Top 11 must-buy Nikko souvenirs from Japan

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The hilly region to the north of Tokyo is home to Nikko, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is a pleasant city with a lengthy list of picturesque places for an ideal vacation, known for its gorgeous natural surroundings and immaculately preserved temples and shrines. You may also sample a variety of regional specialties in this city, and you can buy charming trinkets to give as nice keepsakes to your loved ones. Here are the top 11 Nikko souvenirs to take home from the charming city of Nikko, divided into categories including famous foods and traditional crafts.

1. Nikko souvenirs Yuba Kashi

One of the most iconic mementos from Nikko is yuba. Nikko yuba’s specialty store Fujiya has a long history. They have amassed a vast variety of yuba-based items throughout the years. However, the Yuba Kashi is our top suggestion for foreign tourists. 

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When you’re in the mood for a Japanese snack, this is a smart option to take into account from a Westerner perspective. It has a soy scent and is as thin and light as a sheet of paper. As a treat for youngsters or to enjoy with tea, this snack is fantastic. This item’s expiration date is around 10 days later than typical compared to other yuba items, which is a small distinction that tourists are sure to appreciate.

2. Nikko souvenirs Fried Yuba

Yuba, which is Japanese for “beancurd skin”, has to be the most well-liked dish in Nikko. The delicious omiyage (お土産), beautifully wrapped presents of the wonderful fried beancurd skin in boxes for that particular one back home, are created out of their affection for this nourishing delicacy.

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You can now get nourishing fried yuba in various stores all across the city in addition to tasting the protein-rich treat at Nikko’s Japanese restaurants. Purchase it from Nikko Fujiya Yuba (日光湯波 ふじや), which has been in business since the Meiji Period, for the most memorable flavor of this delicacy. Long lines are frequently present in front of the store. Place it in the freezer to extend its shelf life.

3. Three Wise Monkeys Monaka

Another snack from Ganso Nisshodo is the trio of “Nikko Aoi Three Wise Monkeys Monaka”. This snack is based on Nikko Tōshō-gū’s well-known trio of sage monkeys, who represent the adage “See no evil, hear no evil, say no evil”.

Each clever monkey in this group is concealing one of its lips, ears, or eyes, as you can see. This mascot snack’s message is that young children shouldn’t be subjected to harmful sights, sounds, or words. To raise kids as morally upright adults, they should only be given pure items to nourish them with. Avoid focusing solely on a person’s flaws, asking unnecessary questions, and disparaging others.

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Monaka is a snack with a substantial amount of red bean paste inside and a thin outer shell. You’ll frequently discover widely divergent opinions regarding this snack since some individuals loathe how the thin skin adheres to the teeth and others may not enjoy red bean paste.

However, we think that this snack’s distinctive three-wise monkey design makes it a suitable keepsake to carry home. Additionally, the expiration date is sometimes longer than two months from the date of purchase, which is a comforting purchase for those hoping to bring them abroad after their vacation.

This assortment of snacks uses fillings other than red beans. Additionally, you’ll discover that it has the flavors of walnut and caramel cream. The walnut filling has a wonderful texture, and the flavor becomes better the longer you chew it. When you anticipate tasting red bean paste, it’s kind of intriguing to bite into something else.

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4. Sweet fried yuba bun

Deep frying gives fried Yuba Manju, which is a sweet azuki bean paste wrapped in Yuba into a bun, a salty-sweet flavor. With its sweet bean filling, this Nikko famous food delicacy improves the flavor of the traditional Fried Yuba. Purchase the crispy fried Yuba Manju from Sakeya (さかえや), a well-known confectionary that excels in this omiyage.

This delightful treat has a three-day shelf life, but you can keep it fresher longer by freezing it. To bring back the delectable flavor of this freshly fried bun, simply warm it in the oven before eating.

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5. Nikko Rusk

The “Nikko Rusk,” a snack that comes in flamboyantly bright packaging, is another suggested keepsake. It makes full use of the old-school, traditional Japanese sweets business Ganso Nisshodo’s snack-making technique and is a recognized offering at the Nikko Tōshō-gū temple.

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This well-liked product, with lifetime sales of more than a million pieces, is renowned for having a chocolaty flavor that seems to have permeated the bread itself. Strawberry chocolate, bitter chocolate, sugar, maple, matcha, and many other flavors are among the flavors available. They are also available in combinations that include bags or cartons. The lifespan of the snacks is typically two months from the date of purchase.

6. Nikko Jingoro rice crackers

The Nikko Jingoro rice crackers will be a terrific option for individuals who like something salty rather than sweet. The Ishidaya Imaichi business, which was established more than a century ago, makes these crispy rice crackers with a lovely buttery flavor using fresh, regional ingredients. The gift box, which features a charming illustration of a cat, is attractive and makes a thoughtful present for your family and friends back home in addition to being a tasty snack food.

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>>Read more: Top 20+ Best Things To Buy In Japan 2022 [Unique From Japan]

7. Ieyasuko no Hitokire Castella

Gilded castella from Nikko Castella Honpo are another well-liked Nikko memento. Officials from the Netherlands would give castella cakes to the Shogun each time they visited Edo from 1603 until 1868 as a show of appreciation to the Tokugawa administration for giving them greater privileges than other nations.

Every time a light is donated to the Tōshō-gū temple, it is also believed that these cakes were also given to the gods. The famous castella cakes made by Nikko Castella Honpo were designed to highlight that intriguing history.

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The golden Yomeimon Gate in Tōshō-gū served as inspiration for the gold flakes used to gild the cakes, while the Cedar Avenue of Nikki served as a model for the matcha castella. All Castella cakes should be consumed within 10 to 14 days of being sent from the factory.

8. Nikko Sake

Nikko is well recognized for its locally made sake (Japanese alcoholic drink) in addition to its nutritious and silky yuba cuisine. The plentiful clean hot spring water used in the mountainous area of Nikko gives the sake in that city a distinct flavor from other regions of Japan. At historic breweries at the base of the Nikko Mountains, sake is brewed using local rice, top-notch water, and yeasts.

If you enjoy Japanese wine, you must visit the city and sample the most well-known Nikko Homare. The well-known Ginjoshu wine has a pleasant flavor and is made without alcohol. You may also, if you’d like, take a tour of one of the city’s many breweries.

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9. Three Wise Monkeys Charm

If you ask: “Is Nikko worth visiting?” The answer is “Yes, of course!” Besides the Nikko delicious foods, the Three Wise Monkeys Charm, an unusual gift that is essentially a charm modeled on the three wise monkeys, is a must-see if you’re visiting the Nikko Tōshō-gū.

Regarding this charm, which has health-related blessings from the Three Wise Monkeys. People often associate Nikko with the Three Wise Monkeys, which explains why the cute keychain charm of the Three Wise Monkeys is so well-liked worldwide.

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10. Nikko souvenirs Sake Manju

Original Nikko Sake Manju, created by Yuzawaya with a 200-year history since its founding, is the absolute must-buy keepsake for your trip to Nikko, Tochigi prefecture. It is commonly known that it was given to Emperor Taisho and has been recognized as a traditional Nikko dish with a respectable past.

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Making Sake Manju takes seven days. The level of taste excellence that is delivered by the workmanship and effort put into this product cannot be achieved by an automated machine. The interior sweetness of the red bean paste is light and delicate, and the dumpling dough has a distinctive sourness. You will be completely satisfied by the fluffy texture and mild sweetness. If you visit Nikko, do not miss it!

11. Nikko antique kimono

A traditional Japanese garment known as the kimono is worn on occasions, such as at weddings and festivals. An antique kimono is undoubtedly appropriate to purchase for a property in a historical landmark like Nikko. You may rent and wear the exquisitely woven kimono at the Utakata main shop for a fantastic photo shoot in such a stunning city.

Additionally, you may buy the exquisite vintage kimono, as well as matching accessories and other classy handicrafts like handkerchiefs and wallets. Choose what you want from the extensive selection of goods in this charming Japanese artisan store!

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Conclusion

Almost everything that captured your attention in captivating Nikko may be purchased at home as pleasant souvenirs in one way or other thanks to the inventive Japanese wits. When you return home and give your family and friends these exquisite Nikko souvenirs, don’t forget to tell them about the special trip experience you had when purchasing the gift for them. With the lovely tales told, the souvenirs in Nikko you offer will seem much more treasured. Enjoy your shopping!