Top Ten Crazy Holiday Gifts From Japan 2018

These days, everyone wants “experiences,” not “stuff,” so how about digging into your Santa sack for presents that deliver #youllneverguesswhatwedids that could only come from (where else?)…Japan! This year, give the gift of…


…making your own Panda Face sushi and finding out who’s the fastest panda-grabber in the land

Seen at the Akihabara Yodobashi Camera

Level up by slipping in a few made with natto (stinky, slimy, fermented soybeans) just to keep it extra-competitive


…drinking to The One That Got Away with these fishy beer glasses

Seen at the Shiga prefecture antenna store in Kyobashi

After hoisting a few trout-themed brews with these beauties, coming home with an empty creel could become an annual Thing.


…getting on your holiday cheer decked out as Shiba Santa instead of St. Nick

Seen at the Shinjuku Don Kihote

Because what could be more useful than being able to do a heckin’ refuse when Auntie Gert insists on giving you a perfume-drenched hug in return?


…lighting up with the cutest matches to ever ignite what you’re smoking

Seen at the Tobacco and Salt Museum gift shop

Excuse me, I think we need to see those again


…getting an instant face lift without all that pesky surgery

Seen at the Shinjuku Don Kihote

(Although it’s unclear how these stretchy ear-squishers can vanish the saggies without the benefit of a little slicing and dicing (`_´)ゞ)


…owning the pet of your dreams (or the next best thing): an animal face washcloth

Seen at the Shibuya Loft store

Sure, you might be able to convince a garden variety feline or canine to wash your face if you smear it with enough peanut butter or chicken livers, but if your giftee is craving a facial cleansing from, say, a red panda or a fox or a koala, you can’t do better than wrapping up one of these oh-so-friendly facecloths.


…spend more time eating bonbons on your chaise lounge while a dedicated JAPANESE slow cooker whips up dinner

Seen at the Akihabara Yodobashi Camera

Which is just like a Western crock pot, except the presets aren’t for Three Alarm Chili or mom’s chicken soup, they’re for kakuni (braised pork stew), nikujaga (beef and potato stew), edamame (boiled soybeans) and both kinds of rice (white and brown).


…scooting your kitchen chair across the floor on little cat feet

You can get these on Amazon

With these cat paw chair socks, your midnight snacking can be silent AND deadly.


…becoming the supreme ruler of the coffee break with this 3D latte foam tool

Seen at the Akihabara Yodobashi Camera 6th floor

Yes, now you can top your double shots of espresso with adorable bears, cats, bunnies and Godzillas in your very own home.


…sharing the pleasures of extreme personal grooming with that boyfriend who insists you maintain an immaculate Brazilian, with the Gosso Nose Wax System

Seen at the Shibuya Tokyu Hands

What it lacks in waxable square inches, it more than makes up for in pain.

If you’re still looking for the perfect gift…

The Last Tea Bowl Thief was chosen as an Editor’s Pick for
Best Mystery, Thriller & Suspense on Amazon

For three hundred years, a missing tea bowl passes from one fortune-seeker to the next, changing the lives of all who possess it…read more

“A fascinating mix of history and mystery.” —Booklist

Jonelle Patrick writes novels set in Japan, produces the monthly e-magazine Japanagram, and blogs at Only In Japan and The Tokyo Guide I Wish I’d Had

Published by Jonelle Patrick

Writes all the Japan things.

9 thoughts on “Top Ten Crazy Holiday Gifts From Japan 2018

    1. Hey, happy new year! I’m back in the land of useless gifts after a maelstrom of family holidays in the States, and ready to spot the latest & greatest weirdnesses. So glad you crossed my path this year, and it’s such a pleasure to see your comments and know you’re along for the ride. Hope to enjoy a lot more of your posts in the new year too!

      1. Happy New Year to you too Jonelle I hope you had a nice trip to the US over Christmas. I’m still in summer mode in Melbourne on the beach etc. as it’s boiling hot here. I am really glad we connected too and look forward to seeing all your posts this year. Did you manage to subscribe to my blog? I added a subscribe thing to make it easier, thanks for pointing that out. 🙂

  1. I suggest they change the name of the nose hair instrument to Grosso. LOL
    And I am going to look for the face lift and a Godzilla foam maker when I’m there next! Great list! 🙂

    1. I know, right? And if you try out that face lift thing, let me know what it does! I can’t for the life of me figure out how it could possibly have the desired effect!

      And it was so great to see you f2f this time around – so looking forward to more encounters in the new year, and I hope you get back Tokyo side soon!

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