Meet the Otamatone: A Wonderfully Bizarre Instrument by Maywa Denki

Of the many creations by the Japanese siblings Masamichi and Nobumichi Tosa, better known together as Maywa Denki, there is perhaps no invention that better echoes the heart and soul of their wonderfully bizarre menagerie of art installations, designer goods, toys, and musical instruments than the Otamatone—the tadpole-faced, Theremin-voiced synthesizer that has become a viral YouTube sensation across the globe. Whether you’re looking for a fun gift for your musically inclined friend or family member or want to add a unique sound to your next public performance, the Otamatone is sure to have > Read More


Japanese Beer Glasses & Ultrasonic Beer Foamers for the Home Bartender

While the highball and chuhai have rightfully found their place among Japan’s most popular happy hour drinks, it is the country’s love for ice-cold draft beer that has been truly elevated to an art form. To share this unique culture with you, we’ve put together a list of Japanese beer glasses and foamers that can help bring Japan’s passion for pilsners into your home bar. Japanese Beer Glasses & Tumblers Sugahara Glassworks Mt. Fuji Beer Glass Sugahara Glassworks’ Mt. Fuji Beer Glass is an artistic achievement of understated craftsmanship. Paying homage to Japan’s iconic peak, the > Read More


Traditional Japanese Summer Items

Carefully watching and celebrating the passing of the seasons is a key part of Japanese culture, and a tradition that can be seen from the earliest Japanese art up to the present day. With the keen attention paid to the signs of the seasons, some items and patterns indelibly symbolize summer in Japan. You may have noticed these yourself, whether when visiting or just from watching your favorite Japanese shows or films. From traditional ways to beat the heat to seasonal patterns, read on to find out more about summer in Japan, and how to get that quintessentially Japanese summer look at > Read More


9 Japanese Cleaning Products to Make Your Life Easier

No matter the time of year, it’s never too late for a little spring-cleaning! From a country known for its uncluttered apartments, squeaky-clean schools, and litter-free roads, here are nine Japanese cleaning products that will make your life pika pika (sparkling)! > Read More


9 of the Most Kawaii Cat Gashapon You’ll Ever Collect

From novelty cat cafés to famous cat islands like Aoshima, Japan definitely has a thing for cuddly kitties. So, it’s no surprise that each year Japan’s capsule toy industry continues to release an ever-growing number of oh-so-cute cat gashapon. While there are many purr-fectly charming Japanese products available for kitty lovers, we’re here to let the cat out of the bag by showcasing nine of the most kawaii collectibles to ever come rolling out of a gacha gacha machine. Anicolla Series Buneko Keychains Despite how adorable cats look walking around the house all dressed up, they don’t > Read More


Popular cosplay looks in Japan – Winter/Spring 2017

Anime convention season is coming up! Have you prepared all of your cosplay looks yet? If you’re still mulling over what character is just right for you this summer, why not check out some of the looks Japanese cosplayers are loving this year? Stay on top of cosplay trends - here are some of the costumes that had strong showings at Comiket 91, Wonder Festival, Anime Japan 2017 and more events over recent months. Kemono Friends Get the look - Serval It’s hard to resist the appeal of an opportunity to rock cat ears and a tail, especially when you can kick it up a notch by dressing as > Read More


Gudetama Merch: 10 Delectable Lazy Egg Collectibles from Japan

When you first meet Sanrio’s Gudetama face to face, the savory celebrity’s appeal may leave you scratching your head. Perhaps Gudetama’s popularity can be credited to the clever combination of food and Japanese kawaii culture, or perhaps it’s how easy people can relate to the mascot’s seemingly constant state of eggs-istential crisis. Whatever Gudetama’s recipe for success may be, fans around the world are eager to shell out money for collectibles bearing the character’s likeness. To help you in your hunt, here are 10 Gudetama items to satisfy your craving for the world’s laziest > Read More


A Guide to Japanese Anime and Game Character Collectibles: Part 2

The Japanese collectibles market features a dizzying array of concepts, series and brands. It can be tough to navigate, especially if you don’t speak Japanese! In this series, we’ll introduce some popular collectible concepts, and tell you where they came from and where you can get them! In part one, we discussed illustration-based collectibles, like key chains and charms. In part two, we’re going 3D with collectible figures, dolls, and plushies. Japan is incredibly adept at bringing characters to life as covetable figures and plushies, and we can only skim the surface of the full range of > Read More


10 Japanese Stress Relief Products: From Shouting Vases to Squeezing Faces

Stress is everywhere—at work, at school, at home—but with the right tools, managing some of the pressures of everyday life can be easy. From a country known for long work hours, cram schools, and tiny apartments, comes 10 fun Japanese stress relief products to help you get your daily rest and relaxation. Japanese Shouting Vases Sometimes you’ve just got to let out your pent-up emotions—ideally, without scaring off your next-door neighbors or coworkers. These Japanese Shouting Vases can help relieve your anger, frustration, and excitement by creating a “soundproof” barrier between your > Read More


A Guide to Japanese Anime and Game Character Collectibles: Part 1

The Japanese collectibles market features a dizzying array of concepts, series and brands. It can be tough to navigate, especially if you don’t speak Japanese! In this two-part series, we’ll introduce some popular collectible concepts, and tell you where they came from and where you can get them. In part one, we’ll deal with illustration-based collectibles, while part two deals with figures, dolls and plushies. The main forms of 2D collectible series in Japan are acrylic key chains (アクリルキーホルダー, lit. acrylic key holder) with a ball-chain or key ring fastener, and rubber phone charms > Read More