As promised, this post is nothing more than a list of some of the more pointless and bizarre things I almost bought in Japan. I bought many things, but nothing quite this weird and I feel a little bit sad about that. Which of course means I have to go back several times. I might stock up for the distant future. My kids are going to be so confused when Father Christmas comes.
Anyway, this is in part because some people didn’t believe me when I said Japan sells table socks.
See? I told you. Table socks. For covering up your unsightly table legs. Or maybe for keeping them warm, I don’t know.
You can use them on chairs too if you’re feeling crazy.
The capsule vending machines are all fairly weird, but some of them go above and beyond – an array of happily vomiting cats anyone?
Tree frogs, to plug into your iPhone. They don’t do anything, mind. They just sit there, judging you with their tiny froggy eyes.
I love these so much. Earplugs shaped like little dolls in various states of intimacy with your eardrum. If I didn’t wriggle about so much in my sleep (I can’t imagine they’re comfortable to roll on top of), I would have bought the whole set.
Hmm. Something tells me this friendly chappy isn’t on sale in Disneyland.
Ah, the health and beauty section. I’ve been baffled by toiletries in Asia already – have you ever tried to buy facial cleanser that doesn’t have whitening properties in Thailand? Not easy – but Japan is something else. Do you know anyone in need of a happy face trainer?
Stickers for making Asian eyelids look more Caucasian. Back home, I have actually seen stickers for making Caucasian eyes look Asian, but they were sold by a stage makeup company, not Boots.
I… don’t have a clue what this is.
OK, to be fair, for people with allergies the ‘Nose Mask Pit’ could be quite useful. But it does seem somewhat less convenient than copying the rest of the country and wearing a face mask.
This looks like… exercise and bondage in one easy package?
Oh, I’m so glad someone invented this. I do so often realise in my relaxing bath soaks that I want nothing more than to do a few sit ups.
On to the pet zone! If you have a badly behaved dog who needs a muzzle, why not kill two birds with one stone and muzzle and humiliate them at the same time? Fluffy is sure not to terrorise any more toddlers if he knows it leads to timeout in the duck costume.
Alternatively as a reward, maybe a nice pair of socks. You never know when your dog is getting jealous of your dining table.
The bento area is possibly the most quintessentially Japanese stuff you’ll find in a department store, forget chopsticks and sake – bring back these and you have authentic Japanese food for life. If you haven’t heard of them, bento boxes are basically lunch boxes, plus extreme bored housewife levels of cuteness. The shelves here are filled with different moulds and cutters to shape your food, and plastic picks and wrappers to decorate it. Personally, I would be delighted to have a cheeky meatball greeting me as I opened my packed lunch.
I think the basic rule here is, if it’s not selling enough, stick a smiley face on it. After all, washing the dishes has to be more fun if your sponge is happy to see you. And if that still isn’t cute enough for you?
You can always give it a costume.
So, what’s on your shopping list?