With Japan’s advanced technology, creativity and perhaps weird sense of innovation, coupled with their meticulous attention to details and packaging, there’s always lots to discover and be wow-ed about. On your next trip to Japan, why not check out this list of things to see, stay and buy?
Hello Kitty Shinkansen
We have probably seen truckloads of Kitty cafes all over the world, a Kitty airplane complete with a Kitty gate hold room in Taipei and even a Kitty hospital in Yuanlin Taiwan, but not on trains yet, till now. During the summer of 2018, JR will debut their Kitty Shinkansen in a bid to revitalise West Japan and promises to connect customers with those areas using the kitty ribbon. Although details had yet to be announced, you probably can expect it running through big cities from Kobe, Osaka, Hiroshima and Fukuoka. So, won’t you want to make use of this great opportunity to explore these Western Japan cities this summer?
Qoobo robotic cat tail pillow
Also debuting during the Summer of 2018, and still on the topic of cats, but in another form, is the robotic cat tail pillow. By mimicking the natural movement of a cat’s tail, it claims that it offers therapeutic comfort to cheer you up when you pats it. Doubling as a cushion for you to lie on or hug, it comes in two naturally cat-like colours of brown and grey. Apparently, this was due to a crowdfunding success and is developed to replicate the success of past robot healing pets. Strange as it might sound to be living in a country that thrive on selling robot pets, however it does make sense when considering the stress people are going through, in addition to the small space that they have, no hassle and cost of owning them, and of course, their obsession with everything that’s robotic. At the early bird price tag of 10,000 yen, delivery to Japan and the US will start in Aug 2018.
変なホテル (‘Weird’ or ‘Change’ Hotel)
Talking about robots marrying weird ideas, no other culture can probably come close to the ones Japanese comes up with. Somebody apparently thought it will be a great idea to have robots take over the operations of a hotel, and thus came up with 変なホテル where all the staff from front desk to bell desk, and even the trash cans and fishes are all mechanic. Interestingly, the word 変 can represent ‘weird’ or ‘change’, so I guess it depends how you look at the concept. While it all sounds weird in today’s context, it might just offer you a peep into accepting the change that is to come in the near future when robots take over the mundane work. Boasting walking distance away from Disneyland Tokyo, you might want to give it a try, instead of forking our loads more for a Disneyland hotel.
変なカフェ (‘Weird’ Cafe)
Following the success of the ‘weird’ or ‘change’ hotel comes 変なカフェ, that has robotic barista serving up coffee in 3-4 minutes, which I reckon is the preparation time and excludes waiting time. After buying a ticket at the vending machine, the robot will prepare your coffee after scanning the ticket. Not much of a experience, if you ask me, but it does prove that baristas, as a profession, are kind of redundant, and probably so is many other jobs as well (Gulp!). Nevertheless, since it’s smacked right in the middle of the city in Shibuya Modi B1F, why not grab a novelty coffee at the price of an attraction ticket.