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The Best Gifts for Japanese Business Associates

Karina Ikedo

Karina Ikedo

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Two people exchanging a red gift box. Gifts for Japanese business associates are important for good relationships.

In Japanese culture and society, corporate gifts are widely accepted and valued, just like in most other countries worldwide. Giving gifts to Japanese business associates is an essential sign of respect, friendship, and appreciation. 

You can bring a gift for your Japanese corporate clients and business partners if you are going to meet them. Keep on reading as we’ll take you through the best corporate gift ideas that will make them impressed!

Traditional Snacks

A Japanese snack box is the perfect corporate gift, especially with unique local and traditional treats. One of the most popular ones is savory snacks such as rice crackers, Japanese chips, and umaibō (cylindrical puffed corn).

A bowl of colorful arare rice crackers, one of many nice gifts for Japanese business associates.
Traditional snacks are great gifts for colleagues! Image via Shutterstock

Senbei (traditional Japanese rice crackers) are a delightful gift as they are versatile and come in many flavors and varieties. The most popular flavors include seaweed, curry, Japanese plums, and sesame. Some sets come in a beautiful traditional Japanese box, making them the perfect corporate gift. 

Sweets

Giving the gift of sweets is always a good idea because everyone of all ages enjoys a sweet treat. You are sending one of the most cherished gifts ever, no matter where you decide to give the gift of sweets in Japan. 

A slice of matcha baumkuchen on a plate.
Though baumkuchen originally came from Germany, they are trendy in Japan. Image via Shutterstock

Most Japanese business partners are happy to receive chocolate gift sets, cakes, wagashi (Japanese sweets), baumkuchen, pastries, and jelly. They’re readily available in most supermarkets, train stations, and stores around Japan. 

A plate of nama yatsuhashi with red bean paste inside. They are triangle shaped, and green tea.
Yatsuhashi is a traditional Japanese snack. Image via Shutterstock

Omiyage (edible souvenirs) is a traditional gift to give in the office when you return from a trip to Japan, especially if it is a business trip. Major train stations provide wrapped boxes of omiyage filled with the city or region’s signature Japanese snacks and confections. The most popular ones are Tokyo Banana, yatsuhashi (cinnamon rice cake with bean paste), and cheese tarts from Sapporo.

Gourmet Gift Basket

Gourmet gift baskets are some of the most popular gifts in the corporate setting in Japan. Both locally inspired hampers, but mainly imported gourmet gifts, will make an excellent option for any occasion and recipient. 

A basket of black Japanese ceramics on a table.
Gift baskets are always a must-have! Image via Shutterstock

You can choose from many combinations, such as crunchy crackers, nuts, delectable chocolates, delicious cookies, fine wines, bubbly champagnes, and more! While they may seem expensive initially, many gourmet gifts are pretty comfortable!

Looking to give an impressive traditional Japanese gift? Check out Sakuraco! Sakuraco delivers traditional Japanese snacks, teas, sweets, and snacks from local Japanese makers directly to your door so you can enjoy the latest sweets directly from Japan!

Drinks

Drinks are one of the most popular gifts in Japan, especially for small-scale gift-giving occasions. Tea and coffee are among the most gifted beverages. There are beautiful traditional Japanese tea sets that come in elegant packaging. Giving coworkers green tea as a present is a common practice for their long life and good health. 

A matcha Japanese tea set on a tatami mat, one of many perfect gifts for Japanese business associates.
Tea sets are very convenient for business associates. Image via Shutterstock

As they typically come in a beautiful, designed box, more practical items like canned juice are also accepted gifts in Japan. While some people might enjoy sake in their own time, it’s best to avoid giving alcoholic gifts.

Pen or Business Card Holder

A pen or a business card holder is the most appropriate present for an office setting. Even though it sounds simple, a good pen may be handy. An exquisite method to recognize accomplishments and milestones is by giving corporate gift items like pens and business card holders. 

A silver pen and leather card holder, another one of many nice gifts for business associates.
Pens and cardholders can be very stylish gifts. Image via Shutterstock

There are multiple options for patterns and modern colors. It can be expensive for corporate gifts, but never include your company’s branding! This is because you want to avoid advertising, especially when giving gifts to Japanese business associates.

Cosmetics

Bath salts, hand creams, spa sets, and essential oils are popular gifts in a corporate setting, especially for women. Matching hand cream with a hand towel or bath salt with a candle makes it a sophisticated gift. They usually show respect and appreciation for the person receiving the gift. 

A box of cosmetic products on a table. It includes toner, cotton balls, and other goods.
Japanese cosmetics are trendy worldwide. Image via Shutterstock

Gift-giving is essential to Japanese culture, with presents exchanged between friends, family, business colleagues, and clients. Corporate gift-giving has many benefits, such as improved productivity and stronger customer relationships. 

Gift wrapping is also a cultural practice, so wrap any presents given to Japanese business prospects. The best way to impress your colleagues is to give a thoughtful and visually appealing gift. Have you ever given gifts to your Japanese business associates before? What was your favorite? ​​Let us know in the comments below!

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