This article was originally published on our sister site Fiveo
Japan is a wonderful country with a unique aesthetic and a beautiful culture. The nation comprises 6,852 separate islands, and the land’s name, Japan or Nippon, means “origin of the sun” in Japanese. Its name is because Japan is the country farthest east, where the sun rises first every day.
Anyone who visits the many islands of Japan is bound to fall in love with the delicious food, innovative technology, creative gadgets, and minimalist décor. Likewise, the polite etiquette and welcoming nature of the people of the Land of the Rising Sun has made it one of the world’s favorite tourist destinations. Choosing the best thing about Japan is near impossible, so instead, we’ve collected our favorite inventions and customs here.
Compact T-shirts are the Newest Fashion Trend in Japan
By compact t-shirts, we’re not referring to teeny-tiny shirts here. We’re talking about a t-shirt composed of compressed cotton that maximizes the space available.
Rather than sorting through aisles and columns of clothing racks to get the right item in the right size, you may go into a store and pick a cube from a container in your size. It’s as simple as that. Before you start criticizing the tee’s quality, bear in mind that only one shirt costs around $20; thus, it’s most likely of excellent quality.
Single Coffee Filter Packs Come Handy
The pour-over technique, which includes placing crushed coffee beans in a filter, taking a cup of piping hot water, and gently pouring it across the top of the ground coffee beans, appears to be the finest way to brew coffee.
This approach aids in the extraction of the coffee’s bitter taste, although it can be tiresome. Thankfully, the Japanese anticipated this and produced single coffee filter packets for each mug of coffee you wish to drink.
Wipe Your Phone Using Smartphone-Friendly Toilet Roll
Although this item comes in coils similar to toilet paper, it is intended to brush anything other than your buttocks. The concept arose from the discovery that smartphone screens contain more than five times the germs found on a toilet seat.
Yes, this toilet paper is designed specifically to wipe your smartphone, with instructions on how to connect to local Wi-Fi and download tour guide applications included. Who knows why it was designed to resemble toilet paper, but anything works, right?
Enjoy Scenic Views via a Literal In-Flight Monitor
On displays during a flight, you may see a crude picture of where the aircraft is in the entire globe. On the other hand, some Japanese airlines have taken this concept and pushed it to the next level.
You may watch what the pilot sees throughout your flight on these select carriers, which provides some fantastic sights! Of course, this isn’t perfect for individuals who are afraid of flying or altitudes. Still, we have to admire the innovation that went into making it a viable choice for travelers!
Family Nameplates are a Tradition
The Japanese are extremely proud of their homeland, their landscapes, and their homes. On the front of houses around the nation are family nameplates. This tradition is said to have started immediately after the Great Kanto earthquake in 1923.
Hundreds of homes were devastated by the earthquake, which struck the Tokyo-Yokohama metropolitan region with a magnitude of 7.9. Because it took ages to restore and mark homes with numbers, people used nameplates instead. Since then, Japanese individuals have progressively begun to place their nameplates all around the country, and this has become a regular practice.
Capsule Hotels – Feel Cozy and Relaxed
With a population density of 898 people per square mile (vs. 93 in the U.S), the Japanese are specialists in making use of space. Unlike the Americans, who are used to large hotel rooms, the Japanese had to think outside the box.
They devised the clever compact pod capsule, a somewhat tiny yet separate lodging space with television and Wi-Fi. That isn’t to say that there aren’t any ‘full-size’ hotel rooms in Japan; nevertheless, the capsules provide unmatched value for money, which will draw budget travelers. Perhaps it goes without saying, but there is no place inside a capsule for a toilet or bathroom! In a typical capsule hotel, toilets are located at the end of the hall, and there is a common Japanese-style bathing room in the building, which may or may not be on your level.
Taking Customer Service to the Next Level
In most parts of the world, bus drivers are hit or miss. We’d say that most urban drivers couldn’t bother too much about delivering goods and are just as likely to drive by you at a bus station as they are to scream at you for not stepping off quickly enough.
Japan has become world-renowned for its extremely polished customer service, which is not limited to high-end hotels and leisure facilities. Similarly, as this photograph shows, the Japanese emphasize common courtesy, politeness, and hospitality, extending to both residents and tourists. This bus driver exemplifies this by stepping out of the vehicle and safeguarding passengers from the rain with an umbrella as they exit.
Pillow Menu to Ensure a Good Night Sleep
Continuing our subject on how the Japanese give outstanding customer service, they even allow you to choose your own hotel pillow depending on your personal needs.
No more putting up with a hotel pillow that is either too large, too tiny, too fluffy, or not soft enough. You may select the shade of the cushion, its size, how bouncy or thick it is, and more at Japanese hotels. There are so many options! It’s fantastic. Imagine the level of thinking that went into making this a reality!
Pringle Flavored Noodles
Noodles are a staple of Asian cuisines. They come in a wide range of flavors and varieties, from classic ramen to potato starch-based harusame glass noodles.
One may wonder why Americans felt obligated to add a Pringles-flavored variant to the pool of outstanding Japanese noodles, but that is exactly what happened when an American corporation linked up with a local firm to develop the Pringle noodle.
Godzilla has Multiple Uses in Japan
This may be the list’s most impressive inclusion. The first Godzilla film was created and distributed by Toho Studios in 1954. The film’s plot focused on a giant monster emerging from the depths to demolish some of Japan’s most important landmarks. It was a huge hit in both Japan and the United States.
The movie had such an impact on Japanese culture that it affected their design, as seen by this photograph of a bridge height with other structures mentioned for comparison, including Godzilla.
Keep Spare Glasses for Anyone in Need
Most of us with impaired vision will rarely go somewhere without our eyeglasses (or contact lenses). Still, it’s easy to overlook for those who simply have trouble reading items up close.
When you’re out and about in Japan, you may find extra glasses ready to use. It’s something you’d never see in the United States. Still, the Japanese mindset of assisting one another stretches to something as basic as having a pair of glasses readily available.
Fans of Crustless Bread
Japanese cuisine is well-known for both its aesthetic presentation and its flavor/texture quality. Japan is the destination for those who want bread without the crust. It appears that several bakeries and other bread-making businesses decided that there were enough customers who wanted crustless bread to begin producing it.
Rather than expecting everyone to follow the conventional bread and sandwich manner, the Japanese have once again devised an alternate choice to cater to those who want anything unusual.
Manhole Covers are Works of Art
The Japanese hold great attention to detail and the imagination to transform something as mundane as a maintenance hole cover into art for the public to appreciate. Japanese maintenance hole covers come in various designs depending on the location, utility type, and maintenance hole cover manufacturer. They’ve piqued the interest of an increasing number of “drain spotters” from all around the world.
Can you picture going down the sidewalk and seeing this design scribbled in on a maintenance hole cover? You may start seeing additional maintenance hole covers on your walk, which is an odd thought. However, in Japan, it represents their cities’ ability to be clean and aesthetic.
Parents Have an Advantage with these Strollers
How wonderful would it be if you as a parent could plan a day out with your children, knowing that you don’t have to bother about carrying a stroller into your car since the shopping center where you’re going has several available for free?
This fantasy for overworked families worried about their children whining from shop to shop is a reality in Japanese malls. It benefits the parents, the children, and everyone else. No one likes to shop while hearing screaming children!
Gifts for Thoughtful Customers Always go a Long Way
This is another nice modest gesture made by several Japanese companies on occasion. While fulfilling a customer’s order, businesses will provide a small gift as an additional thank you.
It’s a small gesture that may have a significant impact. Who wouldn’t be delighted to get this folding blouse in the mail along with a small box of cheap plastic pens? It’s the little things that matter, and this is an excellent example of customer service.
Preserving Food and Beverages
Japan produces around 350,000 tons of dry ice per year, most of which is used for food preservation. This is a brilliant concept that should be sweeping the globe right now. When it comes to food, everything that can be done to preserve it and/or make it more delicious is always acceptable to us.
For that reason, dry ice dispensers in supermarkets have become commonplace in Japan. They no longer have to be concerned about cold items spoiling on the way home from the supermarket.
Japanese Greeting Etiquette
Bowing has been practiced in Japan for centuries. It is widely used in various social and religious contexts as a greeting, veneration, apology, or appreciation. Bowing has long been associated with samurai warriors.
As a result, when this plane was delayed, the airline’s employees apologized to the waiting passengers. Japanese employees’ level of regard for their customers is amazing, making the American slogan of “the customer is always right” seem a bit of an exaggeration in perspective.
Specially Designed Carts for Heavy Objects
Japan is a technologically forward-thinking country that created DVDs, computers, 3D printing, emoticons, and even books! Therefore, it shouldn’t be of any surprise that they’ve also created a trolley that can easily handle stairs and big things.
Take a look at this gadget. It appears to be part of NASA’s equipment for future Mars landings. Even though it’s easy and beneficial, we’re disappointed that it’s not widely available at Walmart. Nevertheless, you can buy one for yourself when you visit Japan.
Lip Balm for Single-Use
Strawberry lip balm isn’t very unique by itself. What about a one-time use of lip balm? Didn’t it pique your attention? After all, one of the major problems with normal lip balm is that the more you use it, the dirtier it becomes. And your buddies want to ‘borrow’ it all the time!
You can kiss such troubles away with a packet of single-use lip balms. There will no longer be any nastier lip balms in your bag with a combination of saliva from different mouths.
Educational Food Boxes
If you like to spend your time productively, it’s good to have something to read while you eat, especially when you’re munching alone. In Japan, you can read the inside cover of your food box while you’re eating something undeniably wonderful.
The image’s caption tells you where your food originated in the country, which is useful information. Because Japan is such a tiny nation, most of the Japanese food you’ll consume won’t have traveled a long distance, which helps preserve the quality and condition of your meal.
Using Restrooms in Japan is a Musical Experience
Several restrooms in Japan have a bad reputation. The ones we’re talking about have a lot more buttons and options than your TV remote. This isn’t always a bad thing; you could even enjoy tinkering with the settings while you’re in the restroom.
For example, your porcelain companion may play music as you’re doing your business. The only problem is that we’re not sure what music they’re referencing for songs one and two.
Parenting in Japan
Another service available for families who have to manage their children trying to use adult-size toilets is Japan’s abundance of children’s toilets and urinals.
Although similar toilets have previously made their way to the United States, we won’t assume that any of them are as charming as this one, with its yellow crossbar and duck feet on the floor.
Make Washroom Experiences More Hygienic
On the whole, public restrooms are fairly filthy. Toilets are dirty, and you usually have to cross your fingers that there will be adequate toilet paper before approaching. Every time you want to use the restroom beyond your house, you’re effectively taking a chance.
The Japanese, conscious of hygiene and consideration for others, have installed toilet seat soaps that may help make the public restroom experience a bit more sanitary when paired with toilet paper.
Hokkaido’s Tiny Fire Trucks
Do not even chuckle – these little fire engines are very adept at getting to where they need to go quickly. Most fire engines are large and difficult to maneuver, limiting their velocity, especially on busy highways.
While these little fire engines cannot transport as much water as their larger competitors, they can get to the fire site considerably faster. Given the smaller volume of Japanese homes, they will most likely have enough water to put out the fire.
Hi-Tech Parking Makes Driving Experiences More Convenient
Anyone who has spent more time than they would want to admit walking around a large parking garage realizes how annoying it is to lose track of where they parked. “Surely there’s a better way,” you must have thought to yourself.
One does exist, and it is in Japan. You can park your car on a conveyor system, and it delivers your car back to you after entering your car details. It’s almost like having your own valet parking!
Japanese Buildings are Planned with a Tinge and Respect for Nature
Japan is a lovely nation with lush woods, peaks, and beaches. Thus, the Japanese value nature in their cities. The architectural practice in Japanese culture has always tried to work following the environmental settings. Buildings are constructed around and even within trees.
It may also be extremely easy, as this apartment complex illustrates, with a slew of low-water and low-maintenance plants adorning the structure’s walls.
Stairs in Japan Serve More Than a Single Purpose
The majority of Japanese people are in good health. Japan has one of the greatest average life expectancy rates in the world. Clearly, they’re doing something right, as evidenced by hints strewn throughout their towns demonstrating how they’re encouraging people to be more active.
For example, you may find stairwells with the number of calories burned marked on every step! It’s not a big quantity of calories (0.1 for each step), but add it up over numerous steps and journeys, and you’re going somewhere.
Most Technologically Advanced Food Ordering Devices
Take a look at some of Japan’s technologically sophisticated restaurants if you can’t bear interpersonal contact, especially if your idea of a nice meal is dining in solitude without contact with servers (or anybody else for that matter).
Your touch screen gives you information about each dish with images to go along with it. After you’ve made your decision, the meal will come out of a door and move up a conveyor belt right to you.
Seat Covers with Priority Seating
It’s astonishing how nasty people can be on mass transportation (and in general, but that’s another story). Some of the worst kinds of passengers are typically young, healthy adults who refuse to give up their seats to others who truly need them, such as pregnant women, disabled persons, and older citizens.
Japan puts images on their train seats stating who gets priority seating to make it abundantly evident and offers extra reminders to the rude individuals who need a kick in the behind to give up their seats.
Kiddy Restroom Seats
It might be difficult for single parents to cope with their children in public places. Things get much more difficult when parents have to use the restroom. Obviously, you can’t just leave your baby outside!
You can’t really expect children to sit motionless while you go about your business. Thankfully, Japanese parents may locate public bathrooms with designated child-friendly seatbacks in larger stalls, allowing them to keep their children secure and calm while they use the lavatory.
Elevator Rain Sensors
The finest innovations are frequently the most basic. Who would have guessed that a notification bulb would be installed in an elevator to alert passengers that it is pouring outside, allowing them sufficient time to prepare their raincoats and shields for the impending rainstorm?
We’re not aware if this is a standard feature in every elevator in the country. Still, it’s a really useful function for those who do.
Japanese Cabs have a Slow-Down Button
A lot of the time, cab drivers do not have the finest reputation. Sure, there are some excellent drivers, but there are also some who accelerate as if they’re competing in a race. It isn’t always easy to urge the cab guy to slow it down if you’re the unfortunate passenger.
Some taxis in Japan include a button that instructs the driver to slow down. It’s a useful tool for individuals who prefer a more leisurely pace.
Bathroom Stalls in Japan
Who else had gone into a public washroom and had no clue which stalls were unoccupied and which were available, so they had to take a quick look at the bottom of each cubicle to check whether there were any feet? No? Is it just us?
Outside of the toilet in Japan, there is a computerized stall map so you can check which toilets are available before entering, saving you the agony of uncomfortably waiting in front of an occupied cubicle.
A Simplified System for Luggage Detection
It’s not always simple to locate your belongings at an airport. You have to wait for what seems like a lifetime for the conveyor system even to begin moving, and then you have to wait again for bags to be placed onto it.
Then there’s the matter of numerous pieces of luggage that appear to be identical. In Japanese airports, helpful personnel will organize baggage by color to make it easier for travelers to find them.
Steam-Resistant Bathroom Mirrors
Unless we leave the window open or have some sort of ventilation, steamed-up bathroom vanities are a hassle for all of us when we take showers. After that, you must clean your mirror numerous times to see yourself if you wish to groom or tidy up your makeup after the shower.
On the other hand, many mirrors in Japan have a warmed bottom, which means they won’t steam up when you take a bath.
Privacy Music in Japanese Toilets
From computerized cubicle directories to liquid toilet cleaning, we know the Japanese have come up with some fairly inventive methods for everyone to have a good time visiting a public lavatory. This stroke of creativity, on the other hand, takes the prize.
Suppose you’re attempting to conduct some toilet duties and are aware of any noises. In that case, you could simply hit this button to play some music to block out any external sound effects.
Cute Umbrella Patterns
The weather in Japan is moderate, with four distinct seasons; however, there is a typhoon season in September, when heavy rain is expected; therefore, most people bring umbrellas.
When wet, several of these umbrellas have a design element that appears solely for decorative value: they reveal patterns and silhouettes. Of course, because they’re over your head, you won’t be able to enjoy them, but it’s still cool.
A Claw Machine for Cheesecake? Sounds Good
Claw machines are common in arcades, where children play with them to win prizes and cuddly animals. The Japanese, on the other hand, have claw machines that include food.
Consider these factors: a claw machine for making cheesecake! To retrieve a dessert without it falling (though it appears that they’ve accounted for that as well, with the white balls acting as suspension systems), you’d need some special handling, but this is the type of arcade game we can get behind.
Small Umbrellas Will Keep Your Feet and Footwear Safe
The tiny umbrella is just ludicrous. This small umbrella you can place on your shoe to keep it from getting wet is ridiculous, unlike most of the other helpful devices and ideas the Japanese have produced.
What’s the harm in using a real umbrella? Or investing in a pair of well-made shoes? Or maybe waterproof shoes? They do, however, appear to be fairly common in Japan.
This Dustpan Will Make You Dance Around the Floor
The Chinese developed the fundamental umbrella over 4,000 years ago. Still, the Japanese are the ones who have perfected the umbrella game, if you will, with this fool-proof contraption.
Let’s admit it, an umbrella isn’t always enough to combat Mother Nature’s power, particularly when she wants to toss some wacky downpours your way. Of course, you can protect yourself from all directions by attaching a fabric curtain to your umbrellas.
Shoes That Will Keep Your House Spotless
Another insane invention by the Japanese that we genuinely like. Housework isn’t enjoyable and leaning down to sweep dirt into a dustpan regularly may be irritating depending on the size of your flooring.
So why not put on a pair of these fantastic sneakers that come complete with a duster and brushes and dance your way to a spotless floor? Of course, you could just use a vacuum cleaner and forget about it, but where’s the fun in that?
Chair Designed Just for Handbags
Hanging a purse on the arm of the chair isn’t always simple, as any lady would attest. They frequently slip, so you don’t have to keep it on the ground, or worse, on the desk where it takes up a lot of room.
So, get one of these great Japanese armchairs with a built-in groove where you can put your purse!
Precision Lip Painting Mask for Perfect Lipstick Application
Have you considered donning a mask that makes you seem almost like Hannibal Lecter from Silence of the Lambs when you constantly manage to mess up when wearing lipstick?
The concept is simple: a mask that prevents smearing and other unsightly imperfections. The risk is that you’ll wind up appearing like one of the cinema’s most notorious villains when applying the lipstick. It’s all up to you.
Comfort and Scenic Beauty for Passengers
Crossing Japan by rail is one of the most beautiful things you can do. The panoramic view from the windows is just breathtaking: Japan’s complex railroad system passes through towns, countryside, woods, and highlands.
While we may perceive train journeys to be inconvenient, mainly when our aim is merely to gaze at the scenery, the Japanese have once again devised a great solution. Some trains include a couch that can be turned around, allowing you to find the right balance between the direction of the trip and the stunning scenery outside your window.
Japanese People are Obsessed with Umbrellas
As we’ve seen, the Japanese have a propensity for making one-of-a-kind – and occasionally worthless – umbrellas. On the other hand, the following one appears to be an umbrella that is also a fashion trend, which we would be willing to test.
The “Teburagasa” is a raincoat for your face that combines a hand-free umbrella with a hat. It’s quite handy! This effectively creates a circle around you, large enough for you to look at your phone, pull out your wallet, and so on.
Indoor Beaches that Look Elegant
If you think all these umbrellas are going to make Japanese people forget how much fun it is to spend a day at the beach, you’re incorrect. In the city of Miyazaki, on the island of Kyushu, is one of the world’s largest indoor beaches.
The Ocean Doom features a beautiful, spotless beach with a heated salt-free “ocean,” It even has an intriguing volcano that erupts every hour. The temperature is always pleasant, and the water is always clear. This is incredible.