While the Tokyo Olympic Games are all about competition, they also present a great opportunity to learn about the host country. Although we might be watching the Tokyo games unfold from our couches at home, we can transport ourselves to Japan through some of the country's most popular products.
Japan is known for its delicious snacks and adorable characters. Everything, whether it is a pencil case or hand soap, seems to have a sprinkle of fun. Adults and kids alike can find joy in some of Japan's well-known products.
Style expert Amy E. Goodman, who is also a professional Japanese dancer under the stage name Hanayagi Suzuran, joined the 3rd hour of TODAY to share some of the best Japanese products to try. From Japan's most popular soda to a multipurpose cotton towel, read on to shop these cool picks.
If you are a foodie, this monthly subscription box is a great way to discover Japan. Each box is curated with high-quality Japanese snacks and are often themed around Japanese culture, festivals, flavors and cities. Twenty to 25 snacks ranging from candy and mochi to senbei rice crackers, chips, tea and more are included, as well as a cultural guide detailing each product's origin and flavor profile. Boxes can also be ordered a la carte.
Bubbly, fizzy and fun, Ramune is the most popular soda in Japan. The soda comes in a unique shaped glass bottle that is sealed with a marble that acts as a stopper for the drink. To drink, you have to press the marble down into the liquid to unleash a fizzy pop. The original flavor is lemon-lime, but it is also available in seasonal flavors like lychee, strawberry, orange and melon.
Perfect for goodie bags or just to collect, these mini block sets from Daiso, which is the Japanese equivalent to our dollar stores, are an adorable and fun activity. With 65 different types of Petit Blocks to choose from, kits can range from building people such as race car drivers and explorers to animals, dinosaurs, airplanes and even food.
With an adorable face and smooth texture, it is impossible not to love this plushie. Huggable and super soft, this stuffed animal dog is the perfect companion for the little one in your life. Many of the plushies, including this dog, come holding their favorite foods like a rice ball or leaf wrapped mochi.
Get ready for back to school with one of these cute pencil cases. Nekorobi pencil cases are long, narrow and often depict an animal laying down. This specific case is large enough to hold about 14 pens. Whether you choose a cat, dog, chick or another design, these adorable cases are a great way to stay organized.
Tenugui towels are often compared to handkerchiefs, yet this lightweight towel has much more to give. While it can be used to wipe up spills or even sweat, they are also often used as gift wraps. Designed with a fun candy pattern, the possibilities are endless with this handy towel. This is also an environmentally friendly wrapping option since they are reusable.
This soap makes washing your hands fun with a pump that dispenses the perfect amount of foam in the shape of a beautiful yuzu flower. Made with traditional Japanese ingredients such as yuzu extract and soothing rice water, this soap is very nourishing and moisturizes your hand. The smell of the foam also reflects the fresh, uplifting scent of yuzu fruit.
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