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Square Fruit Balloons

In the I-totally-don’t-need-this-but-am-strangely-compelled-to-buy-it-anyway category, these square fruit balloons are a quirky modern take on kami fusen, a cheap, Meiji-era toy. Of course, in true ultra-Japanese style, they’re made of paper!

It was super hard to decide which was my favorite, so I had to buy them all.
They come flat (for easy packing, in case you’re looking for killer souvenirs to gift back home) and there are two different sets. One has watermelon, apple and kiwi, the other has melon, grapefruit and tomato.
This is the traditional toy that inspired them. They start out flat, and you blow them up through that little hole. (Thanks to the Uguisu online store for the photos)

If you’ve become remotely infected with the burning desire to buy some square fruit balloons  for yourself, they’re sold at the Cibone store in the (otherwise utterly tedious) Ginza Six shopping complex in Tokyo for ¥800 per pack. A map is on my website, The Tokyo Guide I Wish I’d Had.

When not binge-buying utterly useless (yet charming) stuff, Jonelle Patrick writes novels set in Tokyo

“A genuinely gripping crime thriller which wrong-foots and perplexes the reader throughout, drawing us in emotionally . . . Highly recommended.” Raven Crime Reads

Nine Years. Nine death anniversaries. Tomorrow will be the tenth. He always comes early to avoid crossing paths with her family. He always comes on the day he actually killed her…read more

Jonelle Patrick View All

Writing mystery books set in Tokyo is mostly what I do, but I also blog about the odd stuff I see every day in Japan. I'm a graduate of Stanford University and the Sendagaya Japanese Institute in Tokyo, and a member of the International Thriller Writers, the Mystery Writers of America, and Sisters In Crime. When I'm not in Tokyo, I live in San Francisco. I also host a travel site called The Tokyo Guide I Wish I'd Had, so if you're headed to Japan and want to check out the places I take my friends when they're in town, take a look!

4 thoughts on “Square Fruit Balloons Leave a comment

  1. Hi Jonelle

    I am enjoying your posts and especially your shibori . I gather you must be also be a textile artist and/or quilter/sewer/ I love Japanese cottons for quilting! I am wondering if you can give me info on where and how I could find (haven’t been able to find on internet) quilting fabrics by the designer Itaya Naomi. I am including pictures of some of her fabrics as an example. Was available in the U.S. a while back and then \I was told that stores in |North America were no longer able to get it. I am wondering if you have ever come across this designers quilting fabric and if, where I can find it and general pricing. Any resources would be appreciated. Thank you so much. I look forward to hearing back by email at

    Claudette (B.C. Canada


    • Hi Claudette! So great to cross paths with another lover of textiles & quilts! I haven’t had time to do much sewing since I started being nose to the grindstone on book deadlines, but a quick search turned up quite a few Itaya Naomi fabrics on Etsy. If you go to and search, you might find what you’re looking for. As fabric stores become even more scarce than bookstores, I’ve been finding more and more of what I need online. It’s a bit tricky to know if the weight and hand of the fabric are right for what you want to use it for, but once you get a feel for what various terms mean to various sellers, there’s a wide world of good stuff to choose from now. Good luck finding what you’re looking for, and I’d love to see what you make!

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