Q:I’m visiting my home country soon. What are some Kochimade products that I can bring as gifts?
A:In Japan, the word omiyage (souvenir) is usually associated with foods, but this is not always the case in other countries. Fortunately, Kochi is home to several traditional industries which make products suitable for gifts.
For the jewelry-lovers in your life, coral jewelry made from the reefs around Kochi is a beautiful option. The prices vary considerably, but you can easily find lovely, reasonably priced coral pendants, earrings, bracelets, and more.
Another choice would be a Tosa blade. Most of the Tosa knife-makers make excellent kitchen knives, but if you want something cooler than a kitchen knife you could buy a hunting knife or an axe. There are workshops where you can make your own knives, for a personal touch.
Of course, Kochi also produces such a wonderful variety of foods that it would be a shame not to bring some home for your family to try. Here are some of the Tosa Wave editors’ favorites.
As for sweets, imo kenpi, candied sweet potatoes, have been a representative Kochi food for generations. Associated with Harimayabashi, Kanzashi are little citrus-flavored cakes with an imprint of a hairpin on top. They are baked in a foil wrapper, resulting in a lovely moist texture. You can eat them out of the package, or heat them up in a toaster. And finally, Buntan ame are hard candies made using buntan juice. Kochi produces 90% of Japan’s total output of buntan, a grapefruit-like citrus fruit, so this candy is truly a Kochi original!