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Gifts for Host Family 2012/12/6 00:22
Hi Everyone

I know this sort of thing has been asked many times before, but I'd appreciate some more specific input.

I'm visiting Japan for the first time at the end of this month. I've organised a homestay with a family (husband, wife, 2yr old boy, 4yr old girl) in Tokyo for ten days and was wondering what sort of things I should take them (assuming that a gift is appropriate).

I'm from a rather touristy part of England, so I thought souvenir type stuff (key chains, pencils, bookmarks, tea towels, photo books etc.) might go down well.

Also, walking around the supermarket, it occurred to me to take things like: the "original" Worcestershire Sauce; Anglo-Indian curry pastes; a Western style Christmas Cake or Christmas Pudding.Is it possible to buy these things in Japan? Obviously I don't want to haul something halfway across the globe only to discover that they could buy it in the local convenience store.

Any ideas on gifts for the children?

All comments are greatly appreciated.

by Steve (guest)  

Re: Gifts for Host Family 2012/12/8 13:55
I think souvenirs as chains, pencils, bookmarks, tea towels and photo books will be welcome. But they should be original. Just Western-style things are found everywhere in Japan.
Although Worcestershire Sauce and curry pastes are very familiar to Japanese, English "original" sauce or Indian curry pastes aren't. So I think they're nice idea!
But you can find Western-style Christmas Cake or Christmas Pudding around this country.

Enjoy your trip!!
by Moechama rate this post as useful

Re: Gifts for Host Family 2012/12/8 15:00
Just a thought - I would recommend against the British Christmas pudding, if that's what you are talking about - they are alcohol (brandy, was it?) filled, I as a grown-up can get drunk eating it, though there seems to be a proper procedure to heat it up and let the alcohol evaporate... taking to a family with kids a cake that the small kids cannot eat is not really a good idea :)

Tea towels, photo books, English tea would be nice. I'm not really for touristy key chains and pencils, as people tend not to use them.
by AK (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Gifts for Host Family 2012/12/8 16:53
I always think of the Cadburry chocolates and Turkish Delight as being so very British and so very yummy. Those would be most welcome!!

When I went, I brought boxes and boxes of Sees Candy Lollypops. They are butterscotch, vanilla, Chocolate and Cafe Latte flavors. They were a huge hit because they were A.) Sweets
B.) From California (where I'm from)
C.) prettily wrapped individually. I could hand out one or a two or a whole box. Always always a hit. Something like that is nice. And again, I do always think of Cadbury and Turkish Delight...
by 3olives (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Gifts for Host Family 2012/12/9 01:12
Thanks very much for all the replies.

Good to hear that the souvenir-type things I had in mind should be well received.

It sounds like curry pastes and Worcestershire Sauce might be a good idea. I was thinking of just taking some British brands, such as Patak's and Lea & Perrins (yes, I know L&P is now owned by Heinz, but the sauce is still made in the UK). Would these be sufficiently "exotic"?

Wow, AK, you must be a real lightweight! I can hardly believe it's possible to get drunk on Christmas Pudding, how much did you eat!?
Perhaps I'll take some mince pies instead. Although they generally contain some alcohol, I find it tends to be less than in a Chrismtas Pudding. Are mince pies readily available in Japan and do you think they'd go down well? (Yes, I'm determined to take some calorie laden British Chrismtas cuisine!).

Turkish Delight is an interesting idea 3olives. It might make a good gift for the children. Apparently Fry's TD (which seems to be the one you're thinking of) is now produced in Poland, but it was invented in Britain. Can anyone tell me if this can be easily bought in Japan? What about other Cadbury products like: flake, crunchie, creme egg etc.?

Once again, thank you for the information.
by Steve (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Gifts for Host Family 2012/12/9 08:58
Just so you know, the adults I gave the gold wrapped lollipops too were absolutely delighted. Three times in the course of my travels, women who I handed them to jumped up and down clapping like little children.

I think those Cadbury eggs would have the same effect on children and adults as well. The Japanese love pretty and cute things no matter their age.
by 3olives (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Gifts for Host Family 2012/12/9 09:03
Also, saying something like Eigirisu (England) ni kono chokoretto okashi wa yumey des. (In England these are famous chocolate candies.) Or, Kore wa yumena Eigirisu chokoretto okashi des.(These are famous English chocolate sweets).

Now I forget if you actually speak Japanese. Sorry for advising if you already do! :-)
by 3olives (guest) rate this post as useful

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