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Entries in Japan (33)


Virtual Dressing Room Store In Japan

This micro pop-up store is just 7 meters (about 23ft) in size but you can try on a multitude of outfits and share pictures of yourself in your new virtual duds on social networks. Urban Research, a fast-growing and popular fashion, home and lifestyle retailer, launched an experiment in Tokyo’s Parco Ikebukuro  called ‘Wearable Clothing by Urban Research.

 pic: Fashion Snap

Customers to simply stand in front of one of two 60-inch screens, select clothing items they want to try on and see themselves dressed in the products within seconds. Customers’ movements are represented fluidly on the screen in 3D. Customers can also use an integrated iPad to take pictures of themselves and share them with friends on social networks or add the item to your basket and use the QR code it prints to access the brand’s online store and complete your purchase of the item.

pic: Ryutsuu

Urban Research plans to install six virtual fitting room vendors in 2014 and to have around 100 units in operation by 2020, including overseas.


H/T: BOF, Japan Trends


Starbucks Japan Offers Unique Flavors

Only at Starbucks Japan can you find these limited edition drinks that are layered with unique flavors. What makes Starbucks Japan interesting is the pace at which they are able to create and bring to market these new and often unexpected flavors. Some of these very limited flavors are available for just one month. This is just a sampling of what was released in 2013 and 2014. To see more, check out their Japanese website (it can automatically be translated in Google Chrome). 

Sakura for Springtime

Cherry chocolate latte with strawberry flavor topping, cherry blossom petals, strawberry candy and strawberry flavored whipped cream.







Chocolate Pretzels Mocha

Sweet chocolate, pretzels with chocolate sauce and whipped cream, chocolate syrup, espresso, and steamed milk.








White Tiramisu Frappuccino

Bittersweet coffee flavor with flaky black biscuits and white chocolate brownie, finished with cocoa powder and cheese mousse cream.








Chunky Cookies Frappuccino

Almond and chocolate chunk cookie mixed with a Frappucino giving it a slightly crunchy texture. 






Fresh Banana & Chocolate or Caramel Cream Frappuccino

A whole banana is blended into the Chocolate or Caramel Cream Frappuccino. 


Häagen-Dazs Introduces Vegetable Ice Cream 

Häagen-Dazs Japan is introducing two new vegetable flavored ice creams on May 12 called the “Spoon Vege” series. The flavors are “Tomato Cherry” and “Carrot Orange”.

We know Japan has a slight obsession with unique flavors which in turn influences big brands to be adventurous - just browse the array of wacky Japanese snack flavors on Pinterest. So it really doesn't come as a big surprise that Häagen-Dazs is only releasing these veggie flavors in Japan. 

According to the press release (translated in part)

"The “Tomato Cherry” combines the natural sweetness of tomato with the fruity flavor of cherry, which should accentuate the rich taste of the tomato."

"The “Carrot Orange” takes the gentle flavor of carrot and adds to it the fresh citrus taste and scent of orange, giving the carrot a sophisticated and refreshing twist."

There was even a week-long Facebook campaign that slowly revealed these new "secret" flavors. 

So does this make indulging a little healthier? By the looks of it, it should. But coming from Häagen-Dazs, I'm sure it's as rich and indulgent in every bite as their other sumptuous flavors. If it catches on, maybe we'll be seeing this in the US soon. 


Japan's Ikea Monorail Takeover

Ever wonder what Ikea products would look like outside of the home or office? How about in a monorail car? To mark the opening of a new Ikea near Tokyo's Tachikawa Station, the Tama Monorail Line was decorated with Ikea furnishings and renamed the "Ikea Party Train". For two days, passengers were treated to food and drinks amidst the color crazed home furnishing takeover. 

You could almost imagine you were in your own living room; well, if your preference in interior design is for lots of colors and lots of patterns. Nonetheless, what an unexpected treat for riders this week.



Starbucks: Upside Down and Always Full

This is not 3 cups of Starbucks coffee. It's actually 3 mugs designed by Japanese firm Nendo for Starbucks - upside down. The printed bottom is reflective of the coffee company’s view of feeling ‘fulfilled, and seeing the glass as half-full, never half-empty’.  The mugs come in 3 design flavors: mug americano, mug latte and mug caramel macchiato. 

When the mugs are drying or stored upside down, they always appear full – a visual reminder to always have a positive mental attitude.

The mug collection is being sold at Starbucks Japan shops starting March 2014. 



A Sweet Shop Only For Kids In Japan

It's true! This sweet shop is only for kids 12 and under. No adults allowed. 

Located in Sanda City, Hyogo Prefecture in Japan, Future Sweets Factory, is located on the premises of the wildly popular Patisserie es Koyama, which carries a large line of pastries and baked goods, and is particularly famous in the region for its special roll cake.

The sign reads, "no adults allowed".

Main shop entrance is on the left and the kids only shop is on the right. 


Once inside, kids are treated with samples of freshly basked sweets. They also get a special look at the manufacturing process of the baked goods, as well as a sneak peek at some new items before they go on sale in the main shop. 



According to owner and chef Mr. Susumu Koyama, his main goal in building such a space was to encourage active communication between children and their parents. After all, the only way for adults to find out what’s inside the shop is to hear everything from their children.

Brilliant! Just Brilliant! 



Creative Barcode Designs

Next time you start designing your package, think about how the often intrusive barcode could be a more eye catching element. Japanese design firm D-Barcode creates fun and brand relevant barcodes for their clients. 



Cookie Mail - One Delicious Letter At A Time


How can we keep the US Postal Service alive? Do innovative and creative things like Japan. In Japan you can send Cookie Mail. Your message is literally printed onto 35 to 70 little cookies, a letter per cookie. 


The cookies even come in 3 flavors!

Makes such a great gift! Now we just need one in the US.