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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Military Camouflage Kimonos Turn Ninjas Into Fashionistas

Love the look and feel of traditional Japanese kimonos but wish they came in patterns more, say, Rambo-esque? Wish no more: “Battle Dress Uniform” kimonos in military-spec camouflage patterns not only look badass, they're a lot more comfortable than a full metal jacket.

Edible Gold Leaf Wrapped KitKat Could Be The Richest Chocolate Yet

Japan's upscale KitKat Chocolatory stores recently welcomed their one millionth visitor and to celebrate the milestone, Nestle Japan is offering 500 very special KitKat bars individually wrapped in edible gold leaf.

World's Thinnest Artificial Blood Vessels Grown & Tested Inside Rats

Japanese researchers have developed the world's thinnest artificial blood vessels by growing the exceedingly narrow tubules underneath the skin of lab rats.

Jumbo Shrimp Neck Pillow Is Creepy & Comfy

This boiled jumbo shrimp neck pillow from Japan makes the perfect holiday gift for that tough-to-buy-for seafood lover but you'll be tempted to keep it for yourself: it's a unique couch cushion that'll also freak out your cat.

G.U.M. Play from Sunstar Turns Toothbrushes Into Interactive Smart Devices

G.U.M. Play from Japan's Sunstar Inc lets users listen to news and play games while they brush their teeth. The thimble-shaped gadget snaps onto the end of your toothbrush, instantly adding smart device functionality to your smart oral hygiene routine.

Casio S100 Flagship Pocket Calculator Celebrates 50 Years Of Calculated Progress

Casio Computer Co.'s first memory-function electronic calculator weighed 37 pounds and cost the equivalent of $1,000 each. Fifty years later, cheap pocket calculators sell for under a buck... and then there's the Casio S100, a “flagship” product priced at $220 and aimed at the high-end, luxury pocket calculator market. In related news, Casio thinks there's a market for high-end, luxury pocket calculators.

Potato Chip Burgers Put Junk Food On Fast Food

Japanese burger chain Lotteria isn't about to climb on the “healthy fast food” bandwagon – just the opposite! Partnering with snack food giant Calbee, Lotteria is offering up two burgers topped with crunchy Calbee potato chips and unique special sauces.

I'm Glovin' It! Japanese Rubber Glove Vending Machines

Looking for gloves in all the wrong places? These Japanese rubber glove vending machines are a godsend for those washing dishes, conducting cavity searches or dating Greg Marmalard after all the shops have closed.

Frito-Lay Japan Jumps On The Minions Bandwagon With New Banana Cheetos

The billion-dollar grossing film Minions has made the titular characters a worldwide phenomenon while endowing products they promote with a rare appeal... or should that be a peel? Case in point: Banana Cheetos from Frito-Lay Japan.

Ten More Weird and Bizarre Japanese Soft Drinks

Japan has the market cornered on weird & bizarre drinks – new and ever-weirder concoctions seem to hit the store shelves daily. Some have strange names, others have odd ingredients, and a few are just so bizarre one has to wonder what their creators were, um, drinking when they came up with the concept. Following up on our original list, here are Ten More Weird and Bizarre Japanese Soft Drinks!

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