Last year’s post on Japanese charms and (phone) straps was quite popular, and since the material is endless, here comes a second edition. Little charms on straps are the smallest, most popular and possibly also cutest souvenirs which you can get in virtually any place in Japan. They go from plasticky kitsch to beautiful craftsmanship, from religious items straight from the shrine or temple to whimsical. Any taste can be accommodated. You can hang them from your phone, your purse, from anywhere you like. And since they do suffer from use over time, it’s okay to buy several of them 😉
So here we go: on top, a sandal-shaped charm from the Kitamuki Kannon temple in Bessho Onsen. The second picture shows a strap made of traditional textile plum blossom designs, as can be found around Kyoto.
While the majority of charms have a small bell attached, some actually are bells. This little horse from Kiso Valley is an example of this popular genre.
Also those little rabbits with spring (sakura) and autumn (momiji) designs are bells. While this popular design can be found in much of Japan, these two were purchased in Asakusa’s Nakamise-dori. One of the disadvantages of this type of charm is that the color eventually comes off the metal bell when it’s worn.
Gotochi Kitty are Hello Kitty straps typical for each touristic location or attraction (I’m in fact still adding to my collection). The Kitty here comes from the National Theatre in Tokyo, depicting the character of the Kabuki Lion Dance.
Last but not least, in contrast to the plastic Kitty above, a wooden charm issued by the temple of the Kamakura Daibutsu. As said above, there is something for every taste. I always have a strap or two on my purse and phone to remind me of our trips all over Japan.