Omiyage is one of the more interesting traditions of modern Japan. I know from personal experience: If you visit Hakone, Kyoto, or Hokkaido (or Hawaii even), you’re supposed to bring home some local gifts or souvenirs for your friends and family. Recently, Neon Genesis Evangelion has gotten into the omiyage spirit with a line of little trinkets designed with specific areas of Japan in mind. In March, Gifu Prefecture will be the latest region to get its own localized Gotochi Evangelion souvenirs/ omiyage. (Gotochi means ‘local.’) The Eva Info website announced the new items on Friday.
One of Gifu’s more iconic and unique attractions is the tall and steep thatched-roof houses known as gassho-zukuri. The United Nations recognized the villages of Shirakawa-go and Gokayama, which have a lot of gassho-zukuri, as World Heritage sites.
So naturally, the Gotochi Evangelion items for Gifu feature these houses, along with other local items. The red thing that you can see on some of the items is a sarubobo (literally ‘baby monkey’). The sarubobo are traditional dolls or amulets from Takayama in Gifu.
The items include key chains, magnets, wallets, and pens. In addition to the local icons, the items also have chibi versions of Evangelion characters, including chibi Angels and Eva units.
Other Places to Visit for the Evangelion Omiyage
The Nagoya ones feature the shachihoko. Meanwhile, Kyoto is represented by the Kinkaku-ji (Golden Pavilion) and the many torii gates at Fushimi Inari. Others include Mt. Fuji, Hakone, an onsen, a highway rest stop, Chiba (a beach), and Hokkaido (Sapporo Clock Tower, a bear, and salmon).
Of course, people are traditionally supposed to buy some local product (preferably something that will stay fresh, and fit in a suitcase). But these things are too cute to ignore.
All of these items are meant to be sold at local places, including train stations (and the Evangelion stores in Osaka and Tokyo). But you can browse through the whole selection at the San Ei Fancy Goods website.