Whether your father has ties with Japan or you simply want to do something a bit different this year, a Japanese-themed dinner is a fun and original way to celebrate Father’s Day. So put your Japanese knife skills to the test and get the sake flowing (preferably in that order), and learn how to celebrate Father’s Day – Japanese style.
Father’s Day in Japan
Like in the UK, Father’s Day is celebrated on the third Sunday of June so this year it falls on the 19th. Many families celebrate with a special meal, and Japanese children usually give their dads a small Father’s Day gift, typically consisting of food or alcohol.
Gourmet foods such as wagyu (deluxe Japanese beef), kabayaki unagi (grilled soy-glazed eel) and wagashi (traditional confectionary) make popular Father’s Day gifts in Japan, along with alcoholic drinks like local sake and shouchuu.
Japanese Meals for Father’s Day
In Japan, Father’s Day is often celebrated with a meal of seafood such as crab and prawns. Why not try making your own sushi or attempting some of the other Japanese dishes on this page? (Hint: the soy and ginger salmon recipe is very easy and a firm favourite in our house.)
Follow up with Japanese sweets presented in handmade origami boxes.
Japanese Father’s Day Gift Ideas
Don’t think your dad will appreciate a gift of sake or grilled eel? Try one of these less conventional but nonetheless appealing Japanese Father’s Day gifts instead…
1. Yukata (casual kimono) make the perfect gift if you’re looking to go all out and spoil your father this year. This luxurious silk yukata features an intricate dragon and bamboo print design and like all our other Japanese gifts, it comes in an attractive box and can be gift wrapped free of charge.
2. If your father enjoys Asian cuisine, treat him to a special pair of chopsticks and a hashi-oki for him to rest them on when he’s done eating. This one is inscribed with the kanji character for the moon.
3. Modelled on Bodhidharma, the Indian monk credited with transmitting Ch’an (early Zen Buddhism) to China, Daruma dolls are a symbol of good luck and perseverance. They make great gifts for fathers who are interested in Buddhism, meditation and spirituality, and those who are facing a challenge of some kind.
4. If your father has an artistic streak, how about a traditional Japanese woodblock print to hang on the wall? This one of Hakone, a lakeside town in Kanagawa Prefecture, is based on the original by Utagawa Hiroshige from his series Night Procession in the Mountains.
5. Tea buffs will love the mild and refreshing taste of sencha green tea, the most popular tea in Japan. Present it in a cherry bark tea caddy and brew in a Japanese teapot for added authenticity.
6. Serve your after-dinner tipple in a traditional sake set, which typically consists of a ceramic decanter and four cups without handles. This one bears the kanji character sasa (bamboo).
7. Whether you’re fuelling a genuine appreciation of incense or dropping a not-so-subtle hint, this organic Japanese incense set would make a truly scent-sational Father’s Day gift. It contains sixty incense sticks in five different fragrances, each comprising a blend of the finest aromas.
8. Does your dad consider himself a bit of a sushi aficionado? This lacquer sushi boat has a small compartment at the front that can be used for your soy sauce, ginger and wasabi, providing the perfect opportunity for him to showcase his talent.