Archive for June, 2009

What’s Under Your Umbrella?

It’s monsoon season in Japan where the humidity level hovers around 90%, forcing salarymen to loosen their neckties on the way to the office.

Aside from a dry shirt, the most popular purchase of the season is an umbrella — and now, not just any umbrella but one that suits your needs. Check out these amazing products found at Lieben online store:

SMALL and CUTE

0210hagaki

What better umbrella to own than one that fits into your purse! I’ve bought a number of these in Tokyo for anywhere between $10 to $20, oftentimes when a sudden rainstorm leaves me stranded in the middle of town. They’re hinged in two different places and fold up pretty easily…with a little bit of encouragement.

ROOM FOR ME AND YOU
0252-bo
Here’s your chance to snag that boy you’ve been eyeing in biology class. Class is dismissed and everyone heads out. But what’s this? A thunder storm! Before he makes a run for it, seductively tap him on the shoulder and offer a spot under your umbrella for two. With a wingspam of over 3 feet, it’s the perfect facilitator for intimate conversations and shoulder-to-shoulder rubbing action. Ooh la la!

ALL CLEAR AHEAD

0623-blue

So now that you and that boy from biology class have tied the knot and had babies, here’s a cool invention you can give your kid to make sure he stays out of trouble. From fast-moving cars to school bullies, your kid can now spot oncoming trouble and still stay dry, not to mention chic.

PUPPY STYLE

3700dog

“101 Useless Japanese Inventions” anyone? Don’t laugh, this product is real. Selling for $20, it’s attached to a leash and hovers several inches above your favorite pooch through rain, sleet or snow. Unfortunately, the umbrella handle doesn’t allow for slack during your dog’s sudden urges to chase after that squirrel. You’ll just have to run to keep up.

Himawari

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Thinking of doing business in Japan? We can make it easy for you!
japanizmo, a Los Angeles based company, provides practical solutions for U.S. ? Japan business projects. Our experienced Japanese staff will support all phases of your business project to seize business opportunities and turn your vision into a reality. >> Learn more

June 30, 2009 at 11:40 am Leave a comment

Flavor Your Breath

Here’s another product that’ll bring a smile to your nightly ritual. It’s odd-tasting toothpaste byBreath Palette !

36107-SweetShop-1R

It’s a fruit basket of 18 flavors like Tropical Pineapple, California Orange, Grapefruit, Strawberry, White Peach and Fuji Apple. There’s also some really questionable ones like Lavender, Bitter Chocolate and Cola. Whoa~ Cola?! I thought toothpaste was for cleaning my teeth, not corroding it. (O.o) Hmm, I should give it a try.

Each taste of the rainbow comes in a cute little tube, which is especially handy for weekend getaways and stinky-breath emergencies. Pack it in your purse and you’re good to go.

I especially like this product’s package design. And the way the tubes are numbered makes me think it’s a chemistry set in need of some heavy experimentation:

Vanilla + Cola = Ice Cream Float ?

Monkey Banana + Pumpkin Pudding = Banana Pudding ??

Cinnamon +Fuji Apple = Apple Turnover ???

The paste contains teeth-cleaning micro-beads and Xylitol, Japan’s favorite sugar substitute. It not only contains less calories, it prevents plaque buildup, too.

Like most Japanese toothpaste, there’s less foaming agents. I never really understood the appeal to less foam, probably because I grew up on Colgate which’ll make you look like a rabies-infested dog, but will also leave a fresh, clean feeling. Though if I mix Breath Palette’s Grapefruit and Lemon Tea paste, I bet I could give my mouth the same feel. Citrus scrub, anyone? \(^o^)/

Himawari

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Thinking of doing business in Japan? We can make it easy for you!
japanizmo, a Los Angeles based company, provides practical solutions for U.S. ? Japan business projects. Our experienced Japanese staff will support all phases of your business project to seize business opportunities and turn your vision into a reality. >> Learn more

June 23, 2009 at 12:40 pm Leave a comment

Check Your Breath

Stay away from me, I just ate five cloves of GARLIC!

I love garlic grilled over an open flame, slathered with salt and melted butter. The aroma alone puts a big grin on my face, though it seems to have a reverse effect on the people around me. Their eyebrows furrow as they pinch their nose shut when I try talking to them. Is my breath really that bad?

I need to get this product, Nata de Wash, a mouth rinse that’ll not only freshen your breath in 20 seconds it’ll show you every cruddy little particle in your mouth. Check it out:
nata_n_11
The mouth wash contains Nata beans, lemons, tea leaves and Japanese honeysuckle. I first thought Nata beans were related to nata de coco — that cube jelly found in some Japanese drinks — but no, it’s an actual bean native to China and Africa. And it can grow as long as 2 feet! It’s packed with calcium, magnesium and other minerals good for healthy teeth.

And just to make the rinse super tasty, it has xylitol, a popular sugar substitute in Japan that also helps prevents cavities.

But of course, the shock value alone is enough to get me hooked. I love looking under microscopes. So if this let’s me look at gross things, I’d make all my friend buy this mouth wash. Eww, is that a worm?! Brushing teeth my teeth has become all the more fun. (^o^)

Himawari

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Thinking of doing business in Japan? We can make it easy for you!
japanizmo, a Los Angeles based company, provides practical solutions for U.S. ? Japan business projects. Our experienced Japanese staff will support all phases of your business project to seize business opportunities and turn your vision into a reality. >> Learn more

June 17, 2009 at 10:08 am 1 comment

The REAL Eco-Bottle

I didn’t take Arrowhead seriously when they introduced their eco-shaped water bottle a couple years back. Its ‘new and improved’ shape seemed to have more to do with a curvy woman than with saving the environment. It touted “30% less plastic!” but also looked like it had 30% less water, too. Boo~ I was not impressed.

But now there’s one by Coca-Cola Japan, ILOHAS, a water bottle that practically disppears before your eyes:

The half-liter bottle weighs just 12 grams when empty and uses 40% less material than most other water bottles. In a year, that amounts to 3,000 tons less in the landfills. But the real eye-catcher is just how quickly and effortlessly it shrinks in size. It’s like a work of art! With a little imagination, I bet you can twist it into a flower, a robot, or even a person. If only it were biodegradable.

One other drawback is that it sells at about 20 cents more than other water bottles ($1.30). But I think many people will find that at least 20 cents of satisfaction comes when they get to twist the bottle into a measly piece of wire. Pretty amazing, if you ask me. (^.<)V

Himawari

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Thinking of doing business in Japan? We can make it easy for you!
japanizmo, a Los Angeles based company, provides practical solutions for U.S. ? Japan business projects. Our experienced Japanese staff will support all phases of your business project to seize business opportunities and turn your vision into a reality. >> Learn more

June 9, 2009 at 11:06 am Leave a comment

A Mask for All Seasons

I have strange friends.

While I was in Japan last month — the peak of swine flu pandemonium — my American friend asked me to buy a pack of disposable face masks. “They’re cool! They’re like ninja masks!” he wrote in his email, requesting I buy at least a dozen so that he could parade around with it at night. Very strange.

Any other American would freak out if they saw someone wearing a mask. Bird flu, swine flu, cooties — having a mask on equates to being diseased. On the other hand, wearing a mask in Japan means you’re taking the proper precautions not to catch anything.

The difference in mindset makes way for a greater market for fun and colorful masks. Check these out:

This is a ‘wet’ mask for when your throat is dry. A damp piece of cotton creates a warm mist as you breathe into it:

mask1

Having trouble putting a mask on your kid? Give them a Pooh mask!:

mask2

Decorate your own mask with rubies and rhinestones:

mask3

Have a mask decorating party with all your BFFs!:

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There’s so many other types: masks that won’t fog up glasses, masks for small adult faces, masks with menthol filters, and my particular favorite, masks that allow for room around the mouth to breathe. They can otherwise be very uncomfortable to wear. And if you find yourself constantly taking it off to get some fresh air then you’re defeating the purpose of wearing one. That is, unless your only reason for having one is to be a ninja. Woohoo~!

Himawari

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Thinking of doing business in Japan? We can make it easy for you!
japanizmo, a Los Angeles based company, provides practical solutions for U.S. ? Japan business projects. Our experienced Japanese staff will support all phases of your business project to seize business opportunities and turn your vision into a reality. >> Learn more

June 2, 2009 at 10:50 am 1 comment


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