This year’s Met Gala theme — Rei Kawakubo and Comme des Garçons — got us thinking: There’s such great Japanese-made stuff worth knowing about (much of it that we’ve even written about before), so why not take the occasion to go really big on Japan? From the meticulously crafted to the intuitively designed to the wonderfully weird, welcome to Made in Japan Week on the Strategist.
A rule I’ve learned to live by: If it — and by it, I mean anything — is made in Japan, it’s better or at the very least cooler. Another one: Amazon is probably the easiest way to both decipher what these products are and ship them across the country (trying to piece together Yen conversion rates while translating Japanese websites is not easy). So we’ve compiled some of the best and weirdest that Amazon has to offer for some painless Japanese shopping. For all of you whose favorite episode of Girls is the one where Shosh is living life in Tokyo, this list is for you.
Japanese Randoseru School Bag
This Randoseru is what all the Japanese schoolkids wear, and on Amazon you can get it in just about any color.
Japanese Kit Kat Matcha Green Tea Flavor
The ever-delicious, and rare, matcha-flavored Kit Kats. We’ve also found some even more unusual (but potentially delicious?) sake-flavored ones.
Shoyeido’s Kyoto Autumn Leaves Incense
Japanese incense that smells like Kyoto leaves in the fall.
DAISO Template Ruler
Have a kawaii (that’s cute in Japanese) moment with this ruler that also has mini rabbit and ice-cream stencils.
Inomata Japanese Rice Washing Bowl with Side and Bottom Drainers
We all know about Japanese rice cookers, but what about the strainers? This one has holes small enough to strain itty-bitty grains of rice.
Daiso Japan Natural Pack Charcoal Peel Off Mask
I Am Reliable Baby-Only Newspaper
This is an edible newspaper, so the babies can stay busy snacking while you get on with the reading. (We promise this is not fake news.)
KING Japanese Sharpening Stone
A knife-sharpening stone nice enough to keep on the counter.
MT Washi Masking Tapes
Twenty colorful masking tapes.
Yazawa Travel multi cooker
Zojirushi Stainless Steel Mug, 20-Ounce
Kuretake Clean Color Real Brush Watercolour Brush Pens
Forty-eight watercolor pens with a real brush tip.
There are only a few left of the 48 color set, but there are plenty of the 80 color set here.
Mind up dog mouth care tooth brush
A toothbrush for Japanese and American dogs.
CASIO analog travel clock alarm clock
A 2.4-inch-tall travel alarm clock with baby-blue accents.
Kendama Wooden Traditional Japanese Toy
The Kendama, a traditional Japanese toy that’s kind of like a more advanced yo-yo, is supposed to improve hand-eye coordination.
A pair of bonsai scissors, for those invested in the art of bonsai (and for those not, they’re still pretty cool).
Japanese Rattan Proper Sitting up Straight Seiza Chair
If you’re not used to sitting up straight with your legs crossed underneath, as is done in Japan, specifically during tea ceremonies, this rattan chair will train you to get there. (It’s also pretty similar to this back-saving kneeling chair, so it can probably be used for work, too).
Assorted Japanese Junk Food Snack “Dagashi”
A bundle of 27 Japanese snacks. If you don’t read Japanese, each one becomes a mystery adventure!
Japanese Hot Spring Bath Powders
Bath powders, which are the same as salts, that also have rave reviews on Amazon.
Kuretake ZIG Letter Pen Cocoiro Body
Danboard Cute Figure
This tiny action figure is only three inches tall and looks like it’s made out of cardboard boxes, if you’re looking for a new desk friend. The eyes light up, too.
NUOLUX Elastic Cotton Tabi Toe Socks
Tabi socks separate the big toe from the rest, so you can wear them with flip-flops, or just to give your big toe some private time.
Pocky Biscuit Stick 6 Flavor Variety Pack (Pack of 6)
This is the best snack ever, a very thin cookie dipped in flavored icing. If you’ve never had it, get this starter pack with all six flavors right now, and then decide on your favorite flavor to order in bulk (mine’s strawberry).
Iwako Japanese Erasers
Nothing screams Japan like extremely detailed mini-erasers shaped like snacks.
Japanese Kewpie Mayonnaise
This Japanese mayo is one of the most searched for Japanese products on Amazon.
Authentic Japanese 100% Organic Cotton
Japanese cotton is another top search because it’s supposedly excellent for wicking vape coils.
Odor-sealing Baby Disposable Diaper Bags
These are like doggy-poop bags, but for diapers. Seal a dirty diaper in here and it won’t stink up the whole garbage can.
Portable Office Stationery Writing Pencil Cosmetic Case
A millennial-pink pencil case for all of your mini-erasers and collapsible pens.
Kokuyo Stapleless Stapler Harinacs Compact Alpha
This mini-stapler is about the size of a grown woman’s palm.
KINGJIM label writer
And a millennial-pink label-maker to complete the desk-accessory set.
LIHIT LAB Carrying Pouch (Waist Pack)
This waist pouch is like a fanny pack, but more socially acceptable because it hooks around a belt, instead of coming with it’s own buckle-up strap.
Niconico Nekomura Cat Earphone Jack Plug Accessory Pastel Color Edition
For those of us who still have a headphone jack, this little cat will plug into and hang off of it, which serves two purposes: (1) It’s super cute. (2) It’ll stop the jack from filling up with dirt.
“Mini Animal Skewer”
Bring a piece of Japan to the fruit platter with these cute animal toothpicks.
CYBERL Japanese Dish Cloth Set Of 3
Rayon and cotton dishcloths in gently blue patterns.
Toilet Brush Cat White From Japan
A toilet brush disguised as a cat.
Piggy Cup Lid Cover
A silicone lid to keep drinks hot, disguised as a pig.
Ito En Oi Ocha Japanese Green Tea, Macha blend
Sure, they sell Ito En in America, but we’d bet the Japanese one tastes better.
Japanese Traditional Futon Mattress
In Japan, they sleep on futonlike mattresses on the floor and fold them up every morning.
Hello Kitty Jenga Junior
It wouldn’t be a made-in-Japan list without something from Hello Kitty, so here she is in a Jenga Junior set.
CYBERL Japanese Bath Towel Set Of 2
Some more Japanese cotton, here in the form of a bath towel.
Old Version Green Mandoline
JAPANESE Pure Horse Oil Soap (2 packs)
Plus Pen Style Compact Twiggy Scissors with Cover
A scissor so compact, it folds up as small as a pen for cutting on the go.
Pure Smile Japan Art Face Mask
We’ve all seen animal face masks by now, and here’s a Japanese one that’ll make you look like a dog.
This is currently sold out, but the paperback book collection is available here.
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