10 ingenious products that showcase Japanese design

Yukari Mitsuhashi by Yukari Mitsuhashi on 2013.9.5


Japan has always valued attention to detail, and that spirit has delivered many wonderfully designed products to the world. Here are just a few modern designs from Japan that we’ve stumbled upon recently. These kind of creations really show that Japan’s still got it when it comes to inspired product design.


This is a single earring made in the shape of an origami crane. These cranes have many meanings, such as a wish for a speedy recovery in times of poor health, or simply a wish safety in general. Ori-Crane was designed by Kana Muraki can be purchased for 2,625 yen here.



Bamboo is an important symbol in Japanese ‘Wa’ culture, and is common in many locations around the country including the bamboo forest in Kyoto. This glass brings that breathtaking bamboo right into the palm of your hands. These drinking glasses come in both clear and green, though I think the green makes for a more authentic bamboo look. The set of three is available for 6,300 yen.


TOUCH DOG Retriever

Here’s a cute tablet pen that takes the shape of a retriever or dachshund. The tiny dog comes in three colors: yellow, pink, and white. The dog’s neck bracelet can be inserted into the an iPhone or iPad earphone jack, letting you bring your dog for a walk wherever you are. The product can be purchased for 1,260 yen over on the Tent Stores.jp shop.


Ashiato Foot-Print Sandals

Kids will love this one. These geta (tradional Japanese footwear normally worn with kimono) makes unusual footprints on sand, imitating the footprints of dogs, cats, or even dinosaurs. They are available over on AplusRstore for about $32.

ashiato-catPhoto via. AplusRstore

Tabisuru Sekken

This next item looks like yummy caramels, but it is actually mini-soap that you can bring when you travel. These lavender scented soap cubes will make for a cute gift too. Tabisuru Sekken (meaning ‘traveling soap’) can be purchased for 1,050 yen plus shipping over on Rakuten.


Book on Book

Don’t you hate it when a book doesn’t stay open, and you have to keep folding it backwards? This problem can be solved by this neat ‘Book on Book’ transparent paperweight that keeps your page open at all times. Designed by Tent, this item can be purchased over on Stores.jp for 5,880 yen. Overseas users can buy the product here.


Keora Keora Smartphone Case

This fluffy smartphone cover, makes it look like you’re carrying a cute stuffed animal. The case comes in both dog and cat forms, satisfying both dog and cat people! it’s available for 3,000 yen over on Maindish.

keorakeora-brown keorakeora-white


When soy sauce is poured into this soy sauce dish, a beautiful sakura flower appears. The size of the flower depends on the amount you pour in, but whether it’s a little or a lot it looks great. This famous porcelain craftsmanship is called Kutaniyaki, and it has a 350-year history. Hiracle is available on Rakuten shop for 1,500 yen each.


Cable Reel

This earphone cable reel takes form of traditional Japanese sweets ‘Taiyaki’ and ‘Dorayaki’. They both have sweetened mashed red beans inside and are popular with Japanese people young and old. Cable Reel is available for 420 yen over on Rakuten shop.


Saki-Nerune Light

This clever light actually consists of two lights, one on the right and one on the left. Your partner can be sound asleep in darkness, while you’re still finishing up reading your mystery novel. Saki-Nerune roughly means ‘I’m going to bed first’, an appropriate moniker for such a product. You can check more photos over on the company’s Tent’s website.