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Gift giving is a very big part of the Japanese culture.  People hardly visit each other without bringing any type of gift.  This is done between families, friends, co-workers, neighbors, etc.  Students can expect to receive some kind of gift from the host family.   Although, Japanese people tend to spend more money on the gifts, students’ thoughts are the important ones.  Here are some suggested gifts your might consider packing in your luggage.

General gift ideas:

Local music – SAVAE (San Antonio Vocal Arts Ensemble), San Antonio Symphony CD, tejano, country western

Books – cookbooks, Texas or San Antonio 

Wildflower seeds – blue bonnets, mix

Bandanas –  I will try to get enough of the Texas flag bandanas from Walmart for the classes - 

Coffee – What’ Brewing or Central Market (they have Starbucks in Japan)

Mexican Candy – Segovia, chocolate – Godiva or other

Texas golf balls

T- Shirts, aprons, baseball caps – anything with Texas, San Antonio, Mexican 

Hand milled soaps (TJ Max sometimes has really good French soaps at a lowered price)

Pretty hand kerchiefs or scarves

Mexican curio things – worry dolls,

For small girls – barrettes with American cartoon or other characters

Mexican chocolate – the kind you can make hot chocolate or make with coffee

If you bake or cook you could try to take chocolate chip cookies or homemade fudge

For Male:

  • T-shirt or sweatshirt with state or university logo.
  • Beef jerky
  • Tie if the host father is a businessman

For Female:

  • Apron, cooking mitten, hot plate doilies, spoon holders or any kind of kitchen items with state’s pictures.
  • Soaps, body lotion, shower gel type of items.  (Japanese people do not take bubble baths.) 
  • Stationery/note cards with local/state images

For Family:

  • Decorative items such as a plate and calendar that has local/state’s picture on it.
  • Cookies, candies (local)
  • “Coffee table” books
  • Playing cards with local/state images 
  • Any specialty item from your area.