20 Adorable Kawaii Things from Japan You Can Buy Now
by Teni Wada | LIFESTYLE
If you only know one word in Japanese, there’s a good chance it’s kawaii. A seemingly simple word that belies a treasure trove of emotions, kawaii can mean anything from an off-handed cute to I gotta have this! This selection of 20 kawaii Japanese things for the kitchen and home are a sure way to add a hint of happiness to domestic chores and day-to-day living. You’ll find items adored with bubbly characters, dainty flowers, adorable feline creatures, and even Japan's beloved dog, the shiba inu! All this adorable kawaii stuff is available to buy on Amazon.
1. Panda Bento Box
On a cuteness scale of 1 to 10, this panda lunch box would no doubt score a perfect 10! From the bashful blushing emoji-like face imprinted on the bento bag to the compact and stylish lunch box with a cheerful panda face lid, every inch of this lunch box set is sure to steal your heart. BPA free and microwave safe, this lunch is perfect for both children and adults who have a soft spot for the cuddly panda bear. The lid is fully detachable, so you can leave it on the table as you eat to have a lunchtime buddy by your side!
2. Shiba Inu Tote Bag
Declare your love for the environment and its inhabitants by doing your weekly shop with a reusable tote bag adorned with Japan’s most popular dog breed, the adorable Shiba Inu. Featuring the cute face of Shibata san, a red Shiba Inu who loves watermelon and playing with children, this durable canvas tote has wide straps sturdy enough to support you shopping haul. Inside is a mini pocket ideal for storing keys and a small wallet. The tote may also be folded to fit inside the pocket in order to store it compactly for later use.
3. Shiba Inu Plush Pillow
Can’t have a dog, but would do anything to hug a Shiba just once? Then you’ll want this cuddly Shiba plush! The mischievous Shiba has long been Japan’s most popular breed of dog, but thanks to its fox-like appearance (and a few memes), the shiba has captured the hearts of dog lovers worldwide. An ideal kawaii gift for friends, family, or even yourself, this Shiba with a dream “to taste all kinds of foods” sports the signature Shiba curled tailed, and bold eyebrows, and perky butt.
4. Pink Cat Sake Set
This 5 piece sakura pink colored sake decanter and cup set comes adorned with a kawaii cat smiling contently. Perhaps you will too when you take a sip of sake from these whimsically painted cups. Even if Japanese rice wine is not your drink of choice, the decanter and flask set can be used for any type of drink, or even to plant and water succulents. This set arrives elegantly wrapped in a sophisticated black box, making it a suitable housewarming or wedding gift.
5. Pink Randoseru Satchell
Stand out from the crowd with a backpack that is nothing but unique! Commonly used by Japanese school children throughout their primary school years, the randoseru (from the Dutch word for randsel) has now become the latest must-have accessory for adults pining for kawaii things. Made from PVU leather and available in 6 colors, this randoseru has three pockets for storing A4 sized documents, notebooks, tablets and other essential items. As randoseru are made to be used throughout the years of schooling, and in some cases passed down to younger family members, they’re extremely durable will withstand years of wear. This randoseru has a padded back, adjustable straps and a swivel motion that makes it very easy to put on and off. A great kawaii gift idea!
6. Shiba Inu Kokeshi Doll
Need a little encouragement as you burn the midnight oil reading or working? How about a pick-me-upper after a long, trying day? Made by Usaburo Kokeshi, one of Japan’s leading manufacturers of handcrafted wooden kokeshi dolls, this adorable shiba comes all the way from Japan’s Gunma Prefecture with a personal message. The shiba clutches an omamori, an amulet that brings the bearer good fortune. Surely this beautifully detailed shiba kokeshi doll would make a wonderful partner for your academic or professional endeavors!
7. White Cat Journal
Collect your thoughts or just simple doodle to your heart’s content with a cat journal with artwork sure to awaken and foster your inner creativity. The cover features one of three lifelike kawaii drawings, illustrated by Midori Yamada, a prolific artist from Chiba Prefecture who specializes in watercolor painting. Each journal lays flat when opened and contains 160 pages of high quality glazed printing paper that is suitable for pencil sketches, colored pencils, crayons, and pastels.
8. Printed Dishcloths
You can never have too many dishcloths, so feel free to add this trio of printed dishcloths from Ippinka to your kitchen! This set includes one shiba print cloth, one ume (plum blossom) print cloth and one poppy print cloth. The towels feel stiff straight out of the package, but they soften after just one wash. Highly absorbent, these dishcloths are great for drying cast iron pots and pans or to use as a dish drying mat. As these prints are equally cute, feel free to use these clothes as a serving towel for hot pots and pans or even in a bread basket to serve baked goods to guests.
9. Cat Design Rice Bowl
Satisfy your appetite — and your penchant for fuzzy feline friends — with this set of ceramic rice bowls featuring smiling cats on exterior and interior. Whether you choose to store these bowls right side up or face down, the delicate artwork will be seen. As it’s customary in Japan to hold the rice bowl while one eats, this practice puts the interior cat right on one’s eye level. Make eye contact and it’s almost if the cat is looking up at you! Dishwasher and microwave safe, this set is ideal for gifting, for guests’ use, or to complement the wares currently inside your kitchen cabinet.
10. Ceramic Coffee Mug
Sure to become your favorite tea or coffee mug, this hand painted Kutani ware mug features a heartwarming scene of two cats side by side in a meadow. Made in Japan’s coastal Hokuriku region, in Ishikawa Prefecture, Kutani wares have three centuries of history and are distinguished by its overglaze colors applied with fluid brushwork featuring green, yellow, red, purple, and blue tones. Sturdy and dishwasher safe, the unevenness and “imperfections” of the pottery only add to its delightful character.
11. Kitty Kitchen Knife
For the Iron Chef with a soft spot for kawaii kitchen things, this lightweight stainless steel santoku knife is the perfect addition to any kitchen. Available in three different sizes, this knife is brought to you by Mere Pere, an Osaka-based kitchen brand with an adorable kitty as its mascot. Each knife blade features the brand’s signature character and the phrase, “This is very nice. Do you want some?” You’ll no doubt have fun doing meal prep with this knife!
12. Floral Thermos
Fancy a cuppa? Make your breaks count with this insulated tumbler from Thermos. Keep your tea and coffee hot on the go with a flask that’s just as cute as it is functional. The bright sky blue background and dainty flowers are a Japan-only design and provide a soft contrast to the stainless steel material used to make this flask. The slim bottle fits conveniently in a handbag or the side pocket of a backpack without taking up valuable space.
13. Rhapsody in the Forest Coloring Book
Though Rhapsody in the Forest may sound like the follow up to the Haruki Murakami novel, Norweigan Wood, it’s a coloring book that doesn’t hold back on magic realism. Featuring the mysterious and enchanted world of the four seasons and woodland creatures across 87 pages, this beautifully illustrated and highly-rated sequel by Kanako Egusa continues her previous work, Menuet de Bonheur. The textured, off-white pages are suitable for coloring pencils and there are two bonus pages of designs which include postcards and message cards.
14. Cartoon iPhone Case
A smartphone case is more than a means to protect your precious (and expensive) cargo from dust and damage. It’s also an excellent way to show off your personality and interests to the world. And, if you have a penchant for the sweet and dainty, or the whimsical and playful, then you’ll definitely want a smartphone case that’s straight from the motherland of all things kawaii! These smartphone cases are made in Japan from clear thermoplastic polyurethane. With over 40 designs to choose from, the only problem you’ll have is deciding which one to pick!
15. Washi Masking Tape
If you love scrapbooking, journaling or DIY home projects, then you probably already know how that washi tape is a small but powerful tool that can transform anything from drab to fab. for the uninitiated, washi tape is a translucent paper tape from Japan. It has a slight adhesive backing that can be applied and removed with little difficulty and sticky residue. This set of 9 washi tape rolls feature pastel Japan-inspired prints that will fulfill your wanderlust and spruce up your latest project.
16. Cat Tail Paper Clip Bottle
Your office might not be animal friendly, but this cat tail clip holder doubles as a functional desk and lovable office mascot. Its mini size is ideal for compact workspaces and desk drawers. The tail of this clip holder is actually a magnet attached to the lid, making it a fuss-free way to take a paperclip. This holder also doubles as storage for hair pins and makes a cute accent piece to any bathroom or vanity.
17. Mini Condiment Containers
Need a mess-free solution to bringing condiments in your lunch box? Try these brightly colored set of 4 animal containers. The lid comes attached to the body of the container, so there is no need to worry about misplacing it. Each container holds under 1 tablespoon or 14ml and are ideal for thicker condiments like ketchup, peanut butter, dressing, or furikake rice toppings. These mini containers are also great for bringing medication on the go or to store rings, earrings, and other accessories. You can even use them to store false eyelashes when not in use!
18. Baby Animal Erasers
You’ll no doubt feel the smile forming on your face whenever you take out this set of 6 baby animal erasers. Each package includes a brightly colored bunny, bear, dog, cat, chicken, and hamster, all with the sweetest, roundest eyes that will no doubt make you say, “kawaii!” They might be tiny, but these study buddies are as functional as they are cute. What’s more, they’re all strawberry scented, too!
19. Shiba Inu Pen Holder
Lihit Lab is an Osaka-based company that has manufactured Japanese stationery for more than 70 years. One of their hit items is this adorable silicone pencil case that artists, journalers and students will surely love. It’s available in two sizes and six different animal designs. The wide zipper opening allows for easy storage and removal of writing utensils while the inside of the lid has a loop for storing an erasers. It instantly transforms into a pen stand when you press down the bottom of the case.
20. Fruit Sponges
Doing the dishes is often a dirty job, but someone’s gotta do it, so add a touch of cheer to your chores with this trio of smiling fruit sponges. Featuring an orange, apple, and lemon, this set of kawaii things will surely brighten up your day and make dishwashing fun as they scrub through grease and leftovers.
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