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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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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.

Ghastly Ghost Japanese Eye Drops Tongue Will Get You Hooked

Applying eye drops is horrifying enough for some folks but this cute ghost-shaped eye drops tongue from Japan has to be an opti-phobic's worst nightmare. Designed to hook under the user's lower eyelid (*shudder*) and prevent the eye from reflexively blinking, the bizarre "akanbeh" eye drops helper actually won a special award at a Japanese all-invention contest.

Burger King Japan's Avocado Burgers Are An Avocaddict's Dream

Avocado advocates rejoice, Burger King Japan is adding an abundance of avocado to its burgers this summer in hopes of creating hoardes of slavering “avocaddicts”. Beginning August 11th, guacamole junkies can get their fix by ordering the Premium Fresh Avocado Whopper, Fresh Avocado Whopper Junior, and the Fresh Avocado Burger.

Traditional Japanese Porcelain Cups Mix Medieval Monks With Skateboards, Horse Masks & More

Skateboarding monks? On my traditional Japanese porcelain cup? It's more likely than you think, if the traditional Japanese porcelain tableware comes from Kutani Choemon, a 130-year-old Japanese pottery maker who looks ahead instead of back for inspiration.

Screw Fridge Magnets Drive Home Your Memos & Messages

Magnet Screws from Japan's Design Development Laboratory might surprise anyone spying them on your shiny new Sub-Zero refrigerator, especially whomever paid for the appliance.

Hello Kitty 40th Anniversary Cookies Celebrate Japan's Cute Cat Character In Delicious Style

Hello Cookies! You don't have to be Cookie Monster to nom-nom-nom these cans of Hello Kitty Cookies but just like the cute character celebrating her 40th anniversary, they're awfully hard to resist!

Revoltech Danboard Mini Yotsuba&! Action Figure Thinks Cute Thoughts Inside The Box

Got Danboard? The adorable cardboard box robot from the manga Yotsuba&! has been adopted by digital camera photographers as it adds a timeless sense of wonder to almost any scenic background. Revoltech's Danboard (or Danbo) Mini Yotsuba&! Action Figure is ideal for such pursuits thanks to its flexible joints and light-up eyes.


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