Christmas Shopping in Tokyo

Today I begrudgingly wandered around the overheated department stores of Tokyo looking for stuff to buy my family and friends, and stumbled upon some rather original gifts. So, if you’re at a loss for Christmas present ideas, look no further.

Tokyu Hands is always a good place for frivolously blowing money on meaningless novelty tat like fluffy dog-turds and Mexican wrestler masks, as I learned the stupid way a few months ago, after drunkenly stumbling in there, post-pub, and buying a Japanese version of the classic game, “Pop-Up Pirate,” with the pirate inexplicably wearing black leather bondage gear. The mind-boggling array of moderately amusing plastic trash in Tokyu Hands makes it the last resort for the totally desperate shopper, who really can’t think of a present to buy that difficult relative. I went there first, to save time. Inside, I spotted some characteristically odd seasonal gifts, like this startlingly realistic roast-turkey-hat.

This is sure to be snapped up by infantile office pranksters to wear at their Christmas parties (before they trudge forlornly home, alone, to eat their Christmas KFC.)
Being a true romantic, I think I’ll buy one for my girlfriend. I’m sure she’ll love it.

Tokyu Hands also had these charming “his n’ hers” flesh-coloured socks, complete with painted nails for the ladies, and hairs for the gentlemen. Perfect for Mum and Dad.

If you’re looking for a more practical present you could do a lot worse than the Robomop, a robotic mop which cleans the kitchen all buy itself- a lazy person’s dream. I’d be tempted to buy one for myself if my kitchen wasn’t the size of a Monopoly board.

If Robomop doesn’t tickle your fancy, here’s a cute, new idea- give a loved one’s toilet a makeover. Tokyu Hands will convert a dull, conventional commode into a souped-up, supercharged robocrapper. Pimp someone’s Potty this Xmas!

My next port of call was the mysteriously-monikered “Donkey Hotei”. The name seems to be a pun on “Don Quixote,” but I’m not sure what the connection to 17th Century Spanish literature is, since it’s a big shop cluttered with multi-coloured junk and shelves overspilling with cheap and cheerful novelty goods. I came here hoping to buy some toys for my nephews and nieces, and was alarmed to find this diabolical contraption in the toy department, of all places.

It seems to be a microscope for analyzing your own jizz. Evidently sperm are the new sea monkeys. But what kind of warped sicko watches his own tadpoles wriggling around for entertainment?
I suppose if you have a teen-aged brother, he’d make use of it.

This wasn’t my only shocking discovery on my quest for toys. A toy shop in Ginza was still selling these decidedly un-pc Golliwogs. Be careful who you give one of those to for Christmas, or you might be branded a bastard.

I decided to pass on the Gollies, and look for something a little less controversial for the kids.
I have to say, toy-shopping in Tokyo is endless fun, and Japan leads the world in producing cool stuff for kids. There are endless supplies of quirky, high-tech gizmos and cuddly characters to be found on every street of Tokyo.
A character that has become popular recently is the “Oshiri Kajiri Mushi” (buttock-biting bug.) An infestation of fleas is not normally cause for celebration, but this character, pictured below, has taken the nation by storm this year, and even released a chart-topping single.

I bought some Oshiri Kajiri Mushi toys, and so ended my Christmas shopping adventure. I think I made some pretty unique purchases.
At least when you send someone a present from Japan you know they definitely won’t have it already.

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21 Responses to Christmas Shopping in Tokyo

  1. J. says:

    I just do my Christmas shopping at The Daiso. It’s cheap, and foreigners can’t tell their tableware from the stuff at Takashimaya. For my Japanese friends and loved ones,… Hmm,… I feel like I’m bound to fail every time with them. I get the same reaction whether my gifts are good or just plain crap.

  2. Chris B says:

    I own the robo-crapper.

    I’d like to go over the instructions for the “sperm spotter” with a couple of my 18+ students.

    Meanwhile,
    I’d like to link to your blog and use an icon not text. Do you have symbol? Beer icon?

  3. dragonlife says:

    Actually the Toto toilets are sold everywhere in Europe, now!
    Very practical for people with piles or arms in slings!
    LOL
    Robert-Gilles

  4. roaf says:

    J – Yeah Daiso’s great. I think my family in England are getting a bit tired of my 100 yen presents after 5 years, though.
    Chris B- Thanks for the link! I’ll try and come up with an icon to give you.
    Robert-Gilles- Really? I’m behind the times. I suppose these days, people are getting too lazy to wipe their own arses!

  5. ramblingsofaculturefreak says:

    I have to get those socks!!

  6. roaf says:

    They’re going to be all the rage next season!

  7. Chris B says:

    Will search for a good beer icon and should have it up tonight!

  8. Oh my!! wow that is a lot of whacky stuff!!

  9. Wow. I remember Gollies from the Noddy books, and having my dad have to explain to me why there were toys of every Noddy character BUT the Gollies.

    …Apparently not true in Japan, though.

    Also, I wonder how the Robomop would handle the floor in my res room. And it’s sudden transition to carpet to denote where kitchen ends and living room starts…

  10. roaf says:

    Thanks Mercenarysora, Xosha.!
    Yeah, I think they’re a bit naive in Japan about the Gollies, because there are so few non-Asian people here and the history’s totally different.
    I suppose robomob might end up mopping the carpet.

  11. pudgym says:

    I go nuts at Don Quijote. It is intense and exhausting fun. In the curtained-off section on the fourth floor of the one in Shibuya (and you can deduce why it was curtained off. ;)), in the shrink-wrapped three-packs of JAV DVDs (oh drat – I gave that away B)) for ¥999, one of the three was the Romanian Olympic gymnasts’ nude exercise video.
    To save even more money on Xmas gifts, get in the pattern of telling your recipients that you’ve discovered the date of Jesus’ birth was erroneously transcripted all those years ago – and that he was really born on the 29th. (And of course, since entire economies of businesses are based on this, nobody wants to admit the error now.)
    This gives you the option of shopping for their gifts on the 26th-28th, when everything is going to be reduced in cost.

  12. roaf says:

    Good thinking.
    So did you give the nude Romanian gymnast DVD to someone as a Christmas present?

  13. Summer Hattaway says:

    This was an interesting read, I’m forever on the watch for great articles and blog ideas so thanks. I’ve bookmarked this article so I’ll keep in touch!

  14. Aubrey Raymo says:

    Hi, I also love the Toy Story movies, awesome animation!

  15. i’d love to read more about this topic…

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    Test aadae Blasts are Great

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