Looking for something quintessentially Japanese for that perfect gift or souvenir? Each month, we round up some of our favorite artisanal items made by local craftsmen and designers. November is all about skincare, bathtime and personal pampering…
Math Salt by Ohashi Ryoki Co., Ltd.
Masu box meets bath salts (hence the name “Math”). Containing sea salt from Camargue in France and a selection of fragrant herbs, this line of bath salts comes in square-shaped wooden cups, traditionally used to serve Japanese sake. After using the salts, place the cup into the bathtub and enjoy the pleasant fragrance of hinoki cypress wood and aroma oil.
¥750 each, www.masukoubou.jp
ALTY Skincare Brush Series by ALTY Co.,Ltd.
For some, the idea of washing your face with a brush might sound like just another short-lived beauty trend, but once you try out this gem, you’ll never turn back. Created by an artisan who refines the fibers one by one, this brush boasts an incredibly soft and gentle surface that catches any dirt and impurity, and leaves you with baby-soft skin.
Yuzu from Kyoto Nursery Natural Aromatic Skincare Series by Human Resource Communications Ltd.
This collection of cosmetics is rich with the fragrant aroma of yuzu citrus from Saga Mizuo in Kyoto. Containing no artificial fragrances or colorings, this beauty line is made only with yuzu provided by farmers using natural harvesting techniques, and as such offers a unique, fresh aroma that’s gentle on the skin.
Oboro 100 years Extreme by OBORO TOWEL Co.,Ltd.
Made from ultra-fine threads, Oboro towels are super fluffy, light and absorbent. Originally created as a bath towel made for the traditional bathing culture of Japan, it will give you that spa feeling in the comfort of your own home.
Bath towel ¥4,000, face towel ¥1,500, www.oboro-towel.co.jp
Ontano Eco-humidifier by Ontano Studio Co., Ltd.
Gone are the days of dry air in Japanese winters. At first glance you might think this product is just a towel, but look closely and you’ll see it’s actually a ceramic eco-humidifier that doubles as a stylish interior decoration for your home. Simply immerse Ontano in water and then place it anywhere in the room where it will naturally release moisture into the atmosphere without the need for electricity.
Laurier Slim Guard by Kao Corporation
Inspired by the production technique of Unryu Japanese paper, which consists of very thin layers of paper, this revolutionary sanitary pad series promises more flexibility and comfort for everyday wear.
¥330 for 19 pads, www.kao.com/jp
Kitsune no Chie SkinCare Series by Wise Integration Co., Ltd.
This skincare series derives its name from Japan’s mythical fox, which has the magic ability to transform itself into a beautiful girl. The brand makes use of Japanese wisdom from the Edo period that harnesses nature’s powers for beauty and health purposes, and adapts it to suit modern lifestyles. The special ingredient uguisu no fun (nightingale droppings) contains enzymes such as protease which helps remove dead skin cells and leaves your skin soft and clean.
Qurtear by Omotesando Beauty Labo Inc.
Qurtear was brought to life by a team of hairdressers who have created a long-lasting product that penetrates deep into the hair and repairs it from the inside. Not only will this hair treatment leave your hair smooth and shiny, but the concentrated formula also reduces the volume of product needed, making it a perfect for your travel beauty kit.
¥8,000 each, ¥4,980 for repeat purchases, omotesando-labo.com
Ear Picks by Sanyu Medical Company
These high-tech ear picks are handmade by craftsmen who have years of experience in medical device manufacturing. Since the tip is fitted with the same resin material as used for stethoscope tubes, it is flexible and can remove earwax from any angle while protecting against damage to the ear canal.
All featured products are part of Omotenashi Selection, a project that brings together fine handcrafted items from around Japan and shares them with international audiences.
For more info, go to omotenashinippon.jp/selection/en