CultureEssayEtymologyFoodJapanese traditionUncorrected


  • If you look up the Japanese word “miyage” (土産) or “omiyage” (お土産) in an English-Japanese dictionary, you can find the English word, “souvenir.”


    I thought that both of them have almost the same meaning, but the way of use seems to be different.
    日本語の「土産」や「お土産」を辞書で引くと、”souvenir” が出てきます。

    Both imply local products or specialties for the land, but miyage basically refers to what you buy as gifts to your friends or colleagues.

    On the other hand, souvenirs refer to what you buy just for yourself.
    どちらもその土地にちなむものや名産品を意味する点では同じですが、土産は基本的に、友人や同僚に配る目的で買うものを指す一方、souvenir は自分自身のために買うものを指します。

    (Miyage can be used in both cases.)

    Incidentally, many of miyage in various places in Japan are food — it might be related to the fact that Japanese people tend to present miyage for many people in their workplaces or schools.

    Original sentence