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Kirimochi in hand-luggage on oversea flights 2022/11/1 01:06
Hey community,

I bring home some kirimochi every time I go to Japan cause it is quite expensive here.
As it is also quite heavy I would prefer to put it into my hand luggage, however due to its consistency I am not sure if this is allowed.
I always wanted to have this question asked beforehand but always forgot and again ended up putting my mochi into our check-in luggage just recently ^_^

So, for my next trip:
Does anybody have any experience with transporting kirimochi in hand-luggage on oversea flights or even know for a fact if it is allowed?

Even if japanese security is fine with it I am worried what might happen at the checks for connecting flights outside of Japan where people are unfamiliar with the product. To be honest, it might appear suspicious to the untrained eye....

by DrRodriges  

Re: Kirimochi in hand-luggage on oversea flights 2022/11/1 16:02
As far as this kind of thing goes Japan doesn't care what you take out of the country. But your destination country probably cares about what you are bringing in. Rather than a Japan related forum you would be better off checking with one related to the country you are planning to bring it into. Each country is going to have their own rules about what is and isn't allowed to be imported, and Japan doesn't get a say in this.
by L (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Kirimochi in hand-luggage on oversea flights 2022/11/1 16:13
Thanks for your reply, however I am refering to security rather than customs.
Sorry if that did not come out right.

You cannot transport liquids and gel-like things in hand luggage in large quantities on international flights. As kirimochi is somewhere between solid and the latter, it might lead to problems.

I hope this clarifies what I am aiming at.
by Jan (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Kirimochi in hand-luggage on oversea flights 2022/11/1 19:33
I understand your concern exactly. I donft have any direct experience myself with kirimochi, but I have had some completely innocuous items (not just semisolids, but also various food items, plastics, and metals) slow me down in the security line simply because they were somewhat unusual in appearance. I guess it might depend on the country, but I sure wouldnft attempt it.

If itfs the U.S., remember that TSA screeners are NOT well-paid, well-trained professionals who could recognize exactly what you were carrying and determine that it was not plastic explosives or something. If you were lucky, you would get through screening with no problem. If you were unlucky, you might be detained for a long time, and you could easily miss your connecting flight. The bottom line is that the decision whether to let the kirimochi through, whether to let you proceed without them, or whether to subject them (and you) to extensive scrutiny will be up to the screener. If you have a long time to make your connection, then the worst thing that will happen will be that you lose your kirimochi.

Good luck!
by Kim (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Kirimochi in hand-luggage on oversea flights 2022/11/1 20:13
Thanks Kim,

I had very similar thoughts.
I usually transfer in Germany (or somewhere in Europe) where security-checks are usually quite... reasonable (not the exact word I am looking for) and should not keep me too long, so no real concerns there.

However sometimes I dont have connection flights but continue by train, so it would be interesting to know if japanese security will let kirimochi pass.
by Jan (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Kirimochi in hand-luggage on oversea flights 2022/11/1 20:30
Oh, Ifm sorry! In fact I did not fully understand your concern. I assumed you would get through Japan screening okay. Those screeners will almost certainly recognize kirimochi for what it is. However, it is definitely possible that the nature of the substance might put it into the category of unaccepted items for carrying onto your outbound flight. I once made a stupid mistake and put a bottle of some liquid salad dressing into my carry-on, and it was spotted immediately by the screener at Haneda and of course confiscated. I was embarrassed but they were very nice about it.

I think you might be able to find explicit information online if you can search in Japanese, but Ifm afraid my language skills are not up to this task. Possibly someone on this forum who is fluent might be able to do it for you.

You are still faced with the question of possible screening in your destination country, but that doesnft seem to be as much of an issue in your case. TSA screening in the U.S. can be very unpleasant, although usually it is routine and efficient. Itfs just a huge nuisance we all have to put up with, just as covid seems to have changed the travel landscape for a long time, at least with regard to Japan travel.
by Kim (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Kirimochi in hand-luggage on oversea flights 2022/11/1 20:49
In Europe I guess the worst that could happen is they take the mochi away from me if I openly present it from the start.

I'm always delighted to see how security screening is handled for domestic airtravel in Japan. No restrictions on fluids etc.

A little off-topic anecdote: some years ago I was not allowed to take an umbrella through security in Narita because "it looks like a japanese sword" (quote). Well, this was the lady that checked boarding passes and maybe she took her job a little too seriously. We had to check in the umbrella and it arrived safely and still is in use today. :)

Back on topic: maybe I'll try and make an enquiry with haneda airport about the mochi. If they don't have an answer, maybe they can relay me to the proper authorities.

Thanks again for your thoughts and time.

by Jan (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Kirimochi in hand-luggage on oversea flights 2022/11/2 01:41
I travel everywhere with just hand-luggage, and I doubt you'd have a problem with your mochi in terms of security. But if you're concerned with security, you should double-check the official websites of the airport you're using as well as the airline you're using.

Meanwhile, have you ever considered making mochi of your own? Perhaps you could make "shira-tame" dumplings out of shira-tama powder and water, or buy an automatic mochi-maker which makes mochi as long as you put in dried rice and water.

I hope it helps.
by Uco rate this post as useful

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