Wondering why recently there are so many gift boxes with the pictures of juices, hams or crab legs being displayed in your nearby department stores?
Yes, those gift boxes are oseibo or winter gift giving. Gift giving is a part of Japanese culture. In the past, it is considered as the proper way to express people’s gratitude toward someone who has shown his/her kindness during the year. The tradition is gradually fading in the metropolitan cities especially among young people. However, this tradition still exists among the older generation and those living in countryside area. The best things to give as oseibo are something that can be used in daily life such as cooking oil, towels, laundry detergents, hams, juices or cookies. But currently, people are looking for something that can represent their modern taste such as fancy cookies, chocolates and instant soup ingredients.
According to Takashimaya Department Store, the most popular oseibo gifts are as follows、
- Gramercy New York Cookies
2. Foucher Cookies
3. Kyourakutsujigahana Clear Soup
4. Yokumoku Cookies
5. Fumuroya Takaronofu
You can order these osechi gifts at Takashimaya Online Shopping: at http://www.takashimaya.co.jp/shopping/
Do foreigners living in Japan have to send this winter gift giving to their Japanese colleagues or friends?
It depends. If you really want to express your gratitude, there is nothing wrong with sending oseibo to your Japanese colleagues or friends.
Hope this helps!
Enjoy your stay in Japan!
Featured image credit: www.gramercy-newyork.com