With gift-giving season just around the corner, it’s time to talk about kawaii gifts (cute gifts). Whether it’s a gift for yourself or a present for someone else, the joy of receiving a super cute gift will put a smile on everyone’s face, young or old.
Let’s check out 10 kawaii gifts perfect for anyone interested in Japan and its culture of cuteness.
A kawaii gift is, generally speaking, something that is cute in a very Japanese way- generally with a cartoon face on it! In Japan, the word ‘kawaii’ is used to refer to anything that is cute, or even, pretty or lovely. So a combination of both is perfect!
Generally speaking, ‘kawaii’ refers to something unimposing and calming. Examples of kawaii can be found everywhere in Japan, from road signs to phone cases, even in the most serious of situations.
The term ‘kawaii’ in relation to kawaii culture dates as far back as the 1950s, with Japanese illustrator Rune Naito, who drew girls with large heads and baby faces. The movement gained momentum in the 70s when teenage girls wrote with swirly handwriting and stylised it with characters, hearts, and patterns. The trend increased in popularity as brands copied it into their advertising and packaging designs, newly commercialising the kawaii aesthetic.
Nowadays, everything and anything can be made kawaii! One of the most popular kids snacks in Japan, the Lotte Koala’s March, features cute koala biscuits and can be found everywhere, from convenience stores to train stations.
Other examples of kawaii characters are Hello Kitty from Sanrio or Summikko Gurashi, from San-X. Their cute faces can be found advertising hundreds of items, from chocolates to bags, and the maker of Hello Kitty (Sanrio) even has their own very-kawaii theme park, just outside Tokyo.
Now, these kawaii characters and the general cute aesthetic has motivated many makers to create goods that make great gifts. Plus, thanks to the internet, plenty of sites are raring and ready to show you their kawaii goods, including JapanHaul. Let’s check out some kawaii gift ideas!
Want to send yourself or a loved one several kawaii gifts straight from Japan? Check out YumeTwins. YumeTwins sends super cute Japanese character goods, plushies, stationery, and more right to your door!
These squishy cartoon Gameboy phone cases, complete with adorable little smiling faces, will definitely put a smile on your face. Available in two colors: blue or pink, they contain many squishable elements, such as squishy Gameboy ‘buttons’ and a squishy ‘screen’ which is also filled with moveable glitter! What’s not to love?
Not only does a coin purse make a practical gift but this Pokémon coin purse features one of the cutest Nintendo characters ever – Eevee. Anyone who gets this gift will have a super kawaii pal to protect their change.
Why not give the gift of kawaii itself? With this super pack of 50 stickers, kawaii fans can make anything cute! Pop the stickers on planners, laptops, walls… you name it! All the stickers have adorable little faces and will make your heart melt.
Stick them on a work planner for a slice of calm during a busy day.
In Japan, the most popular cake is the strawberry shortcake, and this uber-kawaii Japanese plushie might be the cutest thing we’ve seen. It features the San-X character Kiiroitori wearing an adorable strawberry Christmas cake costume complete with a Christmas tree and adorable bear on top. Super soft and easily washable, it’s a winner for anyone who likes Japanese plushies, collectibles, and kawaii things.
Perfect for Pocky Lovers! These pens look like real Pocky biscuits – good enough to eat. Not only do they come in five different designs (all black ink, great for the office) but they come with the cutest wrapping, each with their own mini spotty ribbon.
There’s no denying that wireless earphones are super convenient. Products like Airpods are both small and easy to carry. But that also means they’re easy to lose! If anyone you know needs a new kawaii case, why not try any of the BT21 Airpods cases.
Not only are they just super cute in general, they make a great gift for anyone who’s a part of the BTS ‘Army’.
Whether you’re a lover of cute things or just a Ghibli fan in general, these cute little handbags can make an ideal gift. These super cute handbags are both soft and perfectly-sized for the essentials. It even comes in two kawaii designs, so you can choose between My Neighbor Totoro’s Totoro or Kiki’s Delivery Service’s Jiji.
Peko chan is the beloved character of Milky chocolate, made by Fujiya Co, who got trademarked in 1998. She is a 6 six year old girl and her beaming face is instantly recognisable. She has a cute retro vibe, with bunches and the biggest smile ever!
It’s not just cute; it’s also a great Japanese snack for chocolate lovers. Check out her kawaii chocolate.
Cute erasers for those crafty people in your life? If this isn’t sweet enough, your giftee can create their own original designs including animals, sweets, and fruits. Plus, it’s great as a practical gift for anyone who needs (or loves) Japanese stationery items.
We already have a kawaii plushie on the list, but we just had to include this Animal Crossing plushie. The recent update has everyone here playing it, so Rover has earned his spot on this list! With its adorable face and little legs, not to mention its huggable size, this one really is super cute. And so soft too!
Whatever you give – whether a present for someone else or to yourself – this season, with something kawaii you can’t go wrong!
Let us know what you get.
Across the Animal Crossing video game series there are 413 villagers, plus additional special characters as of Animal Crossing: New Horizons.
What a great month we've had in kawaii anime related news, with these adorable Pokemon hats for cats coming out earlier in the month and now news of a new Sailor Moon gatcha gatcha series coming out! For those unfamiliar with them, gachapon/gashapon or gatcha gatcha are capsule toys dispensed from vending machines in Japan!