Cute Looking Sushi That’s Actually a Dessert!
It may appear to be sushi, but it’s actually “wagashi” (Japanese confections). Behind this eye-popping creation is sweets maker Torayahonpo, which was established an incredible 397 years ago in Fukuyama City, Hiroshima Prefecture. Torayahonpo’s age-old techniques saw their “Temarizushi” (ball-shaped sushi) grab the Omiyage Grand Prix top prize in 2016. The sushi “rice” is in fact a combination of anko and warabimochi infused with lemon broth and a dash of sugar. Place this colorful bite-sized treat in your mouth and experience the slightly sticky, pleasantly sweet taste of wagashi.
Nihonfuu Saika Temarizushi
A eight-piece box of “Nihonfuu Saika Temarizushi” costs ¥2,160 at Torayahonpo shops throughout Hiroshima.
[Address] 1-11-1 Akebono-cho, Fukuyama City, Hiroshima Prefecture
Pretty Accessories Made from Origami
2017’s Omiyage Grand Prix winner is the “Paper Crane Earrings” made from origami. Cranes are one of the most popular forms of origami, and these lovely earrings are hand-crafted one at a time. They’re also made of water-resistant material, so don’t sweat a little sweat or some raindrops.
Paper Crane Earrings
You can buy these Paper Crane Earrings in Tokyo at Kamisho in the Granduo shopping complex inside JR Kamata station on the Keihin Tohoku line.
[Address] East Annex 5F, 7-68-1 Nishi-Kamata, Ota-ku, Tokyo
Sakura-shaped Pasta to Brighten up Your Dinner Table
“Sakura Pasta” was awarded the Omiyage Grand Prix International Jury Prize (America) this year. This enjoyable-to-eat short pasta is produced in Yamagata Prefecture, and gets its light pink color from beets. Even after boiling, Sakura Pasta doesn’t lose its vivid color – use it to brighten up your salads and soups, or as an accent for other dishes.
You can buy Sakura Pasta for ¥400 at Oishii Yamagata Plaza in Ginza.
[Address] 1-5-10 Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo
A Wagashi with Secrets Hidden Inside
The “Sotto Hirakuto” name given this 2015 Second Prize-winning Japanese confection from Kagawa Prefecture literally means “open gently”. The illustrated exterior shell is made of sticky rice flour, concealing a treasure trove of miniature wagashi inside. These sweets draw on the four seasons for their colorful appearance. Not unlike a world famous Chinese snack, there’s even a little paper fortune tucked inside (Japanese only).
You can purchase this souvenir at the Sotto Hirakuto Online Shop for ¥2,100
It’s more fun to travel to all these places to get your omiyage, but if you’re in a pinch don’t worry! The “Sakura” souvenir shop on the 3rd floor departure level of Narita International Airport Terminal 2 often carries Omiyage Grand Prix-winning products. Whether you buy them for others or keep them for yourself, you’re sure to be a happy customer. Pick up some omiyage today!