Japanese Incense Evolution: Traditional Scents & Trendy Twists

Incense burning in Japan is not just a way to relax and freshen the air; it is also one of the oldest traditional Japanese arts. Japanese incense is made with high quality natural ingredients such as herbs, spices, resins, and aromatic woods. Historically, it has been used in Buddhist rituals to purify a sacred space or make a spiritual offering. Incense appreciation (Kodo) even developed into an art form like that of tea ceremony or flower arranging in the Heian Period. Today seen mostly in the form of Japanese incense sticks, incense is another example of Japan’s success in creating > Read More

Japanese Washi Tape Crafts: Turn the Ordinary into the Oh-so-Kawaii!

If you’re into arts and crafts, then you’ve probably heard of washi tape, the decorative masking tape from Japan that’s made of paper yet surprisingly sturdy. Washi tape comes in an endless variety of cute patterns and colors. It’s as strong as masking tape but doesn’t leave behind any traces of adhesive when removed, so it’s gentle enough to use on photos—in short, washi tape is every crafter’s dream. In case you have yet to experience the wonders of washi tape or are looking for ways to up your washi tape game, here are a few fun and easy ideas. All you need is some washi tape and a craft > Read More

Gashapon: Beware! One Capsule Toy Is Never Enough

Gashapon Pokémon Sun and Moon Mini-mini Gacha Poké Machine Capsule Toy (Gashapon) https://youtu.be/I_gZ_EC9LIE Japanese capsule toys are some of the most diverse and interesting trinkets available in Japan. Capsule toys are more commonly known in Japan as ‘gashapon’ and can be bought from so-called ‘gacha gacha’ vending machines. These machines can be found in many places, such as in game centers and outside supermarkets. The amount of machines with extremely affordable prices – usually 100 yen, but with larger toys stretching to 400 – has led to a huge variety of gashapon. From cute to > Read More

Action Figures 101: What you need to know about Basic Figurine Care

You’ve purchased figurines of all your favorite magical girls and RPG action heroes. Now what do you do with them? Learning to keep your figurines dust-free and protected from the elements is just as important as choosing how to display them. It can seem like a daunting task at first, but with a few household and store-bought items to aid you, you can make your collection shine! > Read More

Japanese Fans and Umbrellas: A Lovely Tradition

Japan is well renowned for beautiful traditional buildings and shrines. Part of that old aesthetic is traditional Japanese fans and umbrellas. These fans and umbrellas are still seen and used to this day, especially in the cultural capital of Kyoto. However, the questions many have are what are they, where did they come from and when did people use them? > Read More

The Most Popular New and Used Japanese Cosplay Costumes Shops

Cosplay (or “costume play”) costumes is one of Japan’s biggest trends, where fanboys and fangirls wear costumes based on their favorite anime and video game characters. As an art form and hobby, cosplay costumes has spread around the world, and, today, cosplayers regularly attend conventions called “Cons,” where they meet others in costume, gather for photoshoots, participate in contests, and make unforgettable memories. While some cosplayers like to sew their own costumes and build their own props, many do not have the time, knowledge, or resources to do so. For those who want to purchase > Read More

All about Kimono and Yukata: The Differences, How To Wear & Buy

Kimono and yukata are traditional Japanese garments that have charmed people around the world with their beauty, style, and traditional aesthetic. They are full-length T-shaped robes that have long sleeves and are secured in place with a decorative belt. There are many specific rules for when and how to wear kimono and yukata, known as kitsuke. The rules for kimono are much stricter as they are considered formalwear, while rules for wearing yukata are more relaxed. > Read More

Summer 2015: 14 Highly Anticipated and New Figure Releases

What’s filled with nightly firework displays, festivals, warm-weather fashion, and—of course—green tea ice cream? Summer in Japan, of course! But regardless of where you live, or what traditions you celebrate, summertime is a season to be excited… about new figurine releases, straight from Japan! From classics like Dragon Ball, to current smash-hits like Tokyo Ghoul, we’re counting down—in no particular order—the top fourteen most anticipated figurine releases of the summer months. > Read More

Transform Your Boring Lunch with the Best Bento Accessories!

Packing a lunch every morning—whether it’s for your beloved spouse, children, or yourself—can be a total drag. Heck, even with all the time in the world, you think packing lunches is still a pain. Well, you’re not alone. Lucky for you, we’ve compiled a list of handy bento gizmos and gadgets to make your mornings easier—oh, and also, you’ll be able to make insanely cool-looking bento lunches with half the usual effort. Sounds great, right? > Read More

6 Must-Have Japanese Kitchen Gadgets

Intro to Japanese Kitchen Gadgets The man arm pillows, heated toilet seats, sushi bag covers … we’ve all heard of these bizarre, yet actually (kind of) useful items. And we secretly want all of them. Well, if Japan can make ingenious inventions for the bedroom and bathroom, there’s no reason why it can’t for the kitchen—and it did. Here are some top must-have gadgets! > Read More