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livlaugheat | Mar 22, 201609:15 PM     10

TL;DR: Can I travel with spices? Basic American pantry dried spices? (Tarragon, thyme, paprika, ground mustard, etc.)

Childhood friend is living in Japan and interested in learning to cook to make foods she misses from the US. She asked me to bring her some spices when I visit and because this is the first time she's shown any interest in cooking, I went whole hog and packed up some of everything in my spice cabinet. Just a bit of each so she can experiment and learn - anything she loves she can order in a full size container on her own. I'm bringing about a TB of each in small zip top bags (the kind from a craft store), each labeled with masking tape. The entire collection fits into a standard sandwich sized zip top bag (so it's not an outrageous amount). Are they going to give me a hard time at customs and immigration in Japan?

Adding to my paranoia, we are going to South Korea first for a family wedding before we go to Japan so I'm bringing all these spices to South Korea first. Am I going to end up in a interrogation room trying to convince police that I'm not smuggling anything and it's really all for cooking? Please assuage my fears. (If I should just mail her the whole shebang I can do that too but thought it would be fun to go through each with her to share what I like to make with each and how I use them.)

*I only speak English so trying to explain anything in Japanese or Korean is not going to happen.

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