Remember when I ordered all those fab Lego village kits? Well, the Buildiverse folks sent me one that I missed (or I would have already bought it instantly): this light-up … Continue Reading What do you need for cherry blossom season? Your own light-up Lego cherry tree!
Every March 3rd, families with daughters display a set of Girls’ Day dolls that represent the Imperial court at its Heian Era finest… …but these days, you don’t have to … Continue Reading Girls’ Day dolls with a side of quirky
Just in time for Setsubun—the Japanese holiday on which demons are exorcized with dry beans and smelly sardines—the Sendai Umino-Mori Aquarium built this hilarious (and twisted!) ehōmaki sushi roll hideout … Continue Reading Live eel sushi rolls
Don’t laugh! The humble haramaki is making a comeback, because nothing—and I mean nothing—keeps you warmer while sitting at your desk fielding endless zoom calls than this legwarmer for your … Continue Reading The best winter gift of 2020? A Japanese stomach warmer!
Tokyo’s best-dressed nude statue changes into the jolly old elf for the month of December, but sometimes his costumers get a bit…creative. When they started in the year 2000, the … Continue Reading Tokyo’s best-dressed nude statue: It’s that Santa time of year
If you don’t have someone on your list who would kill for one of these, you need new friends. These Lego kits for building your very own Japanese town populated … Continue Reading Japanese Lego Town Kits
You’ve probably seen these adorable tanuki figures outside of your favorite Japanese bar or restaurant, but did you happen to notice how, er, well endowed they are? Yeah. Can’t unsee. … Continue Reading When Nothing But Unnecessarily Large Tanuki Testicles Will Do
I don’t know about you, but this year has given me a lot more respect for luck than I used to have. In Japan, people are a lot more comfortable … Continue Reading When you wish upon a…monk?
If you’ve been puzzling over why Japan is such a “mask-wearing society,” it’s not because they’re all super-OCD about germs. Here are six excellent Japanese reasons to wear a mask … Continue Reading Six Surprising Reasons Japanese People Wear Masks, Even When There’s No Pandemic
You know how they keep adding emoji, but there never seems to be one that matches exactly how you’re feeling? Do you ever find yourself wishing that, for example, there … Continue Reading Japanese Emoticons: So Many Feels Beyond Emoji
DENIAL ANGER BARGAINING DEPRESSION ACCEPTANCE • How you doing, friend? (I won’t ask about your hair if you don’t ask about mine ><;;) I hope you’re hanging in there, and … Continue Reading Japanese Capsule Toys Explain the Five Stages of Quarantine Hair Grief
• I hope your own quarantining is filled with small joys every day. If you’d like more fun bits & pieces, join me here! Scroll down & subscribeヽ(*＾ω＾*)ﾉ • And … Continue Reading Gachapon animals ask their mirrors the most burning quarantine questions
Those of us who’ve been under quarantine for a month have stood in enough lines by now that we’ve probably got a pretty good eye for the “six foot” (two … Continue Reading How To Measure Social Distance, J-Style
Hey, just because we all have to wear masks now doesn’t mean we have to look like grim extras from ER. In Japan, face masks have been a fashion go-to … Continue Reading Kawaii Masks
If I had to nominate one artist for Most Sanity-Saving In The Time of Coronavirus, it would absolutely be @meetissai, whose miniature sculptures inspired by pet tweets never fail to … Continue Reading Artist Turns The Best Pet Tweets Into Hilarious Tiny Sculptures
I thought I’d seen it all when it comes to Japanese curry rice molds, but these two cuties redefine ADORABLE. The only problem is that it comes in both cat … Continue Reading Cutest Curry Rice Molds On The Planet
Are ya feelin’ lucky? Because this vending machine dispenses fortunes, just like the ones you can buy at Japanese shrines! But that’s not all – it’s delivered by a little … Continue Reading The Shrine Maiden Vending Machine
From the nation of insane Japanese modelmakers, this. The artist known as “Karabako Shokunin Harukiru” (That’s “Empty Box Craftsman Harukiru” to you), snips and folds and glues the unlikely medium … Continue Reading Insanely Detailed Sculptures Made From Japanese Snack Packages
I was in the Matsuya Ginza food hall stocking up on peanut snacks, when I saw this. I tried to walk past it. I tried. To be honest, I was … Continue Reading Is This Mameshiba Cake Too Cute To Eat?
How did you guess that the moment I caught a glimpse of this vending machine filled with cat shaming gachagacha, all my laundry coins would be history? There was only … Continue Reading The Cat Shaming Vending Machine
I hope you’re in Japan right now, because dinosaurs are invading the Marui Annex in Shinjuku! These delightfully believable photos of the archaic denizens mingling with the good people of Earth … Continue Reading Dinosaurs Delightfully Invade The Real World
Gifting in Japan requires that the wrapping be nearly as precious as what’s inside, but I can never remember how to tie a traditional silk furoshiki without the book that … Continue Reading Japanese Gift Boxes of Overwhelming Cuteness
Sticking to the straight and narrow has never been cuter, thanks to these adorable kittycat gacha-gacha toys, and the vending machine that dispenses them on the Yanaka Ginza shopping street. … Continue Reading Move Over, Monkeys! See-no Evil, Hear-no-Evil, Speak-no-Evil Cats Are Here
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 … Continue Reading Top Ten Crazy Holiday Gifts From Japan 2018
I know that you’ll be super envious to hear that my kitchen chairs are now prancing around on little cat feet! Gone are the days when the awful screeching sound … Continue Reading Cat Feet Chair Socks!
Aww, a pillow that looks like a cat, just sitting there all furry and begging to be petted. What the…! Yes, the entire purpose of this robot pillow is to … Continue Reading The Wagging Cat Tail Pillow
Finally! A series of shiba inu gachagacha toys made by an artist who understands that these devilish dogs are not just unbearably adorable, they come packed with a level of … Continue Reading The Shiba Inu Vending Machine
Move over Angry Ghost Cats and Drunken Pets! The Fox Wedding vending machine takes tiny collectible toy obsession to a whole new level. Take my coin purse, foxen! Take all … Continue Reading The Fox Wedding Vending Machine
I feel kind of sorry for the staff at the Tolo Bakery & Cafe, because how many times can you hear, “Kawaiiiii!” in one day without checking yourself into the … Continue Reading Totoro Cream Puffs
There’s a little shop near Sendagi Station called Amezaiku-ya where you can order the ultimate sweet selfie! Most often commissioned for wedding cake toppers, all the resident artists need is … Continue Reading Sweet Selfies On A Stick
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! If … Continue Reading Square Fruit Balloons
It’s not often that I walk through an art show where each piece is more surprising and delightful than the last, but Jason Freeny’s “Plastic Surgeon” exhibit at the Megumi … Continue Reading The Secret Innards Of The Catbus And Other Shocking Revelations
When I first saw this gachapon machine filled with little plastic champagne towers, I thought WAT? Who needs a set of miniature, light-up, host club furniture? I mean, even though … Continue Reading The Host Club Vending Machine
Walking down the street in Ome, I discovered something that totally flipped my three-hour trip to see a garden filled with no blooming azaleas into the win column: the tail-wagging cat clock! BEHOLD … Continue Reading The Hypnotic Tail-Wagging Cat Clock
I don’t usually crave a quarter pounder of rice and seaweed in the middle of my day, but if I knew one of these was in my brown bag, I’d be counting … Continue Reading Shiba Inu Rice Balls
Am I right or am I right? • Read a novel set in Tokyo…
So, today I came home and found THIS. I don’t know what kind of shenanigans YOUR gacha-gacha toys get up to when they’re alone in the house, but… This series may be … Continue Reading The Drunken Pet Vending Machine
Who WOULDN’T want these ultra-swaggy samurai sox or kimono cuties in their holiday loot pile? • Always clothed in the finest of samurai sox, Jonelle Patrick writes novels set in Tokyo “A … Continue Reading Samurai Sox
Here’s what it’s like to visit Fox Village in the snow, when the foxes are at their fattest & fluffiest! I have to confess, when it comes to which animals would get … Continue Reading Fox Village Videos!
I have to admit, I was powerless to resist going to a thing where hundreds of people dressed more or less as cats pranced down the street, some of them raucously performing musical … Continue Reading At The Crazy Cat Parade
So, I went to one of Japan’s famed cat islands…and didn’t see any cats. Well, okay, I saw a few, but nothing like the Bunny Island mobbing I was hoping for. Notes … Continue Reading The Cat Island With No Cats
It’s always hard to say goodbye to my favorite costumed peeing boy statue when I leave Tokyo, but now I don’t have to! Thanks to the awesome vending machine I discovered … Continue Reading The Peeing Statue Vending Machine
Turn down the volume on your squee-meter, unless you want to lose a little more of your hearing! Check out the little prickle monsters you can snuggle up with at Tokyo’s new Hedgehog … Continue Reading A Prickly Day At The Hedgehog Cafe
Because procrastination is my middle name and I currently have a Boaty McBoatload of editing to do, it became clear to me that the best use of my time this morning would be … Continue Reading Famous Japanese Art Improved By Neko Atsume
Overcome with a burning need for yet more weird plastic toys (hey, don’t pretend this doesn’t happen to you!) I was poking around in my favorite Akihabara gachagacha emporium when I discovered … Continue Reading The Catzilla Vending Machine
If there was a vote on which animal is least likely to be described as “fluffy, “winsome” and “cuddly,” I think tapirs would pretty much win the internet. So why are tapirs suddenly everywhere? Honestly, I’ve … Continue Reading The Gods Of Kawaii Anoint The Most Inexplicable Animal Yet
In Japan, neko and temples go together like fish guts and beer, and every graveyard attracts a cadre of cats to guard the departed. At first I tried not to think about what … Continue Reading Temple Cats, With Attitude
I was wandering through Akihabara doing important book research SHUT UP, when I discovered the key to collecting all those damnably elusive kittehs in Neko Atsume: put out lots & lots & LOTS of … Continue Reading Gotta Catch Them ALL
I thought I’d died and gone to heaven when I finally made it to Zao Fox Village last spring, but it’s a good thing I didn’t actually shuffle off this mortal coil due to fox-induced … Continue Reading Fox Village: Even Better With Snow On Top!
I thought I’d reached the highest level of gacha-gacha nirvana when I discovered the Angry Cat Ghost vending machine last year, but yesterday walking through what I’d previously thought of as the ninth-circle-of-hell Shinagawa station, … Continue Reading The Angry Fox Ghost Vending Machine