COOL JAPAN - Inspiring . Fascinating . Delightful | Clozette


The only thing we don't like about travelling is the fact that it has to end at some point. And once we've had to re-pack our bags and head out to the airport, the only relief left as evidence of our amazing experience is our choice of souvenirs. Whether it's for our own enjoyment and keepsake or something to impart to our friends and loved ones at home, it should encapsulate and embody the stories we've gathered through those certain adventures. While magnets and mugs are cool and all, consider these unconventional souvenirs next time you travel because they're for great travel anecdotes and conversation starters. 


Bottled or canned air from Mount Fuji, Japan



Aside from being one of Japan's most iconic destinations, Mount Fuji is also known as an ideal hiking spot where you can score unique Fuji-themed souvenirs and have a taste of the famed Owakudani black egg that is said to extend your life for seven more years. But nothing beats the intrigue that surrounds the bottled Fujisan air found in the fifth step of the trek's souvenir shops.


The bottled air is tightly shut and is said to contain 'clean natural air you can breathe only when at Mt. Fuji'. Now whatever you may think of this novelty item, it sure makes for a great memento to have that will surely spark the interest of everyone you show it to. It has become so famous that even Canada, the Swiss Alps, and more countries started creating their own versions of it!


Virgin olive oil from Greece



We know what you're thinking — surely you don't have to head to Greece just to get a bottle of virgin olive oil. But do note that because of Greece's renowned cultivation of olive oil, each bottle is of top-notch quality that's unlike what you get from your local grocery store. Plus, you don't have to stick to traditional cooking oil as your souvenir of choice because Greece also has a variety of makeup, skincare, and homeware products made from olive oil that you will rarely find elsewhere. 


Traditional Venetian mask from Italy



Known as one of the greatest homes of opera, theatre and arts, why not bring a piece of Venice with you home? Intricately hand-crafted using a combination of leather, ceramic, and sometimes even glass, not only do Venetian masks represent the rich history of art, culture, and representation of social status in Venice but they also show admirable artisanship that has withstood the test of time.  


Amber charms from Poland



Tracing its roots from as early as the Neolithic and Paleolithic period, some of the first amber workshops in the world are said to be from Poland. From small amulets and trinkets to statues and relics, the vast line of amber artefacts laid throughout Poland's history led it to become one of the country's native gemstones. With this, it has evolved into a beloved souvenir for both locals and visitors alike and has even earned global exportable fame for its association with good luck. 

Snake wine from Vietnam



If you're a daredevil or know someone who is, this snake wine from Vietnam is the perfect memento. And no, it's not just a metaphor as an actual snake is really chilling inside the bottle, its venom neutralised by either rice wine or grain alcohol. Believed to have general health and virility advantages, this has become a famed souvenir far and wide for its eye-widening and bravado-inspiring appeal. 


MaHaLo Deep Sea Water from Hawaii



Just in case you only know Hawaii for its great beaches, it's also worth noting that one of the country's best-selling souvenirs and export item is — wait for it — bottled deep seawater. That's right! Pumped from 2,000 feet beneath the sea at a state facility near Kona International Airport, the water is said to contain magnesium, calcium, as well as ionised sodium and chlorine that bring benefits to our metabolism and blood and oxygen circulation. It became such a huge phenomenon that in 2004, they had to produce more than 200,000 bottles a day exclusively for Japan's demand for export. 


(Cover photo from: @kristianpaulturner; flickr.com/richardf)


Speaking of unconventional, make sure you add these off-the-beaten-track locations on your radar when planning your next adventure. 


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