Thank you to JETRO for sponsoring this article.
For those looking for authentic Japanese merchandise direct from Japanese suppliers — including everything from electronics and games to office products and groceries — the search for the latest and greatest has gotten a lot easier thanks to the JAPAN STORE, an Amazon storefront set up by the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) to promote trade between Japan and the rest of the world.
The JAPAN STORE, currently available for Amazon customers in both the United States and the United Kingdom, features the work of Japanese companies and artisans in multiple product categories, making it easier for potential customers to find exactly what they’re looking for in a method and location they’re already familiar with.
Amongst the many, many offerings available are an Alice in Wonderland board game titled Where am i Alice in a mad Tea Party, Edoten Igusa Setta Japanese Tatami Zouri Sandals, SUN-STAR Stylish Metal Pencil Metacil Pencils for Artist Drawing, Konpeito Japanese Sugar Candy, and - get this - a robot dog plush that nibbles on your finger.
As diverse as these products are, the one thing that connects them all is their partnership with JETRO. The organization was initially founded in 1958 to promote the export of Japanese products internationally, although in recent years, its focus has broadened to also include attracting foreign investment into the country, and helping small-to-medium sized Japanese businesses in the global marketplace… hence the creation of the JAPAN STORE, to make it easier for international audiences to get great candy and a robot dog plush.
(Really, though: look at the robot dog! Amagami Ham Ham - because that's what it's called - actually comes in two variations, with both a dog and cat available, each as cute as the other and featuring a sensor that detects when a finger is nearby so that it can nibble on it in one of 10 nibbling patterns. That would be impressive in and of itself, but add to that the fact that it's quite as cute as it is, and it feels almost too good to be true.)