8 June 2023

Summer Gift Ideas That Bring a Refreshing Feeling

Once again, the sweltering summer will sweep in. Though we are unable to command the weather, there's something we can do to make it better – our tableware. A subtle shift can usher in a sense of coolness and rejuvenate our spirits.

In the Kanto region, including Tokyo, there is a tradition called "Ochugen" from early to mid-July. During this period, people show gratitude and wish for the health of those who usually take care of them by presenting gifts. In addition, from mid-July to early August, there is a nationwide custom known as "Shochu Mimai," where people send gifts to express their concern for the well-being of others during the intense summer heat.

Why not take this seasonal opportunity to reciprocate the care and support you regularly receive? This time, we have prepared items that bring a refreshing breeze into the season and encapsulate the quintessence of a Japanese summer.


  • Kosen Kiln Medaka Rice Fish Weave Imari Nabeshima Ware Square Plate 10.4in
  • Hirota Green Bamboo 3-Piece Edo Glass Sake Set
  • Goldfish Paper Fan Kyo Ware Chopstick Rest Set
  • Hirota Shippou Edo Kiriko Glass Soba Choko Cup with Lid
  • Arita Porcelain Lab Japan Blue Pearl Blue Japanese Teapot Set
  • Hataman Touen Iro-Nabeshima Morning Glory Imari Nabeshima Ware Long Wind Bell
  • Chikusui Suruga Bamboo Basketry Japanese Flower Vase

Kosen Kiln Medaka Rice Fish Weave Imari Nabeshima Ware Square Plate 10.4in

The piece comes from Kosen Kiln, a pottery studio in Imari, Saga prefecture, that has faithfully preserved the techniques and traditions of Nabeshima and Imari ware. The dish utilizes a high-purity celadon glaze, imbuing it with the characteristic transparency and freshness of celadon porcelain.

The craftsmen of Kosen Kiln dedicated themselves to accurately portraying the medaka rice fish, repeatedly sketching and observing the fish. Each element of the fish is meticulously rendered with carefully chosen brushes and pigments, right down to the tiny, dot-like eyes. It's truly a dish imbued with the craftsman's dedication.

The edge of the dish is decorated with an elegant lattice pattern, adding a refined touch to the design. While it appears delicate, a thick application of the celadon glaze ensures its durability and practicality. Large enough to serve as a main dish plate, it can further enhance the coolness when adorned with appetizers, sashimi, cold noodle dishes, or fruits. The slightly indented center also allows for the presentation of sauced dishes.

The dish comes packaged in a quality white paper box. The kiln's name, written on a piece of traditional Japanese paper, affirms its suitability as a gift. 

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Hirota Green Bamboo 3-Piece Edo Glass Sake Set

This sake set has an attractive transparent soft green color. The shape of the bamboo is faithfully reproduced, including the knots. Its slanted cut, mimicking the diagonal chopping of bamboo, adds a stylish, modern touch. A layered application of clear glass over the serene green base expresses the supple nature of bamboo. Depending on the play of light, you can enjoy subtle shifts in color intensity and shimmer.

Pour a chilled, crisp sake into this unique vessel, add a few light nibbles, and you'll undoubtedly set the stage for a delightful and enriching evening drink. As a summer tradition, it's a gift that sake enthusiasts could enjoy year after year. Its gentle color scheme makes it a versatile piece, easy to coordinate with other tableware. Hirota Glass, one of Tokyo's oldest glass manufacturers, is the creator of this product. While maintaining tradition, they continue to innovate, bringing into existence products like this one, in tune with contemporary interior aesthetics.

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Goldfish Paper Fan Kyo Ware Chopstick Rest Set

Celebrate the warmest season of the year with these chopstick rests, resembling paper fans and decorated with a goldfish - a timeless symbol of summer.

In Japan, the arrival of summer is greeted with festivals held in every corner of the country. Among the numerous food and game stalls lining the festival grounds, the goldfish scooping stalls are always bustling. It's a game cherished by both children and adults who indulge in the nostalgia it brings. 

Within this set of five, one of the goldfish is black. According to Feng Shui, black goldfish are said to attract wealth and absorb negative energy. Meanwhile, red goldfish are thought to bring good luck, making this an ideal gift item.

The contrast between red and blue imparts an accent to the dining table and creates a vibrant atmosphere. 

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Hirota Shippou Edo Kiriko Glass Soba Choko Cup with Lid

Designed by a young sister unit, this Edo Kiriko soba choko cup with a lid is modern and fashionable, but also practical.

Its versatility is noteworthy: not only can it serve as a drinking vessel or covered dish, but it can also double as a small dish or even a candle holder. And, on those sweltering summer days, serving vanilla ice cream or yogurt in it could serve as a much needed cool down, with the added delight of the beautiful contrast between red and white.

Upon holding this piece, you'll note the thoroughness of the craftsmanship, with detailed cuttings reaching right to the bottom of the glass and the lid. The changes in color intensity as the glass or lid is tilted in the light adds another dimension of joy.

The Shippou motif, accentuated by the star symbol at its center, gives the piece a modern and elegant touch. 

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Arita Porcelain Lab Japan Blue Pearl Blue Japanese Teapot Set

This set of "Kyusu" teapot and "Yunomi" Japanese teacups set exudes a refreshing vibe simply upon viewing, potentially cooling you down in the heat of summer. The creator, Arita Porcelain Lab, is known for its continuation of traditional Arita ware techniques, while producing modern tableware designs. The soft blue, white, and silver contrast beautifully, resulting in a design that's both simple and sophisticated.

The elegant matte blue is created by blending glaze and blue paint, with each piece being brushed by hand by skilled craftsmen. Despite its initially cool impression, upon touching the striped blue sections of the yunomi's surface and the teapot's lid, you can feel a slight roughness, a tactile reminder of the warmth of handmade items.

This set is recommended for tea enthusiasts, and those who love simple and sophisticated designs.

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Hataman Touen Iro-Nabeshima Morning Glory Imari Nabeshima Ware Long Wind Bell

Here we have a wind chime, adorned with a depiction of blue morning glories. Much like the sunflower, the morning glory is a flower that is emblematic of summer in Japan. Ever since the seeds of the morning glory were brought back from China by the official Japanese delegates during the Nara period (c.710–794), the relationship between the Japanese people and the morning glory has been long-standing. The flower often features as a motif in various forms of traditional art and culture, such as ukiyo-e paintings, kimono and "Yukata" (an informal cotton kimono) patterns, and hanging scrolls, making it a deeply familiar presence.

This wind chime, adorned with a morning glory motif, is a special creation from Hataman Touen, renowned Nabeshima ware for its exceptional porcelain. The artist has accentuated the blue hues using a type of cobalt blue pigment known as Ruri-gosu on a white porcelain base, resulting in a design that exudes a refreshing charm. As the wind causes the chime to ring gently, you'll find yourself momentarily forgetting the summer heat, giving you a chance to breathe a sigh of relief.

This would be a perfect gift for anyone seeking a touch of joy and tranquility in their daily lives.

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Chikusui Suruga Bamboo Basketry Japanese Flower Vase

This Suruga bamboo vase is made by a single craftsman using his skills to assemble each bamboo strip one by one. The front of the vase is decorated with "Mizuhiki," a unique Japanese decorative string attached to gifts and envelopes, making it a perfect gift.

Suruga Bamboo Basketry is a traditional bamboo craft with a history of over 400 years, made in and around Shizuoka City, Shizuoka Prefecture, and was designated as a traditional national craft in 1976.

The chic black color brings a sophisticated atmosphere to your space, and the cool texture unique to bamboo brings a refreshing coolness perfect for summer.

It matches modern interiors, and with a history of over 400 years, traditional bamboo craftsmanship is sure to be a gift that will be appreciated.

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Enhance the summery atmosphere

This time, we focused on the summer season and selected items that convey a cool atmosphere and evoke the feeling of a Japanese summer. With a little ingenuity, we can mitigate the heat, and with a little consideration, we can bring joy to both others and ourselves. 

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