An Only-In-Japan Problem If There Ever Was One

We’re coming into high matsuri season, when the local Shinto gods are paraded through the neighborhood to remind them of all the people and businesses they’re supposed to be keeping a lucky eye on, but these sake-filled summertime festivals that feature scantily-clad men rocking that shrine through the streets… come with their own peculiar anxiety…Continue reading “An Only-In-Japan Problem If There Ever Was One”

The Tool For All Your Chrome-plated Outdoor Needs

The must be the tool you’d need when pulling into the glamping spot in your pristine 4-wheel drive, to, I dunno…shovel a few more steaks onto the barbie? Return your cocktail garnishes to the earth from whence they came? Bury bodies above your pay grade? •

And This Year’s Winners In The Tournament Of Weird Japanese Appliances Are…

In for the gold by a mile: the Electric Sweet Potato Roaster In the steamy competition for Most Japanese Appliance Ever, I think you’ll have to agree that the electric sweet potato roaster owns the podium. Not only is it good for making one thing (and one thing only), that thing is the most Japanese winterContinue reading “And This Year’s Winners In The Tournament Of Weird Japanese Appliances Are…”

Cat Feet Chair Socks!

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 of chair on floor could drive guests away faster than a pot of soup generously endowed with all four kinds of cow stomach. These “Tiger Feet”Continue reading “Cat Feet Chair Socks!”

Top Ten Crazy Holiday Gifts from Japan 2017!

It’s that time of year, when everyone who’s easy to buy presents for already has a big satisfying check mark next to their name, but the ones who don’t are driving me crazy, because I just can’t think of anything that will surprise and/or delight them. Or at least make them scream when they openContinue reading “Top Ten Crazy Holiday Gifts from Japan 2017!”

Top Ten Crazy Holiday Gifts From Japan 2016

Yes, it’s that time of year again, when you comb your list of friends & family for those who truly deserve that rare and awe-inspiring gift from Japan… 10. If there’s nobody on your list who needs a MANEATING VAMPIRE PURSE, you need to make new friends. 9. CUTEST WASHCLOTHS OF ALL TIME! Who could fail to smile after ripping the wrappingContinue reading “Top Ten Crazy Holiday Gifts From Japan 2016”

2015 Top Ten Crazy Gifts From Japan!

It’s time for Only In Japan’s yearly holiday gift round-up, and it looks like 2015 is holding its own! I can pretty much guarantee you’ll be the only one to bestow one of these awesome gifts from Japan on your nearest and dearest… 10. Warm in winter, cool in summer, give this CREEPY CONSTRUCTION WORKER HEAD TOWEL, so they can enjoy displaying their brains asContinue reading “2015 Top Ten Crazy Gifts From Japan!”

Eat ALL The Bugs

Aieee, what is this, AUSTRALIA? I mean, what if you got up in the morning and snagged your bread from the toaster before you’d had your coffee and when you went to take your first bite, there was a giant BEE LEG staring right up at you? Or, even worse, what if you were deleting your spam while you ateContinue reading “Eat ALL The Bugs”

Give Yourself A Tooth Manicure

Want to perk up those pearly whites a bit, but don’t want to choose between paying for cosmetic dentistry and getting a new car? This Japanese tooth makeup is for you! For less than twenty bucks, Tooth Makeup is basically nail polish for your choppers! Yes, just choose the shade you’d like your new smile to be, paint it on, and you’reContinue reading “Give Yourself A Tooth Manicure”

Sexy Red Undies Opposite Day

So, there’s this street in Tokyo I’ve written about before that’s known as the “Grandma & Grandpa’s Harajuku” because it’s where all the oldsters go to stock up on the latest elderly comforts and fashions. My favorite store on Koshinzuka Street is the “Red Underpants” shop, which specializes in many, many, MANY styles of lucky red underwearContinue reading “Sexy Red Undies Opposite Day”

Forever Alone Appliances

Used to be – if you were a Japanese man – you had it made. Food magically appeared on the table every mealtime and you never even had to learn how to push the button on the rice cooker or face the pots & pans that became mysteriously dirtied while keeping you alive. Mom did all that for you until you got married,Continue reading “Forever Alone Appliances”

The Octopus Treatment…For Your Face

If you’re a little short on live octopus tentacles the next time you need a beauty treatment, Tokyu Hands will happily sell you this pink plastic Vacu & Lift Roller. I’m not sure what lasting beautification this device is supposed to deliver, but if I ever see someone walking down the streets of Shibuya looking like they just face-wrestled aContinue reading “The Octopus Treatment…For Your Face”

Ten Best Stocking Stuffers From Japan!

10. SUSHI SOCKS 9. DIY CROSS STITCH PHONE CASE 8. ANIMAL SKELETONS 7. DEVIL WAX 6. EYELID EXERCISER 5. EMOJI EYE MASK 4. DEODORANT CANDY 3. NINJA SNACK PICKS 2. THE STATUE OF TOO MUCH LIBERTY 1. PIGGY ZAPPER • Still need a gift idea? ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️The Last Tea Bowl Thief was chosen as an Editor’s Pick for Best Mystery, Thriller & Suspense onContinue reading “Ten Best Stocking Stuffers From Japan!”

Tokyo Design Festa: Zombie Matryoshika & More

If you’re in Tokyo, get thee to Design Festa RIGHT NOW! It’s on through Sunday the 9th, out in Odaiba at Big Sight. You definitely don’t want to miss seeing (and buying!): Design Festa is on from 11:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. through Sunday November 9 at Tokyo Big Sight convention center, near Kokusai-tenjijo Station.Continue reading “Tokyo Design Festa: Zombie Matryoshika & More”

Hardcore Workout Equipment…For Your Face

Getting yourself a righteously small face has always been prized in Japan, but having a face that just oozes buffness is apparently the new Holy Grail Of Pulchritude. Behold the dizzying array of exercise devices for your head, all designed to shape and tone your visage into a model of curvaceous (and unwrinkled) youth. Saw these at Don Kihote store inContinue reading “Hardcore Workout Equipment…For Your Face”

Salty Dragonblood Toothpaste

But what I want to know is, how do they KNOW the dragons only ate pesticide-free virgins? Is the blood harvested from organically-certified, knight-armor-free, farm-grown dragons? You can get your very own Toothpaste Of Targaryens at the Tokyu Hands store in Ikebukuro. •

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! Believe it orContinue reading “For Charcoal-Fresh Breath…”

Nose Training

I don’t know which is weirder, the idea that you’d want your nose to be bigger, or that you think you can “train” it into pulchritude by using one of these pink plastic torture devices! Longing for a tall nose is nearly as common as the fervent wish for a small face among Japanese women,Continue reading “Nose Training”

Piggy Zapper

If you should happen to find yourself out behind the barn sneaking a smoke with someone who is suddenly so repugnant that you want to taser them, Don Kihote has the perfect product for you! The Piggy Lighter That Also Shocks! As an added bonus, its nose extends to Pinocchio-like proportions in order to deliverContinue reading “Piggy Zapper”

31 Flavors Of…Toothpaste?

Now you can fight cavities and have curry-fresh breath too, with this new line of Breath Palette flavored toothpaste! With thirty-one strange flavors to choose from, your teeth can sparkle with a different one each day for a month. Get yourself some righteous morning coffee breath with Café au Lait, experience cognitive dissonance brushing withContinue reading “31 Flavors Of…Toothpaste?”

Top Ten Only In Japan Holiday Gifts 2013

10. I bet the person on your list who has everything doesn’t have a THOUSAND DOLLAR RICE COOKER! 9. Surely you know someone whose garden wouldn’t be complete without a few GNOMES OF VICTORY 8. Give the gift of facial warmth and animal shenanigans with the BEARFACE MUFFLER 7. For that perfect head, the SONICContinue reading “Top Ten Only In Japan Holiday Gifts 2013”

The Newest Ways To Get A Small Face

Who knew that aluminum could be the key to that holy grail of pulchritude, the small face? Apparently, it has become the flavor of the month when it comes to head shrinking in Japan. Strap on one of these “aluminum head spa” products to minimize your watermelon of a noggin whilst you shower! And in caseContinue reading “The Newest Ways To Get A Small Face”

Porta-Bidet To The Rescue!

Penetrate even the most robo-toilet deficient corners of the globe with confidence, now that you can travel with your magic bottom-washing wand! Just crank it onto a pet bottle full of water (or fill the slightly cumbersome plastic reservoir with local H2O), aim that bad boy, and fire. It’s not the smallest travel item ever invented, butContinue reading “Porta-Bidet To The Rescue!”

“What May I Pick Up For You, Master Of The House?”

Now anyone can be All-Master-All-The-Time with these maid-themed chopsticks from Tokyu Hands! While they may not be too ace at drawing cat whiskers on your ome-rice, you can probably beat them with great regularity at Jenga… •

Slightly Creepy, And Yet…

Solve the perennial problem of having to listen to the life story of the ex-schoolteacher from Peoria on your next flight out of Tokyo by donning one of these luridly realistic eye masks! Choose from Unblinking Mass Murderer, Flight Panic Stare, Mad Scientist Who Is Looking For Subjects For His Next Experiment, Loony Bin Escapee,Continue reading “Slightly Creepy, And Yet…”

Make Your Own Adorable Butt Pudding

Of all the WTF Japan products I’ve seen, this has to be the absolutely WTFiest. JIGGLY. WHITE. BUTT. PUDDING. According to the directions on the back, using only this mix, a microwave and a mold shaped exactly like the well-know derriere of the beloved comic book and anime character, Crayon Shin-chan, one can be biting intoContinue reading “Make Your Own Adorable Butt Pudding”

Today’s Beauty Quiz: Are You Young Enough To Have Gray Hair?

These days in Tokyo, the only people with black hair are those whose hair is actually gray, and the only people with gray hair are those whose hair is naturally black. To determine which group you should be in, take this handy quiz. Agree, or disagree? 1: “Sunscreen, who needs it? I mean, who caresContinue reading “Today’s Beauty Quiz: Are You Young Enough To Have Gray Hair?”

The Boyfriend Of Your Dreams For Only $70!

He doesn’t leave his socks on the floor, he doesn’t hog the remote, and he doesn’t snore! But when you close your eyes and wrap your arms around your full-body-size hunk of burnin’ love and plug in your earphones, he’ll lull you to sleep by whispering sweet nothings in your ear! You’ll never have toContinue reading “The Boyfriend Of Your Dreams For Only $70!”

What’s Long & Skinny And Not What You Think It Is?

Hey, I was visiting the Togenuki Jizo and I got you a present. Wow, thanks. What is it? Guess. Oh no. On second thought, I don’t want it. It’s something weird, I just know it. It’s not weird! I swear, after you try it, you won’t be able to live without it. What’s this writingContinue reading “What’s Long & Skinny And Not What You Think It Is?”

Radio Control Toilet

Yes, now you can level up your toilet game with this revolutionary R/C controller! We’re assured right on the package that it can be used by men OR women in a lavatory fight to the death: because even though men might dominate when it comes to putting up the seat, we know women utterly ruleContinue reading “Radio Control Toilet”

What Apartment Doesn’t Need A Little Castle-like Ambience?

Waltz into this schwanky interior design store in Gotanda and walk out with a life-size replica of Arthurian-looking armor! Take your new buddy home on the train! Surely it’s just the welcoming touch your home was needing. (Also note that it comes in mini-knight size, in case you have mini-apartment size digs.) •

Hmm, Today I Think I’ll Do A Little Body Piercing…

That’s right, these little beauties are SELF-PIERCERS! How many ways can I say OW?! And even though the “birthstone” earring included suggests they are for 13-year-old girls, the store that sold them in the Magnet by 109 building specialized in jewelry that wasn’t exactly made for earlobes. For those who would, um, prefer not toContinue reading “Hmm, Today I Think I’ll Do A Little Body Piercing…”

Dinosaur Head, Half Price!

Surely I must know someone who would love to receive a life-sized dinosaur head! On sale for only ¥18,900, it’s so hard to pass up! I mean, who wouldn’t want a tyrannosaur hanging over their fireplace? This shop on Kappabashi street in Tokyo’s restaurant supply district specializes in custom-made props. In addition to Rex theContinue reading “Dinosaur Head, Half Price!”

The Miso Muddler And Other Obscure Kitchen Tools

I laughed when I saw that there was a special tool you could plunge into a tub of miso, twirl it around to get exactly one bowl’s worth of fermented soybean paste into the little ball, then use the muddler to whisk it into your soup. And then, of course, I bought one. Because actually, ifContinue reading “The Miso Muddler And Other Obscure Kitchen Tools”

How To Get Yourself A Tall Nose

Making your nose look bigger is not at the top of most Westerners’ must-have beauty techniques, but stylish Japanese blades are apparently keen on giving their schnozzes a lift! From the ever-entertaining pages of Men’s Spider magazine (the slightly more host-centric version of Men’s Knuckle!), behold the step by step instructions for nose enhancing makeupContinue reading “How To Get Yourself A Tall Nose”

Tea: Not Just For Toddlers Anymore

In Japan, you’re never too young to start drinking tea! Now even babies can take a break from the hard work of learning that the hand that just hit them in the face is actually attached to the end of their own arm! Behold hōji-cha for baby bottles! This roasted decaf version of green tea startsContinue reading “Tea: Not Just For Toddlers Anymore”

The Hottest New Look In…Aprons?

You’re joking, right? Aprons? Nope, even the venerable Mitsukoshi department store has an extensive apron department. Aprons with ruffles. Aprons with bows. Little black cocktail aprons. But why? It wasn’t until I was invited to a friend’s house for a dinner party that I understood. Japanese entertaining has traditionally been done in restaurants, and it’s only recentlyContinue reading “The Hottest New Look In…Aprons?”

Coffin Nails For Lefties

Were the lion of the Cuban Revolución to make a little posthumous visit to Japan from Guerilla Heaven, he might be surprised (and possibly more than a little outraged) to find himself shilling for cigarettes from beyond the grave! At least they’re a nice Marxist red. •

Rude Gnomes

As a sort of matter/anti-matter reaction to the See No Evil, Hear No Evil, Speak No Evil Gnomes, the same artist presents the F U Gnome. The Xmas-seasonal appearance of these, er, art objects suggests there has been continuing elf/dwarf/gnome cross-cultural confusion with regard to Santa and his workforce. I admit I’m quite curious aboutContinue reading “Rude Gnomes”

Beauty Help For Men

Unibrow isn’t a big problem here in Japan, but what’s an “herbivore man” to do when the furry bits above his eyes aren’t up to the esthé standard of his glowing skin and artfully styled hair? Eyebrow Template for Men to the rescue! Try on Straight, Natural or Cool styles, comb the unrulies up withContinue reading “Beauty Help For Men”

Veggie Boys vs. Carnivore Men

I guess it was inevitable: the species of Japanese males who have come to be known as “grass-eating men” (sōshoku danshi) now have their own beauty brand: VegeBoy! Guys who obsess about every little facial imperfection can now chase pulchritude without furtively buying any pastel packaged products! The VegeBoy line includes everything from facial masksContinue reading “Veggie Boys vs. Carnivore Men”

Dieting Made Easy

If you’ve been searching for a miracle diet that’s guaranteed to make you eat less – or not at all! – at every meal, your quest for the holy grail has ended! Introducing the “Curry Plate Of Shape Of Toilet.” Yes, this white porcelain plate is a perfect replica of a Japanese squat-style toilet. PairedContinue reading “Dieting Made Easy”

Tools For The Fingernail Challenged

Congratulating yourself that your spanking new nail art will definitely make it impossible for you to be selected to wash dishes or chop vegetables, you whip out your smartphone to send your ten best friends new shots of your to-die-for talons, the bowl of abura soba you just ordered for lunch, and a snap ofContinue reading “Tools For The Fingernail Challenged”

Nightmare Or Skin Treatment? You Decide!

Wow, which one do I dread trying the most? It’s so hard to choose! As much as having my face covered in the kind of pond scum I remember eww-ing over in 10th grade Biology, lying there with snail slime perilously close to my nose and mouth might be worse. Both, however, are certainly trumpedContinue reading “Nightmare Or Skin Treatment? You Decide!”

What’s Green and Crunchy and Not The Flavor You Think It Is?

Okay, I know it’s not green tea. I’m not even going to waste a guess saying it might be green tea. Wait, why? Because in Japan most cookies and cakes and other things that ought not ever to be green (except on St.  Patrick’s day) are green tea flavor. I’m not saying it’s right, butContinue reading “What’s Green and Crunchy and Not The Flavor You Think It Is?”