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For our readers who live in Japan, what are some items you always make a point to bring back to Japan after you return from a trip abroad?

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60 Comments
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Ammunition for hunting. It’s prohibitively expensive in Japan, and with the proper documentation, can be carried in with about the same amount of paperwork as a dog.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

Marmite.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Tortillas.

Anything mexican or tex-mex because the crap they sell here is overpriced and underflavored.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

A few kilos of cheese. As much as I can carry.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Shoes that fit, 30cm is limited options.

Toothpaste that isn't weird.

Toothbrushes for adult sized mouth.

Some honey if Im traveling to NZ and back.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Toothpaste and toothbrushes - cheaper and better quality at home.

Over the counter pain killers - I can buy a packet of ibuprofen in a supermarket for 40 - 50p in the UK. Here a pack of tablets at a much lower dosage is about £6-7. A rip off as they only cost a few pennies to make.

Anti-perspirant - Can't get decent ap in Japan. Expensive too.

Clothes/underwear - I'm too tall/big for most clothing here.

Skin cream - again it's much more expensive here and most products don't cater for my very dry skin.

Marmite.

Teabags.

Pub snacks for my husband.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Spices that are too expensive here... dill, dry mustard, etc.

Vitamins

Antacids (rolaids, tums, etc)

OTC pain medication... throat spray (oh my god), ibuprofen, etc.

Single use toothbrushes with toothpaste in the head. I think Americans know what that is.

Socks, underwear, shoes, clothes... Most Japanese clothes fit so weird and the markup on my favorite brands when they're imported is insane.

Ever since I had a child every time we go back I get her a life vest, water safety gear. I love you Japan but America's standards are higher here. We also bought her a toddler car seat in the US for the same reason.

English children's books, games, etc.

Ranch dressing (lol)

And red vines (twizzlers will do!)

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Candy bars that aren't Kit Kats or Snickers

Bulk licorice

Stick deodorant

Clothes in my size

and headache medicine that works

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Gel deodorant or stick, a few medical products, crisps, brown sauce, dill, cajun seasoning, second hand books, vitamin supplements, aspirin etc.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Ibuprofen, Tums, Alka-Seltzer, hair/body 2 in 1 shower gel, face wash, toothpaste with lots of fluoride, antiperspirant,

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Condoms that fit my XL size.

-7 ( +4 / -11 )

There are many items allowed in other countries but banned here. So check first.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

ibufropen , condoms ,cheese, caviar and vodka

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

There are many items allowed in other countries but banned here. So check first.

Indeed. Always good to be sure, just in case customs want a word in your ear.

Bit strange that your comment was downvoted.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Importing or Bringing Medication into Japan for Personal Use

https://jp.usembassy.gov/u-s-citizen-services/doctors/importing-medication/

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Cheese

Crumpets

Cheese

Fudge

Cheese

Veggie seeds - leeks, parsnips, etc.

Cheese

Brown mascara

Cheese

0 ( +5 / -5 )

Antiperspirant, herbs and spices (such as Mexican chili powder, file and Hungarian Paprika), toothpaste, oil-based/old school pomade, bitters, Virgin Islands rum, and properly fitting pants and shirts and a few bottles of hot sauce.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Salad dressing, Boston baked beans, lots of corn tortillas from a local maker, tools, by the way, anyone looking to get rid of framing nailer?, anyway, hienz chili sauce, horseradish, and other food that I shouldn’t write.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Boston baked beans

I don't know that brand but I imagine they're better than the stuff sold over here. Ye gods, I do miss the baked beans...

0 ( +2 / -2 )

I basically only get shoes overseas now. Pretty much everything else I could want is already sold here.

Although I do like to buy local spices and food items to bring home with me when I'm out and about in the world.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

I don't know that brand but I imagine they're better than the stuff sold over here. Ye gods, I do miss the baked beans...

When my husband wants to buy me a present he purchases a six pack of Heinz Baked Beans off Amazon. So expensive it'll make you cry, but oh so delicious on toast.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

When my husband wants to buy me a present he purchases a six pack of Heinz Baked Beans off Amazon. So expensive it'll make you cry, but oh so delicious on toast.

How about that? I had Heinz when I was a kid and went off it in favor of Branstons and various other brands. Recently I was gifted with an Amazon purchase of Heinz, as well.

Was quite agreeable with the beans on buttered toast :-)

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Cheese, lots of it. Double Gloucester is a must.

Deodorant - Nivea for Men roll-on which my wife uses most of.

Dry roasted peanuts.

Cadbury’s Chocolate Buttons. For my coworkers daughter. Honest.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Was quite agreeable with the beans on buttered toast :-)

A bit of cheese on top is just the job.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Heinz Baked Beans 

UK price Tesco 4 x 415 gm £ 2.00 £1.21/kg (¥257/can)

Amazon Japan 6 x 415 gm ¥1950 (¥325/can)

https://www.amazon.co.jp/s?k=Heinz+Baked+Beans&ref=nb_sb_noss

Amazon also sells Haricot Beans, make your own tomato beans.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

A few bottles of good wine, at less than half the price. I know they are heavy and don't last too long... I throw in several packs of cheese. Everything else I buy online, deodorant, spices, etc.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Heinz Baked Beans 

UK price Tesco 4 x 415 gm £ 2.00 £1.21/kg (¥257/can)

Amazon Japan 6 x 415 gm ¥1950 (¥325/can)

You forgot the p&p, not to mention the pound crashing has made it a lot cheaper than usual.

As for Tesco's, nah, won't give them my money.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

You can get Heinz baked beanz at Costco.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

You can get Heinz baked beanz at Costco.

You have to be a member, though?

1 ( +3 / -2 )

And Lucky Charms cereal for the kids.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

On my way back right now.

I’d have to say... nothing. Really, what can’t you get in Japan that you can get at home?

Maybe decent, nutty, wholemeal bread. But you can make that yourself.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

OTC pain medication... throat spray (oh my god), ibuprofen, etc.

Hear, hear! Forget about rice, coffee, veggies and fruits, OTC drugs are Japan's biggest rip-off. Drives me nuts.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Boston baked beans

I don't know that brand but I imagine they're better than the stuff sold over here. Ye gods, I do miss the baked beans...

Boston baked beans is not a brand, it’s a whole different recipe than just baked beans. More brown sugar and other ingredients, make it an American favorite for BBQ’s.

What Brits call baked beans, we call Pork -n- beans. I’ve tried the Costco Heinz, had to spice them up a bit but was unsuccessful. I still have 4 in the cupboard, gladly trade a pneumatic framing nailer for the 4 cans. Anyone? ;)

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Large size condoms! :)

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

Pretty much everything I want can be had here, if not in the shops then certainly online. It may be cheaper overseas, but factoring in the time wasted shopping and the extra weight in my luggage, not really worth the effort.

If I am going to the UK, and can find some real farm cheese, that's well worth bringing back though.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

You have to be a member, though?

Yeah, or have a daughter who is. :-)

A year’s membership is still cheaper that a return flight to the UK...

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Yeah, or have a daughter who is. :-)

A year’s membership is still cheaper that a return flight to the UK...

You also need to have a Costco which we don't have. Nearest is about 100 km. Amazon is always available. FBB in Kobe also sells the baked beans but you have to pay the transport fee. Amazon no transport charges with orders over ¥2,000.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

You know, I've been scratching my head trying to think of things I miss. Pork pies? But it's not impossible to make them? Spices, beer, ale, readily available. Cheese? There is excellent cheese in Okinawa. Ever hear of the Cheese Guy?

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Very little these days that can't be purchased online - and with the strong yen, all pretty cheap here anyway.

Theres various mail / packaging forwarding services from both the US and UK, save your purchases up then send them in one big go. Why weigh your suitcase down when you can just have it sent.

The only stuff I can't get online are REAL English Sausages and Bacon. I risk a little in my suitcase, chilled and wrapped in foil on trips from the UK - if it gets confiscated (once in 30 years), well...just bad luck.

You can even get Crumpets in Japan now.

Yes OTC painkillers are MUCH cheaper overseas but can be shipped here, but they are light enough to be picked up elsewhere.

@zichi: I don't know what you do for a living but I don't know many people that have time to make their own beans. Some little luxuries SOMETIMES an extra 50 is simply just worth it! Damn, you are boring!

4 ( +4 / -0 )

...and Amazon Prime..NO transport fee.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

theResident

The only stuff I can't get online are REAL English Sausages and Bacon. I risk a little in my suitcase, chilled and wrapped in foil on trips from the UK - if it gets confiscated (once in 30 years), well...just bad luck.

You should check out The Meat Guy I've been buying off him for years. I love his lamb sausages but there are others. Also bacon.

@zichi: I don't know what you do for a living but I don't know many people that have time to make their own beans.

I am an artist/painter. I try to make everything myself including my bread which I baked today, two loaves. Making things like beans really takes no time but if you like to buy in tins ok. Soya bean in tomato sauce are good.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I use the Meat Guy I(and have done for years too) - He is really good. But sorry, still NOTHING like the real thing. I buy a good bit from The Ginger Pig in London when I am there to 'smuggle' back.

No jokes aside, I would love to have the time to make my own bread etc, but I REALLY don't have the time, its not about to wanting to buy tins!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

theResident,

Baking bread really doesn't take a lot of time. Here is a recipe for "no-knead" bread that takes very little actual working time. Homebaked bread is the BEST!

https://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/11376-no-knead-bread

1 ( +3 / -2 )

You should check out The Meat Guy I've been buying off him for years. I love his lamb sausages but there are others. Also bacon.

The sausages and bacon from The Meat Guy are nothing like the ones from home. A good shot at trying, but nothing like them.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I love The Meat Guy! I once was very drunk and bought several kilos of frozen brussel sprouts from him just because I had a craving for them.

Someone want to tell me where to get (crappy) buttercream icing/frosting in Japan? I know how to make it but when I was pregnant all I wanted was like cheap, plastic can, for sale at walmart, funfetti cake frosting. I've found all sorts of random things here over the years but I've never run into that even though you see boxed cake everywhere. It's garbage, I'm ashamed, but I want it.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Nyquil for the inevitable cold.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

You also need to have a Costco which we don't have. Nearest is about 100 km.

TheFlyingPig.com delivers Costco merchandise anywhere in Japan. And you don't need to be a member.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Marmite, tea, Oxo cubes, and liquorice allsorts.

I also bring back treacle, although I'm sure there must be a Japanese alternative.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Toothbrushes for all family members and acquaintances

Pistacchios, nuts, almonds

Deodorants

Multivitamins

Painkillers

Body shampoo for Mens

Suits

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Definitely antiperspirant to mask my strong gaijin odor.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Someone want to tell me where to get (crappy) buttercream icing/frosting in Japan? I know how to make it but when I was pregnant all I wanted was like cheap, plastic can, for sale at walmart, funfetti cake frosting. I've found all sorts of random things here over the years but I've never run into that even though you see boxed cake everywhere. It's garbage, I'm ashamed, but I want it.

I’ve never tried it but a friend has. It looks like a white tube of toothpaste. Don’t know the name. I have a jug of strawberry icing if you have a pneumatic framing nailer. ;)

Invalid CSRF

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Marmite, cheese, Twiglets, tea bags and baby lotion or some moisturiser as the mrs gets through tons of it and it's a fraction of the price back home.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

How did I forget to mention Colmans English Mustard!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Butter, cheese, bulk spices, ( none of these stupid small overpriced bottles of spice in Japan), Vogel bread.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

All the downvotes here on the answers are funny. A lot of sad and lonely people apparently.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

People keep mentioning cheese! Contact the Cheese Guy in Okinawa. He ships anywhere in Japan. Real cheese, yogurt and butter.

https://www.facebook.com/cheeseguyinokinawa/

1 ( +2 / -1 )

BertieWooster,

Nice looking cheese, but Wow- the price per 100g ! NZ price Blue vein, 100g-333Yen. Colby cheese & Edom cheese ,740 Yen for 1kg. Brie & Camembert ,125g 250 Yen.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Cheese guy and meat guys are absolute overpriced rubbish.. you can get proper cheese anywhere in Tokyo at least ( big departments, kaldi , yamaya ,seijo and so on ) if you willing to pay the prices which are about 100% markup ... so yes its much easier to stuff my suitcase back with ton of cheese as long as the vodka fits

0 ( +1 / -1 )

^^^^ Overpriced yes, rubbish...... disagree. I go mental at the cheese stand at the ancient Wednesday market near my parents when I go back. A huge variety of excellent locally produced cheeses for 1 pound (130 yen) per 100 grams generally.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Cap'n Crunch, Lucky Charms, Trix.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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