A friend returned from trip brought you a souvenir. Listening to trip stories, you are thinking of a town far away.... Such moments are exceptional, aren't they? If the souvenir is something special rooted from the region, your excitement will be especially wonderful. When you go to the trip, you may also wish to buy such「special」thing.For this time, I will introduceto tips how to choose souvenirs. 1. The Monde Selection awarded products Among souvenirs, "sweets" are predominantly popular. Because it is easy to buy and to give to everyone, many people will choose sweets. But, you do not know which one to pick from too many kinds of sweets....., and that might be thoughts of many people. For such situation, please refer to the seal of quality of "Monde Selection awarded" attached to the products. This award is being given by European private body. Items, such as "taste", "hygiene", "accuracy of some ingredients written on package", and "ingredients", etc, will be strictly examined, and it will guarantee the high quality. Actually, it is said that about half of the awarded products are the products of Japan. And recently, items related to beauty or hygiene, except food, are also awarded. Awards include"bronze award", "silver award", "gold award", and"grand gold award".Though not so many, the products awarded grand gold can be often seen. If you see the grand gold quality seal, you should buy it. 2. The symbol of a certificate of authenticity of traditional crafts There may be many people having interests in Japanese ceramics, washi (Japanese traditional paper), folk-crafts, etc. But, it is very hard to judge which one is good just at a glance. Though look like the same wooden bowls, it may be a precious high class product. If you look for such kind of products, I recommend to refer"symbols of a certificate of authenticity of traditional drafts". Please see hereon the official sitefor a symbol of a certificate of authenticity of traditional crafts. Upper half of the symbol was designed from the Chinese character of "伝", and the lower half expresses the national flag of Japan. (* 伝 represents tradition in Japanese.) The symbol can only be given to the one that passed the strict examination by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry. The conditions for certification are as follows: ・A product mainly used in daily life ・A product of which main production process is handcrafted ・A product produced by traditional technology or technique ・A product that uses the raw materials traditionally used ・A product from a certain area where forming main producing area Did you understand how it is difficult to obtain this symbol? Using traditional raw materials, an artisan crafts the product one by one with its mind, so it cannot be produced many. For this reason, you can buy the products with the symbol without any concern. Of course, there are many high quality products even without the symbol. But, it will be a technique to be used as a standard to choose souvenirs, when you do not know which one to pick up in unknown place.