This year, the Japan Tourism Agency, Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport, held the 9th “Most Charming Japanese Souvenir Contest“.
This is a contest to select particularly attractive souveniers, in terms of how design, quality, etc., are seen by people around the round.
The contest is held so that Japanese souveniers and regional brands can be recognized and promoted. At the same time, the charm of Japan is conveyed through these souvenirs, and so this event is also held to help encourage visitors to Japan.
This year, there is a “COOL JAPAN” category for “items which integrate Japanese culture and technologies with the innovative mind”.
There are also 2 divisions of a “TRADITIONAL JAPAN” category for “Items characteristic of Japan that overseas visitors can be attracted to straight upon seeing them”.
The contest is one where both “modern” and “traditional” charm of brought to the fore. The award categories are Grand Prize, COOL JAPAN (gold, silver, bronze),
TRADITIONAL JAPAN (gold, silver, bronze), Internaional Prize, LUXURY Prize for items over 10,500 yen and the new REASONABLE prize for items less than 1,050 yen.
Final selection took place on February 22nd, 2013, and the prizes were selected from a total number of 636 entries.
Around the world, souveniers are generally ornaments, key holders, magnets, etc., that are used as personal memento for a person's trip.
However, in Japan, souvenirs are generally are given to family, friends and coworkers after returning from a trip.
At tourist destinations, there are souvenir shops that sell a line up of that area's local specialties and special products such as sweets, other foods and crafts.
You'll find many people who feel that selecting gifts at souvenir shops and stalls to suit people they know is one of the pleasures of a vacation.
This appears to be unique to Japanese custom and in every region you can find many items which are sold as “souvenirs”.
At JCRAFTS, we wish to introduce and sell these award-winning contest items as recommended Japanese souvenirs.