When I left Japan, I received so many gifts that I could very likely fuel two months worth of blog posts by just posting pictures of the items I received, and that would be posting every single day. My friends, acquaintances, and business associates were generous in the extreme, and I had the full luggage to prove it.
Some people asked me what I wanted to have as a souvenir of Japan and I told them that food gifts would be great. It wasn't only that I liked the food, but also that I could consume at least part of what I was given before leaving and wouldn't have to struggle so hard with heavy suitcases or shipping stuff home. The weight limit for each suitcase was 50 lbs. (about 23 kg.) and my husband and I were up to the limit on each of our 4 bags. You can see how food gifts would be appealing under the circumstances. We didn't get weighed so gaining a few pounds from delcious food wasn't going to cause a problem. ;-)
One of my students gave me a beautiful set of chopsticks (nice, light gift) and this bag of "Hello Kitty" imagawayaki. For those who don't recall, that's a waffle-like cake with various fillings inside of it. This bag contained "mystery" fillings. You never knew what sort you were going to get, but I learned that there was chocolate, custard, white bean, and red bean in the bunch. I had some imagawayaki/taiyaki in Japan which wasn't great, but I never had any that wasn't good. These little morsels were a mixed bag in that regard. Some flavors were great, and others a little funky. I recall that the white bean (usually my favorite) was the most disappointing. If you have a chance to try these in any shape or form, I definitely recommend giving them a try. There is a Japan town in San Jose (which is somewhat near where I'm staying at present), and I'm hoping to find some place which sells them there... not "Hello Kitty" ones specifically, but imagawayaki (or taiyaki) in general.