Category Archives: SHOPPING

Cat Desktop Robotic Vacuum Cleaner is meme homage with a practical twist

cat desktop robotic vacuum cleaner toy

Anyone who has ever trawled YouTube will have encountered videos of cats.

And probably anyone who had looked at more than a few would have soon encountered a subgenre of the YouTube cat video: cats sitting on Roomba robotic vacuum cleaners as they move around the kitchen cleaning. In fact, there’s another subgenre within this: cats wearing shark costumes while sitting on Roomba robotic vacuum cleaners as they move around the kitchen cleaning.

If you’re still uninitiated, what are you waiting for? Waste a few minutes of your life. Here’s one to get you started.

Now if you want to clean your own desk or table while paying homage to your new favorite meme, how about the Cat Desktop Robotic Vacuum Cleaner?

Available on preorder ahead of a full release in October, this handy gadget functions like a miniature Roomba. The vacuum cleaner has a cat figure on the top that makes cute noises as the device cleans. Like a regular robotic vacuum cleaner, it is able to detect and change direction when it reaches an edge or obstruction.

cat desktop robotic vacuum cleaner toy

The cleaner is equipped with a touch sensor, too. This means that when you stroke the cat when it is in operation, the little feline will make a sound and change direction. Stroke the cat for a slightly longer time and the cleaner will start to spin and the delighted animal’s eyes will roll!

Memes being memes, they always inspire various products eventually — especially if they involve cats. This seems particularly the case in Japan, where people are almost obsessed with cats, from Natsume Soseki to Maru, Tama, the Mewgaroo, and everything in between.

<img src="" alt="cat neko nabe puzzle …continue reading


4 Game-Changing Japanese Hair Care Products

When it comes to new inventions, innovations, and techniques, the cliché of living in Japan being like living in the future rings true. A simple stroll down the streets of Tokyo will make you realize that the hair industry in Japan is a serious business (there are, after all, more hair salons than convenience stores here). But with the sheer abundance of salons, stores, and products, it can be difficult to decipher what exactly is worth your time, money and effort.

To get more insight into hair care here in Japan, we spoke to freelance stylist Yuri Nabata. With over a decade worth of experience under her belt, including a two-year stint in New York, the Tokyo-based hair stylist and educator is a go-to hub of information on all things innovative and futuristic in the Japanese hair world. So from restorative straighteners to vibrating dryers, here’s a guide to four of the most innovative Japanese hair care products recommended by Yuri and her fellow top Tokyo stylists.

1. Fukugen: The Non-Heat Dryer

A post shared by ako (@a_or__) on Mar 18, 2017 at 7:00am PDT

Like with straightening, burning your hair by drying it is where a lot of people do the most damage. Relying on heat to dry hair gets rid of the moisture, but it also evaporates water that is bound to the hair, a lot of which is desperately needed in order to maintain hydration. Without this hydration, hair quickly becomes brittle and dry which leads to stripped cuticles and split ends.

Beauty company Louvredo have come out with the restorative Fukugen dryer (¥15,700), which employs a new ‘vibration method.’ It’s “pretty groundbreaking,” Yuri says, adding that this development “has really forced the competitor companies to become more innovative.” …continue reading


Shopping Sprees and Foodie Feasts in Japan’s Koreatowns

Source: Japan Cheapo

Not so long ago we took you on a foodie’s tour of Japan’s three major Chinatowns—and after all that delicious food it is time for a new cross-cultural experience right here in Japan. We are heading for the home (away from home) of kimchi, K-pop and cheapo-friendly cosmetics: Koreatown!
Tsuruhashi in Osaka, where it all began
First stop is Osaka’s Tsuruhashi, where mouthwatering scents welcome you the moment you step out of the station. Much like Namdaemun in Seoul, the area around Tsuruhashi is truly vibrant. The maze of stalls where anything from fresh homemade kimchi to K-pop CDs and collectibles seems to come in an endless supply.
Korean BBQ, or yakiniku establishments are everywhere in Tsuruhash

The post Shopping Sprees and Foodie Feasts in Japan’s Koreatowns appeared first on Japan Cheapo.

…continue reading


Smartphones in Japan: How To Buy, Unlock and Change Plans

Source: Gaijin Pot
Smartphones in Japan: How To Buy, Unlock and Change Plans

A lot has changed in the mobile phone landscape in Japan the last few years.

Cell phones used to be very heavily restricted. You had a choice of three large companies, all offering near-identical packages and prices, with customer service standards that generally fell well below what one would come to expect from Japan.

To make matters worse, it was nearly impossible to bring a phone into Japan and use it on one of these networks. If you didn’t buy one of the company’s phones on an overpriced two-year plan, then you couldn’t get access to its network.

Thankfully, this all changed about two years ago, when the government brought an end to the restrictive practice that was the blanket ban on phone unlocking in Japan (the process of making a device capable of working on any carrier network). That being said, figuring out the best option for a phone in Japan is still extremely tricky.

In this quick guide, GaijinPot will walk you through the following topics:

  • Unlocking your Japanese phone (even if you bought it before May 2015)
  • The difference between “SIM-free” and “unlocked”
  • Alternative plans to the “big three” service providers
  • Options for short-term phone plans
  • Do’s and don’ts for those switching to a cheaper network or plan
  • Do’s and don’ts of buying a SIM-free phone to use in Japan


Unlocking your Japanese phone

After May 2015

Now, any phones bought after May 2015 can be unlocked provided you pay ¥3,000 and have been with the carrier for more than 180 days. Some carriers may try to play dumb in this regard. But it is the law, and they cannot refuse to unlock your phone provided you meet these conditions. A phone that has been unlocked should, in theory, work on any network worldwide.

However, bandwidth differences mean that you may not get …continue reading


Costco Products without the Membership

One of the chain supermarkets in our area, Yutoku, sells limited Costco food products. Without going all the way to a Costco location, and for the same price, we can can buy some Costco items without a membership card.There are usually packaged things like tons of kitchen towels, hot cocoa packets, and teas available. In addition I’ve seen huge(normal in the US) two-packs (1.36 Kilograms each jar) of Skippy peanut butter – for about 2000 yen. I’m tempted to get this because I like peanut butter and it’s so cheap compared with buying tiny jars (the 340 g size is usually around 500 yen). The problem is, it’s So Much peanut butter, and my husband doesn’t really like it. I’d be on my own and it would take forever to use it all. (Or I’d eat a ton of it and gain weight, which is what I’m scared of when I see most of the products from Costco). I’m considering finding someone to split the two-pack with. It’s not on a normal schedule that I know of, but one time, I saw some extra Costco products in the bakery section. I was a little shocked to see six packs of giant muffins, bags of dinner rolls, boxed croissants, a giant cheese tart, big tiramisu and berry cakes, and ‘Round Pizza.’ So… the Costco pizza they were selling was too big. It was take and bake style, and if you don’t even have an oven in Japan, that’s sort of normal. If you do, chances are it’s the size of a dorm microwave in the US. I measured the inside tray in our convection oven / microwave and it’s 20 cm across. These pizzas were 40 cm. They were not a bad deal at all, but it would be impossible for …continue reading