Chugoku is the westernmost region of Honshu, consisting of the prefectures of Hiroshima, Okayama, Shimane, Tottori and Yamaguchi.
Okayama – Kibidango
If you’re a fan of Momotaro, the legendary hero of Okayama Prefecture, then you must be familiar with his favorite snack, Kibidango. While not all versions use flour from the proso millet plant (kibi in Japanese), these traditional and very popular treats always contain glutinous rice and sugar. The history of how they came about is also quite interesting, so be sure to read up below before you make a pilgrimage to Okayama.
Read full story: en.wikipedia.org
Tottori – Suna Tamago
One of the most unique presents on this list, Suna Tamago literally means “sand eggs.” While some regions have eggs made in hot springs, Tottori is home to amazing (and amazingly hot) sand dunes that draw visitors each year. And it would be remiss of you to miss out on these chicken eggs, buried for about 25 minutes in the desert-like sands until the egg whites slightly brown and the yolks are cooked to a creamy perfection.
Shimane – Wakakusa
Wakakusa (which translates to “young grass”) became popular in the Meiji Period (1868-1912) as a traditional confection of Matsue, the capital city of Shimane Prefecture. This rice cake is coated with rice powder and sugar in a very vibrant and unique green color that pays tribute to sprigs of grass—without tasting anything like them.
– www.saiundo.co.jp (Japanese)
Hiroshima – Momiji Manju
Momiji Manju are possibly one of the best-known souvenirs across Japan. These sweets are patterned after Japanese maple (momiji) leaf, and if you make your way to Itsukushima Shrine, you can watch these filled castella cakes being made by special machines. You simply cannot beat them when it comes to freshness. Even better, these tasty treats come in a variety of fillings such as sweet red bean paste, cheese, custard and chocolate.
Yamaguchi – Tsuki de Hirotta Tamago
You don’t have to go into outer space to find a treat of galactic proportions! Yamaguchi Prefecture has got you covered with its specialty: Tsuki de Hirotta Tamago (“Eggs Found on the Moon”). Pieces of chestnut provide a nice counterpoint to the smooth creamy filling inside this sweet little cake. If you’re interested in touring the factory where they’re made, this link will prove helpful!
– www.kasinoki.co.jp (Japanese)
Shikoku, hanging out between the coasts of Kyushu, Chugoku and Kansai, is the smallest of Japan’s main islands, and home to four prefectures: Ehime, Kagawa, Kochi and Tokushima.
Ehime – Tart
While you’d be forgiven if you expected this to be a pie-like crusty treat, Tart, as it refers to the Ehime omiyage, is actually a roll cake that’s filled with red bean paste with a citrus twist. Depending on the season, you might be able to find a few extra twists on this roll cake, including chestnut or cherry blossom flavors.
Kagawa – Olive Oil
Shodoshima is an island located in the Seto Inland Sea. What makes this island unique is the fact that it was the first place in Japan olives were successfully grown. The olive is so synonymous with the island’s identity that it was even designated as the official flower and tree of Kagawa Prefecture. Gifts from “Olive Island” made from olive oil are considered very popular and stylish goods.
Kochi – Kanzashi
One of the most popular souvenirs from Kochi, roughly 45 million pieces of Kanzashi are sold every year! This treat takes white bean paste mixed with yuzu citron and wraps it with madeleine cake dough. And its appearance is a big selling point, as it resembles kanzashi, a traditional Japanese hair ornament. Go ahead, let your hair down and enjoy this tasty little prize!
– www.hamako.com (Japanese)
Tokushima – Naruto Kintoki
Naruto Kintoki is a kind of golden sweet potato from Naruto City in Tokushima Prefecture that’s used to make products from Japanese alcohol to desserts. In this confection, smooth potato cream delicately fills a soft cookie boat, providing a mildly sweet but elegant experience. While the potato has little to do with the popular anime ninja, these sweet potato snacks are indeed known to disappear quickly!
– www.hatada-kuritaruto.jp (Japanese)