7 Don Quijote Home Products You Never Knew You Needed
That Are Useful Beyond Expectation
Whether you want to save cash on toothpaste, love watching Netflix while cooking, or want to spice up your conbini beer, Donki’s got you covered.
The ultra popular lifestyle megastore Don Quijote — or Donki — is Japan’s home of everything wonderfully ridiculous and undeniably useful. As well as being the one-stop go for just about everything, one of the greatest pleasures of being a Donki regular is stumbling upon the store’s more obscure and straight-up bizarre stock.
Earlier this year we explored the Nakameguro outlet’s beauty range, but now we ventured into the homeware department of the Yokohama Nishiguchi branch to uncover other equally wonderful home products you never knew you actually needed — but you do.
1. Squeeze Until Empty: Lips for Toothpaste
These humble smiling lips are easily overlooked and passed off as another tacky piece of plastic that’ll soon be found in a landfill, but in reality they could be the best ¥498 purchase you’ll ever make.
The lips are a simple contraption with a small hole for your toothpaste and other creams that come in those otherwise impossible to empty tubes. By squeezing every last, tiny drop out of your toothpaste, they reduce waste and provide an unparalleled level of tube squeezing satisfaction. Not sure why they come in the shape of lips, but oh well, still better than teeth.
2. For The Wild Bakers: Waterproof iPhone Case Chef Navi
This is the perfect solution to that chef with a smartphone addiction. Whether you’re looking up recipes online or wanting to Instagram your latest culinary creation, there’s always a level of risk when it comes to bringing your phone into the kitchen.
Luckily, the team behind Chef Navi have minimized that risk by creating the waterproof, splashproof, grime-proof iPhone case — for just ¥1,480. Thanks to its hook, magnet and flip stand combo, it can stand anyway your heart desires — on your fridge, on the wall, or even on frying pans (not the one you’re using to cook though).
Outside of the kitchen, the manufacturers propose that it’s good for the beach, which sort of makes sense. They also suggest it’s good for the bathroom, which may sound weird, but hey, the bathing culture in Japan could be one of the reasons why the majority of smartphones on the local market are in fact waterproof.
3. Ease The Bitterness: Beer Smoother
Trying to save money by buying cheap beer, but you’re not so into that cheap beer taste? Well, you can always try and trick your taste buds with this nifty “beer smoother.”
How it works? Well, there’s a special clay inside the nozzle through which you pour your soon-to-be delicious brew. This little spout promises to make any beer (including canned beer) ‘smoother’ and creamier. You’ll also enjoy the latest beer spell in town coming in the form of instructions on the back of the product’s package: “Pushu! Pita! Pita! Awa Awa.” (It does make the beer taste better after you’ve said it twice!)
This lovely smoother, sold for only ¥700, is worth a novel experiment for beer connoisseurs. But let’s be realistic — after your third or fourth beer it kind of starts to taste the same anyway, right?!
4. The Third Hand You’ve Always Wanted: EMS Esthetic Finger
This device takes the award for the creepiest looking product on the list — but it’s also the best. This plastic zombie hand-look-alike massager (¥2,980) is the must have bathroom product for those wanting the ultimate face and body massage.
You use it by running the hand across your tired limbs or head, letting the vibrations do their magic on your body or scalp. You may look weird when you do this if someone accidentally enters the room, but it’s worth it. After all, massages and relaxation treatments here are pricey, so better invest in … a spare hand.
As well as having youth enhancing and pain relief properties, it probably would make a fantastic Halloween prop.
5. Tail It: Cat-Shaped Magnet Hooks
Hello Kitty, cat cafes, Neko Matsuri (cat festival) and Cat Street, it’s probably a fact that doesn’t need restating , but Japan is cat obsessed. Well, cat products are not only cute, but as we see here, their tales can come in handy.
These super kawaii cat-shaped magnet key (and other things) holders aren’t just super sweet decorations, but also incredibly useful. Living in Japan means you’ll probably be responsible for a number of keys: bike lock keys, room keys, and apartment lobby keys, so you need somewhere safe to keep them all.
These little hooks can affix to any magnetic surface. The magnetic aspect means you don’t even have to annoy your landlord by drilling tiny holes into the wall or leave residue from sticky hooks.
Take my advice and buy two — one to attach to your apartment door (unless it’s wooden) for your keys, and another for your fridge, where you can store your rubber bands or even plastic bags.
6. “You Can Do It” Ear Piercing Kit
For most western folks, getting your ear pierced is a coming of age experience. Once your parents deem you old enough, you book into your local chemist, drugstore or piercing outlet and await your fate.
In Japan, the home of convenience, the process is a lot more efficient. Just stroll through the bathroom supplies area of your local Donki and chances are you’ll stumble across temporary walls stocked with ‘self piercing’ kits.
For around ¥1,000 and a lot of bravery you can get your hands on a self-piercing kit and give it a go yourself.
7. The Nocturnal Remedy: LED Neck Light
Technically how do you categorize this one? Sportswear? Lifestyle product? Homeware? Classification probably depends on how you use it.
Designed to be worn around your neck, the LED Neck Light’s manufacturer, Panasonic, suggests you wear it while running, night fishing, night camping, night hunting and travel activities. We say, you can even use it to save on your electricity bill if you’re a late night reader. Either way, this light, necklace hybrid is the solution to all your nocturnal needs.
With over 15 hours battery life and three colors to choose from, it’s probably one of those products you find ridiculous at first but once you discover its specialized usage you can’t remember how you lived without it. Sold for around ¥1,000.
What is the strangest, yet useful product you’ve ever encountered in Japan? Share your thoughts in the comments.
Editor’s Note: All products in this article have been purchased at Don Quijote’s Yokohama Nishiguchi store (Address: 2-15-5 Minamisaiwai, Nishi-ku, Yokohama, Kanagawa Prefecture). Since Don Quijote leaves it up to each store manager to decide what products to stock, some Don Quijote stores may not be selling the featured products. We advise everyone interested in buying the products to inquire at their local Don Quijote store prior to heading there.