15 Everyday Problems the Japanese Cleverly Solved

Japan in a hot bed of technological advances, from modern medicine to robot cafes. But beyond solving some of today’s most troubling global issues, Japanese inventors are also churning out smaller (but no less brilliant) inventions to help solve everyday problems!

These 15 inventions are meant to do exactly that, found only in Japan — and some of them you truly have to see to believe they exist.

1. Butter Stick

Japanese butter stick being used.Tofugu
How difficult is it to get a pad of butter out of a tub and spread across a piece of toast? The answer is VERY. No matter how soft the butter is, it’s always tricky to spread using this method.

Well, some Japanese butter enthusiast came up with this brilliant idea: the butter stick. This is the easy-spread solution we’ve been waiting for!

2. Lipstick Guide

Woman using lipstick guide.Tofugu
Okay…so this one seems cool in theory, but we’re not sure how practical it is in real life. Basically, the invention straps over your face and has a perfect outline of lips cut out for your actual lips. You can smear the lipstick by accident, but it will only stay in the lines, preventing a messy lip line.

Our question: what about people with different lip sizes? Maybe they come in a variety of cut outs? Who knows.

3. Turning Train Seats

Turned train seats.Instagram via joerghemker
Not crazy about the view of a drab train? These turning seats make it so that you can turn your chair to face the window. Talk about enjoying the view!

4. Silent Karaoke

Ad for silent karaoke.The Metropolist
If you love to sing but don’t want to bother your neighbors or let anyone hear your golden pipes, this is your ultimate invention: a silent karaoke set. You sing into the cone, which muffles sound, and put the headphones in. The sound is piped right into your ears so only you can hear your melodious voice! (I could seriously use one of these. Seriously.)

5. Sound Absorbent Pillow

Sound catching pillow.Just Something
What do you when you want to lay down but you’re trying to watch TV? One of your ears becomes blocked if you’re laying on your side to face the screen and that’s just a pain.

This pillow actually absorbs sound from your television and pipes it right to your ear! You can stay comfy AND hear better, all at once.

6. Eyedrop Funnels

Eye drop funnels.SpicyTec
These might be weird looking, but I know I could use them! Every time I have to put drops in my eyes, I get instantly flinchy. But these glasses assure that I’ll never miss (and waste) an expensive drop again.

7. Ponytail Helmet

Woman wearing ponytail helmet.Instagram via piece_of_design
Finally, a helmet ladies can wear with their hair up! How this isn’t an invention in the United States is beyond me. If it is, please let us know because I need one of these ASAP.

8. Banana Case

Banana case.Awesome Inventions
Frequently, I’ll toss a banana in my lunch box or purse for a mid-afternoon snack — only to find it smooshed and bruised after my travels. Well, that wouldn’t be an issue if I had one of these handy banana cases! So simple, yet so brilliant.

9. Diagonal Cross Walks

Diagonal cross walk in Japan.Instagram via bolubantat
How often do you dash through the middle of an intersection trying to get from one corner to the next? All before the “Walk” sign fades away, which we all know, is only a few second. The Japanese have figured out a genius solution to this pedestrian woe: diagonal cross walks.

10. Umbrella “Parking Lot”

Umbrella parking lot.Instagram via monikakuelsheimer
Many Japanese offices have these umbrella “parking lots” in the lobbies of their buildings. This way, you can leave your wet umbrella to dry in a secure place where it won’t be stolen.

11. Sunglasses for Dogs

Sunglasses for dogsKapitalizma
Our four-legged friends could use a break from the sun in their eyes, too! The Japanese are looking out for their pooches with sunglasses that will stay on even the most fidgety dogs.

12. Bubble Wrap Keychain

Key chain with bubble wrap.Awesome Inventions
Love the sensation of popping bubble wrap, but hate when it’s over? Well, this clever inventor came up with a keychain that gives the sound and sensation of bubble wrap being popped, without actually popping! This would be great for an especially anxious day at work.

13. Numbering Houses

Last name on Japanese house.Instagram via tomomienno
Rather than trying to remember the number of your friends’ house (and end up awkwardly circling the block a million times), this brilliant way of “numbering” Japanese houses just puts your last name on the door. Easy-peasy.

14. Ear Explorer

Ear explorer device.Awesome Inventions
Feeling some blockage in your ear? With this clever little at-home invention, you don’t need to run out to your doctor every time you need a peek at what’s going on!

15. Bathroom Slippers

Japanese toilet slippers.Flickr via morville
The Japanese consider the bathroom the dirtiest place in the house — and, let’s face it, they’re not wrong in believing that. With that in mind, it would make sense that they have slippers specifically for the bathroom, so germs aren’t tracked through the house. Ew.