Walking through Tsukiji (築地) the other day, I found a few interesting sings. The first one is an incredibly cute (and rotund) Maneki Neko, a poster advertising the special sale Saturdays (second saturday of the month) here at Monzeki Street, a traditional fish monger area in Tokyo. I have a feeling this particular maneki neko isn’t trying to get business as much as just trying to score some nice fish for itself! Then there’s the harried looking octopus trying to clean up after all the litter bugs in the area. The sign reads roughly “if you litter one piece someone else will litter three pieces”. I agree. The last is one of my favorite signs in Japan! It’s a tiny sign on the side of a bridge ins a place that is not accessible to the general public so you really only find it by chance! I think it is a warning sign for tsunami but I’m not sure. It could also be a warning sign for alien space monsters with eyes on its tentacles or possibly some sort of Lovecraftian monster. Who knows? The kids are really in trouble though. I would really love to hear the backstory on this strange and wonderful metal sign!
While having an hour to spare in Shizuoka prefecture’s Hamamatsu City yesterday I found this little bag of cotton candy in a great little wagashiya (Japanese old fashioned candy shop) in one of the few remaining central city shopping areas. I just had to buy it! I dare anyone to find cuter candy packaging! Although new to me, it has been around for a few years and it seems this little rabbit called “Dafune” (I think they meant to say the classic greek name Daphne, but that’s just my hunch) is modeled after the creator’s real life pet. There’s a whole range of animations, candy, cookies and books with this character out but this was the only one I could find. How did it taste? Well, like typical store bought cotton cady, with a slight hint of strawberry – delicious! Dafune the rabbit has a sort of home page here. There’s also a very peculiar video featuring Dafune’s parents, birth, shipment to Japan and… well, it ends there and I have no idea what it is supposed to say. Still, this is easily the cutest thing I have seen in a long time!
I don’t post much stuff recently, maybe because I have been to busy even to window shop recently but here’s a great, simple, can’t-believe-it-hasn’t-been-done-before kind of item, a Mount Fuji beer glass! I found this at the table ware exhibition in Tokyo Dome a couple of weeks ago, and the design is by Keita Suzuki, of course they are all handmade and comes in the typically gorgeous white soft wood boxes that are so famous in Japan. The box alone is worth the price! I think these will become collectors items in the future!
At one of twice yearly Wonder Festa last year I came across this Diorama Hat by master micro-scale train modeler O.Moro Design! This design studio is famous among modelers all over Japan for the groundbreaking work they do in the micro-scale modeling world, if you have a look at their site you’ll find many other very clever design incorporating functioning model railways in gum ball machines, cookie jars and even atop an old guitar! Naturally this Southern Island design is fully wearable. I wish I was half as clever as this wonderful guy! If you have ever wanted to get into model railway building but never thought you had enough time, N-Gauge might be your thing.