Have you ever heard of the term ‘staycation’? It’s the word on everyone’s lips recently, as more and more people consider vacationing closer to home instead of hopping on a boat, plane or train across the world. This is why so many people are planning a staycation this year – and why you should be too!
Of course, one of the biggest reasons why people consider a staycation is because it saves a whole ton of money. You’re spending less on travel, new clothes, currency, insurance, and basically everything else that goes with leaving the house. However, you don’t have to stay in your house to save money – a staycation could also just be somewhere close to home, such as an AirBnB in the next pretty town.
Saving The Planet
All of the air travel we do nowadays is seriously harmful to the planet – and don’t even get us started on the amount of waste that cruise ships churn out. If you want to do your bit for the environment then consider vacationing a bit closer to home. You’ll reduce your carbon footprint by not having to travel far, and reduce things like plastic waste from those little hand-luggage-friendly toiletry bottles.
Save Your Town
If you live somewhere that isn’t exactly known for its tourism, then maybe that could change! Rally your friends together to explore your local town or city, to see what it has to offer. Not only may you be surprised at a few hidden gems, but you’ll be pumping money back into the local economy. Explore those family-run local restaurants… They’re worth it!
Are you sold on a staycation this year yet? There are so many benefits, you might find yourself wanting to stay closer to home every year.
40+ Instances of Japanese Technology that Makes Everyday Life Easier
Have you ever been to a fast-food restaurant or in your car and just want to easily get your condiments? We’re probably all guilty of letting the sachets slip out of our hands or ripping it open with our teeth. Luckily, the Japanese have invented an easier and cleaner method.
This condiment packet is available in all fast-food restaurants. Simply fold the packet in half and squeeze. The condiments should start spilling out, and the pointed tip allows for direct placement on your food. Such a simple idea that we should have, too!
Do you need a reminder to live your life more eco-friendly? Luckily, the Japanese have invented just the device to keep you environmentally conscious. These milk carton-shaped inventions are called Fridgeezoos, and their purpose is very simple.
When you open the fridge, the Fridgeezoos will greet you in Japanese, as that’s where they’re originally from. However, they’re not a fan of room temperature. If your refrigerator door is open for a long time, it’ll start to make a lot of noise until the door is closed again.
Umbrella Vending Machine
As you’ll come to learn very quickly through this article, the Japanese are well known for their wild vending machines that can be found in stores and train stations across the country. This one is extremely handy if you get caught in some unpleasant weather.
This machine is an umbrella vending machine. Simply, insert your Yen into the coin slots provided at the top of the machine and the machine will unlock an umbrella for you. This is useful for when you forget your coat at home and you’re caught in a rainstorm.
Bubble Wrap Keychains
Most of us have been in a situation in which we’re left to our own devices and want to have something in our hands to fidget with. Since fidget spinners are outdated and realistically are only used by children, this might be the next best thing.
The simple pleasure of popping bubble wrap is now in keychain form! This isn’t a life-changing invention, nor is it one that is overly technical, but its purpose is useful for those who need something to play with when they’re nervous.
Staying Bone Dry
The most annoying thing is when we plan to wear a cute or even expensive outfit for a special occasion only to discover that the weather isn’t working in our favor. Luckily, the Japanese were miles ahead in thinking about this first world problem, and have come up with a solution.
While it may not be the most fashionable, it will still let people see your glamourous outfit. This umbrella comes with a full-length plastic cover that will keep you completely bone dry in the event of a rainstorm.
Watch From the Future
Not that watches haven’t always been in fashion, but people are now exploring new ways of telling the time to keep their mind active. This smart Japanese invention may change how you tell time forever!
This watch is called the Sensei Watch and will tell the time through LED dots. The dots in the top right will tell you the minutes, the LED screen in the middle will tell the minutes in increments of five, and the left semi-circle will tell the hours.
We may have seen that TikTok trend in which people somehow manage to recycle their old shredded paper and turn it into new sheets of paper. It’s truly wonderful, however, it does seem very time-consuming and the sheets are quite delicate for everyday use.
This machine aims to tackle that problem by turning old pieces of office paper, or even shredded pieces, into something more practical. This machine will actually turn old paper into toilet paper. Now, there will never be a paper towel outage at the office again!
Napping at the Office
We’ve all had those days at work where all we want to do is throw the chair back and take a well-deserved nap. While that may not be a possibility at the moment, the Japanese have invented something very similar. Get your boss to mass order these, ASAP!
These office chairs not only recline all the way back to act as a temporary bed, but it also comes with a footrest so that you’re truly laying horizontally. Wouldn’t it be a dream that during your lunch break you could take a quick 10-minute nap to recoup?
Bed of Your Dreams
If you had to imagine the bed of your dreams, what would it have? Speakers beside your pillow for that surround sound feel? A built-in bookcase to keep all your favorite stories close to you? What about a recliner chair to kick back and relax in? Well, this bed has all of it and more!
This bed is being rolled out in Japan at the moment and it is a lazy person’s dream. Not only does it seem outrageously comfortable, but it also doubles as a couch.
A Sushi Carousel
If you love sushi, this has to be on your travel bucket list. Japan is obviously infamous for its sushi, but the Japanese are trying to find new and innovative ways to encourage people to try sushi at restaurants.
Not only does this restaurant bring you your food via an automated carousel, but you can also use iPads and tablets to customize your order. A chef will whip up your custom sushi right in front of you, and then use the carousel to get it directly to you.
Use the Force
We probably all know a Star Wars fan who would love these novelty lightsaber chopsticks to add to their collection. The fascinating thing about this Japanese creation is that the chopsticks actually come in three different colors depending on your allegiances.
Don’t worry, these lightsabers won’t destroy your food like they did Luke Skywalker’s hand. Instead, these nifty things can be used to sample a wide range of Asian foods, including the infamous Japanese sushi.
Getting caught in unexpected rainstorms must be a recurring issue for Japanese people as they have created many different, but useful, inventions to pre-warn people when it’s going to rain. For example, one of their latest creations is this handy light that’s displayed in elevators.
If you’re leaving your hotel room to enjoy a day in Japan, this light will flash when it’s either already raining or if it’s supposed to rain. In which case, you should probably go back to your room and change, or purchase an umbrella from a nearby vending machine.
Saké on Demand
Saké’s popularity has risen over the last few years. People are finally discovering this unusual drink, however, the Japanese recognized how great it was and already invented something to keep the population topped up with saké.
In Tokyo, this saké vending machine is up and running for anyone who wants to grab some fermented rice for their evening meal. Simply put in your money, and the machine will safely grab the bottle and deposit it to you without carding you. Genius!
When we think of vacations, we often think of going somewhere hot and relaxing with a good book right on the beach, listening to the waves crash on the shore. For many of us, going to the beach is an annual thing.
However, in Japan, they decided to create one of the world’s largest indoor, artificial beaches. People can relax and chill out on the sand if they wish, or they can take a dip into the water to pretend they are in the ocean. Best part? It’s open no matter the weather!
Japan really is the birthplace of modern-day robots. The Japanese have created robots that can interact with everyday tasks, and now they have created robots to take over as employees. At the Henn na Hotel, the front desk staff has been replaced by robots.
From start to finish, your entire check-in process is overlooked by robots who are cleverly trained to respond to your questions and feedback. They are also able to provide you with your room keys and take payment. The future is now!
Affective Money Box
When we introduce our kids to the concept of money boxes, we’re really showing them how to save and spend their own money. This is an invaluable life skill that will help them down the road when they’re older. However, if you have a kid who enjoys a spending spree, this might be for them.
This horrifying contraception is called the FaceBank. Originating in Japan, this moneybox has a strangely humanoid face looking at your every move. You input your leftover money into its mouth and it will deposit your coins for you.
The idea of petting zoos, of course, is not just limited to Japan. However, the Japanese found a way that allows zoo visitors to interact with the animals in a friendly manner. Instead of overwhelming the animals, how about cutting a small hole in the glass?
This genius invention allows anyone, young or old, to get close up to their favorite animals and even get to touch their hands! This otter in particular is a major talking point and brings in tourists from all over the world. They just love the idea!
The Ideal Dinner Party
Ever had one of those nights where you’ve invited people over for a hang but have discovered you don’t really want to put much effort into your look? That’s why this Japanese creation is the way to go and needs to be added to your shopping cart.
This table-blanket combo is actually called a kotatsu. There is a heating source under the table to trap the warmth and the blanket is normally placed on the lower half of the body during meal times.
Being the birthplace of video game legends such as Mario and Sonic the Hedgehog, you know Japan is going to have the sickest arcades in the world. It is said that many of these arcades feature several games that have never been released before!
One of the most well-known Japanese arcades is Taito HEY in Akihabara. Whilst there are plenty of arcades that will feature newer games and generations, Taito HEY is split across two levels to feature different games — shooting games and modern fighting games.
If you know anything about Japan, it’s that they have some strange and quirky bathroom accessories. While we’ll touch on that later, this next Japanese invention is truly something. In Japan, everything is placed very close together, meaning there isn’t often a lot of space.
To overcome the space issue, the Japanese decided to invent these toilets which have a sink attached to the top of the toilet chamber. This means that after using the toilet, all you have to do is wash your hands and leave the stall.
Anyone who wants to travel the world knows that expense can be spared when it comes to booking your overnight accommodation. Luckily, if you’re not looking for the traditional hotel experience, this Japanese invention is perfect for you.
These are called capsule hotels. To save money and space, hotels tend to create super basic rooms that can be sealed off for privacy. These capsule hotels can also feature a row of pods that people can inhabit and use to simply recharge. Incredible!
Kitty parents will know how important it is to wear the right piece of clothing around your cat. At any moment, they could decide they no longer want to purr in your lap, and instead lash out and leave you with scratches all over your body.
However, this invention solves that issue. This simple Japanese invention features a regular hoodie, but with a large pouch that can be opened. This pouch is big enough for your cat to sit or lay down in and curl up for some cuddles and kisses.
Grocery Stores Who?
Why go to the grocery store when you have everything you need at the touch of a button. No, we’re not talking about Amazon Prime. We’re talking about this brilliant invention that removes the stress of having to do a last-minute dash to the grocery store.
In these vending machines, you can pick almost anything you could ever need. From typical bottles of soda to packets of ramen, and even some candy for your after-dinner treat, you’ll never have to step foot in a grocery store again in Japan. It’s so simple!
Underground Bike Parking
If you ever visit Japan, you’ll probably notice the absurd amount of people who prefer to travel by bike than by any other mode of transportation. That’s because Japan actually has incredible bike lanes that help people get around their cities with ease.
However, you’ll also probably notice there’s not a bike to be seen outside office buildings or stores. That’s because the Japanese have invented underground bike parking. People can store their bicycles securely underground while they’re busy and simply retrieve them when they’re finished.
The Diet Bowl
We all wish there was some quick-fix diet plan that could help us lose a bunch of weight. Throw out the diets and start focusing on portion control and size to really shed the pounds!
Although this bowl first started as a piece of Japanese art, it is now being manufactured into a real product. This ‘Diet Bowl’ features half a bowl, with the other half replaced by a mirror. The point is to make the consumer believe they’re eating a full bowl when it’s only half.
Ready When You Are
Even though dried noodles are one of the easiest dishes to cook, many factors could go wrong. How much water is too much? Will it be seasoned enough? How long should you wait until you demolish this noodle cup? This next invention has all the answers.
This contraption is called a CupMan and can be placed on top of the noodle cup after the water is boiled. It will change color as the product gets warmer, and when the man turns red, you’re ready to go!
A Butter Stick
Only someone who has truly mastered technology would have been able to create something as sophisticated as this Japanese invention. If you’re ever running low on butter while you’re out and about with your friends, the Butter Stick has got you covered.
Originally invented to act as an easy way to spread soft butter onto toast without ruining the bread, this invention is ingenious. Just be careful not to confuse it for an actual glue stick as that will create major problems that aren’t easily fixed.
If you’re a smoker in Japan, you’ll more than likely be given one of these. Instead of discarding your ashes on the ground, the Japanese have designed something that will solve this increasingly worrying environmentally harmful action.
When you’re smoking in Japan, a police officer will approach you, but don’t worry you’re not in trouble! Instead, they’ll encourage you to discard your ashes in this heat-proof, reusable bag. When you’re finished, simply wash it out and have it ready for the next time.
The Bullet Train
This is one of Japan’s most iconic technological achievements, and to think it was built in the 1960s! The Bullet Train was originally built in advance of Tokyo hosting the Olympic Games in 1964 and aimed to take people from the capital — Osaka — to Tokyo where the games were being held.
The journey between Japan’s two most popular cities used to take the better part of a full business day, now the journey takes just over two hours as the train travels almost 200 miles per hour. So fast!
It’s a common enough mistake for someone to go into a store with the intent of buying booze, and it turns out it was just a regular drink. However, for those with visual impairments, this is a major issue.
The Japanese are quite clever and have thought ahead on this issue. Across Japan, if you look at the top of any canned cocktail, it will have a braille engravement on it. This warns people with visual impairments that they’re grabbing booze instead of a regular soft drink.
Parking Garage Elevators
If you look around Japan, you’ll notice that in a lot of driveways, cars will be stacked in a multi-story car parking space. This is because often Japanese families will have more than one car, but not enough room in the driveway to accommodate all of them.
Parking garages are very similar. Unlike driving into a parking garage, parking your car, and leaving to go about your day, the Japanese do it very differently. Your car will enter an elevator where it will be brought up and deposited in the appropriate space.
Moving can be a real pain, especially if you’re lugging a lot of furniture from one place to another. It can be incredibly awkward trying to fit in all of your furniture like couches, tables, and antique pieces in the one moving truck.
However, Japanese moving vans are different. You see, the sides of the truck unfold, which gives people a better idea of how to place their stuff in the truck. Thankfully, it also allows for a bit of ease when loading heavy pieces of furniture onto the truck.
No Litter Here!
If you’re sick of getting someone else’s old chewing gum piece on the bottom of your shoe, you’re not alone. While this next invention isn’t the most technologically advanced, it’s simple enough to make you wonder, “Why aren’t more people doing this?”
In this multipack of gum, the company has also included some paper strips to discard old, chewed gum. We didn’t think something so simple could be so effective! No more power hosing the streets — ingenious!
Air Conditioned Shoes
Only in Japan! This next invention may seem a little crazy at first, but it does provide a great service so we shouldn’t dismiss it too quickly. Someone in Japan noticed one day that their feet were getting sweaty inside their shoes while they worked.
To combat the issue, they decided to make air-conditioned shoes. These shoes have holes and filters on the bottom of the sole that bring fresh air into the shoe with every step. It’s sure to make your feet smell much better, and be less of a sweaty mess.
Again, this is an invention so simple we’re wondering why it hasn’t been done before. While in the bathroom with children, we may decide that we need to go ourselves. It can be tricky on knowing where to place your child. On your lap is too invasive and don’t even think about the floor!
This simple plastic chair is installed into the corner of a toilet cubicle and allows for the baby to sit inside it while whoever is watching the child can do their business.
Poking Some Fun
Japanese technology brought us fun games like Pokémon and Tamagotchis. This next invention is similar to a Tamagotchi, but it’s definitely a lot more interactive. This piece of pixel magic is called a Tuttuki Bako and comes with a small hole to insert your finger.
The sole aim of this is to use your finger to poke. Once you insert your finger, its virtual and more pixelated version will appear on-screen and the character on screen will interact and react to whatever you decide to do!
Remote Controlled Mop
Japan is where some of the biggest and best video games have come from, so what’s stopping these companies from transforming their coding magic to the real world? If only we could press a button or use a Joy-Con in order to do all our chores!
While it’s a start, this incredible invention is a remote-controlled mop. Simply use the remote to tell the mophead where to go. You’ll be able to have clean floors without so much as standing up. After that, hoover with your Rumba and you’re all good!
Voice Controlled Refrigerator
This is how you know you’re truly living in the future. Imagine sitting in your living room and by simply shouting a simple command, you could have your refrigerator come to you! Well, the Japanese have managed to bring this idea to life.
This refrigerator is voice-activated and voice-controlled. Once it hears the command word, it will spring into action and start to move from its original spot in the kitchen to wherever you may be. One of the coolest inventions of the last decade for sure!
Toilet of Wonders
One thing you’ll know about Japan before you even go is how technologically advanced their toilets seem to be. They can be voice-activated, they can spray some air freshener after you do your business, or they can ever work as a bidet. There are endless possibilities!
If you’re ever lucky enough to visit Japan, just know that your visit to the bathroom won’t be like home. While most of the instructions will be written in Japanese, the icons on the buttons are there to assist you.
Ramen Vending Machines
We promise this is the last vending machine, but how could you blame us for including so many when people in Japan have vending machines for almost everything! This one is a bit different, however, and something you wouldn’t normally see.
This vending machine is different because it dispenses hot ramen that’s ready to eat. This machine requires you to pay the appropriate amount of money and choose your dish. Wait a few moments, and maybe grab a fork, before your piping hot ramen is ready.
This is of course a ridiculous invention, but one that’s incredibly handy for anyone who has a bit of a habit of falling asleep on public transport. No one wants to miss their stop, but sometimes they just can’t help it!
This invention has the destination written on the yellow card in front of the hat. The plunger is used to make sure that the woman’s neck isn’t hurt while she naps. Hopefully, one commuter will be kind enough to alert the woman when her stop is coming up.
Industrial Toilet Plunger
If you’re too busy using your toilet plunger to keep your head upright as you nap on public transport, here’s another solution to unblock a toilet. This clever Japanese invention allows the user to unblock a toilet in one simple push.
This toilet seat-shaped sticker is placed over the bowl. Once it’s stuck down around the bowl, the user is going to press firmly in the middle of the sticker. This firm press should be enough to create a vacuum and unblock the drain.
Carefully Placed Bollards
Have you ever been enjoying a nice walk in the park when, all of a sudden, someone almost runs you over with their bike? People who go too fast on their bikes in public places are causing danger, and luckily Japan knows how to solve it.
On public pavements, there are places in which these green bollards and bumpy tiles are placed. This encourages cyclists who may have been going a little fast to slow down. Not only are they keeping themselves safe by doing this, but they are keeping others safe too.
Kitty Cooling Pot
Cats, especially those with long hair and thick coats, are prone to overheat and get dehydrated. In warmer climates especially, this is a serious problem. In Japan, they were able to come up with a pretty simple solution to this common issue.
This Kitty Cooling Pot is the perfect device for cats to crawl into and cool down. It is made with aluminum so that it’s perfectly sturdy, and has a cooling effect on the cats who use it. If only there was one big enough for humans!
Do Not Disturb
This one is for the ladies! How many times have you went into a bathroom and were embarrassed at the amount of noise you were making? Turns out you’re not alone. Japanese women are incredibly private and do not wish to make a lot of noise in the restrooms.
On the toilets in the women’s bathroom, you’ll often find a button labeled ‘sound,’ which will play a soft noise that will cover any other noise someone may be making. If it’s too quiet, luckily there are volume buttons to help.