The first time I went to Japan — about 10 years ago — a couple of friends asked me to get them eyedrops.
The minty ones.
I had no idea what they were talking about. Minty eyedrops? Sounded ridiculous.
Sounded so Japanese.
Sure enough, I browsed the shelves at Matsumoto Kiyoshi, a popular drug store in Tokyo, and found, among other strange items like skin lighteners and miraculous oil blotting sheets, these little diamond-shaped bottles of eyedrops. Minty ones.
Japan has a lot of these strange chotskies — things you’ll never find anywhere else in the world, much less in Hawaii. Video games, flat irons, mechanical pencils, Kit Kat bars, even condoms — Japan products can be some of the most interesting you’ll come across on your world travels.
Melissa Chang (@Melissa808) will be my partner-in-shopping-crime in Fukuoka and we’re both wondering — she’s blogging about this, too — what kind of only-in-Japan products should we be on the lookout for? We’re making a list!