What to buy from the Chubu region? Here are 10 recommended souvenirs

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What to buy from the Chubu region? Here are 10 recommended souvenirs
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Tags: chubufukuigifugourmetishikawanaganoshoppingtoyama

Chubu 中部 is a region located smack in the middle of Japan and is rich with its local produce. Despite not being a popular and frequent travel destination like Tokyo and Osaka, travellers who came here are rewarded by the locality itself. If you happen to visit this region, be ready to explore and discover the richness of nature expressed in the form of food, art and culture. The good news is – you could purchase it the form of souvenir!

In this article, allow me to introduce you some of the things you could buy from Chubu region. It would be helpful and informative for you to know what kind of local specialities are worth buying as a souvenir if you are to travel here in the future. Let’s find out what these prefectures have to offer.

1. Nagano

  • Shinshu Umare Honey

One of the best things about travelling outside major cities would be exploring the gems in other prefectures. Nagano is a place rich with nature, and honey is one of the local produce worth checking out. I would recommend the Shinsui Umare’s brand as their honey is locally produced, pure and natural. Besides that, there are also varieties of honey to choose from such as horse chestnut, acacia, apple, soba and even blueberry.

Honey is a suitable souvenir for young and old alike as it contains antioxidants and has great health benefits like soothing sore throats and helping your digestive problems. You could get this product from the DELiCiA Karuizawa market, which also sells many other products from the Shinsui Umare brand.

DELiCiA Karuizawa
Address: 1323-1002 Nozawahara, Karuizawa, Karuizawa-machi
Tel. no.: (+81) 0267-42-0505
Opening Hours: 9 AM – 11 PM
Price: 1770 yen onwards

  • Glassware

Fancy getting something nice as a souvenir? You may want to get a glassware as it is versatile to be used as a decoration item or for practical use.  Besides just merely buying the ready-made glassware, you may want to put some effort to make it yourselves as it will be a great memento for yourselves or your loved ones. There is a glass-making workshop available and you could enjoy the fun making process and customise the glassware to the way you want it to be. Reservation for the workshop has to be made in advance to ensure availability.

Glass Studio KARUIZAWA
Address: 664-6 Nagakura Shiozawa, Karuizawa-machi
Tel. no.: (+81) 0267-48-0881
Opening Hours: 10 AM – 6 PM
Closed: Wednesdays & Thursdays
Fee for glass-making activity: 3300 yen (per glass)
Reservation: Required (at least 2 days in advance)

2. Ishikawa

  • Rice sake

Image credit: Adam Kahtava on Flickr / CC BY 2.0

Blessed with abundant clean fresh water and the perfect climate, Ishikawa is a good location for sake brewing. The rice sake itself speaks volumes about the rich nature and Japanese tradition. You could easily buy rice sake at breweries, local supermarket and inside the JR Kanazawa Station. There are quite a number of breweries in this prefecture, so you could go around for a tasting tour and sample some sake before deciding which to buy. As for which brewery to visit, I recommend you to go to Hiyoshi Brewery and Matsunami Sake Brewery – they have good reviews.

Kanazawa Hyakubangai Anto
Address: 1-1 Kinoshinbomachi, Kanazawa City
Location: Inside JR Kanazawa Station
Tel. no.: (+81) 076-260-3700
Opening Hours: 8:30 AM – 10 PM

Hiyoshi Brewery
Address: 2-27-1 KawaimachiWajima 928-0001, Ishikawa Prefecture
Tel. no.: (+81) 768-22-0130
Opening Hours: 9 AM – 4 PM
Tour Fee: Free
English Interpretation: N/A

Matsunami Sake Brewery
Address: 30-114 MatsunamiNoto-cho, Hosu-gun 927-0602, Ishikawa Prefecture
Tel. no.: (+81) 768-72-0005
Opening Hours: 8 AM – 5 PM
Tour Fee: Free
English Interpretation: Available

  • Kutaniyaki Pottery

Image credit: Wikipedia

Kutaniyaki Pottery is a traditional handicraft of Ishikawa prefecture. It is a unique pottery that uses a thick layering painting style when they put colour on tableware and ornaments. The history of Kutaniyaki Pottery stretches to more than 350 years and it usually features vivid paintings of nature, bird and flowers. It is basically a fine article with intrinsic paintings – perfect for home decoration and even for practical use. You could buy a Kutaniyaki Pottery at Kaburaki Shoho in Kanazawa City.

Kaburaki Shoho
Address: 1-3-16 Nagamachi, Kanazawa City
Tel. no.: (+81) 076-221-6666
Opening Hours: 9 AM – 10 PM, 9 AM – 6 PM (Sun., Mon. & holidays)

3. Fukui

  • Habutae Mochi

This is a traditional food and local speciality of Fukui prefecture. Like regular mochi, it comes with a variety of fillings to choose from. The distinct feature that makes Habutae Mochi different is that it is soft like silk. If you want to let your friends and loved ones to have a taste of the local food, this would be a good choice. You could buy this easily at JR Fukui Station when you are travelling.

Prism Fukui
Address: 1-1-25 Chuo, Fukui City
Location: Kameya Seika (inside JR Fukui Station)
Tel. no.: (+81) 0776-27-1222
Opening Hours: 8:30 PM – 7 PM
Price: 702 yen onwards


BENICHU20 is a plum wine which is slightly sweet and comes with refreshing acidity. The plum used to make this wine is Wakasa (from Fukui), which is considered a rare type of plum breed. This wine contains 20% alcohol and is appetising when consumed with fried oysters. Besides that, this wine is said to be able to diminish fatigue. You can get this wine in JR Fukui Station at a shop called Kauza Nomuza.

Prism Fukui
Address: 1-1-25 Chuo, Fukui City
Location: Kauza Nomuza (inside JR Fukui Station)
Tel. no.: (+81) 0776-27-1222
Opening Hours: 8:30 PM – 7 PM
Price: 950 yen onwards

4. Toyama

  • Yatsuo Washi

Yatsuo Town is where the Yatsuo Washi was originated and it’s one of the three locations in the Chubu region where washi is still being produced using the traditional method. Washi papers are widely used before the western method of papermaking came to Japan and it remains a versatile material to this day. Yatsuo Washi, in particular, is strong and sturdy, and even though is a paper, it is used to make cushion covers, wallets, and even handbags. You could find colourful and trendy modern or traditional prints on washi products in Toyama’s souvenir shops today. To get Yatsuo Washi souvenirs, you can visit Keijusha in Toyama City.

Address: 668-4 Kagamimachi, Yatsuomachi, Toyama City
Tel. no.: (+81) 076-455-1184
Opening Hours: 9 AM – 5 PM
Closed: Mondays, Holidays, Sept. 5 – 6, Dec. 29 – Jan. 10

  • Owara Tamaten

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This is not a fried tofu – looks can be deceiving! Slightly toasted and crispy on the outside, this cube is filled with marshmallow. The moment you take a bite, you will drown in the sea of fluffiness! If you need some snack to go with your coffee and tea, consider this for a taste of Toyama.

Lin Kwang-do
Address: 939-2376 Toyama City Toyama City Yao-machi, Fukushima 3-8
Tel. no.: (+81) 076-432-7266
Opening Hours: 8.30 AM – 6 PM

5. Gifu

  • Strawberry

Argiculture is one of the major industries in Gifu prefecture and it is not surprising to find freshly harvested farm products here. Do check out the strawberries – it’s cultivated in an area with fertile soil and clean water, and comes in large sizes. You could easily get strawberries and strawberry products at one of the strawberry farms in the area.

However, do check beforehand if your country allows you to bring in fresh fruits from Japan. In the US, the customs require you to declare it but failure to do so will result in prohibition, Malaysia and China allow fresh fruits to be brought in from Japan but UK prohibits fruits from non-EU countries.

Tsumi Tsumi Strawberry Farm
Address:  Gifu, Motosu, Soinakajima 974-1
Tel. no.: (+81) 0581-34-4831
Opening Hours: 9 AM – 4 PM
Closed: Mondays

  • Wagasa

Wagasa or umbrellas are beautiful cultural items made with bamboo and washi paper. Each umbrella takes a few months to be completed as it has to go through various processes. Wagasa is a delicate piece of item suitable for decoration and cultural dance, and many adore it as the first glance as it perfectly embodies Japanese art and culture. Who knows, maybe the person you are giving this souvenir to would end up learning a Japanese dance using the wagasa!

Sakaida-Eikichi Honten
Address:  27 Kanōnakahiroe-chō Gifu, Japan
Tel. no.: +81-58-271-6958
Opening Hours: 9.30 AM – 5.30 PM

In a nutshell, this is a short list of souvenir recommendation for those travelling to Chubu area and I hope it helps with your travel. You may stumble upon some of these souvenirs in shops that are not mentioned here, so keep an eye out for what you want to buy! The JR station, for instance, is a good place to shop. Do spend some time walking around the station if you need to do last-minute souvenir shopping!

A fun-loving group of editorial team on the mission to introduce Japanese culture and lifestyle to the masses.

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