Must Have Japanese Souvenirs: Tenugui
If you're looking for a souvenir that is truly Japanese, look no further than "tenugui" - a thin hand towel made of cotton. Although the idea of a hand towel as a gift sounds simple, and it well may be, tenugui also happen to be one of the most popular souvenirs you can buy in Japan - popular even *especially* among Japanese.
Tenugui typically measure 90cm x 35cm and are printed with countless patterns, designs, colours, themes, and motifs. Whether traditional, seasonal, sensational, or novel - there's a tenugui out there to depict it.
Tenugui make fabulous gifts because they have so many inherent uses, including: towel, headband, room decoration, gift wrap, and carry bag.
What makes tenugui such great must have souvenirs?
1. They're relatively cheap. Expect to spend roughly 300-1,000 yen for one.
2. They pack extremely light, so you won't have to worry about any extra weight charges on your trip back home!
3. Because they *do* pack light, you can ship them for next to nothing!
4. They are mini works of art - and can be hung in home as such. They make great conversation pieces.
5. You can always find one to match the personality or likes of the souvenir receiver. Tenugui have always been popular, but have recently seen a resurgence of modern and pop-art makeovers.
6. You can find tenugui almost anywhere: large train stations, department stores, specialty shops - almost every souvenir shop in every town has specialty tenugui on offer.
7. They are an integral part of Japanese culture - Japanese buy them for their own friends and family when travelling.
If you'd like to learn more about tenugui, I recommend you read senpai David's wonderful article on them here:
Former Deep Japan Writer