Dannie's Top 5 'Last Minute' Holiday Gift Guide

The holiday season is upon us and Christmas is a week away – have you gotten a gift for that special someone yet? Does that special someone happen to be an avid admirer of Japanese culture, art, food and more? Why not make a quick stop to these recommended shops specializing in Japanese goods to meet those last minute needs?

1. Ronin Gallery – Gashu: Twelve Zodiac Signs Prints
For sale in Ronin Gallery’s online gallery are twelve beautifully vivid prints depicting all the animals of the Zodiac, by artist Gashu Fukami. Woodblock prints, each a numbered edition, 8.25” x 6.5”, priced at $150.00 per print. Makes the perfect gift for the art lover in your life, and shows that you know enough about the person – since you know their Zodiac sign! Be sure to browse Ronin’s online gallery for many other beautiful pieces of Japanese art.

Gashu Fukami - Year of the Horse
Gashu Fukami, Year of the Horse – Ronin Gallery

2. Royce’ Chocolate’s Holiday Selections
Royce’ Chocolate, known for its use of high quality ingredients and craftsmanship, has become one of the top chocolatiers in NY, offering affordable luxuries with shops in Midtown, Bryant Park and the West Village. With special holiday treats ranging from $16-$89, you can give the gift of Nama chocolates regardless of your budget. Little chocolates in an ornamental holiday ball, Advent Calendars and assortments of Christmas cookies, all from this selection is sure to impress. They also offer complimentary tastings in their shops if you need a recommendation.

Royce Holiday Selection
Royce’ Holiday Selection – Royce Chocolate

3. Sun Noodle Ramen Kits
Sun Noodle’s ramen kits are sold exclusively in Whole Food stores across all parts of NY. Click on link provided above to see which store is most convenient for you. Each kit comes with noodles and broth base, just follow the instructions and add in your choice of fixings – boiled egg, spice, scallion, chashu pork, anything and everything! Sun Noodle is currently in the process of bringing an online store for individuals who do not have access to their products in store. Check back on their website soon for further details.

Serious Eats - Sun Noodle ramen kit1
Sun Noodle Ramen Kit – Seriouseats.com
Serious Eats - Sun Noodle Ramen Kits2
Sun Noodle Ramen Kit – Seriouseats.com

4. J+B Design Online Store
J+B Design & Cafe sell high-quality, hand-made Japanese products to appeal the distinctive “Brooklyn style,” as well as run a quaint cafe. Top sellers in their online shop are a set of Silk and Wool Socks, 4 pair set, by Kurashikinu, $69.00, intricate Silver Flower Earrings, handmade by Ayaka Nishi, $280.00, and a Wooden Clock in the shape of an Elephant, handcrafted by Yamato Kogei, $51.00. They also have gift sets made, which start at $43.00 ranging in all different themes such as Beauty, Body Care, Stationery and more. There is something for everyone so be sure to support your local artists!

Silk & Wool Socks by Kurashikinu
Silk & Wool Socks, Kurashikinu, J+B Design & Cafe
Wooden Elephant Clock
Wooden Elephant Clock, Yamato Kogei, J+B Design & Cafe
Silver flower earrings
Silver Flower Earrings, Ayaka Nishi, J+B Design & Cafe

5. Mitsuwa Holiday Gifts
In all Mitsuwa locations, they are running specials through 12/31/15 on select Japanese confectionaries, gifts, groceries and more. They even have some already made up gift sets – for those green tea lovers, the matcha LOVE sets, which start at $40.00, include everything you need for the perfect cup of healthy ‘ocha’ or for those who like sweets, why not try Kelley’s Kookies gift box, filled with assorted cookies. Also, be sure to get your New Year’s shopping done early! Mitsuwa is currently taking pre-orders for their Japanese traditional bento boxes called ‘Osechi’, you may order in store at the Customer Service desk. And from 12/22 through the end of the year, be sure to bring these Japanese delicacies to share with your family and friends before they’re gone – Okabe Seifunsho, Hokkaido Crepes, and Sapporo seafood bentos! Mitsuwa’s “End of Year Gourmet” selection is sure to be a hit at your gatherings!

Matcha Love
matcha LOVE Starter Gift Set, Mitsuwa Marketplace
Osechi sample, Mitsuwa Marketplace
Osechi flyer
Osechi pre-ordering flyer, Mitsuwa Marketplace
End of year gourmet
End of Year Gourmet, Mitsuwa Marketplace

Happy holidays from all of us at JapanCulture-NYC and Happy New Year! 明けましておめでとうございます!