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