In this blog series, JET Programme alumnus Audrey Shiomi heads back to Sendai City to visit friends and hear stories about the March 11 earthquake and tsunami.
I took this photo just before I packed it away into my suitcase last night. It’s only some of the gifts I’m bringing on this trip. Omiyage takes up 70% of my luggage at this point. Theoretically, I’ll come back with an empty suitcase, but we’ll see.
If I had to forget one thing to pack for this trip, heaven forbid it to be the omiyage. I’d rather leave my toothbrush at home because at least I could buy a new one at the kombini. Omiyage is an important social lubricant that says, “I’ve been away having fun, but at least I’ve been thinking about you.”
Cookies and chocolates from Trader Joe’s make for great omiyage. This time around I also shopped at Cost Plus World Market for some interesting treats. Japan has a dearth of spice, so I always try to get snacks with a kick like spiced dried mangoes or chili lime peanuts.
As you can see, I also stopped by Victoria’s Secret. That was a special request for a female friend. For some reason, Japanese women love VS’s 5-for-$25 underpants deal. Though if you don’t know that female very well, I’d refrain from getting it for them as omiyage. They might get the wrong idea.
Well, I’m off to the airport. Hopefully I won’t get harassed by TSA for my lethally-yummy omiyage. Wish me luck!
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Views expressed in this blog series are not necessarily those of Rafu Shimpo.