As countries are gradually re-opening their societies following a significant decline in the number of Covid-19 cases, we’re seeing more people catching up on their visits to relatives and friends. Unfortunately, eating out is still better to avoid, but this doesn’t mean you can’t recreate a welcoming atmosphere at home. Below are a few Japan-made creations to spruce up your dining room and level up your hosting game.
1. Bag-in Chair by Labot Co., Ltd.
This series of chairs has a clever design that offers an extra space at the back of the seat for placement of a bag. It’s convenient and helps to keep belongings clean and safe. Plus, the seat is super comfy, too. From ¥26,000. Buy at www.labot.co.jp/flat/bag_in_chair
2. Kikka Earthenware Pot for Cooking Rice by Ginpo Co., Ltd.
With the aim of introducing the delicious taste of Japanese clay pot-steamed rice to people all over the world, Ginpo takes the utmost care in manufacturing this quality-guaranteed earthenware pot. It’s easy to use and only takes 20 minutes to steam your rice.
From ¥3,780-¥8,170. Buy at ginpo.co.jp/products/kikka-gohan
3. Soy Sauce Dispenser by Kouraku Kiln Inc.
Designed by Kouraku Kiln’s fourth-generation head potter Ryuichi Tokunaga around 1980, this super cute spill-proof dispenser works to ensure you can pour soy sauce on your favorite dishes without the need for a saucer. ¥3,800-¥4,800. Buy at kouraku.jp.net
4. Ichi by Ohizumi Bussan Co., Ltd.
With the word ichi meaning “one” and “beginning” in Japanese, this range represents the founding of a new cutlery brand boasting a timeless design. It was created by the late Danish designer Ole Palsby, who often drew inspiration from Japanese culture, and was the final piece of work in his illustrious career before he passed away in 2010. ¥850-¥3,800. Buy at ichi.ne.jp
5. Andizumo by El Inc.
These bars of soap are made from carefully selected ingredients cultivated in the Izumo region. To retain maximum benefits, they are made using a cold process method. Free of additives, preservatives and synthetic perfumes, they are perfect for even sensitive skin. From ¥3,800. Buy at elinc.jp/andizumo-lp
6. Hyakushiki Urushi-glassware Tsubomi by Maruyoshi Kosaka Co., Ltd.
Maruyoshi Kosaka is a well-established manufacturer of traditional Kiso lacquerware and a pioneer in combining glassware and urushi lacquer. Their Tsubomi tableware series features beautiful lines of lacquer, each individually hand-drawn. ¥6,200-¥12,900. Buy at www.hyakushiki.jp
7. Artisan Teapot by Artisan.LLC
This exquisite teapot is produced with a combination of world-renowned metalwork from Tsubame, Niigata and refined copper techniques from Takaoka, Toyama. Each piece is carefully handmade by skilled craftsmen and reflects the best of both regions. ¥22,000. Buy at artisan-web.jp
8. Utsuroi Cup by Asada Craft of Japan Ware, Inc.
This company creates cups and trays using a special rokuro (potter’s wheel) technique developed in Yamanaka. Fusing this technique with innovative ideas and technology, they developed the Utsuroi cup series, a colorful and modern collection of items perfect for daily use. ¥4,000-¥13,500. Buy at asadashikki.thebase.in/items/9172328
9. Wa Sa Bi Shinogi Tea-set by Imari Togei Co., Ltd.
Each piece in this Japanese teatime set is inspired by the country’s beautiful nature and crafts. The teapot, for example, was inspired by the chasen bamboo tea whisk used in traditional tea ceremony. From ¥18,000. Buy at wa-sa-bi-arita.com
10. Riveret by Nakayoshi Shoji Co., Ltd.
With a design-first focus, this tableware series is made from the finest quality wood. Stems are cut from a single block of wood and made by using intricate molding methods. A unique coating technology that makes these items dishwasher safe. ¥3,800-¥4,500. Buy at www.riveret.jp
11. Corino 2.9-1.0 TPH by Office Otaka
Made with precision in factories around Japan, CORINO 2.9-1.0 TPH is a tissue holder series that is innovative yet designed to blend in with any interior. Choose between leather, steel and wood varieties to suit your personal space. From ¥8,800. Buy at www.corino2910.com
12. Yumikayu Silk Face & Body Brush by Fujisei Co., Ltd.
These facial cleansing brushes are made from 100 percent silk at Tomioka Silk Mill, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Gunma Prefecture. Soften the brush with hot water before mixing in your cleanser, then wash your face by gently massaging with the brush to leave your skin soft and smooth. ¥1,000-¥5,000. Buy at tomiokasilk.shop
13. Japanese Cultural Cloths: “Trivia on Japan: Sake” and “Trivia on Japan: Chopsticks” by Micobics Inc.
Learn more about Japan and Japanese culture thanks to these fun microfiber cloths. Themes include types of sake, how to make sake, how to use chopsticks and more. Available in English, French and German. ¥700. Buy at micobics.com
14. A2Care by All Nippon Airways Trading Co., Ltd.
A2Care is a colorless and odorless sanitizing air refresher. Made with purified water without any surfactants, it does not cause any stickiness or damage to fabric, so it can safely be used on clothing, furniture as well as in the kitchen, bathroom or car. ¥750-¥7,500. Buy at a2care-anatc.com
15. Fukiyose Japan by Ginza Kikunoya.Co
Founded in 1890, Ginza Kikunoya is a well-established shop dedicated to creating traditional Edo-era confections, while playing with seasonal colors and themes. This premium product is inspired by much-loved Mount Fuji and the four seasons. ¥2,500-¥4,500. Buy at ginza-kikunoya.co.jp
16. Gokankaku Mizuhiki Fragrance Diffuser/Mizuhiki Fragrance Charm by Marui Inc.
Mizuhiki is the decorative paper cord that’s often tied around cards given at weddings, births or funerals. In this fragrance series, these small handmade mizuhiki ornaments impart wonderful scents. For your next special occasion, infuse the event with your favorite scent or enjoy the elegant diffuser in your home. ¥2,500. Buy at www.gokankaku.com/index.html
17. Usubiki Dish by Gomei Gold Foil Handicraft
This usubiki dish is made by covering thin Japanese zelkova wood with rare fuchitsuke gold foil. It’s extravagant but lightweight and makes for an excellent gift or impressive tableware when receiving special guests. ¥15,000-¥32,000. Buy at www.gomei.ne.jp
18. Nanbu Short Broom by Takakura Kogei Inc.
Notable for its wavy tips, this Nanbuhouki broom is handmade using curly fibers from sorghum (broomcorn), which is effective in removing tiny dust particles from tatami and wooden floors. ¥20,000-¥150,000. Buy at nanbuhouki.jp/en
19. Haki Series by Yumemiya Co., Ltd.
In Japan, there is a strong appreciation for harmony and simplicity. With these concepts in mind, this interior decor series is made in tones of white with light materials and has a sophisticated appearance. Choose from New Year, Children’s Day and Hinamatsuri Doll Festival decorations. ¥13,000-¥80,000. Buy at www.rakuten.co.jp/yumemiya
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