Japanese items and services that impress foreigners

March 14th, 2012By Category: Culture

Image: acure

If there is a need, there will always be a product for it. Here are some Japanese products which have impressed people from other countries .

1. Toilets

Image: Wikipedia

 When foreigners are asked what Japanese item surprises them the most, many answer toilets. There are various types of toilets, such as the “washlet” type,which is able to wash your bottom. Then there is “Otohime” (Sound Princess)” which is an onomatopoeic device that covers up the sound of toilet activity (women particularly like these). Other innovative toilets are ones with warm seats, ones where the lid opens and closes automatically, and so on. Sometimes, there are so many buttons a on a toilet that it is confusing.

2. Vending Machines

Image: acure

Many foreigners are surprised at how many vending machines are in Japan. They are everywhere and sell just about everything. Nowadays, there is a vending machine that recognizes the user’s face and can recommend a drink, a vending machine selling bananas, touch screen vending machines (See the image above), and other various unique vending machines in Japan.

3. Love Hotels

Image: MADAME RiRi

There are many people who don’t really understand the purpose of love hotels, so they think their existence is strange.

4. Convenience stores

Convenience stores in Japan are open 24 hours a day and are all over the place. Convenience stores in Japan have many kinds of products and services. For example, you can pay public utilities charges, reserve various kinds of ticket, and so on. Some foreigners are also impressed at the product arrangement in Japanese convenience stores, and the way no space is wasted.

5. 100-yen shops

Image: Wikipedia

The amazing thing about 100-yen shops is the range of products. Some foreigners said they were amazed that items that seemed to be worth much more than 100 yen could be purchased.

6. Private karaoke booths

Image: MADAME RiRi

Perfect for self-conscious people. Foreigners say they like these booths because they can enjoy singing karaoke with their friends without having to worry about other people looking at them.

7. Call button at restaurant

Image: MADAME RiRi

Many family restaurants usually have a call button on the table to summon a waiter. It is very rare to see these at restaurants in other countries. They are convenient and save you the trouble of having to attract a waiter’s attention.

8. Kotatsu


Many foreigners say they love kotatsu because it not only keeps their legs warm but also provides a warm atmosphere in the room when more than one person is using it. Kotatsu are selling well in Europe.

9. Express home delivery

Image: Wikipedia

Foreigners are surprised at how fast and cheap home delivery is.

10. Hairdressing products

The sheer number and variety of  hairdressing products amazes foreigners. There are many kinds of hairdressing products such as wax, gel, foam, spray, mist, and so on in shops in Japan.

Source: MADAME RiRi

Author of this article


GaijinPot is an online community for foreigners living in Japan, providing information on everything you need to know about enjoying life here, from finding a job and accommodation to having fun.

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