2013 No.10

Souvenirs of JapanSouvenirs of Japan



Photo by Ito Chiharu  Collaboration: Ginza Natsuno


Almost 30% of the world's population uses chopsticks. Japanese chopsticks are part of a distinctive culinary culture—in the home, many people have their own tableware and eating utensils, and chopsticks are no exception. The Japanese find it completely natural to use their own chopsticks, meal after meal. Some even take their own chopsticks with them to use when eating out.

A chopstick specialty shop in Tokyo's Ginza district displays many types from all over the country. Some are coated with lacquer, others decorated with mother of pearl, or carved out of a high-quality wood, or made to be used only for ramen or udon noodles. You would be surprised by the tremendous variety. There are even short ones for younger hands to use with ease.

If you come to Japan, you might want to get your own chopsticks and use them every day at mealtime. Another idea: buy a pair that you think would fit someone's personality. It might make a good souvenir from Japan.