O mi ya ge, four syllables which make my heart sing.
In our previous post, we shared the one true omiyage to buy from each prefecture in the northern region of Japan. This time, we make our way down Honshu (本州, main island) and sniff out the best souvenirs to buy.

Ibaraki (茨城)

This legendary pudding was sold out in minutes after it was introduced on a popular Japanese variety show, and many have vouched for its addictively soft texture and taste. Made with cage-free eggs and locally produced non-homogenised milk, the rich pudding is a favourite among dessert-lovers.

Saitama (埼玉)

Photo credits: Imokoi

Kawagoe City in Saitama is known as the City of Sweet Potatoes, so it is no wonder that one of their beloved omiyage is made with sweet potato filling and red bean paste. Wrapped in a doughy skin, the sweet and slightly savoury manju is a recognised delicacy and favourite among Japanese too.

Tokyo (東京)

In Tokyo, you are spoiled for choice when buying souvenirs because literally every department store has tons of delectable-looking treats. One must-try we recommend is the extremely photogenic Millefeuille Vanille from Frederic Cassel, which has even been given the ‘Best Millefeuille Award’. With creamy custard sandwiched by flaky, buttery pastry, this is a match made in heaven!

Kanagawa (神奈川)

This snack uses a blend of roasted almonds and two types of homemade caramel sandwiched in a special milk cookie dough, which is kneaded thoroughly before it is baked. The result is a pleasantly fragrant pastry treat that is a definite must-buy souvenir when you’re in the area!

Chiba (千葉)

Famous for being the homeland of Tokyo Disneyland, this prefecture is also the largest producer of peanuts in Japan! Peanuts from this region are known for its intense flavour and delicate sweetness, perfect as accompaniments to tea or beer.

Shizuoka (静岡)

Lake Hamana in Hamamatsu, Shizuoka,  is renowned for producing the nation’s finest unagi (鰻, freshwater eel). This incredibly buttery pastry has powdered unagi kneaded into it and does not taste anything like eel at all. The crispy folds of the cookie are also coated with granulated sugar. If you visit Hamamatsu, be sure to take a factory tour of the famous Unagi Pie!

Yamanashi (山梨)

Named after the warlord Takeda Shingen, this popular souvenir was first developed in Yamanashi. Each mochi is individually packed, covered in kinako (きな粉, roasted soybean flour) and kuromitsu (黒蜜, brown sugar syrup). The addictive taste and texture, alongside its traditional fabric bag packaging, makes this item synonymous with Yamanashi.

Nagano (長野)

Northwest of Nagano’s city centre lies Togakushi Village and the sacred Togakushi Shrine, famous for being the birthplace of Togakushi Soba. These thin buckwheat noodles are commonly considered one of the best varieties of soba, which can be eaten hot or cold. It is also extremely easy to prepare, so why not bring back a packet or two when you visit Nagano?

Toyama (富山)

These delicate confectionery items are made using egg white and wasanbon (和三盆, fine-grained Japanese sugar made from thin sugarcane). With a history of more than 120 years, they are great paired with coffee or tea because of its light texture which melts easily in your mouth.

Ishikawa (石川)

Founded in 1830, this long-established sells mizu ame (水飴), a sweetener that is similar to taste and texture to corn syrup. This particular version uses glutinous rice mixed with malt that converts starch to sugar, thus no other sugars or preservatives are used to create it. The end product is a flavourful treat known as mugi mizuame (麦水飴, malt candy).

And this rounds up our list of yet another TEN recommended omiyage to buy from Japan!

Comment and tell us some of your favourite omiyage from Japan, and stay tuned for the next post in this series~ Till then, just keep eating, just keep eating ♫

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