Souvenirs are important when you visit a new place, as it’s like bringing a part of the destination back with you and shows your friends and family that you were thinking of them. However, with booking hotels, navigating your way around a new area, and filling up your itineraries with fun things to do, it can be difficult to make time to think about what kind of gifts you can get for your loved ones waiting at home.
Fukuoka is a prefecture in Kyushu, the southernmost main island of Japan. If you are planning to visit this wonderful area, then great! No doubt you are exploring breathtaking historical areas and sampling delicious local dishes. When you think of Fukuoka, ramen or food stalls may initially spring to mind. However, when it’s time to buy some Japanese memoirs back to your friends and family, it might be difficult to bring back that hearty bowl of delicious Hakata ramen you had last night.
This is why we are going to tell you about the most popular and delicious souvenirs, or “omiyage” in Japanese, that you can get in Fukuoka! Here are 40 fantastic ideas.
The number one most popular Fukuoka souvenir is torimon, a type of steamed jam bun stuffed with a milk butter paste. The combination of a slightly sweet taste along with the sensation of your teeth sinking into the soft outer is heavenly! Definitely grab a bunch of these for sweet little treats when you arrive home.
With a peculiar name literally meaning “Hakata person,” but a quite adorably round appearance, this is also a popular gift. The taste is a lightly sweet moist mix of egg, baumkuchen, and sweet bean jelly.
This rice cracker is modeled after Hakata Niwaka, a type of comedic traditional performance in which performers wear Niwaka half-face masks. Some stores even offer a set of these in where you can get a mask along with the senbei.
This funny Niwaka mask is what comedic traditional performers wear when they entertain and make jokes about local events and news. You can only see this performance at Hakata Dontaku Festival in May and the Hakata Gion Yamakasa festival in July, but if you get this mask you can relive the experience every day! If you have a chance to attend the festival or if you know someone who would appreciate his cultural mask, it might be the perfect gift for them.
Keiran somen, or egg noodles, is a sweet food tradition carried down from Portugal’s “angel hair” dessert. It is made of egg yolks and syrup and finished off with a tie. The result is very pleasing to the eye and would make a lovely little gift!
Inspired by the traditional performance arts of Noh, Kabuki, and Ukiyoe woodblock prints, these ceramic dolls are bursting full of tradition and can make be a nice token to those who love the traditional arts. Many people collect dolls and ornaments, so if you know someone whose shelf would look great with this little addition, keep an eye out for these charming dolls.
Kyushu’s famous Hana-midori chicken has been made into a sweet and salty, yet mildly spicy fried chicken flavor snack. This chicken snack has proven its addictiveness by even appearing on TV as Fukuoka Airport’s newest classic snack.
Seriously the fluffiest most divine cheese biscuit you will ever taste, its bite-sized portions are also perfect! The Hakata fuwari is so popular that there is also a chocolate version!
With its beady little eyes staring up at you with irresistible cuteness, how can you even bear to take a bit of the little chick-shaped bean-jam filled snack? This cute Meika hiyoko is perfect for small children and women who love cute things.
Sweet potato made even sweeter? Yep, you got it! With a perfect blend of sweet potato paste and whipped cream, you can even perhaps have your spud-fearing friends give it a try!
Bura bura’s looks may be odd, but if you like sticky mochi rice cake you will surely enjoy this mix of red bean and mochi! Grab this snack if you’d like the reciever to experience a truly Japanese taste.
Yuki usagi is a marshmallow snack in the form of a white bunny, filled with sweet white bean paste! Another snack which you might find too adorable to eat or give away to someone else!
So we know seaweed is an acquired taste, but we have to say, once you start eating norikuro you can’t stop! It is meant to be a seasoning or topping used like mayonnaise or salt and can be added to anything savory! The flavoring is a blend of yuzu citrus fruit and seaweed which creates a salty yet tangy taste that will surely excite your taste buds. It’s perfect to add to meat or plain rice.
At first glance, you might take this for the typical manju (steamed bean jam filled snack) but there is actually a stylish print of a plover bird, which is what the snack is named after! After all, Japanese food is all about visuals as much as taste and quality!
Chocolate lovers must get their hands on these melt-in-your-mouth chocolate brownie-like goodies! Although similar in visuals to Royce chocolates, we are sure you will love these chunky snacks just as much!
Baked straight from a croissant specialty store in Fukuoka Airport, the croissants are wrapped simply yet still maintain their fresh taste. Just be sure to eat them while they are still fresh! This “souvenir” might be better for yourself than to take all the way home… but it’s an excuse to buy a few anyway!
Calbee, the king of potato chips in Japan, has done it again. Jaga hokkori is yet another one of their masterpieces but thicker, with a freshly baked potato taste. It’s like a cross between thin potato chips and potato wedges you can get from a burger restaurant! Great for when you get hungry enough for an appetizer but not enough for a whole meal!
Fans of the original red-bean filled dorayaki sandwich may find this a bit too sweet but you should give this novel version a try. The melty pudding makes a nice contrast with the soft flour sandwich, and it tastes even better half-frozen!
Bright and colorful, these tubes look like bottles of hand lotion! So warn your friends before they slather it all over their hands because tubu tubes are actually tubes of dressing! They come in olive basil, sesame, plain regular, and mild! It is recommended to use them with mentaiko, marinated pollock roe.
— 🐻카스미🐼 (@Smile_12Panda) July 8, 2014
While the original niwaka senpei has a set of dull looking eyes just like the traditional comedic performers’ masks, this black version can be considered a more fashionable version with glasses. Its blackness looks a bit like charcoal but the taste is just as good. Trust us, as it’s Okinawa-made brown sugar and bamboo charcoal.
Topped with Fukuoka’s famous mentaiko flavoring mixed with the taste of shrimp, this rice cracker is a bit spicy but just right! If someone waiting at home is a fan of spicy seafood, grab some ebi mentai senbei for them to chomp on when you get back.
Have you heard of the famous Hakata Amao strawberries? Now you can get them in the form of spongy creamy sweets. When you get a whiff of the enticing strawberry smell, you will be smiling before you know it, hence the origin of Hakata Ichikoro’s name.
Made in Kyushu, this chicken skin has been fried to a crisp, and would go perfectly with a mug of beer! These might be a little reminiscent of pub snacks and are a tasty Japanese equivalent.
The more you bite into it, the spicier it gets! If you ever wanted to try a spicy cracker, this is the one! It is a mentaiko-flavored rice cracker with the added spicy pepper pepenero. Another snack to pair with your late night beer habit.
The mentaiko-flavored rice cracker actually has octopus and squid flavors mixed inside, making for a unique spicy taste.
This sponge cake with a strawberry jam filling and covered with chocolate is a soft delicacy, perfect for kids.
Winner of the 2014 Monde Selection for seven years straight, you have no excuse not to buy this as your “omiyage” souvenir! The high-quality beans-made mochi and the alluring way it tastes is even better with black honey drizzled over it.
The beauty of the textiles lies in the fact that this craft is only carried out in Hakata. The very high quality makes for durability and a rich color palette. You can even have some cloth made into your very own kimono! By the way, sometimes buying omiyage for yourself is okay too!
Great for the mentaiko lover or for the brave one who is willing to try new things. It tastes even better with the Kyushu speciality “Takumi” sauce.
Life is not just about beef jerky; you have also gotta try mentaiko jerky! The staunch spicy taste goes well with beer! Buy it for someone who loves regular jerky and is open to trying new things!
The blend of freeze-dried strawberry, cream cheese, and mascarpone fromage mousse makes a heavenly piece of baked cheesecake. Fluffy yet has a distinct strawberry taste. Yum!
Hakata Strawberry Fromage Website *Japanese only
What makes this different is the inside filling of white bean jam paste sandwiched between two flour mini-pancakes with an exquisite flower design. Another interesting fact is that the product name is derived from the youth who had failed in the making process.
Loved for over 100 years as one of Hakata’s best souvenirs, the egg yolk paste nestled inside a marshmallow outer is as good as it gets! You can literally taste why this snack has been beloved for so long.
Made from brown sugar, this cake is as soft as pillows. It’s been steamed to be nice and gentle to the touch.
They may look fuzzy and strange at first, not like your typical shumai, but trust us they are so good! These are made with squid, and if kept frozen you can keep it up to a month! So it’s perfect for gifts if you pack it with an ice pack in your suitcase.
Horosaku is bite-sized and full of amao strawberry flavors as it melts in your mouth. Also pink and tiny, this is very popular amongst women!
Once you open the package you can get a whiff of orange peels, which is the trademark of the Nanoka brand. A soft cake that smells refreshingly good, it can even be a gift suitable for your superiors, such as your boss. Surprise him or her with this stunning sweet gift.
— 主の為なら挫けないタフな長谷部bot (@hskr_tough_bot) January 13, 2016
Just a normal dorayaki? Think again. The name of Akago refers to a helmet that allows the wearer to become indestructible. This means that this snack is a definite winner!
— 미사키 (@MisaKISeop91) May 25, 2014
Brands like Sanrio usually make character goods that are limited to a certain area, so they are fun to collect and even pass out to friends as “proof” you have been there! Hakata has an amao strawberry version of Hello Kitty, which can be bought at any little omiyage store.
If you have time outside of sightseeing it might be a fun and unique experience to go strawberry picking! Especially when you know how famous the amao strawberries of Fukuoka are. If you’re lucky enough to visit during strawberry picking season, join a tour to pick this delicious fruit and take a batch home!
If not, you can even buy the strawberries online if you are in Japan and just don’t have time to go picking!
Getting souvenirs is a wonderful experience and it is always exciting to see your friends and family open their gifts with a huge smile on their face. With these 40 great ideas, you’re no doubt bursting with ideas of what they might like!
This list may contain food that you at first may think are too strange or unique to the taste for your friends and family. However, that makes it all the more special if they can’t find anything even remotely similar in their home country! Since you have come all the way to Japan, which is full of uniquely tasty things, why not bring a bit of it back to share? So enjoy your “omiyage” shopping but just don’t forget to enjoy your last bowl of Hakata ramen before you pack up to leave!