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J A P A N O R A M A

Ahh, Japan... land of the rising sun, rising sin, and rice with nearly every meal. In Japan everything is possible and possibly everything is available - often with a unique and unexpected twist. Vending machines dispensing whisky, frozen meat, live rhinoceros beetles or schoolgirl panties? Where else but in Japan, where urban legends live and die on streets that have no names.

As the Japanese Innovations Writer for InventorSpot.com and an unabashed Japanophile, I take great joy in channeling the relentless tsunami of on-the-edge Japanese ideas and products, each wondrous one revisiting and reinventing 1950s Japanese Transistor Radio Syndrome for the post-atomic age!

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Why Wait For 2015 When You Can Have An Apple Watch Today?

The new, exciting and innovative Apple Watch won't be available until 2015 but Japanese Twitter user Hiromichi Shoji seems to have got his hands on a very juicy prototype. By the looks of it, this new smartwatch sure is sweet!

Mokulock Wooden Bricks: Not The Green LEGO Blocks You Were Looking For

Mokulock's wooden bricks are what you'd get if, say, the LEGO company made and marketed their world-famous bricks a thousand years ago instead of right here, right now.

Frog Backpack Gets The Jump On Back-to-School Fashion

Kick your schoolday fashion quotient into high gear with the Frog Backpack from Japan's Tokyo Otaku Mode. The shiny (not slimy) backpack features straps disguised as amphibian arms and “skin” as green as a new lily pad.

Curry Restaurant Background Music CDs Are So Hot Right Now

Opening up a curry restaurant in Japan? Unless you've already arranged for a house band to soothe diners ears while your food sears their palates, you'll want to invest in JVC Music's series of Indian Curry Music BGM CDs.

Retro 2 Con Famicom Earphone Mic Channels Classic 1980's Gamer Design

The Retro 2 Con Famicom Earphone Mic from Datel Japan evokes the Eighties 8-bit era and Nintendo's groundbreaking Famicom without sacrificing the high-tech conveniences we've all come to know and love.

Now Hear This: "Hello Phone" Telescopic Ear Trumpet Sounds Good, Looks Silly

Having solved all other problems, Japan has re-invented the ear trumpet. The so-called “Hello Phone” from Konna Shop is actually a rebooted Speaking Tube, enabling those hard of hearing to carry on conversations in an otherwise normal manner.

Get Your Gallic On: Frito-Lay Japan Introduces Doritos Gourmet Garlic & Sea Treasure Tortilla Chips

Frito-Lay Japan's new Doritos Gourmet Garlic & Sea Treasure Tortilla Chips evoke the rich flavor of classic French bouillabaisse served with grilled garlic bread. It's a taste you'll treasure, albeit for a limited time only.

Hello Kitty Rockets Into Orbit As Japan's First Catstronaut

Hello Kitty, Japan's character queen of cute, is celebrating her 40th anniversary by getting high... 600km (372.8 miles) above sea level, that is! Having stowed away aboard the Hodoyoshi 3 micro-satellite, a 4cm (1.6 inch) tall Hello Kitty figure now gazes down upon us through a glass window while redirecting 180-character messages from fans to their friends and families.

Men's Sheer Bra T-shirt Brings Lingerie Out Of The Shadows

The Men's Sheer Bra T-shirt emblazons the shadowy image of a black bra across the back. Sold online by Japan's Village Vanguard, the subversive shirt sold out almost immediately after being listed due to unexpected demand.

Hanaga Tap Nose Electrical Outlet Cover Is Worth Picking

The Hanaga Tap from Japanese design studio ekoD Works redirects power cords downward to save space while adding a honking big dose of fun to your home or office decor scheme.


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