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Sending gift baskets to Japan? 2010/1/24 03:08
When we were in Tokyo in the fall, we noticed that the department stores have gift baskets for sale with food, alcohol, etc. We would like to send someone in Tokyo a birthday gift, and am looking for some way to send a gift basket online. So far, all we seem to be able to find is a way to send flowers or chocolates.

Does anyone know of a site, or a way, to send a gift basket (preferably beer) from a store in Japan?
by karmacat  

Is this what you mean? 2010/1/24 13:06
If you are talking about "gift boxes" sold in a whole range of different combination (food, beer, canned drinks, tea, etc.) displayed on shelves, and in the fall season, AND at department stores, I think it was probably for the "end of year gift season" thing ("oseibo"). Those boxes (at least in that variety) are sold only during the mid-year gift season and for the end of year, and are mostly available through department stores...

You would have to try Japanese department stores' online shopping service, but they will probably be all in the Japanese language.

One thing I might note... of course if your friend loves beer, a box full of beer cans would be a delight, but in the eyes of Japanese people, I must say, those are the "customary" gifts for colleagues, business partners, clients, etc., and not really perceived as "personal" gifts, which birthday gifts are, IMHO :)
by AK rate this post as useful

Gift Baskets 2010/1/24 15:37
I have the impression that gift baskets are more common in the U.S. than in Japan. I think that what the OP saw was either just an idea a store brought up immitating foreign customs or Japanese celebrities, or it could have been the common funeral gifts that are often arranged in baskets. Or often it could be "get well" gifts for the hospitalized.

But I did a quick search on the internet using a set of keywords in Japanese that mean ''gift basket wine'' (贈答 バスケット ワイン) and found a few websites with gift baskets. This is just an example, although it's in Japanese.

The 4th from the bottom are baskets with food and wine in them, and they seem suitable for birthdays. However, the following page shows gifts for funerals.

It's not that difficult to send gift baskets if you were in Japan. All you have to do is to explain your needs to the store clerk and they will arrange a nice basket with nice merchandise in it. I've once recieved a gift basket in Japan (full of candles and stationary), and it made me feel like one of those Hollywood movie stars! But since these arrangements are rarely seen as a ''set menu,'' it might be difficult to shop from overseas.

Karmacat, if you're outside Japan, instead of contacting a Japanese shop, you may want to contact a major department store near you and see what they can do. See if they can arrange something local and then send it overseas to Japan. That would be more exotic and fun in your friend's point of view.
by Uco (guest) rate this post as useful

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