Tokyu Hands is a popular Japanese shop that sells a wide variety of products from living ware, travel goods, tools, beauty products, and many unique and innovative items you may not find anywhere else. For this reason, Tokyu Hands defines itself as a ‘one-stop-shop’ to meet all of your needs.
I took a trip down to my local 3-floor Tokyu Hands store to see what useful, cool, or just plain crazy products they had. The shop was full of so many interesting things that it really was difficult just to keep it down to a top-10!
No, this isn’t a seat you’re your Barbie Doll or your favourite teddy bear. This tiny thing barely the size of my hand is an adult seat/seat cushion. I know Japan is full of very petite people, but with a cushion this size, I think I would need to buy two or three just to cover my big bum. Joking aside, I do see how this small, travel-light cushion could ease a bit of ache in places you sit for long periods of time such as office chairs, plane seats, tatami rooms or cars. I was still surprised when I realised the hand-sized product was a seat though – especially since I have small hands!
We’ve all had that problem, that terrible problem that ruins your whole day – your banana got damaged and is now squished all over the innards of your bag like a scene out of a horror movie. Okay, so maybe I’m exaggerating. This isn’t a life changing product, but I do see how it would be useful to some. Sweetly named ‘Mr Banana Protector’ (or something along those lines), this little product will keep your banana healthy, full of vitamins, and stop it getting damaged, especially when you just want to quickly shove a healthy snack into your bag whilst also appearing as the coolest kid in school as you pull out your slick, yellow case of banana protection.
Okay… I’m not really sure about this one, but it was pretty interesting. Sitting right next to totally normal objects like beauty products and toys… were these fish. I’m not an expert on bottled fish skeletons, so this is just guess work. They appear to be preserved deep-sea fish that perhaps a very small number of people collect as a hobby. The fish are probably naturally translucent, rather than having being altered. As small as the fish were (going from an inch to two inches), the price tags were very expensive. The most expensive was 16,000 yen which is about $130.
(Sorry for the bad quality picture, the glass reflected)
Kid’s drawing aquarium
This is so cool. If I was still a kid, I’m sure I would want this… in fact, I still do want it. First, draw your fish on the card, scan it in with your iPhone, and then watch it swim around in your home-made aquarium. Who needs smelly, real fish when you can just draw whatever you want? Would it stop with fish? Sharks? People? Now I’m thinking about buying one to create an underwater civilisation of people who run from one huge shark. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find the actual product, only an advertisement for it. It is only 1780 yen (about $15) so perhaps it would be best not to expect too much quality from it.
There are quite a few electronic products for your beer that you can choose from. I never actually knew having a glass of beer was so complicated… but if you are intent on finding that perfect beer, perhaps you should go to Tokyu Hands and have a look around. Just touch the device to your glass of beer and it will bubble up. Get the perfect froth and prevent your beer from tasting flat with this cool beer bubble machine thing. If you’re in Japan, you will have probably noticed that the Japanese tend to like drink their beer with a large head, which is perhaps why this product is popular – getting that perfect pumped beer at home.
Japan has a thing called a ‘bento’. A bento is basically a packed lunch (often kids take them to schools), however a Japanese bento can really make a Western packed lunch look boring and unhealthy. Recently, mothers have been taking it to the next level though, and some of these lunches look to good to be eaten! Wouldn’t you have just loved to have been able to eat rice-trains or rice-penguins as a kid? – I know I would. Not just for packed lunches but also for picnics and day outings, this fun kit to make your food look tasty is definitely interesting enough to make the list!
I don’t actually drink wine, but just to find an excuse to buy this bottle cork kits I considered starting. Actually, anyone can use this, rather than being for actually corking your wine, they seem to be more decorative (although they would look cooler in a stylish house sitting next to your expensive wine collection). Since the boxes are in English, we can assume they have been imported from somewhere, but they are a cool idea. The prices range from 600-800 yen (about $5 to $6.50), so considering the contents, they aren’t super cheap, but they do seem like a little bit of fun.
Star Wars fridge alarm
Who doesn’t love a bit of Star Wars merchandise? So how about one that lives in your fridge? This little R2D2 figure sits in your fridge and warns you when the fridge door has been left open. The little guy is meant to talk, but I have no idea what he says or in what language, but I still want one. The price is 4000 yen plus tax, which is about $35. A little expensive you may think, but don’t forget this is official Star Wars merchandise, so you can expect a bit an extra expense that comes with one of the world’s most famous franchises.
Alien soap pump
Cleanliness is of paramount importance in Japan. You may be surprised to see soap dispensers in all sort of places throughout Japan; from schools, restaurants, supermarkets, the entrances to office buildings, and of course homes. You will be sure to have plenty of chances to give your hands a quick spray. In an attempt to reduce the spread of flew and influenza, the Japanese government has also encouraged a high standard of cleanliness throughout the nation. So, if you’re going to have a soap dispenser in your house, why not have an alien abduction one? It could be a good way to keep your children enthusiastic about hand sanitation too.
Fossils and meteorites
Once again, something you may not expect to see in your normal Japanese shop. And again, this must only apply to a very small number of collectors and enthusiasts – but perhaps its merit is making the shop interesting, rather than making money.
Isn’t that ammonite huge? And only $65! There were also some smaller ones, as well as some fossilized dinosaur bones too. The small ones aren’t very rare, I often remember going looking for them when I was a kid – but it is interesting to know you’re holding what used to be an animal millions and millions of years ago. As well as the mineral stones that are featured in the picture, there was also a display case of small meteor fragments that can be purchased.
Well, that ends the list with just a few of the interesting, fun, and strange products that you can purchase from Tokyu Hands. Did you see anything you want? Will you consider going to Tokyu Hands if you’re in Japan?
Products at Tokyu Hands change from store to store, and they often get new products in, so why not go have a look around? I'm sure there will be a ton of interesting things to find that aren't on this list too!