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“GACHA” Autonomous Shuttle Bus by Muji

Finnish autonomous driving company sensible 4 and Japanese lifestyle brand Muji have launched the first driverless bus called “GACHA” for all weather conditions. It is expected to start operating in the city of Espoo, Finland in April 2019.

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Night book by Akii

Just by pulling it out like a book, a gentle light spreads from the crevices. By placing it in a bookshelf or between stacked books, it performs in the room poetically. Designed by Akii, and manufactured by Y.S.M products. Winner of iF Design Award 2019.

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ACO WRAP – Reusable wrap

“ACO WRAP” is reusable wrap made out of organic cotton, beeswax, and jojoba oil. It is washable and you can use it up to one year. It is all organic, so it can be treated as a biodegradable waste in the end. The color scheme is based on the traditional Japanese color scheme, and each wrap is handmade, dyed with highly skilled artisans of Kanai Kogei.

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50% off on “hope forever blossoming” flower vases

Japanese design shop is offering 50% off on “hope forever blossoming” flower vases. Filled with water, this vinyl envelope is transformed into a fully functional 3D vase. The refraction of light through the water adds to the beauty of this simple flower vase. Each envelope contains two vases. Japanese design shop

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Illustration agency – has launched an agency specializing into Japanese illustrators. Japanese mangas and animated films have been widely appreciated around the world, but not so much in the field of “illustration”. has hand picked some of the best illustrators in Japan. ic4design, for example, has won many international awards, and published several books. Their work has been featured on the cover page of New York Times, Los Angeles Times, etc. IC4DESIGN Papercut artist Chihiro Takeuchi was chosen for Google Doodles artist in 2018. is representing these Japanese illustrators internationally. You can see a lot more interesting Japanese illustrators at

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Interested in bringing your products or services to Japan?

Are you interested in bringing your products or services to the Japanese market? Even if Japanese economy has been reported to be stagnating over the past decades, it is still the world’s third largest economy, and the market is huge. In terms of design and architecture, Japan is considered one of the leaders in the world, and the general public in the Japanese market is alway keen on new products coming from outside Japan. So the Japanese design team is launching a new service “Japan market entry consulting services” for those who are interested in expanding their business to the Japanese market. Here are the details:

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“NANASAN” of Tomoe Kaho, confectionary in Shiga, Japan

“NANASAN” is a Japanese confectionary brand created by Tomoe Kaho based in Shiga, about a half hour drive away from Kyoto. What is special about “NANASAN” is all the ingredients are local – eggs, rice, fruits are all locally produced.Polyhedron-like shape is coming from the traditional Kohakuto. The art direction was done by Takahide Hashimoto (

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Shonai Hotel Suiden Terrasse by Shigeru Ban

Shonai Hotel Suiden Terrasse is located in Shonai, Yamagata, about one hour flight from Haneda, Tokyo, and the hotel is situated only twenty minutes away by car from the Shonai airport. It was designed by Shigeru Ban, and this is the first hotel that he has ever designed. The concept is “Wooden structure hotel floating on rice fields”.

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YUFUiNFO by Shigeru Ban

Tourist information center “YUFUiNFO” designed by Shigeru Ban was built next to Yufuin Station in Oita, Japan. Yufuin train station was designed by architect Arata Isozaki, who is originally from Oita, Japan. Ban was asked to design something that keeps the continuity with the symbolic design of Arata Isozaki. Ban’s design was inspired by papyrus columns in ancient Egypt.

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Airvase by Takeo and Torafu Architects

Specialty paper company Takeo based in Tokyo, and Torafu architects collaborated and created “airvase” by using a single piece of paper. It was exhibited at Japan House in London.

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