Japan is not only the land of the Rising Sun, its also the land of electronics which is integrated into the daily lives of citizens in Japan. When we bought our house, it came with stuff like an interphone with monitor, heated toilet seats with a water jet to wash away stubborn spinach or corn, and an electronic water system that can be controlled from the kitchen or bathroom which speaks to you when the bath is full and wot not. Did I forget to mention the motion detection anti-burglar pressure units in the floor?
Today we take a lookie at Yamada Denki's brand store called LABI located in Shibuya. If you want to pay a visit then just get off at Shibuya station and walk down Dogenzaka.
Just a quick note - if you visit any electronics stores in Japan - bring along your passport so that you do not have to pay tax - the amount is usually deducted on the spot - obviously only applicable to folks who are not resident in Japan.
If you signup for a point card, then you will earn points at the same time. So if you buy something for 50000 yen then you will get up to 10% of what you spent to spend on your next purchase which you can do right after you pay.
We didn't have hot pots like this back in the UK - I thought they were amazing when I first saw them during my first visits to Japan.
They keep water constantly hot at just below boiling temperature.
Japanese rice cookers are the biz. We just had to get one on a visit to Japan when still living in the UK.
Dishwashers are generally very small like the one that came with our place. Takes ages to put stuff in and thus quicker to wash manually ^^;
Ever since Dyson released their hoovers in Japan, many other manufactures followed suit and started to make cyclone models. The same thing happened with the iPhone after it entered Japanese shores - Japanese manufactures started to churn out touch screen phones.
Some beauty products for the beauty conscious.
Ion Cannons built into these hair dryers.
The trial cannot be done now.
Once upon a time, the Japanese used to use a small wooden stick called Chugi to wipe their bottoms. It wasn't until the Meiji period when they gradually started to use toilet paper.
Toilet paper wasn't available during the Meiji period and folks had to import it!
I think people got fed up of using those Chugi sticks because some people mistook them for chopsticks and then realizing while they are eating breakfast that they were not chopsticks but elder brothers personal Chugi. The victim thinking "no bloody wonder there was dried corn on the end of that Chugi..."
The Japanese finally got bored of using toilet paper and invented the washlet. Basically what happens is that once you have finished your morning dump, you press a button and a stream of water shoots your back door to remove bits of poo and undigested spinach.
While a bidet does offer similar functionality, you have to actually move over to it and risk dropping some waste in the process. One could then slip on the poo and end up with their head in the toilet with a bunch of spinach poo in their mouth - all very dangerous stuff.
I jumped off my seat when I first tried a washlet but am used to them these days however and prefer to use them to clean my botty especially after a night of spicy food - prefer to wash off the skiddy splashes rather than use paper and spread it around like peanut butter, nutella or marmite.
Retro washlet CM below.
For folks who have their botty hole further up their back, one can use controls to aim the nozzle of water and such.
This is the control panel for a washlet where one can even give their botty hole a massage with a jet of water. You can obviously increase the water power to get rid of the really stubborn poo which is trying to cling on for dear life to your nether regions.
This control panel enables one to open and close the lid of the toilet in the case that ones hands are dirty after....doing something with them...
This washlet cleans the nozzle too which not all of them do - splashes of poo from somebody could be left on a nozzle - the next person would be treated to a sample of that poo if they used the washlet.
Some folks are embarrassed about the noise of their pee trickling or poo making exploding noises when hitting the water. This device emits the sound of water flushing enabling one to do their business without being embarrassed.
Folks who do not own this device could compromise by clapping or singing very loudly instead.
Had a very large sewing machine in the office at one time when I thought I was going to make leather accessories.
Guess what these are.
Japanese washing machines are the biz too. Washing machines in Japan do their job entirely with cold water. Each machine will come with a hose to siphon water from the bath too to make good economical use of resources.
Most Japanese washing machines have the drum opening at the top - not sure why though. I find them easier to take out and put in washing from the top rather than peering in from the side.
These look like a bunch of air purifiers.
Fridges have a load of gadgets in them like this one - the bottom compartment is vacuum sealed to keep food fresh. Some of them emit certain types of light to help veggies continue to grow before they are killed off.
We finally got a digital TV earlier on this year (or was it the end of last year?). Was actually looking for a Samsung TV but could not find them listed at any Japanese retailers even though they were being plugged in commercials on TV - have a feeling something fishy going on there. I'm not too bothered with brands as long as they do the job. Whats your fave electronic brand and who makes most of your electronic goods - does not have to be a Japanese manufacturer.
Sparkly mobile charger.
The sparkly style of a diamond decorated phone is called "Deko-den" デコ電] which is short for "Decoration Denwa" or "Decorated Phone".
LABI has a service where you can give them your mobile or any other electronic item and they will decorate it for you.
Examples of how your phone would end up like.
The very cute mascot characters of Tsukumo and Labi.
Expensive in the short term - cheap in the long term. Eneloop batteries make up most of our battery inventory.
Whatever you do in life, always think long term - unless you don't care about the future.
How many kanji can you read here?
Not sure if these ones do it but some cooking devices of late connect to the Internets to enable remote control.
Smaller air purifiers.
These air purifiers get rid of smells, bacteria and viruses in the air.
Decorations for your ears.
Now in the mobile department. Some pocket Wi-Fi's which I wouldn't need to consider if Softbank allowed tethering for my iPhone.
When we first came to Japan, wifey and I went without a mobile phone for quite a few moons until it was absolutely necessary to get one ^^;
We started off with Docomo and then switched to AU finally ending up with Softbank because of the iPhone.
Following poll just to get an idea of what carriers your are using.
Decided to invest in a few LED bulbs the other day - only to find that apart from being expensive, they tend to be dark for some reason too.
This is the entrance that you should be looking for when visiting LABI. These photos taken a while ago with Elly when touring Shibuya for Culture Japan. LABI has 6 huge floors filled with stuff - too much to go through for one TV show which is why we skipped some floors including the games.
Leaving you with a few more photos of Shibuya by night.
More places to visit in Japan listed up below.