Inspired by Japan
What the world needs now
It’s unsurprising that Japan is so much ahead of us with gadgets; indeed it was one of the reasons I was so excited to make a visit to this super-organised country. Here’s my wish list:
Every home should have a built in steam cupboard in a corner, especially one that doesn’t entertain the need for ever getting the iron out (I don’t remember where I store it). Imagine hanging up your clothes that just need a bit of ironing straight in here only to find them next day crease-free.
Washing machines should be top loading. Who decided to make us bend down at front-loading ones? If you need to use the space above, just have fold down or removable work-surface on top.
Obviously they should have hangers attached to the lid so rather than our most vulnerable clothes getting creased up with each other, they stay pretty wrinkle-free.
Most important, they should be big enough to wash large duvets. What’s the point of having washable duvets only to spend almost the cost of a new one getting it cleaned?
The renowned electric toilets in Japan are worth a mention. It’s not just the included bidet but which way you want the water to come, how fast, how warm and for how long. Plus there is steaming, drying and even ‘plumbing noise’ if you need to a soundtrack to drown out your activities.
There are bag hooks and baby seats (to place your bag in lieu of baby) in every public loo too.
Back out in public, construction staff carry lit up batons –much like a lightsaber - to warn you of work being done and guide you to safe passageways.
The shopping centre food courts have hot and cold drinking taps. Hydrate to your heart’s content without paying a penny.
Smoking rooms: even the airports and cafes still have smoking rooms but most heartening are the ones in street, as lighting up in the street is illegal. The pleasant side-effect is that there are no cigarette ends to untidy the immaculate streets.
Huge double door fridges with freezer drawers. Amazingly, each time you only open the part you need, conserving energy and time. This is the first step to my dream of having a little freezer draw just for pitta bread.
Muji. Everything about it. What we get in our little stores in the UK pales in comparison to Tokyo’s megastores. They have full baby departments, food halls and the all-important household gadgets and space saving super kitchens.