45 Wonderful Japanese Creations and Customs the World Should Adopt

Wonderful Japanese Creations We Could All Use!

Japan is an amazing country with a rich culture and ancient history. The actual topography of the land itself is unique – Japan (“Nihon” or “Nippon” in Japanese, which means “sun origin”) is made up of 6,852 islands. And then there’s the food, the technology, the people, the politeness, the gadgets – it’s no wonder that people who visit the country fall in love with it! It’s hard to make a list of all the great things about the Land of the Rising Sun, but we managed to find these amazing Japanese items that we just had to share with you.

Minimalist T-Shirts

No, we don’t mean tiny t-shirts. We’re talking about a compressed cotton t-shirt that maximizes space to the highest degree.

Minimalist T-Shirts

Instead of walking into a store and having to sort through rows and rows of clothing racks in order to find the right shirt in the right size, in Japan you can just walk in and pick up a cube from a bin in your size. It’s that simple. Oh, and before you start questioning the quality of the t-shirt, you should know that just one tee is priced around $20, so it’s presumably high-quality stuff.

Single Coffee Filter Packs

Apparently, the best way to make coffee is by using something called the pour-over method, which involves placing ground beans in a filter, taking a pot of boiling hot water, and slowly pouring it over the top of the ground coffee beans.

Single Coffee Filter Packs

This method helps the coffee release its flavor, but it can become somewhat tedious. The Japanese thankfully thought about this and created packs of single coffee filters for each mug of joe you want to enjoy.

Smartphone-Friendly Toilet Paper

Rest assured, even though this product comes in rolls similar to how toilet paper is packaged, it’s meant to wipe something completely different than your backside.

Smartphone-Friendly Toilet Paper

Yes, this toilet paper is specifically designed to clean your cell phone, and even comes with handy instructions on how to connect to local Wi-Fi and install travel guide apps. Why it’s made to look like toilet paper is anyone’s guess, but whatever works, right?

A Literal In-Flight Monitor

You know how you can get a rough 2-D graphic of where the plane is in the world on monitors during a flight? Well, some Japanese airlines have taken this idea and ramped it up several notches.

A Literal In-Flight Monitor

On these select airlines, you get a view of what the pilot is seeing during your flight, which must offer some spectacular views! Of course, that may not be ideal for people with a fear of flying or heights, but we still have to appreciate the ingenuity of making it an option for passengers!

Homes Have Family Nameplates

The Japanese place a lot of pride in their land and environment, as well as their homes. It’s commonplace to find family nameplates on the front of houses throughout the country.

Homes Have Family Nameplates

This practice is believed to have started in 1923, right after the Great Kanto earthquake. The earthquake had a magnitude of 7.9 that struck the Tokyo-Yokohama metropolitan area and caused the destruction of thousands of homes. And since it took a long time to rebuild and mark homes with numbers, people used nameplates instead.

Hotel Capsules

The Japanese are masters of using space efficiently – they have to be, considering they have a population density of 898 per square mile (vs 93 in the U.S.). So while we may be used to large hotel rooms, the Japanese had to be more creative.

Hotel Capsules

What they came up with was the ingenious private pod capsule – a tiny but unique sleeping space that comes complete with television and Wi-Fi. That’s not to say there aren’t ‘full-size’ hotel rooms in Japan, but the capsules cannot be beaten for price, which will appeal to travelers on a budget.

Quality Customer Service

Bus drivers in the West are hit or miss. Most city drivers, we’d argue, couldn’t care less about providing you with a quality service and are just as likely to drive past you at a bus stop as they are to yell at you for not getting off fast enough.

Quality Customer Service

But as you can see from this shot, the Japanese place huge importance on manners, respect, and service that they provide to locals and foreigners equally. This bus driver epitomizes this by getting out of the vehicle and using an umbrella to shield passengers from the rain as they disembark.

Choosing the Perfect Pillow

Continuing our discussion on how the Japanese provide exceptional customer service, in hotels they go as far as to provide you the choice of selecting your own pillow based on your personal preferences.

Choosing the Perfect Pillow

No more having to suffer through the standard hotel pillow that’s too big or too small, too soft or not soft enough. In Japanese hotels, you can choose the color of the pillow, its dimensions, how bouncy or dense it is, and more. All of this choice, just for a pillow! We love it.

Pringle-Flavored Noodles

Noodles are a staple of Japanese cuisine, and they’re available in all kinds of interesting dishes and variants, ranging from the classic ramen noodle to the harusame glass noodles made from potato starch.

Pringle-Flavored Noodles

One wonders why they had to dilute the pool of great authentic Japanese noodles with a Pringles-flavored variant, but that’s exactly what has happened as the American company partnered with a local company to create the Pringle noodle.

Using Godzilla as a Scale

This might be the best entry on the list. The original Godzilla came out in 1954, produced and distributed by Toho Studios. The movie was a huge hit both in Japan and the United States, the premise of which centered on the giant monster emerging from the depths to tear down some of Japan’s most beloved landmarks.

Using Godzilla as a Scale

The movie had such a lasting impact on Japanese culture that it even carried over into their infrastructure, as you can see by this photo showing a bridge height that lists other structures for comparison – including Godzilla.

Free Glasses for Those in Need

Those of us with horrific eyesight will likely never go anywhere without our glasses on (or contact lenses in), but for those people who might just have difficulty with reading things up close, it’s easier to forget.

Free Glasses for Those in Need

But in Japan you can easily find spare glasses when you’re out and about. It’s something you would never see in America, but the Japanese mentality of helping one another extends to something is simple yet thoughtful as making a pair of glasses easily accessible.

Crustless Bread

For people who love bread without the crust (surely that’s a small minority – there’s so much flavor in the crust!), Japan is your Mecca. It seems as if some bakeries and other bread-making companies felt that enough people preferred crustless bread to start making it.

Crustless Bread

Rather than expecting everyone to conform to the traditional style of bread and sandwiches, yet again the Japanese have created an alternative option to cater to those people who want something different.

Manhole Covers Are a Work of Art

The Japanese have an eye for detail, and the creativity to turn something as dull as a manhole cover into a beautiful design for people to enjoy.

Manhole Covers Are a Work of Art

Honestly, can you imagine walking down the street and spotting a manhole cover with this design sketched in? You might start paying attention to other manhole covers on your walk, which is a weird thing to think about. But in Japan, it’s a reflection of how clean and artistic their cities can be.

Strollers for All

How nice would it be if you (as a parent) were planning a day out with your kid(s), safe in the knowledge that you don’t have to worry about packing a stroller up into your car because the mall where you’re headed already has some that are free to use?

Strollers for All

Well in Japanese malls, this dream for stressed-out parents concerned about their children complaining from store to store is a reality. It helps the parents out, the children out, and everyone else out too (no-one wants to hear screaming children when they shop!).

Thoughtful Gifts for Customers

This is another sweet little gesture that some companies do on occasion in Japan. When fulfilling a customer’s order, businesses will include a little gift as an additional thank you.

Thoughtful Gifts for Customers

It’s a small touch that can go a long way. Who wouldn’t have a smile on their face to discover this origami shirt that was included as part of an order for a small box of cheap plastic pens? It’s the little things that matter and another nod to great customer service.

Dry Ice for Cold Foods

An ingenious idea that really should have made its way across the world right now. When food is involved, anything that can be done to preserve it and/or make it tastier is always ok with us.

Dry Ice for Cold Foods

To that end, the Japanese have made dry ice dispensers in grocery stores a normality. No longer must they worry about cold products not staying cold on the way from store to home.

Bowing

The act of bowing in Japan has been around for centuries, and is commonly used as a sign of salutation, reverence, apology or gratitude in social or religious situations. Historically, bowing was closely affiliated with the samurai.

Bowing

So, when this flight was delayed, the airline’s staff bowed to waiting customers as an apology. The amount of respect staff have towards customers in Japan is incredible, and makes the motto of “the customer is always right” in the U.S. seem a bit of an understatement in comparison.

Specially Designed Carts for Heavy Objects

Japan is a very technologically innovative country – this is a nation that invented DVDs, laptops, 3D printing, emojis, and even the novel! So it should come as no surprise that they’ve also built a cart that can tackle stairs and heavy objects with ease.

Specially Designed Carts for Heavy Objects

Just look at this device. It almost looks like it should be part of NASA’s kit for future Mars landings. And yet, it’s so simple, and so useful, that it makes us annoyed it’s not readily available at Walmart.

Food From a Train Station

When you think about getting something to eat at a train station, you’re probably looking at a pack of chips or a sandwich that’s been sitting on the refrigeration shelf for millennia. In Japan, the food is varied, colorful, and delicious, and amazingly presented.

Food From a Train Station

This is image is from a train station – A TRAIN STATION – and it consists of the cheapest items you can get. Imagine what the food must look like at a five-star restaurant!

Strawberry Lip Balm

Ok, strawberry lip balm on its own isn’t that special. But what about a single-use lip balm? That got your interest didn’t it – after all, the biggest issues with regular lip balm is that the more it’s used, the dirtier it gets. And your friends always want to ‘borrow’ it!

Strawberry Lip Balm

Well, with a packet of single-use lip balms, you can literally kiss those problems goodbye. No more gross lip balms sitting in your pocket with a collection of different saliva.

Educational Food Boxes

If you’re like us, then it can be nice to have something to read while you’re eating (particularly if you’re alone). In Japan, while you’re chowing down on something that’s no doubt delicious, you can have a read of the inside cover of your food box.

Educational Food Boxes

The text in the image details where in the country your food came from, which is good to know. With Japan being a small country, most of the Japanese food you will eat won’t have come from too far away, which helps with the quality and condition of your meal.

Toilets From the Future

Certain toilets in Japan have an infamous reputation. You know the ones we’re talking about – they have more buttons and options on them than your TV remote. Not necessarily a bad thing – you might actually enjoy having a play with the controls while you’re in the bathroom.

Toilets From the Future

For example, this porcelain companion can actually play music on demand while you’re doing your business. The only question is – what tunes would you be listening to, for tracks one and two?

Toilets for Infants

Another lifesaver for parents who have to deal with their kids struggling to use adult-size toilets, in Japan, you can find plenty of toilets and urinals designed for children to use.

Toilets for Infants

Granted, these toilets have made their way to America already, but we don’t think any are as cute as this one (if a urinal can be ‘cute’), what with the yellow handlebar and duck feet on the ground.

Liquid Cleaner for the Toilet Seat

Public bathrooms, on average, are pretty disgusting places. Toilets are filthy, and you typically have to pray that there’s enough toilet paper before entering. You’re essentially rolling the dice every time you need to use the loo outside your home.

Liquid Cleaner for the Toilet Seat

The Japanese, ever mindful of cleanliness and respect for others, installed a toilet seat soap that, when combined with a little toilet paper, can at least help make the public bathroom experience a little more hygienic.

Miniature-Sized Fire Trucks in Hokkaido

Don’t laugh – these tiny fire trucks are actually incredibly efficient at getting where they need to go in a flash. Most fire trucks are big and difficult to handle, which cuts down on their speed, particularly on congested roads.

Miniature-Sized Fire Trucks in Hokkaido

So while these small fire trucks aren’t able to carry as much water as their bigger counterparts, they are able to get to the scene of a fire much quicker, and considering the generally smaller-sized houses in Japan, they will likely have enough water to battle the blaze.

Hi-Tech Parking

Anyone who’s spent longer than they care to admit wondering around a massive parking structure knows how much of a pain it can be to forget where you’ve parked. Surely there’s a better way, you must have told yourself.

Hi-Tech Parking

There is, and it’s in Japan. There, you leave your car on a conveyor belt which parks it for you, and brings it back to you when you punch in your ticket information. Kind of like having an AI valet at your fingertips!

Respect for Nature in Cities

Japan is a country full of beautiful forests, mountains, and beaches. But the Japanese respect for nature extends to their cities. In Japanese culture, the architectural practice has always been to work in harmony with the natural surroundings. Buildings are built around trees and even in trees.

Respect for Nature in Cities

It can also be incredibly simple, as this apartment building demonstrates, with a flurry of different plants that require very little water or maintenance hanging out on the walls of the structure.

A Different Kind of Fitness Tracker

The Japanese are, for the most part, very healthy. Japan has the highest life expectancy at birth and active life expectancy in the world. Clearly, they’re doing something right, and there are clues dotted around their cities that prove how they’re trying to get people to be active.

A Different Kind of Fitness Tracker

For example, you can find stairs where they paint the amount of calories you’re burning per step! At 0.1 calories per step, it’s not a huge amount, but add that up over multiple steps and multiple trips and you’re getting somewhere.

Restaurants From the Future

If you really can’t stand human interaction and your idea of a good meal out is eating in peace without having to deal with waiters (or anyone else for that matter), then take a look at some of the technologically-savvy restaurants in Japan.

Restaurants From the Future

Here you can comb through a touch screen that provides details of each meal, along with accompanying pictures. After you’ve decided, the food will come out of the door on the left and slide along the conveyor belt right up to you.

Priority Seating Seat Covers

It’s amazing how awful people can be on public transportation (and in general, but that’s for another time). One of the biggest issues is people (usually young, healthy adults) not giving up their seats for people who really need it, such as pregnant women, disabled people, and senior citizens.

Priority Seating Seat Covers

In order to make it plainly obvious and give further reminders to the obnoxious people who need a kick in the backside to give up their seats, Japan has pictures on their train seats showing who gets the priority seating.

Kiddy Seats in Restrooms

A parent on his/her own having to deal with their kid while out and about can be tough. But when said parent needs the bathroom, things become even more challenging. You can’t exactly leave your infant outside, obviously!

Kiddy Seats in Restrooms

Nor can you expect them to keep still while you’re trying to do your business. Thankfully for Japanese parents, they can find public restrooms that have specific kiddy seats in bigger stalls so they can keep their kids safe and still whilst they go to the bathroom.

Rain Sensors in Elevators

The best ideas are often the simplest. For example, who would think to build a warning light in an elevator to let people know that it’s raining outside, therefore giving the occupants ample time to get their jackets and umbrellas ready for the downpour?

Rain Sensors in Elevators

The Japanese, that’s who. We’re not sure if it’s a feature present in every elevator in the country, but what a handy feature for the ones that do have it.

Post-It Notes in Gum Boxes

What’s a bunch of post-it notes doing in a gum box, we hear you ask. Why not? Haven’t you had any deep thoughts while chewing gum?

Post-It Notes in Gum Boxes

That is, of course, not the reason it’s there. Gum boxes in Japan carry them because they know people can and will chuck their dried up piece of gum anywhere if there isn’t a trash can nearby, meaning it will inevitably stick to surfaces and be a pain to pick up. Hence why the paper is there – for you to put the gum in and dispose of easily.

A Slow Down Button for Taxis

Around the world taxi drivers don’t exactly have the best reputation. Sure, there are plenty of good ones, but then there are those who drive as if they’re racing at the Indy 500. And if you’re the poor passenger, it’s not always easy to tell the maniac to slow down.

A Slow Down Button for Taxis

In Japan, some taxis have a button that tells the driver to slow down. A handy feature for those who want a slower and deliberate ride.

Bathroom Stall Digital Maps

Who else has gone into a bathroom at a shopping mall or other public place and had no idea which stalls were vacant and which were free, so you end up having to steal a quick glance at the bottom of each stall to see if you can see any feet? No? Just us?

Bathroom Stall Digital Maps

In Japan they have a digital stall map outside of the bathroom so you can conveniently see which stalls are free before entering, and save you the trouble of awkwardly waiting in front of an empty stall.

A Simpler System for Luggage

Finding your luggage at an airport isn’t always an easy task. First, you have to wait for what feels like an eternity for the conveyor belt to even start moving, and then there’s another wait before luggage starts being loaded on to it. And then there’s the issue of multiple pieces of luggage looking the same.

A Simpler System for Luggage

Helpful staff in Japanese airports will line up luggage by color so they can be picked out quicker by passengers.

Steamless Bathroom Mirrors

For most of us, steamed-up mirrors in the bathroom are an inevitability when grabbing a shower, unless of course you leave the window open or have some kind of vent. And then if you want to shave or touch up your face following the shower, you have to wipe it down again and again just so you can see yourself.

Steamless Bathroom Mirrors

But in Japan many mirrors have a heated facility in its center, meaning that they won’t steam up when you have a shower.

Privacy Music in Toilets

We know that the Japanese have some pretty creative ways for everyone to get a decent experience when using a public restroom, from digital stall maps to liquid toilet cleaner. But this bit of innovation surely takes the cake.

Privacy Music in Toilets

If you’re trying to do your business and are conscious of any sounds you might make, simply press this button which will play some music to drown out any external sound effects.

Umbrella Patterns

Japan has a temperate climate with four distinct seasons, though there’s also a typhoon season in September when you can expect a lot of rain – hence why most people carry umbrellas.

Umbrella Patterns

One design feature of some of these umbrellas that seems to be purely for aesthetic purposes is that they’ll show patterns and silhouettes when wet. Of course, you won’t be able to appreciate them since they’re above your head, but it’s still cool.

A Claw Machine…for Cake?

You typically find claw machines at arcades being operated by kids in search of toys and stuffed animals. But the Japanese are doing it right, in so far as they’ve got claw machines with food inside them.

A Claw Machine…for Cake?

Take this for one example – a cheesecake claw machine! You’d have to have pretty deft control to snag a cake without it dropping (though it looks like they’ve thought of that too, with the white balls as shock absorbers), but this is the kind of arcade game we can get behind.

A Tiny Umbrella for Your Shoes

Ok, now this creation is simply ridiculous. Unlike most of the other useful gadgets and inventions the Japanese have created, the tiny umbrella that you can stick on your shoe to avoid them getting wet is outrageous.

A Tiny Umbrella for Your Shoes

What’s wrong with an actual umbrella? Or buying some well-made shoes? Or even waterproof shoes for that matter? Nevertheless, they seem to be quite popular in Japan.

A Fool-Proof Umbrella

The basic umbrella was invented by the Chinese over 4,000 years ago, but it’s the Japanese who mastered the umbrella game, if you will, with this fool-proof device.

A Fool-Proof Umbrella

Let’s face it, sometimes an umbrella isn’t enough to go up against the might of mother nature, especially when she decides to throw some funky side rain and wind in your face. The solution, of course, is to add a plastic curtain to the umbrella so you’re covered in all directions.

Dustpan Slippers

Another absolutely bonkers creation by the Japanese that we actually kind of dig. Household chores aren’t exactly fun, and depending on the size of your floors, bending down to constantly sweep dirt into a dustpan can become exasperating.

Dustpan Slippers

So why not grab a pair of these nifty shoes that literally have a dustpan and brush attached to them and tap dance your way to a clean floor? Of course, you could forget all that and just use a vacuum cleaner, but where’s the fun in that?

A Chair Made for Handbags

The ladies out there will know that hanging a handbag on the back of a chair isn’t always easy. They can often slide, and you shouldn’t have to keep it on the floor or even worse put it on the table where it takes up a ton of space.

A Chair Made for Handbags

So invest in one of these amazing Japanese chairs with a built-in groove where you can easily hang your handbag!

Precision Lip Painting

For those of you who always seem to mess up when applying lipstick, have you thought about wearing a mask that might make you look a little bit like Hannibal Lecter in Silence of the Lambs?

Precision Lip Painting

The idea behind it is sound – a mask that will prevent smudging or any other awkward blemishes. The counter is you might end up looking like one of the biggest villains in movie history while you’re applying the lipstick. Your call.

A Seat Build For The View

One of the best things you can do in Japan is cross it by train. The view you’ll see from the window is simply amazing – Japan’s sophisticated railroad system crosses cities, villages, forests & mountains.

A Seat Build For The View

And while we might consider train rides as a bit of a hassle, especially when our goal is simply watching the view, the Japanese have yet again come up with a brilliant solution. Some trains have a chair that you can turn around, adjusting it to a perfect position between the ride’s direction and the beautiful landscape outside your window.

Your Own Home Sauna

After the recent year, we all know the pains of staying at home for long periods, missing your favorite outdoor activities. And for us who enjoy visiting a sauna once in a while, this Japanese invention might be a great solution.

Your Own Home Sauna

This product is called “Ofuro de Sauna Kasa,” which basically translates to “Bathtub Sauna Umbrella”. It helps you isolate yourself for a while, at the comfort of your own tub, enjoying the benefits of a typical sauna. We find it a bit, um, tiny – even for one person, but for each his own.

Another Umbrella For You

As we’ve already understood, the Japanese have something with creating unique – sometimes useless – umbrellas. The next one, though, seems like an umbrella which is also a fashion statement, which personally we’d be happy to try.

Another Umbrella For You

The “Teburagasa” is a hand-free umbrella meets hat – something like a raincoat for your face. This actually creates a water-protected circle around you, which is big enough to check your phone, take your wallet out, and so on… Pretty useful!

Surf’s Up At The Indoor Beach

If you thought all these umbrellas are going to make the folks in Japan skip the joy of spending a day at the beach, well, you’ve guessed wrong. One of the world’s biggest indoor beaches is located in a city called Miyazaki, which is on an island called Kyushu.

Surf’s Up At The Indoor Beach

The Ocean Doom has a perfect, clean beach, a heated, salt-free “ocean,” and even the interesting addition of a volcano that spits fire every hour. Well, the weather is always perfect, and the water is always blue? Sign us up for a day… Or let’s make it a week?