It’s a long held tradition in Japan that when you go on a trip you’ll naturally bring back some “omiyage” or souveniers for friends , family and co-workers. This, in itself, can be quite tiresome and quite expensive as some companies expect you’ll bring back enough for everyone in the office. It also doesn’t matter where you go, every region in Japan has omiyage that are unique to them. We asked a native of Yamagata to recommend some omiyage for us.
1. Whale Rice Cakes
This is a traditional sweet made in Yamagata. It is called “whale” rice cakes due to its size when steamed. The rice cakes come in different flavours, but are usually sweetened with brown sugar.
2. Cherry Jelly
Yamagata is well known for it’s cherry harvest, so naturally this is one of the most common omiyage from this region. The birthplace of this confection is Kangae city which has the highest production of cherries in the prefecture.
Of course there are many different types of omiyage that can be bought, and it doesn’t necessarily have to be food. Next time you visit a region in Japan, make sure to find out what their local specialty is!