We all know what an amazing country Japan is.
The Japanese are known for having quirky imaginations that inspire great and frankly, sometimes, odd products.
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Japanese girls are crazy about neko (cats), from Hello Kitty to Neko Mimi headbands. This pair of black Cat Tights means you can have two cute feline friends right on your legs, including a cat head on the front and even a curling cat tail on the back. This is uniquely Harajuku-style fashion!
The Face Stamp let’s you express emotion through stamps, but you only need one to do it!
The soft rubber stamp is shaped like a normal smiley face, but pinching and using your grip and pressure you can manipulate the face to show several emotions, from approval to surprise to anger.
Takara-Tomy's Linear Liner toy is modeled after Central Japan Railway's L0 superconducting maglev train. This toy floats 2mm above the tracks using magnetic repulsion, allowing it to run faster than previous toy trains (up to 500km/h!) and also making it the first toy train to use maglev (magnetic suspension) technology. Speed sensors and voice announcements complement the Linear Liner as it hovers and races over the tracks, which includes a train station, bridge and tunnel.
Japan is a country absolutely crazy about fish (sushi et al) but also stationery and design, so this is a natural corollary of a potent mix. At first glance the Ajina Tasty Fish Pencil Case resembles a delicious grilled fish. But split it open from head to tail to reveal not the guts of an water-dwelling future slice of sashimi, but your writing gear! Yes, with this pen pouch you can be the most original student in the class. Or for the non-students out there, you can dazzle and amuse your co-workers with this hilarious way to store your pens, pencils and other stationery tools.
Why settle for the usual boring white? Minimal, stylish, and original, the Japanese Black Toilet Paper (Six Pack) will transform your lavatory and make a real impression on any trip to the bathroom. Made by a long-established paper manufacturer, this is a set of six beautifully crafted rolls of black toilet paper that come in a cylindrical pack (which is, of course, black).
The Japanese famously love to eat raw fish and one of the very best kinds of sashimi or sushi is tuna (maguro). The realistic 3D Tuna Dissection Puzzle by Megahouse is a fun game with 33 pieces that also teaches you the basics of fish science. Take apart this large tuna delicacy and then put it back together. The puzzle also features a board and fake knife, so you can pretend to be a sushi chef preparing your fish dishes for diners.
It doesn't get more Japanese than this: 10 different games all using a set of pieces shaped like nigiri sushi! The Oh! Sushi Game is all the fun you'd expect and will help you built some skills which will prove very handy during your next trip to Japan among them, your use of chopsticks, your knowledge of a sushi menu, or the classic strategy game shogi (Japanese chess).
Oh! Sushi Game's basic gameplay is building Jenga-like towers. But its creators have come up with several variations, including making a tower with chopsticks, picking your next piece using a die, or using the pieces as shogi pieces, dominoes, flash cards for memory games, and even as bullets for a variation of Russian roulette with wasabi. Sushi has never been more fun than this!
The Manners Fish Chopstick Training Toy teaches kids how to eat a fish with chopsticks. The educational model includes diagrams and an order sheet that you follow to learn the best way to eat a large fish dish with chopsticks. You remove the 18 parts of the fish from the body and then place them on the sheet, making this both a neat way to practice using chopsticks and a fun puzzle activity for children.
The Sekki Paper Knife is proof that the Japanese attention to design extends to even the most minor of household or office activities. When you open your mail, do so with a unique implement like this. Designed by Hiroki Yasuda, the Sekki Paper Knife is inspired by prehistoric stone tools ("sekki" in Japanese). Available in black or white, it's a brilliant fusion of contemporary chic and ancient simplicity
Panda Darake is an addictive game of balance played with Asia's most famous bear and a pair of chopsticks. "Darake" means "chockerblock" or completely full, and in this variation on Jenga there are certainly more of the bears than you normally find at the zoo! In fact, there are twelve cute pandas in this set - but what do you do with them?
Well, there are several different games to play here, such as seeing who can transfer the pandas into the inside of the tire without dropping them. Or you have to put the pandas so that they fit all together in a block. The more ambitious chopstick users can even try standing the tire upright in a range of positions and loading the pandas on one by one. It's harder than it looks and you have to do it without the whole structure collapsing or dropping the pandas!
The award-winning Sony FES Watch feels like a canvas artwork on your wrist. The stylish wristwatch is made from e-paper so you can adjust the face and strap through 24 different design variations to match their mood or fashion each day. In a tribute to Japanese minimalism, the slim face is blank when not in use. But move your wrist to look at the time and it instantly switches on. This intuitive approach to time-keeping means that your watch will only appear in your life when needed. The rest of the time it blends into the background in tune with your wardrobe. Sony has put the emphasis here on versatility and style rather than function and utility, and the results are stunning.
The successor to the hit Tamagotchi 4U is the Tamagotchi 4U Plus, the latest in the global smash virtual pet series by Bandai. It upgrades the Tamagotchi 4U's features with new characters (there's now a total of 40 characters!), plus you can still use the Touch Spots in Japan to get more items. The NFC tech has been retained too, so Tamagotchi users can communicate and exchange things quickly and easily. Tamagotchi 4U Plus is available in a choice of eight colors.
Japanese toilets have been world-famous for their comfort and remarkable functionality. Now you can enjoy the hi-tech convenience that has amazed every visitor to Tokyo. Just slip the Toto Washlet Hi-Tech Toilet Seat onto your toilet seat and let it handle the cleaning process. With its nozzle spray and anti-odor button, it will deal with the unpleasantries and ensure that the bowl gets properly cleaned. Slide it on over your toilet and complete the installation. You will need a power connection, plus water to fill up the washlet's tank. The buttons on the side give you control of your new hygiene assistant, who will astonish you with how clean and fresh-smelling she keeps the bowl. Available in white or ivory.
Fans of toy cameras and retro cameras fell instantly in love with the Instax Mini Cheki Camera. Fujifilm later followed it up with an immensely popular Hello Kitty version. Now there is a special 2016 version in white, cream and red. Retaining much of the same specs as the earlier models, the Instax Mini Hello Kitty 2016 Red Ribbon Cheki Camera now comes with a Kitty-chan red ribbon along with a themed strap and stickers, plus optional Hello Kitty Cheki film.
All hail the next generation of Aibo the SmartPet by Bandai the robot dog pet for the iPhone or iPod user. Interact with your pet via the touchscreen and also get him to do things according to what he sees and hears thanks to the camera. There are two different colors and all you need is the free official app. You can then check on how your pet is doing using the bilingual interface and of course your device slips in and out of the dog's face like an ordinary dock. There are games to play together and also daily functions like feeding the pooch plus you can even change his face settings to a range of different options. There are over 100 actions that the SmartPet can perform. Heck this doggy wil even stand up and dance for you! And put another Smartpet nearby and they will use Bluetooth to interact and communicate. If you thought the Tamagotchi was special just wait till you own a Smartpet!
Only Japan makes beauty gadgets like this: simple, original and visually arresting. With the Facial Expression Exercise Mask, all you need do is open and close your mouth to stretch and train your face muscles. The design of the mesh-style mask works to combat the signs of aging and sagging skin. It is especially effective at fighting the onset of nasolabial folds, also known as laugh or smile lines.
What would the Sith Lord look like as a medieval Japanese warlord? Now we know and it is as formidable as we might expect. The Darth Vader Yoroi Samurai Armor Display Set is a version of the type of ningyo doll displayed in May to celebrate Children's Day. But it's not a gimmicky item of tie-up merchandise: this is a genuine decorative yoroi armor set made by an established producer called Yoshitoku that has been in business for three centuries.
Simple is best. Bring together two of the biggest names in design and this is what you get. An extraordinary wristwatch. Here product designer Naoto Fukasawa has created the Twelve Watch for fashion brand Issey Miyake, and this is the silver & gray SILAP model. We love this. From its minimal leather strap to its gracefully open face and thick minute and hour hands, this is one heck of a stylish way to tell the time. There are two versions of the watch. Both have the same basics specs and coloring, but the unisex design is slightly larger, while the ladies version is lighter and smaller. Either one will bring a finesse to your wrist that any other watch just cannot compete with.