selection of gifts from osaka

Osaka Bob FAMILY


What are the Best Souvenirs from Osaka? 13 Great Gift Ideas!

Maido! Manabu here, ready to talk about gifts. Want to know what gifts to buy when you visit Osaka? What do people from take home from this city of food?
I was born and raised here, so I have a lot of experience of giving gifts from Osaka. Let me give you a few recommendations of things I’ve given and people have loved. Here’s my list of the 13 best gifts you can get in Osaka.


The classic Kansai gift—551 Horai steamed pork buns

There’s a famous commercial for these pork buns that everyone knows…

551 Horai Butaman pork buns

The catchy phrases aru toki (when you have some) and nai toki (when you don’t) are repeated back to back. Crowds cheer ecstatically when they have 551 Horai pork buns. Those same crowds are visibly depressed when they don’t.

That’s it! That’s the commercial. And people in Osaka love it!

The commercial captures the heart of people from Osaka and Kansai in general. It expresses their feeling so well. Ask someone if they want to have a 551 pork bun and chances are they’ll respond exactly like the commercial, with an enthusiastic “Yay!”
It is no overstatement to call 551 pork buns (Go-go-ichi Butaman) one of Osaka’s soul foods. And the 551 shops are limited to the Kansai region only. That’s why they make the perfect gift when you visit Osaka.
But, they only last for a day at room temperature. Even if you chill them immediately to under 10°C, they still only last for 3 days. That is not exactly ideal for people on long train journeys like the Shinkansen, which is why 551 Horai makes a chilled pork bun product.

Cold 551 Horai pork buns for gifts

This makes it possible to bring everyone’s favorite pork buns to lots of people. I recommend eating them with Chinese mustard. Try the mustard when you get yours!

What’s the difference between Butaman and Nikuman?

●551 Butaman (Nikuman)

2 piece: ¥380/4 piece: ¥760/6 piece:¥1,140/10 piece: ¥1,900 (tax included)
Sales locations:
Main Store, Namba Walk location, Tennoji location, JR Osaka Station Midosuji location, JR Shin-Osaka Station central gate location, Eki Marché Shin-Osaka location, Kansai International Airport South Terminal location, etc.

The illusive sauce from the land of sauces—Hermes Sauce

Osaka is known for its takoyaki (octopus dumplings), okonomiyaki (savory cabbage pancakes with your choice of toppings), and kushikatsu (deep-fried skewers), which require sauce toppings. Accordingly, Osaka has tons of sauces to choose from. There are so many sauces in fact, that when people visit from other prefectures, they’re surprised at the sauce section in the supermarket. This is my absolute favorite!

Hermes sauce, a great gift from Osaka

Hermes Sauce!
It’s made in Osaka’s very own Higashi-Sumiyoshi ward by Iwami Foods. And recently, it is gotten so hard to find that some people started calling it “the illusive sauce.”
According to their website, Hermes Sauce is made from a careful selection of fruits, vegetables, sugar, and salt which is simmered before adding spices, vinegar, and other flavorings. You can tell by the taste that it is an original blend of countless flavors.
The refreshing sweetness and spicy aroma make it the perfect condiment for takoyaki, okonomiyaki, and yakisoba (fried noodles), as well as tonkatsu (pork cutlet), croquettes, and other fried foods.

In order to preserve its traditional flavor, Hermes sauce is all made by hand. So understandably production is pretty limited and it isn’t widely sold in stores.
(You can order it online, but the wait-list is about one month long.)
If you’re lucky and you do find a bottle, or you just happen to be in the know for where to get it, it makes a fantastic gift. When people call it Osaka’s illusive sauce, they really mean it.

●Hermes Tonkatsu Sauce 900ml

¥756 (tax included)

Choosy Osakans choose—Asahi Ponzu

Here’s one more condiment that makes a great gift. It’s delightfully sour and has a powerful flavor. It has the appetizing aroma of citrus. It is ponzu!
There are many different ponzu brands at the store, but the one that Kansai people seem to prefer above the rest is the Asahi brand.

Asahi Ponzu, a gift from Osaka

Osaka people tend to be picky about flavors, but Asahi Ponzu has so many fans here. It is made from ponzu citrus juice from Tokushima and konbu (kelp) from Rishiri Island in Hokkaido. (Both of these regions are famous for these products.)
If you don’t believe me just ask someone from Osaka. They’ll tell you how delicious Asahi Ponzu is.
Ponzu can be used for nabe (hotpot), to dip your sashimi, or as a compliment to fried foods. This is one sauce you definitely want at your table!

●Asahi Ponzu

Pricing varies (360 ml: approximately ¥600–¥800)
Sales locations:
Supermarkets, department stores, etc.

Reigning from Kitashinchi, Osaka’s bite-sized Tenten Gyoza

The ponzu got me thinking… nothing goes better with ponzu than gyoza!
Regional gyoza from all over the country—like Utsunomiya Gyoza from Ibaragi Prefecture, and Hamamatsu Gyoza from Shizuoka Prefecture are all the rage these days.
So of course Osaka has something special too!

Tenten bite-sized gyoza, a gift from Osaka

Bite-sized gyoza!
They look so cute on first glance, and they actually came from an upscale drinking establishment in the upscale Kitashinchi neighborhood. They’re the perfect size to nibble while you’re drinking and they’re easy to eat while still maintain an air of elegance like the hostesses in Kitashinchi.
These gyoza please even the most discriminating of palates in Kitashinchi, so naturally people began wanting to give them as gifts. And so this fabulous Osaka omiyage (souvenir) was born!

Bite-sized gyoza from Tenten, an Osaka gift

And if you’re getting bite-sized gyoza as a gift, Tenten Gyoza is what you want. Potstickers tend to have a strong aroma that might leave your breath smelling off, but Tenten makes a point of using chives with a lighter aroma. And they’re delicious!

●Bite-sized Gyoza

30-piece: ¥1,429/45-piece: ¥2,130 (tax included)

Sales locations:

Tenten Bar (Eki Marché in Shin-Osaka Station), department stores, gift shops, etc.

A cute box and a great taste—takoyaki flavored Jagarico

One of the city’s best known foods is featured in this flavored snack. And trust me, it makes a great gift for yourself or someone else!
Jagarico are deliciously crunchy potato-chip like snack sticks and as a regional specialty product, they come in takoyaki (octopus dumpling) flavor.

takoyaki flavored Jagarico, gift box

I’m a big Jagarico fan and usually stick to the classic salad flavor, but if you’re bringing them as a gift, definitely go with this flavor because it’s limited to the Kansai region. It has hints of takoyaki sauce and mayonnaise and chances are they will go over well.
The box of 8 individually wrapped bags are perfect for a group. So if you are looking for something to bring to work or school, this would be a good choice.

jagarico octopus gift box, takoyaki flavor

When you open the box, the 8 bags are designed to look like octopus tentacles. How cute!

●Jagarico, takoyaki flavor

¥864 (tax included)
Sales locations:
Train stations, airports, and highway service areas throughout Kansai, gift shops, etc.

Two classic Kansai flavors—Kansai dashi soy sauce potato chips & Happy Turn’s takoyaki sauce flavor

ansai dashi soy sauce potato chips & Happy Turn’s takoyaki sauce flavor

Some might say Kansai=dashi. And they’re definitely not wrong!
Full of umami flavor, Kansai is known for its delicious soup broth like konbu dashi (kelp broth) and katsuobushi dashi (bonito broth). And that special umami flavor works well on potato chips!
Look for the pink bag of “Kansai dashi shoyu” chips for an easy gift. They’re sold in supermarkets and convenience stores all over the Kansai region. I get them for myself all the time!

●Kansai dashi shoyu potato chips

Suggested retail price ¥120 (tax included)
Sales locations:
Supermarkets and convenient stores, etc. in Osaka, Hyogo, Kyoto, Nara, Wakayama, Shiga, Toyama, Ishikawa, and Fukui Prefectures

And let’s talk about takoyaki flavored Happy Turn!
They’re mostly sold in gift shops, so Kansai people don’t eat them every day. But I guarantee they are good! It’s a combination of Happy Turn and takoyaki. Of course they’re good!
The golden combination of takoyaki sauce and nori so really, how could they not be good?

●Takoyaki flavored Happy Turn

34 g bag: ¥125 (tax included)
Sales locations:
Entrée Marché in JR Shin-Osaka Station, gift shops, etc.

Another classic Osaka flavor in snack form—Pickled ginger tempura potato chips

Pickled ginger tempura (Beni-shōga ten) potato chips

This is a funny one… Red pickled ginger (beni-shōga) as tempura is a regional food in Osaka that has a long history. It seems most people don’t consider pickled ginger as tempura material. When I showed it to my Tokyo friends, they were shocked!!!
I don’t think it’s that weird, but then again, I grew up with it.
And so here we have the picked ginger flavored potato chip. If you like salt & vinegar chips, this is the chip for you. The sour pickled ginger flavor is complimented with a hint of salt and they go great with a drink! In fact, they go so well with beer, you have to consciously try not to eat this Osaka souvenir on your Shinkansen ride home. They are pretty addicting!

●Osaka Beni-shoga Tempura Potato Chips

¥378 (tax included)
Sales locations:
Entrée Marché in JR Shin-Osaka Station, etc.

Potato chips that are so special, they’re only sold at Hankyu Umeda Department Store—Grand Calbee

The concept for Grand Calbee is “a snack that makes your heart sing, a gift that connects hearts.”

These specialty potato chips are so special, they’re only sold in one location, at the Hankyu Main Department Store in Umeda.
Great care is taken to make these chips, starting with the soil the potatoes are grown in at contracted farms. The Hokkaido potatoes are then cut thick in Calbee’s original style and fried slowly.
This is, without a doubt, the ultimate potato chip!
The Potato Basic pack is a combination of 3 flavors—salt, butter, & salt-pickled plum.
The Potato Roast pack is made from roasted potatoes and you can choose from 4 flavors—roasted salt, burnt soy sauce, broiled cod roe, grilled cheese & black pepper (sansho).
If you give these as a gift, you’re going to have to tell them where you bought these impressive potato chips.

●Grand Calbee

¥580 (tax included)
Sales locations:
Hankyu Main Department Store Umeda

Pocky, but with a dash of luxury—Baton d’or

Since there are special potato chips, there have to be special pocky!
Then name of these pocky means golden stick in French. They’re made from clarified butter, which has all of the liquid and solids removed. They’re one rank above regular pocky both in looks and in taste!

Baton d’or gourmet pocky from Osaka

The lineup includes sugar butter, strawberry sugar, matcha sugar, almond sugar, and seasonal flavors as well. If you’re gift-shopping, it’s fun to choose the flavor you think your special person will like.

●Baton d’or

¥540 each (tax included)
Sales locations:
Baton d’or locations in Hankyu Umeda Main Store, Takashimaya Osaka, Osaka International Airport (Itami Airport)

Good luck & good flavor—Kansou shiokombu

Kansai’s famous dashi flavor would be nothing without kelp aka kombu. And in Osaka it’s not just used for dashi. It has a long culinary history in Osaka, as the main ingredient in shiokombu (dried soy flavored kelp) and tsukudani (preserved foods boiled in soy).
Kansou Shiokombu/Shiokonbu

I especially like Kansou’s shiokonbu. It’s bursting with umami flavor and goes great with tea, rice or even ochazuke (green tea over rice). I love shiokonmbu!!!

Kansou Shiokombu over rice

In Osaka, konbu is sometimes pronounced “kobu” which sounds a bit like “yorokobu” meaning to be happy. So it is considered a lucky food to eat. And shiokonbu is definitely one of those foods that makes me happy!
Get a pack for your friends and give the gift of happiness.

●Rishiri Shiokonbu with sanshō (Japanese pepper)

¥972 (tax included)
Sales locations:
Main Store in Yodoyabashi, department stores, etc.

Does anyone not know this luxurious banana cake?—Nadai Basho

There was a time not that long ago, when bananas were a luxury. Talk to older folks in Osaka and they’ll tell you about how they craved bananas when they were younger and how eating one was a special occasion, if they got to eat one at all.
To meet popular demand, Sohonke Tsuriganeya Honpo began making the Nadai Basho, a cake with a sweet banana aroma.
(Full disclosure: there are various other Nadai Basho origin stories)
nadai basho banana cake, a taste of luxury
They’re divine and deserve their spot on the list of top gifts from Osaka!

●Nadai Basho (sold individually or in a box of 3)

¥324 each/Box of 3: ¥1,080 (tax included)
Sales locations:
Sohonke Tsurikane Honpo, Abeno Harukas Kintetsu location

Nadai Basho banana cake from Osaka

Cookies in a crayon box?—Sakura cray-pas collaboration cookies

Sakkura cray-pas collaboration cookies

This world-famous art materials manufacturer is headquartered in Osaka! And instead of giving out a box of coloring supplies, Sakura Color Products Corporation collaborated with a sweets manufacturer to make this cute chocolate sandwich cookie gift set.
These Cray-pas cookies are only available for sale in West Japan. It’s a great gift for people in other parts of Japan or art fans anywhere in the world.

●Sakura Cray-pas Choco Sand Cookies (Cray-pas box)

16-piece: ¥1,080 (tax included)
Sales locations:
Entrée Marché in JR Shin-Osaka Station, and other locations

Consistently a favorite—Rikuro Cheesecake

Lastly, here’s a popular dessert you can only buy in Osaka—Rikuro’s baked cheesecake.

りくろーおじさんの店 焼きたてチーズケーキ

This Japanese-style cheesecake is light and fluffy and flavored with cream cheese! It’s not overly sweet and so spongy soft that you’ll inhale bite after bite.
It seems to melt in your mouth and the sweet raisins lining the bottom are a special treat.
The 18 cm (7 inch) in diameter cake is only ¥756 (tax included), which is a great deal! These cheesecakes are always top-performing Osaka gifts.

●Rikuro’s baked cheesecake

6-go (18 cm): ¥765 (tax included)
Sales locations:
Namba Main Store, JR Shin-Osaka Central Gate Store, Eki Marché JR Shin-Osaka Store, Osaka Itami Airport Store, Daimaru Umeda Store, Daimaru Shinsaibashi Store, etc.

Whether its a souvenir for yourself or a gift for others, make the most of your gift-shopping. I hope you find something to fall in love with in Osaka!

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