Today i returned to work after a few weeks away due to summer school, job training, Japanese language class and taking summer leave. To my delight was met with a pile of snacks on my desk from my co-workers. In Japan it’s customary to purchase omiyage お土産 (souvenirs) for friends, family and co-workers for a wide array of circumstances that I’m not going to into in this post.
The one I will be referring to us associated with travel, returning to work after taking a trip it is expected that one will bring his/her coworkers a present from their holiday destination (called meibutsu 名物 – literally regional produce).
There is a wide array of rules that come along with this, omiyage must be individually wrapped, packaged attractively and ideally be something that can be consumed.
Now being gaijin I’m pretty much except from the rules of omiyage as its presumed that the average foreigner is completely oblivious of all Japanese customs.
I however like to make a little effort and since I spent the last few weeks either on shuchou (business trips) or sitting at my desk doing nothing I bought my co-workers some okonomiyaki senbei お好み焼き 煎餅(japanese savory pancake themed rice crackers) from one of my many visits to Osaka in the past few weeks, which they are famous for.
That said, my little omiyage was pale in comparison to the mass of them that had piled up on my desk during my absence over the past 3 weeks.
やった‼ Happy days!!!!! ＼(^o^)／