One really nice custom of Japanese tradition is the concept of お土産 omiyage. To put it simply, it’s a form of gifting souvenirs. But unlike the usual trinkets or “I <3 Japan!” t-shirts sort of things, omiyage usually tends to be food items and almost every prefecture and cities have their own local specialties that you cannot find anywhere else. The idea is if you go traveling, you should bring back a present from the place you went to so you can share your happiness with the people (family, close friends, coworkers, etc.) who didn’t get to go. It’s technically not mandatory per say, but it’s very much culturally obligatory ^^;. Here are a few things you can pick up from Osaka…
Omiyage comes in many varieties and ranges in price but one thing is usually consistent: quality. These items are usually well made and packaged in a way that is perfect for gifting. They do represent the local area after all so they do take pride and joy in them.
Osaka’s famous creepy clown, Kuidaore Taro, on a bunch of sweets.
One Piece is also immensely popular here. They are EVERYWHERE!
Osaka is of course famous for the takoyaki and okonomiyaki. And as such, you can find a variety of cake, rice crackers, rice seasoning, and sauce in those two flavors. Speaking of which, I haven’t had takoyaki at all this year… I’m not being a very good Osakajin ^^;.
As the name implies, I actually got this omiyage when I was in Tokyo ^^;. One box for the host folks and one box for myself. Funny thing was that I bought this when news were spreading that Twinkies were being discontinued. Lo and behold, Twinkies are well alive in Japan. But only in Tokyo. And only in Banana flavor. This stuff was amazing!
So yea… just an idea of what omiyage is and the stuff you can pick up.