I will be visiting a Japanese Primary School (children 6 to 12 years) in Nagoya and want to take a gift for the school and the Principal/Headmaster.
I know that I should take something from my country (Australia) and that it should not be cheap and trashy. I also understand that the wrapping and presentation is to be of a high standard.
If someone could help me with ideas I would appreciate it. I don%26#39;t want to spend a fortune and am not sure what food I can take into Japan. Are nuts, jams, honey, biscuits etc allowed into Japan. Would a bottle of Australian wine be appropriate for the Principal, although that will be hard to carry around before we get there and probably not that appropriate in a Primary School setting.
Would a fluffy toy like a Koala or Kangaroo be OK or would that look cheap?
Do Japanese people tend to have a sweet tooth?
I am looking for ideas please.
Australian gift for Japanese Primary School
I like the koala bear idea... but that%26#39;s just me. Might be a bit cutesy looking though :-/
Australian gift for Japanese Primary School
If it%26#39;s a gift to the whole school, then how about something that can be displayed? Many schools have some kind of display cabinet in the hallway, in view of all who pass it. A nice soft toy version of an Australian animal, or an Aboriginal something could be good.
Japanese people *do* have a sweet tooth, but generally speaking they do not like things as sweet as Australians do. Have you seen those boxes of macadamia chocolates that are sold in Australian airport duty-free shops or in tourist shops in city centres? I think they were made for such a market, as they%26#39;re remarkably less sweet than something like Cadbury%26#39;s chocolate. They also often feature a striking image of an Australian city/landscape.
Japan does not have the kind of quarantine restrictions Australia does; you won%26#39;t have trouble bringing anything like jams or wine in, as long as sealed, etc. But I wouldn%26#39;t recommend bringing wine into a primary school. Perhaps instead of a gift to the Principal, you could give a gift to all teaching staff? For example, if something sweet like macadamia chocolates, make sure the box is big enough to accommodate all staff. This is a common custom in staff rooms here-- someone goes away, comes back with a box of small (often individually-wrapped, but not always) chocolates/biscuits from wherever they went.
Don%26#39;t be offended if they don%26#39;t open the gift in front of you; it%26#39;s customary to accept the gift, thank the giver and then open it later.
Thanks guys I think the Koala toy and some food is the go.
bimdonesia - you sound like an Aussie or you have been here many times????? If you are an Aussie you would be familiar with Tim Tams and the little Teddy biscuits. I was thinking Tim Tams are too sweet so I may take packets and packets of the Teddy biscuits that could be shared around the staff and students. The Teddy%26#39;s come in multipacks with Honey, Choc Chip and Chocolate flavours. How does that sound?
Tim Tams are veeeeeeery popular with Japanese people! Although they are very sweet for the locals, they do really enjoy them. It%26#39;s also something that screams ';australia'; (in a good way, haha), so would be a lovely gift.
Tiny Teddies are a good idea, too.... perhaps you could package the little packets in a nice box or something?
I think both are a good idea, though children would especially love the Tiny Teddies, and you could explain that it is a popular snack food for kids, who might also take those little packs to school for morning tea (interesting as they don%26#39;t have morning tea and usually don%26#39;t bring lunch boxes to school, as the hot school lunch is supplied and they%26#39;re obligated to eat it).
%26lt;%26lt;bimdonesia - you sound like an Aussie or you have been here many times????? If you are an Aussie you would be familiar with Tim Tams and the little Teddy biscuits. I was thinking Tim Tams are too sweet so I may take packets and packets of the Teddy biscuits that could be shared around the staff and students. The Teddy%26#39;s come in multipacks with Honey, Choc Chip and Chocolate flavours. How does that sound?%26gt;%26gt;
I dont know about Tim Tams being too sweet. We introduced our Japanese exchange student to Tim Tams and the next time she went to the supermarket with us she bought about 20 packets.
I dind%26#39;t see any wrappers in her room so she must have taken them all home with her.
She absolutely loved them.
teddy bear biscuits would also be a hit.
Why not take a combination of Tim tams and teddy Bear Biscuits?
I didn%26#39;t say *too* sweet, just that they are very sweet compared to Japanese confectionery. In spite of this, they are extraordinarily popular and will be very well-received. They must be popular enough for a supermarket chain to start stocking them regularly rather than just be stocked at expensive import and novelty candy shops like sony plaza.
So can you buy Tim Tams in Japan? What about the teddy biscuits?
I have friends in England and Europe who tell me they can%26#39;t find Tim Tams anywhere and they put them on the top of the list for items wanted.
Vegemite - I think too strange a taste for the Japanese. I don%26#39;t want them vomiting all over me!!!!
We love it because we were bought up on it since birth.
I still need to find out how many kids are in the school so that will have a bearing on what I take in the food department as I am not booking a sea container. Well perhaps I should, of Tim Tams and make a huge profit selling them there to pay for this expensive trip. LOL.
No way would I recommend giving vegemite.... that stuff is vile unless you%26#39;ve been raised on it since birth!
Yeah, Tim Tams are quite readily available but they%26#39;re still pretty %26#39;unusual%26#39;, I think, and they would make a great present. Although you can buy them now at a major supermarket chain (owned by Walmart, incidentally, which could be why they stock some much-loved foreign products that none of the others stock?) and in major cities at import shops, I would hazard a guess that many Japanese would still not know what they are.
I just remembered-- I%26#39;m not sure how strict the school you will visit is, but some primary schools are very strict about lollies and confectionery at school (so much so that the more anally retentive schools prohibit teachers from having any visible junk food aroud their desks in the staff room when the students are present during cleaning time because the students might ';get jealous';, can you believe it!), so is there any way you can check before departure? at the very least, give the sweet presents to the classroom teacher when the students are not present, if you are unsure.... this might save any sticky situations.
I had not thought about the students not being allowed to have sweet treats. Some schools here have that policy now too. I suppose it is a good thing.