We are always looking for nice gifts that will make someone happy without breaking our wallets. The problem is, it’s hard to find something nice on a limited budget. If only there was a gift that looked both nice and more expensive than it really was. Surprise! There is! 14 of them in fact, and they are all under 10,000 yen. If you want to surprise someone with a present that will make them go “Are you sure?”, simply choose one of the following, specially-selected Japan-made products!
*All products are priced below 10,000 yen (tax included) as of the time of publication, excluding shipping.
Standards For the Products Chosen by the Editors at BECOS x tJ for This Article
In this article, we will only recommend products that meet the following conditions:
• The specially-selected item must be considered high quality even when compared to other Japan-made products.
• The item must be made by hand by experienced artisans.
• Gift wrapping must be available.
Three Hints for Choosing High-Quality Gifts Under 10,000 Yen
The perfect budget for a gift is up to 10,000 yen, which is not too little and not too much. Of course, that ultimately depends on the country, but if you’re spending 10,000 yen on a gift, it’s better to get one expensive item, no matter how small, than a bunch of cheaper ones. Here are three tips to making someone happy with a high-quality gift under 10,000 yen:
Hint #1: Choose a Luxury Item That the Other Person Will Frequently Use
Many people will spend a lot of money on their hobbies and interests but can’t or won’t do the same for things they use in their everyday lives. With 10,000 yen, though, you can choose a high-quality “daily-life” item made from the finest materials and introduce a little “everyday luxury” to the lives of the people you care about. By using something expensive that you got them every day, the recipients of your gift will always remember you and your generosity.
Hint #2: Choose Something That the Other Person Wouldn’t Consider Buying for Themselves
A perfect gift should not only introduce a little “everyday luxury” to a person’s life but also make them go, “I didn’t even know things like this existed” or “This will last me years!” The key is choosing a gift that the other person wouldn’t buy for themselves. When having to choose between an inexpensive item and something that costs close to 10,000 yen, most people have the tendency to go with the cheaper version. That’s why you can’t lose with a high-quality gift, because even if you pick an item that the other person already has, they will surely treasure and use your luxury gift more.
Hint #3: Choose Something Handmade
Buying something from a major store that was mass-produced in a factory will give you a good bang for your buck. But it also runs the risk of getting someone the same gift that they already got from someone else. To avoid that and to spend your 10,000 yen in the most effective way, avoid mass-produced products. Instead, go with something artisanal and handmade. Items like that are usually made from superior materials, with a lot of detail, time, and focus going into the production process. Plus, small-batch items are usually more beautiful, charming, and high-quality than anything mass-produced.
Choose a Traditional Japanese Craft!
A lot of traditional Japanese crafts are handmade one by one and possess the kind of charm you’ll rarely find with mass-produced items. However, the range of traditional Japanese crafts available is huge, from world-famous crafts to products coming out of little-known workshops, all made by everyone from experienced craftspeople to more obscure artisans. So, it can be difficult to decide what to get.
Also, when most people hear “artisan-made,” they think of products that are quite expensive, but this isn’t necessarily the case! You can actually find many affordable options if you just take your time and look through what’s available out there, which a lot of people admittedly don’t have time for. That’s why we went ahead and did it for you with this article!
4 High-Quality Daily Necessities
1. The Highly-Absorbent Imabari Towel – Specially-Selected by a Towel Expert
The “En” (縁, “fate” or “connection”) line of Imabari towels made by Sara-La has been designed with the female customer in mind. This particular set features one bath towel and one face towel, which should meet the towel needs of any person.
As soon as you open the box, you’ll instantly feel like you’re dealing with a luxurious item thanks to the cute Chinese bellflower-shaped “mizuhiki” decorative cord tying the towels together, which brings to mind the fancy “obijime” strings used to hold a kimono sash in place. Also, because of how its name is written using kanji characters, the Chinese bellflower is considered a talisman that will bring you untold good fortunes.
The towel has been specially selected by a towel expert and comes with a unique serial number on the tag. As soon as you wrap yourself in the towel after a shower, it will soak up all the water off your body and make you feel so grateful for having someone in your life that would gift you such a wonderful present.
2. The Amazingly-Sharp Nail Clipper Handmade by Experienced Artisans
These nipper-style nail clippers are made by SUWADA, a brand beloved by professional manicurists that is so popular, it instantly sells out whenever it appears at big department stores. These exquisite items are handmade by artisans at the Suwada Open Factory, located in Sanjo, Niigata Prefecture, a place well known for its metalworks. It takes over one month to create just one pair of these clippers, which more than justifies their price. This is the type of gift that anyone would be excited to receive.
3. The Antibacterial, Slime-Resistant, Odor-Eliminating Copper Basin That Will Leave You Feeling So Clean!
This antibacterial basin is made by Shinkoukinzoku, a metal workshop and retailer from Niigata Prefecture’s Tsubame, which has been working with nonferrous metals since 1958. A lot of people love copper because of its beautiful coloring and sheen, so this basin doesn’t have to be restricted to the bathroom. You can also use it for interior decoration as a bowl to hold flowers or fruit.
But copper isn’t just beautiful, as copper ions also have antibacterial properties that protect against microbes, mold, and E. coli. Also, unlike a plastic basin, this one won’t accumulate that bio slime or start to smell bad, making maintenance a breeze. But the best part about this copper basin is the fact that it will slowly change over the years. The more you use it, the more refined and beautiful it will get, giving it its own unique character.
4. Remove Unwanted Hair (Including the Tiniest of Fuzzes) Painlessly with These Tweezers!
These Iroha tweezers have been named after the famous “Iroha” Japanese poem, a perfect pangram that contains each character of the Japanese syllabary exactly once. The tweezers got their name because their shape resembles the “I” character (い), which starts off the poem. Each tweezer is made by hand at Kurata Manpo, and is able to remove any and all unwanted hair, including the tiniest of fuzzes. Best of all, it does so virtually painlessly compared to other tweezers, which is why so many people love it.
The tweezers not only make personal grooming easier, they are also made from quality materials and will thus last you a long time. The product comes in a paulownia box, which makes it a perfect gift for that special someone.
7 High-Quality Sake Vessels, Kitchen Goods, and Eating Utensils
5. The Modern, Cracked-Gold-Foil Glass Set
98% of Japan’s domestic gold foil comes from Kanazawa, which is the kind used in these glasses. They’ve been made via a process known as “kannyu” crazing, which results in beautiful cracks in the gold foil. This set is especially recommended for drinking sake.
Gold is the universally recognizable symbol of elegance and luxury, but the gold foil used on the bottom of these glasses is simultaneously elegant, simple, modern, and refined. The glasses would make great anniversary gifts or the perfect table setting for entertaining guests.
Related article: ▶ A Guide to the Traditional Japanese Craft: Kanazawa Gold Leaf
6. Mobile Thermo Tumbler with Glamorous Lacquer Design That’s Great at Keeping Cool Things Cool and Hot Things Hot
This lacquer tumbler is a collaboration of Echizen Lacquerware techniques (developed 1,500 years ago in Fukui Prefecture’s Sabae) and the popular company thermo mug (est. 2000). The product is exceptional at keeping cool things cool and hot things hot, and with its glossy Echizen lacquer design, it essentially becomes a piece of chic, functional art.
The arabesque pattern is meant to invoke the image of a vine spreading in all directions, which conveys an image of vitality. It’s why the pattern is considered a good-luck symbol that grants a long life and familial prosperity. And thanks to thermo mug’s temperature-control technology, the tumbler is the perfect item to have on you whenever you go out. The mug also comes in red.
7. A Beautiful, Smooth Cup With Gentle, Red Coloring Reminiscent of a Sunset
A winner of the first prize at the 23rd Tableware Festival, this work by Koichi Fujioka immediately grabs your attention with its red coloring that brings to mind the image of a setting sun. The amazing thing about this cup is that, thanks to its unique design, its color always seems to change depending on how the light hits it. Though it might seem full of right angles, the edge of the cup is naturally smooth, which makes for easy drinking that will undoubtedly satisfy any coffee lover. This Fujioka cup is available exclusively via BECOS.
8. Ice-Cream Spoons That Glide Through Even the Hardest of Ice Creams
These exquisite spoons from the 15.0% company were specially made for eating ice-cream. Even the hardest frozen dessert is no match against this product, which doesn’t require a lot of force to scoop up a spoonful. By making the eating process a lot smoother, this spoon makes luxury ice-cream feel even more luxurious, while elevating regular ice-cream to new heights. You need to experience it firsthand to believe it. The secret lies in the material the spoon is made of, which is pure aluminum, a metal that’s amazing at transferring heat.
Additionally, the spoon is a joy to look at thanks to its mirror shine finish. It comes in three variations, each designed for use with a different type of ice cream such as vanilla or chocolate, so you can choose one that’s best for you. The set introduced here includes both the vanilla and chocolate ice-cream spoons.
9. An Iron Pan That Doesn’t Rust and Will Last 10 Years or More
This River Light frypan has been called “The Ultimate Iron Pan.” The more you use it, the better the pan’s seasoning gets, allowing you to use the product for 10 or even 20 years. It’s not too thick or heavy, too, so your arm won’t get tired from using it too much. And, needless to say, it’s highly resistant to rust. It’s said that a Teflon pan lasts about two years, so if you or someone you know is in the market for a lifetime frypan, then this is the product you’re looking for. The pan will also work on an induction burner.
10. A Fine, Handmade Metal Grater to Up Your Kitchen Game
Metal graters like this have long been made in Japan the traditional way, that is, by the hands of experienced craftspeople. The front of the thick grater features a wider opening for coarse grating, like for daikon radish that’s so often used with tempura dipping sauce. The back, on the other hand, has finer holes for more delicate work, like for wasabi to go along with sushi and sashimi, as well as ginger or garlic.
You don’t need to use a lot of force with this grater, which prevents the food from mushing. That’s definitely something you’d want when, say, grating daikon radish. The grater is also coated in tin, which helps prevent corrosion and keeps your kitchen clean and hygienic. All you need to do after using the grater is to wash it, splash it with some hot water, and leave it out to dry. Do that and it will last you for years.
3 Gorgeous Interior Decorations
11. A Humorous Edo Daruma Doll for Granting Success or Good Luck
This modern daruma interior piece is the work of the Kakinuma Ningyo workshop, which has been producing traditional Japanese dolls like Hina dolls using the “Edo kimekomi” method for decades now. Because of its slightly humorous appearance, the daruma doll would be a welcomed addition to any room.
Daruma dolls are used for praying for a lot of things, from passing your exams to business success, general luck, family safety, success in life, and more. It’s also a symbol of resilience and not giving up. Many modern daruma dolls are very colorful, but the red ones are still thought to be the most powerful and full of zeal and passion. They’re also said to ward off evil. The doll is made with high-quality kimono cloth, which leaves an impression and puts it above and beyond regular daruma dolls.
Related article: ▶ 6 Japanese Lucky Charms: The Allure of the Daruma and Lucky Cat
12. A Beautiful, Odor-Eliminating, Moisture-Absorbing Tatami Yoga Mat
This Japanese-made tatami yoga mat features a beautiful color gradation. Underneath it, you’ll find a grippy rubber lining that is often used with yoga mats, which cushions the product and helps keep it in place.
The soft rush that tatami is made from has moisture-absorbing and odor-eliminating properties, which make it perfect for a piece of exercise equipment that often deals with sweat. The edges of the mat have been lined with Kaihara denim to help prevent fraying and to make the product even more chic. This mat is the perfect gift for people who love a blend of functionality and fashion.
13. A Kiyomizu Ware Vase with Faint Blue Gradation and Beautiful Flower Crystals
This Kiyomizu ware vase features a slight bulge in the mid-section and a faint blue gradation against a white base. The beautiful crystal patterns of this piece resemble ice flowers in bloom, and are the result of covering the piece in glass coating, firing it, and cooling the finished product. This produces the signature “flower crystal” cracks in the glaze.
At 23 cm tall, the vase is easy to handle and can accommodate all sorts of flowers.
A High-Quality Business Item
14. A Highly-Responsive Mouse That Works on Any Surface, Including Lacquer
Part of Logicool’s MX series, popular the world over, this mouse is of course very functional but it also boasts a beautiful design. The MX1700GR in particular is very pleasant to look at with its stylish metallic matte black color scheme featuring a brown-line accent. The mouse is very compact, so it perfectly fits almost any hand, making it easy to use for both men and women.
Equipped with a dark field sensor and a sensitivity of 4000 dpi, this mouse will work smoothly without a mousepad on any surface, including lacquer, glass tables, and other famously difficult surfaces.
Make Your Next Gift Extra Special
When buying a present for under 10,000 yen, you shouldn’t focus on size or quantity but rather on quality. The best way to use your money wisely is to buy something of high quality, which doesn’t always mean expensive or gaudy.
What most modern people desire from the bottom of their hearts is something money can’t buy: time. However, it can be argued that artisanal items are pretty close to being time that you can buy. They require painstaking work by the hands of artisans who spend a lot of time choosing the right materials, creating the product, and delivering it to you. The result is the true definition of luxury and quality that would make the perfect gift for that special someone in your life.
If you want to give feedback on any of our articles, you have an idea that you’d really like to see come to life, or you just have a question on Japan, hit us up on our Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram!
*These products may not be able to be shipped to certain countries. Please see the retailer’s website for more information.
The information in this article is accurate at the time of publication.