Japan is an amazing country with a beautiful natural environment and unique culture. Its people are also very inventive, fond of creating things that you won’t find anywhere else.
We at Smalljoys selected 16 things made in Japan that are so ingenious they ought to be in every country.
1. Unique gas stations
In Japan, the pipes that deliver gas to the cars hang down from above. This helps drivers avoid a situation where they can’t reach the gas tank on their car.
2. Special vending machines
The Japanese value their time. This is clearly why they invented vending machines that provide you not only with potato chips and chocolate but also fried potatoes, boiled eggs, pet food, and pasta.
3. Compact parking
Japan has a population of 127 million, so economizing on space is a priority. One way this is achieved is by using these unique two-level parking spaces.
4. Drink cans for the blind
People who can’t see also want to know what drink they’re holding. The Japanese have already thought about this, which is why you won’t find a single drink can in the country that doesn’t have the name written in braille on the top.
5. The chair that holds your bag
A bag that always falls off the back of your chair when you hang it there is one of the most annoying things in the world. Japan has solved this problem by simply inventing a chair with a special notch in it. Ingenious!
6. Trains with foot spas
You definitely won’t see this anywhere else! You can get tickets for special suburban trains with hot water baths for your feet to help you get rid of some of the daily stress and really relax on your commute.
7. Tissues are given out for free on the street
Have you been unwell? Get better soon, and take these paper handkerchieves. That’s how it works in Japan. They give them out for free!
8. Multi-functional toilets
The toilets in Japan do more than just serve their basic functions. They quite literally do everything: help people with disabilities, clean themselves, and even heat themselves up. It seems the only thing they can’t do is make you breakfast, though perhaps the Japanese are already planning that as their next step!
9. “Poppers” for reducing stress
In Japan, people work a lot. A lot of work inevitably means a lot of stress. What’s the best way to get rid of stress? That’s right, bubble wrap. That’s why in Japan you can get a keyring with “endless” bubble wrap to help you get your stress down in an instant.
10. Automatic taxi doors
Yet more proof that the Japanese love automation. The majority of taxis in Japan have automatic doors, thanks to which you’ll never get told off for slamming them shut.
11. Hotels for those who really want to get enough sleep
If you dream of finding a nice cozy little room that you can get a good night’s sleep in, then the capsule hotels of Japan are what you need. People visit them simply to have a good rest. Something that many of us would surely agree to.
12. Musical roads
In Japan, there are a few roads where you can hear a pleasant melody as you drive along them. It’s the little things like this that help keep you entertained on a long trip.
13. Cat cafes
Cats mean coziness and warmth, and the Japanese know it. That’s why they opened dozens of cafes that are filled with large numbers of cats. You won’t want to leave!
14. Kotatsu: the heated table
We don’t know about you, but we’d be interested to try snuggling underneath one of these things. The kotatsu is a table with a blanket that is heated from below. Developed in the 14th century, they’re seen outside Japan only on the rarest of occasions.
15. An announcement system
In Japan, there’s a system of loudspeakers that spans the entire country. It’s used to inform people about emergencies, such as earthquakes or tsunamis. When everything is fine, however, they play pleasant music for the public and also make announcements to children that it’s time to go home in the evening.
16. And finally, the chance to sleep at work
What do you do when you feel sleepy at work after your lunch hour? The Japanese decided there was no point fighting this common urge and gave everyone the legal right to sleep at work. Referred to as “inemuri,“ which literally means ”present while sleeping,” this practice means you can sit and take a nap right next your boss.
Bonus. People’s bedrooms from All over the World
La Paz, Bolivia
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
New York, USA
Jambyl Region, Kazakhstan
Ban Sai Ngam, Thailand
Durban, South Africa