Pack your lunch in an old-fashioned Japanese kura storehouse.
This adorable bento lunchbox is shaped like a Japanese kura storehouse. The design is based on the traditional architecture of tiled roof, white walls on the upper story, and black-slate patterned lower level.
The two-story building and separate roof compartment are big enough to fit a hearty lunch for a hungry student or office worker. Use the two box compartments for main and side dishes, sandwich and salad, or rice and toppings, and pop some candy or a snack in the roof. [US$29, €25.52]
This high-quality folding umbrella exudes high-tech electronic wizardry with its "transistorized" design.
It appears to be a simple black brolly decorated with colorful diodes and amps, but a closer look reveals that all the electronic components are cute, friendly characters.
Even the handle has a smiley face. Japanese customers love this item so much that some of them prefer not to take it out in the rain. (If you do take it out for a spin, it folds and fits easily into a bag or briefcase when not in use.)
From Japanese design group Kuralab. [US$29, €25.52]
The Terra Cafe Bar is a sleek new cafe with wooden deck terrace down in the industrial warehouse and office district of Tennozu Isle, Tokyo. It's run by Terrada Warehouse Company, the huge storage company whose headquarters is located just behind the cafe.
Terra's unique selling point is its reliance on preserved foods (hozonshoku). The cafe sells only dried, tinned, pickled, frozen and preserved foods. The eat-in menu includes frozen bread, retort pack soups and tinned curries and stews. There's a bank of 25 microwave ovens down one wall where you can heat up your orders.
The take-out menu offers dried fruits, pickled vegetables, canned bread and even military rations that can be warmed up with chemical heating packs (it takes about thirty minutes to warm the retort packs of curry and rice).
As the Japanese government continues to warn of imminent giant earthquakes in the Tokyo region, it makes sense for a storage company to try to cash in on those concerns with a shop dedicated to stocking Tokyo residents' post-quake kitchen stores. File under Only in Japan.