For Charcoal-Fresh Breath…


…get thee to the closest Tokyu Hands and get your paws on some Natamame toothpaste! It claims to smite your bad breath in four different flavors: Rose, Aloe (does aloe have a flavor?), Persimmon and Bamboo Charcoal. Yes, the black kind. Even stranger, guess what this toothpaste is made from? Sword beans!


Bad breath, I strike thee down in the name of sword bean!

Believe it or not, these jumbo legumes are known throughout Asia for banishing bad breath (although one wonders exactly how that works, in the absence of these big boys being processed down into nice little toothbrush-friendly tubes.)

If you’d like to visit Tokyu Hands the next time you’re in Tokyo, directions & maps are on my website, The Tokyo Guide I Wish I’d Had. I saw this in the Ikebukuro store.

Read a novel set in Tokyo

The #1 hostboy at Club Nova makes a handsome living, whispering sweet nothings in the ears of women who pay him a fortune for the privilege. But the party’s over when Tokyo Detective Kenji Nakamura is assigned to investigate the death of…read more