Monday, May 24, 2010

Japanese Host Family Gifts

When travelling to Japan to be a host student, it is cutomary to bring a gift for your host family. This gift is either given when you arrive or leave, either seems fine.

This is a great link for Japanese Host Family Gifts:

If you are going to be a host student in Japan, the above link is very helpful. Here is a list of things not recommended as host family gifts:

  • Clothing. You never know when the item you bring will not be the right size or acceptable to wear.

  • Anything that will break easily or could potentially make a mess. The air pressure of airplanes is often known to make things burst during flight and items are often broken when luggage is roughly handled.

  • Anything to do with the numbers 4 or 9. These mean bad luck and death in Japanese culture.

  • Avoid the color white. White is the traditional color of death in Japan, much like the way black is in the United States.

  • Items or brands largly available in Japan. It is better to give something that they have not heard of or cannot buy in Japan easily.

Another hint: Take the time to wrap your gift(s). Your host family will apreciate the beautiful wrapping and it will make a simple gift a little more special.

Please enjoy your host stay and good luck in finding the perfect host family gifts. If you have suggestions or ideas, post them in a comment below. Thanks!

Thoughts in teapots,

~Hannah Hoo


  1. Here is another link that may have helpful advice for Japanese Host Family Gifts:

    Hope it helps!
    Love and Lillypads,
    Hannah Hoo

  2. I like, wish I was going to Japan. :-(

  3. Turtle! You arrived! I wish you were going, too. I'm going to be miserable without my S.I.C.O.s :(