If there’s one word you can’t go a day without hearing in Japan, it’s the word kawaii (かわいい). Most commonly translated as “cute,” kawaii has become more than just a cultural phenomena in Japan, it’s become entrenched in daily life.
From lovable mascots to adorable eats, there’s no escaping it. Cute is everywhere. And honestly, Japan just wouldn’t be the same without it.
So prepare yourself for a photo-overload as we further explore this kawaii culture in Japan! Can you handle the cute?
Japan is known for a wide array of cute characters, many that have even become popular outside of Japan, such as Hello Kitty and Pikachu.
Kawaii City Mascots
Japan didn’t just stop at creating lovable commercial characters, they also have created a series of cute mascot characters for every city across Japan.
Kawaii City Manholes
Even manholes are given a cute makeover. Most feature cute designs that are representative of the city they’re found in.
Signs on buses, billboards and even warning signs look cuter than usual in Japan.
In Japan, even religious items aren’t exempt from cuteness.
Kawaii Household Products
I bet you never thought cleaning and kitchen products could be cute, eh? Japan will find a way to make anything cute, even if it just means slapping a silly face on it.
From cute jewelry to makeup to charms for your phones, you’ll find no shortage of cute accessories.
In a country obsessed with cute accessories, you can be certain there will be cute clothes to match.
Kawaii Pet Clothes
It’s not just the people’s clothes that are cute in Japan– adorable outfits for your pets are available as well.
Ah, food. In Japan, a food’s appearance is almost as important as the taste– and sometimes the food is just too cute to eat!
While traveling in Japan was great for my camera, it wasn’t so great for my wallet. As a lover of cute things, I constantly found myself shelling out a few dollars here and there to bring a piece of Japan’s cuteness home. I guess I just couldn’t handle the cute.