Narita International Airport: You’d never guess this snack would be so popular!
Narita Airport is the gateway to Japan’s capital city. We went to the main representative souvenir shop “BLUE SKY Plaza” (Narita International Airport Terminal Building 2, 4th Floor）to ask what their most popular souvenir is.
Surprisingly, the most popular item isn’t your typical kind of souvenir. It seems that Kit Kat biscuits sold in overseas countries are exceptionally popular here. However, here’s where Japan’s character comes in. Among the available varieties of Kit Kat, “Kit Kat Uji-Matcha (Green tea flavored Kit Kat)” is extremely popular. Uji-Matcha is one of Japan’s major varieties of high-quality tea made in Uji city in the Kyoto area. “Kit Kat Uji-Matcha” is made by blending green tea powder into the chocolate which makes for a uniquely Japanese flavor. Whilst eating chocolate, you get to sample the finest flavor of tea which is a nice little luxury indeed.
Other than Uji-Matcha, in Japan, unique Kit Kat flavors such as Strawberry, Blueberry Cheesecake and Wasabi have also made an appearance. How about trying a uniquely Japanese flavor of Kit Kat to remember your travels in Japan?
●Kit Kat Uji-Matcha: 10 packs of Kit Kats containing 3 biscuits each for 1,570 yen
※Single packs available for 157 yen
At Narita International Airport, another popular sweet is “Kikyo Shingen Mochi”. It’s a single bite size portion of rice cake wrapped in traditional Japanese cloth. The Japanese culture of paying attention to detail is in full effect here. Eating this dessert with the included brown sugar syrup and kinako (a kind of flour made from fried soybeans) makes it even more delicious.
Kansai International Airport：It’s got to be from Kyoto
At the BLUE SKY shop just outside the departures gate of Kansai International Airport, they sell the popular sweet representing Kyoto called “Otabe”. “Otabe” is a well-known maker of the Japanese sweet Nama-Yatsuhashi (a soft thin pastry layer of rice flour) filled with crushed red beans, which is a famous Kyoto dessert. Surprisingly, sweets that are popular in Hokkaido are also popular at Kansai International Airport.
For those that wish to try Japanese sweets but don’t like the taste of sweet bean paste, there is also a popular variety of Nama-Yatsuhashi filled with lots of chocolate called “OTABE de Chocolat” (Available from October to April). During summer, when chocolate melts easily, we recommend “Choco Otabe”. These are sweet bean paste mixed with chocolate wrapped in cocoa flavored Nama-Yatsuhashi pastry.
Other than food, at both of Japan’s two biggest airports Narita International Airport and Kansai International Airport, key holders in the shape of temples and geisha are also very popular as Japanese souvenirs. Recently, “Maneki-neko (Beckoning Cat)” goods, which are lucky charms that bring in good luck and good fortune, are especially well received. For those of you who want to go home with a bit of luck from Japan, why not give these classic Japanese items a try?
Also available at Japan’s two major international airports are various goods collected from all over the country. At these national representative airports, souvenirs from Hokkaido all the way to Okinawa are available on sale. After visiting Tokyo and Kansai area, if you would like to take some regional souvenirs home with you, please take advantage of the souvenir shops in both Narita International Airport and Kansai International Airport.
Chubu International Airport (Centrair): Treasures of the sea
The Chita Peninsula, where Chubu International Airport is located, has traditionally been a rich source of fish and shellfish, and the region also thrives as a maker of Ebisenbei (prawn rice crackers). Here, using plentiful amounts of prawns, “Ebisenbei” are very popular. At the “Ebisenbei No Sato” located in the bustling “Chochin Yokocho”, it’s perfectly OK to try most of the rice crackers. Plum, wasabi flavored rice crackers and also rice crackers that contain squid and octopus are also available. Especially popular are rice cracker sets made up of 5 of your selected favorite flavors.
Haneda Airport International Terminal: Wear Japan on your sleeve with a cool T-Shirt!
At Haneda Airport International Terminal, T-shirts bearing the design of cherry blossoms are popular all year round. The “EDO-MARKET” located in the Haneda Airport International Terminal, is decorated in the theme of a street in the Edo Period and houses the “Omoshiro T-Shirt-Ya”, which sells T-shirts adorned with Japanese characters and other traditional Japanese cultural motifs. Also at the “DESIGN JAPAN CULTURE STORE” which sells artistic accessories made by designers, there are many unique T-shirts available featuring anime characters and other artistic designs. Surely you’ll find a T-shirt that you like here.
New Chitose Airport: The consistently popular classic among classics
Popular for over 30 years as a souvenir of Hokkaido is the cookie made with the image of snow in Hokkaido known as “Shiroi Koibito.” Representing Hokkaido as a souvenir even overseas is the famous “Shiroi Koibito”, a light afternoon tea snack consisting of white chocolate sandwiched between two French langue de chat cookies. At the BLUE SKY store in the Departure Lobby, they also sell “Shiroi Koibito” white chocolate soft serve ice creams. You’ve got to experience this delicious taste at least once!
Also popular is a Baumkuchen using the same white chocolate found in “Shiroi Koibito” mixed into its dough called “Shiroi Baum TSUMUGI”. Another delicious way to enjoy it is to serve it with fresh cream and chocolate sauce.
Shopping for character merchandise at the airports
Did you know? You can see the famous Japanese characters Hello Kitty and Doraemon at Japan’s airports! You can find everything from character and anime goods to famous Japanese toys and games you can play on the plane. There are also original goods you can only buy at airport stores.
By the way, at Hokkaido’s New Chitose Airport, “Hokkaido Figure Miyage” capsule toys are very popular. See what you get when you put a coin in the machine! Even Hatsune Miku has also appeared inside.
In addition, with its main store in Ginza, the specialty toy store “Hakuhinkan TOY PARK” also has store branches within 4 airports. Featuring similar layouts to the main Ginza store, there are plenty of fun and cool toys available inside.
Hakuhinkan TOY PARK Narita International Airport store
Address: Narita International Airport Terminal 1, Central building, 4th Floor
Opening hours: 7:30~20:30
Hakuhinkan TOY PARK Kansai International Airport store
Address: Kansai International Airport Terminal 1, 3rd Floor
Opening hours: 7:30~21:30
Hakuhinkan TOY PARK Haneda Airport store
Address: Haneda Airport International Terminal Building, 5th Floor
Opening hours: 9:00~22:00
Hakuhinkan TOY PARK New Chitose Airport store
Address: New Chitose Airport International Terminal Building, 3rd Floor
Opening hours: Same as the International flight service hours