[Recommended Hatsumode souvenirs]New Year Exclusive in ASAKUSA! Popular Omamori and souvenirs

One of the things to buy on Hatsumode in Japan (New Year’s visit to a temple or a shrine) is Omamori(Lucky Charms), and let us introduce some highly recommended Omamori and souvenirs from the famous Sensoji Temple in Asakusa.
Here are some great ideas of Hatsumode souvenirs for your visit to Japan.
1. Hatsumode(New year’s visit) to Sensoji
Source:Shutterstock
Sensoji Temple boasts tremendous popularity with foreign tourists to Japan. It is a Buddhist temple which is believed to grant all kinds of wishes such as warding off evil, healing illnesses, safety of the family, prosperous business and academic achievement, and is therefore recommended for hatsumode, the first visit to a temple in the New Year.
2. New Year Exclusive Omamori (Lucky Charms)
Among the highly recommended souvenirs of Sensoji Temple are omamori with a limited availability, sold only from January 1st to January 7th. There are two exclusive types of lucky charms available during the New Year’s, aizen hokyu and kaiun yakuyoke.

■ Aizen hokyu: New Year exclusive arrow-shaped lucky charm believed to grant three wishes: matchmaking, good luck and improvement of academic performance.

■ Kaiun yakuyoke: A lucky charm with a red paper and white paper believed to ward off evil and bring good luck.
3. Popular Omamori at Sensoji Temple
Not only during New Year, there are also several other lucky charms at Sensoji Temple available throughout the year. Please select them for yourself and as souvenirs for each corresponding wish.
Here are some types of Omamori.
<Omamori for Specific Wish>
◆ Anzan mamori (easy delivery): A small quantity of glutinous rice is included in the lucky charm. The expecting mother should eat this glutinous rice mixed with ordinary rice around 10 days before delivery, and thus enable the omamori to have greater effect.

◆ Ryoen mamori (good match): Cute pink and light blue colored charm for prosperous matchmaking.
Ryoen mamori (good match)
◆ Gokaku mamori: This omamori invokes success in passing an exam and has Kaminarimon design main gate of the Sensoji Temple.
<Omamori for Protection>
◆ Kinrin mamori: Popular charm for outstanding benefits. Junishi (the twelve signs of the oriental zodiac) and the Ryujin-sama (Dragon God) will look out for you.
◆ Renben mamori: Protection against illness. Inside the omamori is an image of the Kannon on a golden lotus leaf.
◆ Yakuyoke mamori (protection against evil): Recommended for those in their unlucky year, will provide protection against evil.
Yakuyoke mamori (protection against evil)
◆ Kotsu anzen mamori (traffic safety): Various shapes and sizes of this charm are available for decoration of your car or to wear on yourself.
Kotsu anzen mamori (traffic safety)
 
<Other types of Omamori>
◆ Shingan joju mamori: Each wish is different. It is an amulet to make your own special wish come true.
Shingan joju mamori
◆ Gin mamori (silver): It is a unique Omamori that has a locket pendant of Kannonsama (the goddess). It is a good luck and good match charm. It costs ¥10,000, but you will feel protected by the Kanonsama.

Besides the ones introduced here, there also exist other types of lucky charms. Please keep your omamori in your wallet or other belongings to carry it with you always.

The timing of returning the charm to a shrine or a temple differs depending on the charm type.
Charms that guard you throughout the year, such as sound health and luck with money, are recommended to be returned and replaced to new ones after one year.
Charms invoking specific goals, such as successful passing of an exam or easy delivery, are recommended to be returned when the goal has been achieved to express your gratitude.
Come visit Japan every year, and experience the inspiration through the Lucky charms.
4. Recommended souvenirs in Asakusa area
◆Denki Bran (Electric Brandy) Cocktail
Denki Bran is a unique cocktail that created more than 100 years ago. It is a brandy based cocktail with flavors of gin, wine, curacao and herbs. The recipe still remains in secret, so you can drink it at Kamiya Bar only. Denki Bran Bottles are available for souvenirs.
Kamiya Bar
Address: 1-1-1 Asakusa, Taitoku, Tokyo
Closed: Tuesday (Please refer to the official website for more details)
Hours: 11:30~22:00
◆Bird shaped cookies
‘Kashikoubo RUSURUSU’ is a pastry that represent Tokyo opened 11 years ago. ‘Bird shaped cookies’ is assorted cookies with a concept of [Nothing special, but made with care].
Despite the cute looks of penguins and swallows, they even taste better. White one is lemon flavor, and green one is matcha flavor. You could even reuse the colorful paper in the can as a cookie tray. They also go well with wines and spirits.
Kashikoubo RUSURUSU
Address: 3-31-7, Asakusa, Taitoku, Tokyo
Closed: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday
Hours: 12:00~20:00
◆Bekko Zenigame(Tortoiseshell Lucky Charm)
Zenigame, a popular Japanese pond turtle charm which will bring you fortune when you carry it in your wallet.
Like the saying in the traditional myths, [Tsuru wa sen-nen, kame wa man-nen], 'the crane lives for one-thousand years, the turtle lives for ten-thousand years', therefore the tortoise is also a symbol of long life and health. It is a great gift for someone special.
Nakamise Tsuruya
Address: 2-3-1, Asakusa, Taitoku, Tokyo
Closed: Wednesday
Hours: 10:00~18:00
◆Tenugui [Mekujira] (Japanese traditional hand towel)
‘Tenugui’ at Asakusa Fujiya, are all handmade, and are long rectangular shape.
They are for everyday use, some people even frame and display it as an artwork.
We recommend [Mekujira] for souvenirs.There is an idiom called [Mekujira wo taterura!] means “don’t find fault on everything”, it also represents the Edo spirit.
Asakusa Fujiya
Address:2-2-15, Asakusa, Taitoku, Tokyo
Closed: Thursday
Hours: 10:00~18:00