If there is one thing I was expecting in Japan that really didn't let me down, it was the cute factor. Everyone from kids to adults love the cute little characters that seem to represent everything from noodles to cars and toothpaste. The train has a cute little penguin, castles had little cute ninjas, towns famous for oranges had made a character out of the fruit.
As well as the characters, the obsession with all things mini and perfect seems to be quite prevalent too. Mini plastic cakes, tiny shinkansen trains, food served in miniature perfect forms - it all adds up to the cuteness factor.
My personal cute favourite, Rilakkuma the bear (above, eating a chocolate sundae), is a very popular character and seemed to be somehow present everywhere you looked. He was to be found as a soft toy, on pancakes, pencils, crockery, and umbrellas. He really has infiltrated every walk of Japanese life. But he was so cute... and hard to resist!
Can you believe this shop!? I suppose it goes without saying that I bought some gorgeous fabric here - but the shop itself did not have one surface that wasn't pink.
I couldn't resist this Rilakkuma bear noodle bowl and soy sauce dish - aren't they super cute? In the background is a lunch box carrier - so sweet! and handy! Thanks Japan, your cute overload worked on me!