of the sudachi, and doesn't contain any unnecessary ingredients.
Fukuju Shoyu is a well-established shop with over 190 years of history. The charming building is made of wood. You can tour around their soy sauce brewery or purchase souvenirs at their annexed shop.
5. Toyo Olive’s Olive Oil [Shozu County, Ehime]
Ehime Prefecture’s Shodoshima, which sits on the Seto Inland Sea, is known for its production of olive oil. The island's olives are used to make not only olive oil, but also a wide variety of other food items and even cosmetic products.
The olives are of high quality, but not many can be harvested. Even so, these are the olives that Toyo Olive chooses to use. Olive oil is their flagship product, and it comes in 2 variations: Shodoshima Extra Virgin Olive Oil (4,320 yen) and Pure Olive Oil (136g for 1,080 yen). Both go well with tempura and other Japanese dishes.
6. Kamimachi Ikezawa Main Branch's Tosa no Aka Katsuo [Kochi City, Kochi]
Tosa no Aka Katsuo consists of slightly spicy, oily flakes of red sliced and dried bonito, and it is a condiment that you can add to rice. This popular product is made by Kamimachi Ikezawa Main Branch, a popular and well-known fish store. One reason for its popularity is the fact that it doesn’t use any additives. It can be used in a variety of cooking - stir-fry, pasta, curry, bread, and more.
There are 3 flavors available: garlic, seaweed, and yuzu (a set of 2 is 3,400 yen). Based on your preferences, you can decide which flavor works best with different foods like rice, chilled tofu, salad, pizza, and more.
7. Imabari Towel Main Branch's Imabari Towel [Imabari City, Ehime]
When one mentions Imabari City, the Imabari Towel comes to mind. It’s known across Japan as a very high-quality towel. These excellent towels are soft, have great absorbency, and can be used in a variety of ways. Anyone receiving one as a present is sure to be pleased!
This shop specializes in selling Imabari Towels. The interior is wide and spacious, making it easy to look and shop around. You’re allowed to touch and feel the towels, so do check them out! The prices range widely from 432 yen - 21,816 yen, so you can choose freely based on your budget. The shop staff are certified towel experts, which means you can consult them to get their expert opinion.
These souvenirs that you can only find in Shikoku have long histories and are rooted in the daily lives of the people there. They’re all appealing, and range from towels and seasonings to candy with long shelf lives. They’re perfect for presents, but you’ll definitely want to buy some for yourself, too!
The information in this article is accurate at the time of publication.