Nikkei gifts simplified


Minamoto Kitchoan’s Ayaichigo Nashinoka Assortment Box of Sweets. courtesy of U.S.A. K. Minamoto Co., Inc.

Minamoto Kitchoan’s Ayaichigo Nashinoka Assortment Box of Sweets. courtesy of U.S.A. K. Minamoto Co., Inc.

Here are some gift ideas that you can get moving on holiday shopping, which can be stressful when you’re short on time. So this year, we’re keeping it easy. Some of these options have local storefronts so you can show up and shop in-person, and all of them have online purchasing options so you can shop from the comfort of your couch. Some of these you won’t even need to wrap, package or pay for shipping (just print or e-mail!)

Sweets from Minamoto Kitchoan: Beautiful, seasonal Japanese sweets and wagashi, straight from Japan. Bonus: they come beautifully wrapped, so that work is done for you. Order online, or, if you find yourself in or near one of the following cities ? San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, New Jersey or Honolulu ? go directly yourself to hand-pick your treats.

Cookies from Yoku Moku: Buttery, crispy cookies, some with chocolate, that will surely make everyone happy. Don’t be fooled by the simplicity of some of these cookies, they are absolutely an indulgence. These cookies are truly worthy of receiving as a gift. The colorfully designed holiday tins are different every year, and make an adorable second home for future cookies, ornaments or trinkets. Available on-site and online at J-Sweets? and Neiman Marcus.

A spa gift card from Kabuki Spa: After the ups and downs of the past year-plus, I know very few people who would not be delighted with some self care and pampering. The Kabuki Spa, located in San Francisco’s Japantown, is a place where you can have the full ofuro experience, and also get some extra pampering with a massage or body treatment. Is your recipient not near San Francisco? Use the Spa Finder to find a place more local to them!

Yuzu Soap’s shower tablets. photo by ?Esther Huynh 2021

Bath and body items from Yuzu Soap: For people who want their spa experience at home, products from Yuzu Soap are fragrant, simple and clean-smelling. Their bath and shower tablets, hand sanitizers? and hand creams all make great stocking stuffers. The? come in stick form and are also carry-on friendly. While there are a variety of scents, you can’t go wrong with their signature scent yuzu, a fresh citrus scent that will brighten any bathroom.

Museum membership: Giving the gift of an experience out (multiple times!) is the perfect gift that will also support your local museum. For those of you in the Bay Area, might I recommend the Exploratorium? Get a family membership for those with kids, or an After Dark membership if you want to give an entire year of fun evenings out for the 18+ crowd!
A journal and pen, slippers or bag from TopDrawer: As people start traveling more, consider a travel-related gift for your wanderlust loved ones. Instead of wading through a sea of thousands of items online, pick from

thoughtfully selected items designed to withstand everyday use and travel. A simple journal and pen, the perfect carryon, house slippers or a small pouch are all practical gifts that could be packed easily for a future trip. For those of you in the Bay Area, you can also head on over to one of their locations in Berkeley, San Francisco, Burlingame or Palo Alto to browse and shop in person.

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