Baby Gifts, Japanese customs

Okaeshi gift, Japanese custom when you have a baby:お祝いをいただいたときの内祝について

We received an email yesterday from Jennifer who is pregnant in Tokyo and was one of our first customers on our online shop (thank you Jennifer!!), about the Japanese custom of “Okaeshi” gifts after the baby is born. I asked Tomoko and here is her reply!


In Japan, when you receive presents for your wedding, new baby, or any other celebration, it’s very common to send back something, called “okaeshi” in Japanese.

Okaeshi business is pretty big here in Japan! Many major shops and department stores even have their own Okaeshi catalogue.

Popular gifts for Okaeshi are:

  • Good quality towel
  • Good quality food
  • Sweets (cookies, chocolates, candy, etc)
  • Consumable goods for your life, such as spices and seasoning, soy products (miso, soy sauce), washing detergent for laundry or washing plates, etc

Here is a list of my baby’s Okaeshi after he was born:

  • Good quality organic bath towel sets (5,000yen) for those who gave us more than 20,000 yen in cash (all from our relatives)
  • Good quality organic hand towel sets (2,500yen) for those who gave us more than 10,000 yen in cash (also from our relatives)
  • Good quality organic hand towel (500yen) and Lush soap (1,000yen) for those who gave us 5,000 yen in cash (all from our friends)
  • Lush soap (1000yen) for those who gave us a present for our newborn baby
  • Sweets set (500yen) for those who gave us one present from several people in the group.

The price for Okaeshi is based on what you receive – it’s common to spend about 1/3 – 1/2 amount of money of what you get. Each family tends to be different though in terms of what they expect in return for their gifts. My husband’s and my relatives said it is okay not send okaeshi, because they wanted us to spend the money on our baby, not for Okaeshi. However, I was told by my mother and mother-in-law that even if our relatives say they don’t expect Okaeshi, it’s still better to send something to say thank you. So we decided to spend about 1/4 of the cash that we received on the Okaeshi (instead of the usual 1/3-1/2).

On the Okaeshi gift box, it’s common to put Noshi (Japanese traditional paper for gift) on the outside with your baby’s name. This is so they can recognise that the gift is for Okaeshi of newborn baby. If you buy your Okaeshi gifts at a department store or supermarket, ask the staff to include Noshi for newborn baby in the wrapping. Just like this below:

Noshi for Okaeshi gift

We placed the Noshi on the gifts for our relatives, and for our friends, we ordered Lush soap which has a special service where they print your baby’s name on the soap box! Here is the link:)


Lush Soap with baby’s name on lid for Okaeshi gift






  • タオルギフト
  • 食料品ギフト
  • お菓子類 (クッキー、チョコレートやその他詰め合わせ)
  • 生活消耗品(調味料セット、洗剤セットなど)


  • オーガニックバスタオルギフト(5,000円) :お祝儀2万円いただいた方へ(すべて親戚)
  • オーガニックフェイスタオルギフト (2,500円) :お祝儀1万円いただいた方へ(すべて親戚)
  • オーガニックハンドタオル(500円)とLushの石鹸 (1,000円) :お祝儀5千円いただいた方へ(友人)
  • Lushの石鹸 (1,000円) :プレゼントをくれた方へ
  • お菓子セット(500円):複数名合同でプレゼントをくれた方へ



Noshi for Okaeshi gift

親戚には熨斗をつけてお返しをしたのですが、友人へはこれを購入しました。 Lushの石鹸ですが、フタにベビーの名前を印字してくれるのです。ここからどうぞ:)


Lush Soap with baby’s name on lid for Okaeshi gift



Thanks Tomoko! LOVE the Lush soap idea!!

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One thought on “Okaeshi gift, Japanese custom when you have a baby:お祝いをいただいたときの内祝について

  1. Jennifer says:

    Thanks for the tips! I especially like the Lush idea and that they will pre-print the name.

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