Modern Japanese Gifts

Japanese Sweets Charms

A collection of charms shaped like traditional Japanese sweetsThese charms are replicas of Japanese sweets known as higashi. Some of the shapes include cherry blossoms, hydrangea, chrysanthemum, butterflies and momiji maple leaves. The delicious-looking charms so closey resemble their edible counterparts that your mouth may begin to water.

Charms shaped like Japanese sweets set beside real edible sweets look almost identical

About Higashi

Higashi refers to dried sweets. While there are several kinds of higashi, the charms featured in this series are based on sugar and rice flour sweets that are often served with Japanese tea. Compared here side by side, it is quite difficult to tell the charms from the real desserts!

A Japanese cherry blossom charm on a pouch looks very cute

Using Higashi Charms

A small clasp attached to the end of a short chain makes these sweets easy to clip on to many items. Use them as a decorative zipper pull on jackets, purses, and bags or add to a smartphone charm strap. You can also distinguish household keys with charms of various colors and shapes. Lightweight and compact, these lovely charms make wonderful Kyoto souvenirs.

Exploring Japanese Sweets

The word kashi or o-kashi can refer to any number of Japanese or Western sweets, confectioneries, and even fruits and nuts. Simple additions can create compound terms that refer to specific styles of sweets. Here are a few examples:

A close-up shot of Japanese confectioneries

Wa (Japanese) + kashi =
Wagashi (Japanese sweets)

Kyo (Kyoto) + kashi =
Kyogashi (Kyoto-style sweets)

Hi (dried) + kashi =
Higashi (dried sweets)

While other sweets may fit some categories and not others, all of the terms listed above can be used to describe the delightful charms found at Kyoto Design House. See if you can spot a sweet that looks just like one of your charms at one of Kyoto’s many sweet shops. You can even pair real sweets with a charm to make a Japanese gift set for a friend!