If you’re looking for one type of gear that the Japanese have perfected through the years, it’s the backpack. Besides their yummy and unique snacks, collector items, lucky charms, folding fans, kitchen knives, and kimonos – make sure you buy a quality backpack to bring home when you travel to Japan. Their backpacks are the one purchase you won’t regret as a tourist. Their bags, especially those from their reputable brands, are specially made to last. They are also designed with function and fashion in mind, and you will surely find something that will meet your storage needs.
Here are some of the best Japanese backpack brands:
When you walk around Tokyo, everyone seems to wear an Anello backpack. The designs and colors are diverse, but the label is the same on every bag. This Japanese bag brand was born in 2005, with the name borrowed from Italian meaning “ring” or “loop.” Anello uses simple yet well-balanced designs that the brand got famous for.
For the past years, it was not only famous in Japan but also overseas, especially in other Asian countries. Many counterfeiters have popped up here and there, further popularizing the brand. For brand- and fashion-aware tourists, an Anello backpack is at the top of the must-buy list when traveling to Japan.
2. Tsuchiya Kaban
Have you heard about the Japanese randoseru? These are the iconic Japanese backpacks for schoolchildren but have become extremely popular even among adults worldwide. The randoseru is almost indestructible and is meant to be used by children all throughout their elementary years. It was the signature product of Tsuchiya Kaban since 1965, but now it makes bags for adults as well.
Their bags are made of high-quality leather, and they make each bag by hand, incorporating a timeless design to ensure a certain level of sturdiness for the bag to be used for a long time. Today, the randoseru is made from leather-like synthetic materials, but the sturdy built and functional design remains a common factor.
Headquartered in Tokyo, Makavelic is a brand that evolves along with the needs of its customers. No matter what style and functionality the customers prefer, they’ll always have something that perfectly fits the bill. It combines style and durability through its trendy designs.
The best thing about Makavelic is its hybrid design is it’s stylish enough to carry to the city streets but durable enough and water-resistant that it won’t seem out of place when brought in the great outdoors. It offers the perfect city-country hybrid daypacks that you can actually use every day.
Master-piece is a brand that earned a fanbase all around the world due to its superb quality and functionality. Based in Osaka, this brand has been in the carry game since 1994. The brand firmly believes that fashion must not come at the expense of functional design. They also create the bags by hand as they take pride in showcasing the skills of Japanese artisans to the world. The three words that reflect the philosophy of the brand are aesthetics, functionality, and craftsmanship.
The Master-piece backpacks are made of water-repellent, light fabrics, and top-class parts sourced both domestically and internationally. Primarily, they make casual bags ideal for daily use, but they also offer bags that focus on specific user needs.
5. Southern Field Industries
Established by a husband-and-wife team in 2008, Southern Field Industries craft pieces with premium quality and timeless design in mind. They produce handcrafted backpacks and other items like tote bags, wallets, shoulder bags, and weekenders in their Saitama studio. As a result, you can get timeless designs with attention to details.
Each bag is designed with high-quality standards to ensure that the user can get years of service from it. Beyond that, the brand makes bags from materials like Japanese vegetable-tanned leather and heavy-weight waxed cotton canvas – producing an exceptional finish and a backpack with a unique feel.
6. PaaGo Works
PaaGo Works takes its name from “Let’s pack and go!” – a phrase that embodies their theme, focusing on the appreciation of the outdoors. They create outdoor-oriented gear to cater to the needs of the users who love spending time in nature. Established in 2011, the brand offers a range of functional carry, including running and hiking bags, wallets, and pouches.
The brand also follows unique design patterns with their bags that don’t follow any existing standards. They are a creative brand that makes highly functional and comfortable backpacks and bags.
Originally, the brand made handcrafted bags that would seamlessly blend into the daily flow of life of Japan. Their backpacks combine eye-catching design elements with high-quality functionality for daily use.
Hobo introduced innovative design elements to make their backpacks weather-resistant. Their design philosophy is a mixture of the East and West, with particular attention put towards using sturdy and high-quality materials. It also showcases the authentic touch of Japanese craftsmanship.
8. MR PORTER
MR PORTER is a renowned Japanese brand in the domain of backpacks. Established in 1962 by Yoshida & Co., the brand takes pride in its Japanese heritage and still carries its top-class quality until today. Their bags have a reputation of lasting for a lifetime.
Their backpacks are of clean and simple design balanced by practical features. They are made with superb craftsmanship from quality materials, giving you a product that can serve you for years.
9. And Wander
Founded in 2011, and wander is a backpack brand that you can trust. The brand offers bags that are specially crafted for adventurers heading for the mountains. Their designers draw inspiration from nature, and obviously, from the mountains. Though their bags are designed for rugged use, the style is not too rugged to look out of place while traveling through the city.
The brand uses high-quality materials like PU-coated Cordura nylon to make the bags highly durable for rough outdoor use. Also, you can rest assured that their products are resistant to the elements.
This is the newest brand on this list, but the quality of its backpacks is top-notch. With a foundation based on the Japanese culture, the F/CE also incorporates themes from other countries in its design philosophy. Their theme is one “nation” selected from around the world. They actually visit the countries used as a theme so they can be inspired by their lifestyle, art, music, history, and culture. The result is backpacks with a fresh look and unique design elements.
At the same time, it delivers excellent products both in terms of quality and functionality to its customers. Their bags are made of the finest materials with superb durability.