How to wrap gifts Japanese style

Japanese Style Gift Wrapping: A 5 Minute Guide

Japanese style gift wrappingHow to Wrap Gifts Japanese Style

If you have ever shopped at a department store in Japan (or indeed at The Japanese Shop), you probably will have noticed the beautiful way in which items are wrapped. Unlike the somewhat slapdash approach that is taken in the West, Japanese style gift wrapping is practically an art form in its own right. This post explains how to wrap gifts Japanese style, so you can really impress your friends and family this Christmas.

The first section briefly covers Japanese paper wrapping, while the second looks at a more traditional (and simpler) alternative.

Japanese Paper Wrapping

Contemporary Japanese style gift wrapping is rather like origami in that it follows a strict sequence of precise folds. The beauty of it is that once you have got used to the basic technique, you can be more experimental, incorporating intricate pleats and decorations.

You will need:

  • Good quality wrapping paper
  • Clear tape (+ decorative tape, optional)
  • Scissors
  • Ribbon or mizuhiki, to decorate
  • Gift tag (optional)


This video from Paper Guru’s YouTube channel covers the standard Japanese paper wrapping technique.


Once you have got the hang of this, it’s worth having a look at through some of the more decorative Japanese style gift wrapping ideas on this channel. Paper Guru’s projects range from pop-up butterfly embellishments to complex peacock-tail pleating, and they all look absolutely stunning.

You may also wish to try your hand at mizuhiki as an alternative to decorating with ribbon. This traditional Japanese craft involves winding decorative twine into knots and bows to create flowers, butterflies and much more. A quick YouTube search brings up hundreds of tutorials.

If you’re good at origami, you could also decorate your gifts with tiny paper flowers and swans.

Traditional Japanese Style Gift Wrapping

If all that folding and decorating seems like too much effort, you might prefer the more traditional form of Japanese style gift wrapping. This involves using furoshiki (decorative wrapping cloth) to wrap gifts in a bundle. It’s far simpler and, because the cloth can be reused, it’s more environmentally friendly – and the recipient gets an extra gift thrown into the bargain.

You will need:

Furoshiki… and that’s all!


Here’s a video guide to wrapping various items using Furoshiki, this time from Recycle Now.



If you’re also giving a card, this can be tucked into the fold of the fabric for an added element of surprise. Other than that, no decoration is required as a beautiful piece of furoshiki fabric will speak for itself.

Hiromi wrapping gifts in showroomUsing these Japanese gift wrapping techniques will give your presents a real edge and is guaranteed to impress your loved ones. However, it takes time and if you have a lot of gifts to wrap, it can turn into a monumental task.

At The Japanese Shop, we offer a free Japanese style gift wrapping service to make your life that little bit easier. Simply select this option from the drop-down menu before you place your order and your gift will arrive perfectly wrapped and ready to give.

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