Thursday, April 11, 2013

Only in Japan: Baby Supplies

Moving to Japan has opened my eyes to a whole new world of strange things to buy, becoming a parent has opened them even wider. I didn't know that were possible. As I've been out shopping for Jill, I've been keeping a mental list of "Huh, You'd never see that in America." I finally took my camera with me on a shopping trip, just for you! 

Here's 4 items you won't find in the States.

Barley Tea:
I got a box of this tea free with Jillian's formula. Do you see the number 1 in the upper right hand corner of the box? That stands for one month, as you can drink this tea from one month old on. I was shocked to see this since every American produced bit of information about baby care said "BREAST-MILK OR FORMULA ONLY FOR 6 MONTHS!" I believe there was an "or else" implied. Or else what, I'm not sure. 
We didn't introduce mugi cha (barley tea) at one month, but that had more to do with not being to excited about mugi cha myself. ;)
At 11 months, Jill tried mugi cha for the first time. She wasn't impressed. Guess we should have let her try it at one month like the box suggests. ;)

Furikake (Rice seasoning) for toddlers:
Furikake is a dried rice seasoning, usually some sort of fish, although the package in green below is various vegetables. I forgot to look for the age recommendation for this one, but I believe its about one year or one and a half. I don't know about you, but I can't imagine many 1-2 year olds being excited about dried fish flakes on their rice. Personally, I love furikake, but I wonder about little non-Japanese kids. Readers with children, what do you think? Anyone think your little one would eat this on rice? Let me know below. Maybe I'll have to mail some out and conduct a study. :)

Outlet covers:
Yes, I know these aren't only in Japan. I'm including them, not because the idea is special, but because the form is. I worry about something that is supposed to deter your child from playing with outlets that is brightly colored and shaped like Mickey Mouse. Somehow that just screams, "come play with me!" But maybe that's just me. 

Training Chop-sticks:
I think these are brilliant! We actually own a pair, even though Jillian's too young for them. We bought them for a visitor who wasn't comfortable using the utensil of choice in Japan. Only, Stephen didn't pay attention to the kanji in the corner that said left or right hand. He grabbed the ONLY pair of left handed training chop-sticks in the store. :) Maybe Jill will be left-handed and we won't have to buy a new pair.

What's the weirdest thing you've seen for sale for little kids and babies (in The States or Japan)?


  1. LOL! What interesting products! I would love some training chop sticks for my kiddos,!! I grew up eating with chopsticks, but my kids have not so far. I am pretty sure Alexia would eat the dry fish flakes on her white rice, but Blake would probably run away from the table in fear! LOL! I tend to agree with you on the outlet covers being a little too much of an attention grabber. I also agree with you on the tea, we have it pounded into our heads here in the states to only give babies breast milk or formula until they are at least 6 months old, so I am like EEEKK! I always enjoy reading your blog posts!


  2. I agree- this is interesting and funny! No one in my family, at any age, would put the fish flakes on anything- and I'm very confident about that...just goes to show you that what your exposed to growing up will determine what is "normal" or "weird"! I'd love to get some training chopsticks- those are genius!

    Peggy Lee

  3. I would like to experience using that Training Chopsticks. :) baby products philippines


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