Hello Kitty is something of a cultural icon here in Japan. Created by the designer Yuko Shimizu back in 1974, the first product that Kitty featured on was a coin purse
a year later in 1975 - and since then has appeared on an incredible number of products. Here are some of the best Hello Kitty items (and naturally, some quirky ones) that combine functionality with cuteness - you might run into some of them throughout your travels!
Hello Kitty Men's Underwear
More and more these
days in Japan, cute characters on clothing items are becoming fashionable for men - perhaps in part because it can be seen as a contrast to masculinity. Ever heard of Bronies? They're the adult male fans of My Little Pony - there's a documentary
dedicated to them and all. In a similar vein, there are plenty of adult male Hello Kitty fans out there, not just in Japan but around the world.
There has been an entire range of Hello Kitty products released for men
- with underwear being just a small part of that range. You can snag these
on Amazon Japan at the link here
Hello Kitty Cat Litter Box
Maybe this isn't all that unbelievable, but the products that Hello Kitty features on even extends to cat litter boxes.
It's the perfect way to turn something that is usually an eyesore into something cute!
Hello Kitty Toaster
You can officially say goodbye to boring toast with one of these
toasters. If you've got kids, it also could be the perfect way to get your little ones to eat their breakfast - food always seems to have a much greater percentage chance of being eaten if it looks this cute!
Hello Kitty Shaver
Yup, there's even ways to take care of your beauty needs with Hello Kitty. Mundane tasks are officially mundane no more! These are available at the link here.
Hello Kitty Coffee Maker
If you're like me, you need a cup of coffee (or several) to get a head start on the day. What better way to get your caffeine fix than with this Nescafe Coffee Maker
with Hello Kitty adorning the side?! Mornings won't seem anywhere near as daunting if you have one of these
to wake up to!
Hello Kitty Sewing Machine
The value of life skills like sewing are really coming back into the limelight - and what better way to either learn to sew, or just enjoy your existing hobby with a sewing machine like this
? You could even snag some Hello Kitty fabric (places like
Nippori Fabric Town in Tokyo have some of the cutest fabrics around!) and have a brilliant reason to get creative!
Hello Kitty Pedestal Fan
What's cooler than being cool? A Hello Kitty pedestal fan
making you that way, of course! Summers will never seem like a drag with one of these
. They also sell a different version of the Hello Kitty fan - a USB kind
that are perfect for an office desk! It would certainly be one way of making long days at work a bit more enjoyable.
Hello Kitty Polaroid Camera
Polaroid cameras are having their moment in the sun once again - after years and years of people taking pictures with their digital cameras and cell phones and never actually getting them printed, there's something nice about the immediacy of having a photo developed on the spot. These Hello Kitty Instax Mini polaroid cameras
add a whole new dimension to taking cute photos - they'll have all of your subjects smiling without you even needing to utter the word "cheese!"
Best of all, you can even get the polaroid film for the Instax cameras with Hello Kitty borders
- talk about double the kawaii factor! They're definitely worth pairing together, since you're going to need some film anyway!
Hello Kitty Bug Repellant Bracelets
If you're out and about camping or enjoying the great outdoors where there are mosquitoes or other bugs hanging around, you're going to need bug repellant (unless you enjoy itching and scratching mozzie bites - no thanks!).
You can go one better than your regular DEET sprays - use one of these Hello Kitty Bug Repellant bracelets
. They are reasonably priced, and surprisingly effective - all whilst looking great to boot.
Hello Kitty Sporting Gear
You'd actually be surprised at how much sporting gear you can find that features Hello Kitty - there are things like golf clubs, bike helmets, baseball gloves and more. Fancy a spot of table tennis? There's no better way than with these paddles and balls
. Game, set, and match!
Hello Kitty Slow Cooker
I think just about everyone has a slow
days - they're so versatile and easy to use, and make the process of meal prep a breeze. In saying that, they're usually kind of bland looking appliances - almost always in a stainless steel or black finish. Snooze! Well, this bright pink number
takes the humble slow
cooker from drab to fab, and you'll be able to find it in your cupboards a whole lot easier when it stands out like this!
Hello Kitty Fondue Maker
Are the other Hello Kitty options on the list not quite "cheesy" enough for you (if you pardon the pun?)
You could always give one of these Hello Kitty fondue makers
a whirl! You don't have to limit it to cheese, either - a chocolate fondue could be made all the more adorable served up in one of these
beauties! I can see this being a hit at a girls night - some wine, some fondue, a Hello Kitty appliance - you're going to be the hostess with the mostess with one of these
. The only way you could make it better would be with Hello Kitty wine...yes, that exists too.
This really is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to all of the things you can find Hello Kitty emblazoned on here in Japan. Any unique finds you've managed to snag on your travels? Or anything you'd love to see Hello Kitty's face on?
Happy Shopping, and Enjoy Japan!