All About Japan

Top 10 Coolest Things in The Wonder 500™

| Handicrafts , Souvenirs

3. Suzugami Metallic Paper

Suzugami (tin paper) was created from a process of pounding tin at a workshop that produces rin (Buddhist singing bowls). The completely malleable, paper-thin tin stimulates creativity and can provide endless variations, since it can be leveled flat again countless times using a wooden dowel. The unique ease of folding becomes an addictive feeling.

These papers can serve as ashtrays, should a smoker come to call, or a vase for a single flower of any kind, or a portable tray at a travel destination. Japanese culture has had the joy of origami—the folding of square paper—since olden days. Suzugami makes it fun to use tin for the same purpose.

2. Lacquered Nambu Iron Sake Cup

Even the fall colors that paint the mountains as if ablaze begin to disperse as autumn deepens. Above the leaves sunk at the bottom of the river is a leaf, and another leaf. This sake cup seems to have been cut from primal Japanese scenes like this. When the cup is tilted, it is as if the autumn leaves at the water’s edge shake slightly and a pleasant fragrance spreads. Delicious sake is conveyed from the nice lip of the cup to your throat. The time passes quietly on long autumn nights.

Iwate is Japan’s No. 1 lacquer-producing prefecture. Joboji lacquer, known as “the lacquer among lacquers,” is applied to sake cups made with Nambu cast-iron, another famous Iwate product, and decorated with gold or silver powder using the traditional maki-e technique. The producers of this first-class product work to achieve ultimate functionality as a sake cup, and even invite Japanese sake breweries to check the quality of the lip.

1. Non-Metallic Wheelchair

As the name states, this wheelchair is constructed of plywood, plastic and tree resin without any metal whatsoever. It is made from special plywood that was once used in aircraft propellers to achieve sufficient durability even without metal. In addition, the absence of metal gives the wheelchair a more temperate appearance.

Conventional wheelchairs are unable to pass through metal detectors at airports, and a separate wheelchair must be used on airplanes. But since this product does not contain any metal components, it can pass through the metal detectors as-is. Plus, its compact design enables it to be wheeled easily onto airplanes. This wheelchair is currently being utilized at Ibaraki Airport.

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