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Holiday Gift Ideas

December 11, 2020

This holiday season likely looks different for many of us. With less travelling to protect each other during the pandemic, maybe your December will involve some creative new ways to feel together that blossom into future traditions!

No matter how our plans have changed, a thoughtful gift can brighten anyone’s day (and year!) during a time when a little brightness makes a big difference. At Uwajimaya, we think we can help with that. If you need a bit of inspiration, here are some items that can improve one’s day-to-day life with practicality and beauty — and in one case, a dose of cuteness:

 

ForLife Stump Teapots
This great gift idea is made even better by how perfect tea is for this time of year. Not that tea is ever not soul-soothing, but when the weather is cold and gray it feels like a warming pot of tea is made all the better.

These particular tea pots are 18 ounces, ideal for individual use when you want tea but know that one cup might not be enough. They’re pragmatic in many other ways too; the stump design makes the tea pot easy to store and, if you have more than one, they stack perfectly to conserve space. The pot’s hinged lid covers a stainless steel infuser that’s perfect for loose leaf tea (and of course can accommodate tea bags as well), with super-fine infusing pores that ensure even the smallest tea leaves and herbals won’t leak out. And the spout design won’t drip and make a mess.

For the tea-lover in your life — which, let’s be honest, who doesn’t love tea? — ForLife’s stump teapots are available in seven different colors plus white, gray, and black. This little teapot is both practical and charming.

 

Hello Kitty Rice Cooker
Speaking of charming, is there anything more heart-stealing than Hello Kitty? Sanrio’s flagship character is unforgettable, and now she’s on a rice cooker.

While the concept of “unitasker” kitchen tools is maligned by some professional food people like Alton Brown, the rice cooker is the unitasking exception — sure, you can cook rice without a rice cooker, but making rice on the stove means you have to pay frequent attention and time it perfectly to make sure you’re rice neither burns nor clumps up nor gets cold by the time it’s ready to eat. This rice cooker solves all those problems: the bottom, side, and lid triple-heated mechanism makes sure your rice is cooked perfectly every time while the lock-tight lid keeps rice fluffy and warm until you’re ready to eat. As far as unitaskers go, the rice cooker is a huge step up in quality, consistency, and ease. Simply put, it’s a life upgrade.

This 5.5 cup capacity one comes with a spatula, spatula holder, and rice measuring cup. Between always-perfect rice and the Hello Kitty theme, this cooker’s sure to make its recipient smile.

 

Donabe
For the cook in your life, Uwajimaya carries an assortment of donabe. Donabe are Japanese earthenware pots that are the key utensil in many delicious dishes like hot pot, shabu shabu, rice bowls, soups, and stews.

Because they’re so porous and thick, donabe distribute heat evenly and also retain heat for a long time. They can be used on a flame or electric stove plus in an oven as long as the heat is raised slowly. A well-cared for donabe will last for a long, long time — decades, and even in some cases centuries.

Besides their versatility, beauty, and longevity, a donabe’s biggest strength is that it alone is all you need for meals — almost all donabe dishes are cooked and eaten right out of it. There’s no need to dirty up other pots or pans while cooking, or other dishes and bowls while eating. Donabe meals are absurdly tasty and nutritious yet simultaneously super low-maintenance. What else in the world is so easy and healthy and delicious all at once? Pretty much nothing is all three together! The donabe is a kitchen cheat code.

 

Suntory Hibiki Japanese Harmony Whisky
Exclusive to our Washington stores is this Suntory Japanese Whisky. When thinking about whisky — or “whiskey,” as the spelling differs based on the variety and nationality — most people think about Scotland, Ireland, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Canada before thinking of Japan, if they consider Japan at all. But the truth is that the last 20 years has seen the esteem of whiskies from the Land of the Rising Sun explode, and Hibiki Japanese Harmony is a perfect example.

Coming in an elegant glass bottle of 750 ml, Japanese Harmony is a pleasing light amber in color. It’s a blend of many whiskies and has a slightly sweet flavor that’s effortlessly smooth. While Japanese whisky is often said to resemble Scotch more so than Irish, Canadian, bourbon, or rye, most blends including this one don’t have such a stark smokey flavor. So, instead of one flavor taking center stage over others, this results in a whisky where multiple elements come through side-by-side.

Our stores carry much more that you could turn into great gifts this holiday season. Whether you’re going for one of the products we wrote about here or are using these as inspiration to jump off from, come explore one of our Pacific Northwest stores soon to find your perfect choice. You’ll be sure to find excellent gifts — edible, drinkable, or something else!

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