Sony electronics, Nissin Top Ramen, Kikkoman soy sauce; there are plenty of Japanese products that people overseas have come to use in their everyday lives.
But those are just the tip of the iceberg! There are so many more Japanese snacks, gadgets and trinkets so amazing that it’s a wonder they haven’t become international household names as well.
MyNavi has compiled a list of Japanese products available for purchase on Amazon that, while not very well-known overseas, are certainly well-loved by those who do. We’ve translated the list below (and added a bit), so get your credit cards ready and see what you’ve been missing out on!
If you’ve spent time in Japan you’ve probably noticed that the Japanese put mayo on practically everything.
The reason? Japanese mayonnaise is superior in all respects and Kewpie is the freaky naked baby king among kings. Not only does it taste better than popular American varieties, it comes in a plastic squeeze bottle that works so well you’ll wonder why Americans still use jars.
The reviews are filled with great ideas for how to use your Kewpie mayonnaise and if $10 for a 17 oz bottle seems expensive, you might also want to try your local Asian supermarket. Mayo is the holy grail of Japanese condiments so you should be able to find a bottle with no problem.
Chocolate is another food that Japan seems to do better in most cases and if you want an example of good Japanese chocolate, you can’t go wrong with Meiji.
Amazon offers a fairly rich selection of Meiji chocolate products, including Choco Baby (“Addicting!!”), Melty Kiss (“THE BEST CHCOLATE CANDY ON THE PLANET!”), Apollo Strawberry Chocolate (“A must for chocolate and strawberry lovers”) and Kinoko no Yama (“your will feel a little weird when eating the first few but after that WOW.”).
You can also purchase plain milk chocolate bars, which might be interesting to compare with Hershey’s.
Something like the Japanese equivalent of the Easy-Bake Oven, this do-it-yourself kit comes with everything you need to make your own candy sushi. According to the reviews, the sushi tastes great and looks fairly accurate. While designed for kids, this could be perfect for your next Popin’ Cookin’ Happy Sushi party!
Also be sure to check out Popin’ Cookin’ Make Bento.
Okay, so the reviews of this one are a mixed bag, which is not really surprising when they’re asking $3.15 for a 7-piece set of gum. Overall, it seems people agree the gum is good, but this is probably another one that you’d probably be better off looking to your local Asian market for.
A good Japanese rice cooker, on the other hand, is an investment worth every penny. Chinese people often come to Japan just to buy rice cookers and even on Amazon, the $164.40 Zojirushi NS-ZCC10 model ranks in at #7 in rice cookers.
These things are designed from the inside out to cook the perfect batch of rice—and believe us, plain white rice can taste heavenly when cooked to perfection. They look attractive, they’re easy to clean and they come with a highly-customizable timer setting so you can have a pot of fresh-steamed rice waiting for you when you come home from work.
The Japanese have perfected the art of cute and nowhere is this more apparent than in the bento—or, lunch box.
Compared to the Japanese tradition of crafting adorable faces and characters out of food and neatly arranging them a multi-tiered lunch box, the American standard of dropping a sandwich and an apple into a brown paper bag is nothing but embarrassing (but think of all the time they spend!).
And when that lunch box itself is shaped like a panda face with an elastic “headband” to hold it together, you can’t help but bow down in submission to this stunning display of cuteness.
Would you have ever thought of dropping $18.00 on fingernail clippers? How about stainless steel nail clipper with a cast iron lever and a cutting edge “hand-grinded and honed for precise cutting”?
Like shaving razors, quality can completely change your fingernail clipping experience. While pricey, these Japanese-made clippers have over 100 5-star ratings on Amazon from customers who praise the product with comments like: “I never thought I’d pay this much for a pair, but now that I have them you’ll never find me buying the .99 ones at the drug stores ever again.”
While the product description suggests using this “massager” on your shoulders for a “stimulating massage”, anyone who has seen Japanese adult videos will probably know what the Magic Wand is really used for right away.
After reading customer reviews such as “buy one for every woman you know”, “I call mine ‘The Mailman’ because it delivers all kinds of weather” and “MY GIRL CREAMED HERSELF AS SOON AS I PUT IT ON HER”, we think that the Magic Wand might take the title for the most…intensely loved product to come out of Japan.
So, what do you think? Anything on the list catch your eye? Anything you think should be added? Let us know in the comments below!