Translated by Hilary Keyes
From Japanese Sweets To Sake! 10 Souvenirs To Buy From Nikko, Tochigi
If you plan to visit Nikko Toshogu in Nikko, Tochigi prefecture, then it's a good idea to also check out what souvenirs they have there. In Nikko you can find sweets, handicrafts, and many other items that you won't see anywhere else!
Written by MATCHA
If you plan to visit the world heritage site Nikko Toshogu Shrine in Nikko, Tochigi prefecture, then it's a good idea to also check out what souvenirs they have there. In Nikko you can find sweets, handicrafts, and many other items that you won't see anywhere else. In this article, we feature the ten best souvenirs available in this history-rich area. When visiting Nikko, please consider this your guide to what to pick up to commemorate your trip.
For more information about sightseeing in Nikko itself, please take a look at: The Perfect Guide To Nikko: Access, 29 Sights, Local Foods And More!.
The Best Souvenirs from Nikko!
1. Sakaeya's Ageyuba Manju
In front of Tobu Nikko Station stands Sakaeya, a shop famous for its ageyuba manju. Ageyuba manju are fried red bean paste dumplings in which yuba (*1) has been kneaded into the dumpling dough. The crispness of the dumpling and sweetness of the filling make a great match, and these manju are consistently ranked as being the most popular souvenir of all in Nikko. Although they make wonderful souvenirs, it is a much better idea to enjoy them on the spot because they only have a shelf life of three days. A box of 10 costs 2000 yen with tax.
*1 Yuba: a famous food in Nikko, a thin silken tofu membrane full of soy bean proteins.
Sakaeya Tobu Nikko Station Shop
Address: Tochigi, Nikko, Matsubaracho 10-1
2. Nikko Castella Honpo's Kinpaku Iri Nikko Castella
Photo courtesy of: Nikko Castella Honpo
Made using only the finest ingredients, such as dough from the exceptionally fine flour of the Takaragasa brand,acacia honey,and starch syrup from Kyushu, these castella sponge cakes are a delectable treat. Topped off with a dusting of gold leaf, these cakes are the perfect souvenir. Their most popular item is the Kinpaku Iri Nikko Castella honey flavor, a small package of which costs 970 yen with tax.
Nikko Castella Honpo Main Shop
Address: Tochigi, Nikko, Honcho 1-8
Website: Nikko Castella Main Shop
3. Nisshodo's Nikko Rusk
This rusk is made by a Japanese confection shop that was established 75 years ago and is produced from French bread that was made with milk and spring water all from Tochigi prefecture. The bite-sized pieces are a part of its lasting popularity, and, other than classic and maple flavor, unique varieties such as matcha, brown sugar, bitter chocolate, and strawberry chocolate rusk are also available. A 120 g package costs 585 yen with tax.
Original Nisshodo Nikko Main Shop
Address: Tochigi, Nikko, Kamihatsuishimachi 1038
Website: Nikko Rusk
4. Mitsuyama Yokan Honpo's Yokan
Photo courtesy of: © Mitsuyama Yokan Honpo
Mitsuyama Yokan Honpo Yokan was founded in 1895 and has a history spanning over a century. All of the red adzuki beans, agar and white beans used to make the yokan, or sweet bean paste, are domestic, and they exclusively use spring water from Nikko as well. Known for its elegant and rich flavors, this is a shop that is truly loved by its fans. If kept at room temperature, this yokan has a shelf life of about six months, so it is also suitable for those who are traveling for a while to buy as souvenirs too.
The takekawa tsutsumi honneri yokan costs 1700 yen with tax per bar.
Mitsuyama Yokan Honpo
Address: Tochigi, Nikko, Nakahatsuishimachi 914
Website: Mitsuyama Yokan Honpo
5. Nikko Jingoro Senbei Honpo's Nikko Jingoro Senbei
Photo courtesy of: Nikko Jingoro Senbei Honpo
Nikko Jingoro Senbei takes its name from the sculptor Hidari Jigoro that created the sleeping cat carving on Nikko Toshogu Shrine. These square rice crackers are best known for their crisp texture and salted butter flavor. Jigoro Senbei have won many awards at the National Confectionary Exposition, and are known as the confectionary of Nikko. They are very lightweight and easy to pack, which also make them ideal souvenirs. The Nikko Jigoro Senbei 7th Edition Tin (16 rice crackers inside) costs 756 yen with tax.
Nikko Jingoro Senbei Honpo
Address: Tochigi, Nikko, Honcho 4-18
Website: Nikko Jingoro Senbei
6. Yuzawaya's Original Nikko Sake Manju
Sake manju are manju buns made by mixing the mold used to create sake into the dough, giving these dumplings a faint taste of sake to them.
Yuzuwaya's sake manju have been a popular treat since their creation 200 years ago, earning them the nickname 'Nikko manju'. They only have a shelf life of three days, so if you want to purchase some to take home, please plan your trip accordingly. And in the cafe adjoining their shop, you can enjoy these manju as well as many other delicious sweets. A package of eight original Nikko sake manju costs 1200 yen with tax.
Address: Tochigi, Nikko, Shimohatsuishimachi 946
7. Ochiai Shoten's Original Shisomaki Togarashi
Photo courtesy of: Ochiai Shoten
Shisomaki Togarashi, also known as Nikko togarashi, is said to have been a food favored by Nikko shugendo practitioners (*2) for the cold-resistance it offered. They are togarashi chili peppers that have been preserved in salt and wrapped in shiso (perilla) leaves, and make an excellent snack as-is alongside sake or beer, or taste fantastic when finely chopped and added to plain rice or mixed into pasta. Shisomaki togarashi (thin type) costs 650 yen with tax.
Address: Tochigi, Nikko, Shimohatsuishimachi 938
Website: Ochiai Shoten
*2 Shugendo: a type of mountain asceticism of physically and mentally challenging activities that combined both Shinto and Buddhist practices.
8. Tochiotome's Okashi
Sweets made using Tochigi's famous tochiotome brand strawberries are also exceptionally popular as souvenirs from Nikko. Many different candy manufacturers, including KitKat and Milky have their own tochiotome strawberry-based sweets available, all of which make for great souvenirs too. These can be purchased at most stores throughout Tochigi and at the station as well. For example, a box of KitKat Tochiotome bars costs 864 yen, while one of Milky Tochiotome costs 494 yen, both with tax.
9. Local Sake from Nikko
Photo courtesy of: Watanabe Sahei Shop
From harsh cold winters and Nikko's mountain ranges comes soft water of superior quality - it is said that these are two of the secrets to making delicious sake. Our souvenir recommendation is the easy to drink Watanabe Sahei Shoten's Nikko Homare, which is also made with locally produced rice. You can also watch how sake is made at the Watanabe Sahei Shoten; all tours are done on a reservation basis, but as a result, you can reserve and have your tour conducted in English as well.
Watanabe Sahei Shop
Address: Tochigi, Nikko, Imaichi 450
Website: Watanabe Sahei Shop
Nikkobori is a traditional Japanese handicraft that has been passed down since the Edo era. It was first produced by a sculptor involved in the elaborate carving work at Nikko Toshogu Shrine and is made by using a method known as Nikko sankaku katana. Nikkobori is characterized by its use of numerous floral designs, regularly featuring chrysanthemums, plum blossoms, peonies, and cherry blossoms in its designs.
At the Nikkokibori no Sato Woodcarving Center you can not only take part in a Nikkobori carving lesson but also browse through numerous items that would all make ideal souvenirs of your time in this historical area.
Nikkokibori no Sato Woodcarving Center
Address: Tochigi, Nikko, Tokorono 2848
Website: Nikko Woodcarving Center
** The prices given in this article are based on the information provided by their respective agencies and are accurate as of December 2016. Please be aware that they are subject to change.