Americans have a love affair with the Japanese. As a culture, we gravitate towards their food, technology, and pop culture. With such a globalized society, kids are learning about other countries faster and are becoming enamored with the Japanese based on their TV shows, books, movies, and more. If your child is one of the many kids who love Japan and Japanese pop culture, you might not know where to start when it comes to buying a gift they will like. Luckily there are plenty of options. Read on to get some great ideas for the child who loves Japan.

Anime & Associated Merchandise

One of the most popular exports from Japan is anime. These animated Japanese shows come in a variety of forms. They aren’t only for kids, there are adult anime shows as well. You probably know about Pokémon, but that is just the beginning. Not only are there a wide variety of shows, there are also unlimited products about any particular show. You can even find an anime subscription box, which is a specifically curated box of anime merchandise based on a particular series. Anime merchandise makes millions of dollars every year. Look into what your child likes and buy the associated products.


Another thing you can buy for your child who loves Japan is manga. Manga is kind of like anime but in the form of books. These illustrated books are the Japanese version of comics. They are translated into English. But be careful. Not all of the subject matter is good for children. Any subject is included in manga. If your child likes to read, loves Japan, or already is into manga, buying them some of their favorite tiles or something new will make your child very happy. It’s also a good way to encourage them to read.

J-Pop CDs

J-Pop is the wildly popular pop music from Japan. It is typically cute, innocent, and catchy. If your child likes J-Pop already or is enamored with Japan but has never heard of this music, give it a shot. Music from Japan isn’t just pop. Whatever kind of music your kid likes, you can find a Japanese artist who works in that genre but kids around the world love J-Pop. Whether it’s their favorite or not, a J-Pop CD will make everyone in the house smile.


Japan is also known for its film industry. From old samurai movies to modern Japanese horror, if your child is old enough to enjoy these classics you can buy them a DVD or two. Akira Kurosawa is one of the most famous Japanese directors. Anyone can enjoy his movies. When your child has read manga, watched anime, and listened to Japanese music, Japanese film might just be the next step to broaden their horizons.

Take Them to Fancy Sushi Restaurant

Of course Americans love Japanese food. If it is your child’s birthday, taking them to a fancy sushi restaurant is a great special occasion meal. You can also go for the more affordable options of ramen or izakaya, but sushi is the gold standard of Japanese food. If your kid already likes Japanese food or is simply in love with anime, taking them to eat the foods they’ve seen on their favorite shows will be something they never forget.

A Trip to Japan

If your family can afford it and your child is old enough to enjoy it, taking a trip to Japan will open their mind and deepen their love for the country and the culture. While typically a trip abroad won’t provide the child instant gratification on their birthday, Christmas, or another event, it will give them something to look forward to. It will offer wonder and an opportunity to recharge. Nearly everyone who has visited Japan loves it. It is a highly-sought after destination your child will never forget.

Japan is a wondrous country that Americans are very interested in. If your child is one of the people fascinated by this country of islands, cultivate their curiosity with a gift from or about Japan when the time comes. They will never forget their first interactions with the food, the people, or the pop culture. It just may change their life forever.