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Gifts for Japanese host family????
Old 06-10-2014, 05:10 PM
  #1

My daughter is traveling to Japan this summer. I am looking for suggestions for gifts for the host family. She will be there a week. They have a daughter (15) and 2 sons (12, 9) and a dog.
What should I send? Should I wrap it? How much should I spend?
Any other pointers? We are from a rural school near pittsburgh if that helps.

Someone at work suggested taking a small photo album with pictures of family and local things and a cd of her favorite music. This may help fill some awkward silences. The family speaks little to no English. My daughter knows some Japanese but not much.


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Hmm...
Old 06-10-2014, 05:25 PM
  #2

Postcards and local food? The whole point in hosting is to learn about new cultures, right? I would think some local delicacy would hit the spot!
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Pittsburgh
Old 06-10-2014, 05:25 PM
  #3

So maybe some memorabilia (?) of Pittsburgh: Tee Shirts, postcards, mugs, candy. Even some movie cds so they could TRY to watch together; or at least your daughter might enjoy. How long will your daughter be staying? What a great opportunity.
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Old 06-10-2014, 05:28 PM
  #4

When my sister stayed with a family years ago she took local things or souvenirs. Maybe something from the Pittsburgh Pirates? Or something that has the name of your town on it, maybe a high school hoodie?
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Old 06-10-2014, 05:43 PM
  #5

My parents have hosted Japanese students and they were very generous when they came. I had the same experience hosting a child from Belarus.

In both instances they brought gifts for everyone in the family. Some gifts were specific to the region. My Belarussian girl brought table cloth, napkins, and dishtowels made at a local mill. She also brought Russian candy, figurines, a cross stitch sampler that her grandmother made. She even brought a leash for the dog! She did bring a cd of photos which was a lot of fun to look at.

The Japanese boys brought a porcelain doll, a wallet, a silk scarf and a few other things.

Try to send something American made, possibly from your area. Maybe some Heinz ketchup.

What about Steelers shirts for the boys or Pirates baseball caps? Maybe an Ani and Alex bracelet for the daughter? The music idea is great too.

I'm curious to see what other people suggest.

Good luck!


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Old 06-10-2014, 06:45 PM
  #6

Bring Tootsie Rolls. I travel overseas often and I bring a bag with me. Adults like it as much as children. ( you can't get tootsie rolls overseas.) I would bring some other food staple like peanut butter as a novelty. Bring some American CD's such as jazz, blues, rock and roll. Crayola crayons are made here, so she can bring those. For the parents I would bring hand towels or dish towels. I'm sure that you could find some Pittsburgh souveneir shops that sell towels. How about Hershey Kisses since they are made in PA? Perhaps something related to the Liberty Bell or US history or a picture book of the National Parks. Going with the food theme again she can bring peanuts ( in shell) for the parents. Maybe for the girl she can bring nail polish in red, white and blue, and some teen magazines. For a novelty it might be fun to bring in comic books such as Spiderman. Since it will be in English, the kids should get a kick out of them.
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Old 06-10-2014, 06:54 PM
  #7

A friends DH went to Japan for his job last summer. She said it was very important to take something made in America and avoid anything with Made in China on it.
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Old 06-10-2014, 08:08 PM
  #8

I like the idea of items representing your area. I think the kids would like shirts or sweatshirts with team names/logos. Baseball is big in Japan, so they might enjoy Pirate shirts.

I would wrap the items. The presentation of gifts is important in Japan.
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Old 06-11-2014, 03:51 AM
  #9

Esc mom had a good point of it being American made. How about frisbees? I still think Whammo makes them in the USA
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Old 06-11-2014, 04:29 PM
  #10

Thanks for all the great ideas. I know that they love baseball in Japan so Pirates for sure.
We live near homer Laughlin China where they make Fiestaware so maybe something for mom from there?
I guess the hard part is knowing what they have access to or interest in. For example, we had an exchange student from France who thought Jello was amazing! So thanks for the tip about tootsie rolls.
I was told to make sure it had a made in the USA label.
What about taking food through customs? Is that going to be difficult?
Keep them coming guys....


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Old 06-11-2014, 05:58 PM
  #11

Bringing candy or nuts through customs is no big deal.
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