Gift ideas for taking with you to Japan
Japan is a gift giving nation. Often it is expected of you to hand out small souvenirs after trips. While it isn't required, it is a good idea to take with you some small trinkets when first going to Japan.
Please add to or make comments on this list:
- A dollar's worth of new, shiny pennies (or your country's smallest currency - just go to the bank and ask). Children love these as a souvenir.
- Box of chocolates (great for taking care of a whole family, office workers, etc. - any famous confectionery brand in your country)
- Any good coffee, especially Kona and Blue Mountain.
- Decaf Coffee - Not easily found in Japan (but may not be wanted either!)
- Items from your culture. For example I took a nice miniature Statue of Liberty or a photo book on American nature...
- T-Shirts with a print of something relating to your country.
- Some sort of toy you don't think you'd find in Japan. (for children, of course)
- Music CDs from your country
- Clothes with designs from your country
- Collectible trinkets like refrigerator magnets, pins, pencils etc.
Your gifts should involve you, your culture, and something they are interested in.
dmizer: Foreign currency (pennies) is not a good general gift. Money is somewhat sacred, and some Japanese may take offense at this.
Info from this thread: 
Please add to the list and make plenty of comments on how effective these suggestions are.