Style | August 12, 2020 9:33 am

You Can't Go to Japan Right Now, But You Can Still Buy Great Stuff From There

From blissed-out music to blended whisky, a roundup of a few things to check out

Japanese products
Whisky, music, razors and more.

There is a certain level of quality you get from Japanese stuff that you might not find elsewhere. From cocktails to denim, a trip to Tokyo yields a bounty of great products that might be just a little bit better than what you can find anywhere in the States.

Unfortunately, we’re stuck in the U.S. for the time being, and need a way to get our fix. Below, you’ll find a handful of products by Japanese creators that we love and think you will, too. And to help you avoid incurring a bunch of exorbitant international shipping fees, we’ve linked to U.S. stockists wherever possible.

A Bathing Ape x Swatch

It’s really difficult not to get psyched about the collab between the Swiss watchmaker and A Bathing Ape. They’re calling it “street fashion for the wrist” and we can’t argue with that. These timepieces stand out, but they aren’t too much. A little bit of fun and style to tell the time by. 

Kankyō Ongaku: Japanese Ambient, Environmental & New Age Music 1980-1990

We could all use some good vibes these days, and this collection of Japanese music that carries a strong ambient-era Brian Eno influence with it, and is up for a Grammy this year, is really the perfect soundtrack for getting a little more chill. 

Nikka Days 

Did you have “Get more into Japanese whisky” on your summer to-do list? Like just about everything else, the Land of the Rising Sun took something from the West and made it better, but you just aren’t sure where to start. Blending malt and grain whiskies from their Yoichi and Miyagikyo distilleries, Nikka has made an affordable and delicious bottle that you should have on your bar cart. 


There’s something bittersweet about this one, the last collection Jake Burton Carpenter worked on before he passed last year. But the legend couldn’t ask for a better swan song, and his collaboration with Shinsuke Takizawa will stand as one of the best things you’ll be able to pick up in 2020. The Velvet reversible jacket caught our attention, and we’re looking forward to the temperature dropping so we can try it out. 

Sperry x Beams+

You should always have a pair of canvas sneakers handy, no matter what time of year it is. And even if you’ve got a pair hanging around in your closet, we’d highly recommend taking a closer look at collab between the iconic American brand and Japan’s menswear gods, because what you’ll quickly realize is that they’re made of soft suede. So even if you have a pair of canvas Cloud CVOs in your rotation, we’re pretty sure you don’t have suede ones. 

Hako One Randoseru Backpack

Randoseru backpacks are a staple among Japanese schoolchildren, gifted to them at the start of their first year in school and typically remaining with them until grade 6. For their own iteration of the classic backpack, the Hako One, Hako gleaned inspiration from the rounded silhouette of traditional Randoserus, streamlining it to create a sleeker and more sophisticated profile. Suitable for both children and adults, the Hako One stays true to the functionality of the original design and features a spacious main compartment, quick-access side pockets and a luggage strap. Whoever said you had to sacrifice style for function was evidently unaware of Hako One. 

Nippon Kodo Incense

Since its establishment more than 400 hundred years ago, Nippon Kodo has worked to provide the world not only with incense, but also the history regarding aromatic biotic material, in an effort to further disseminate knowledge and in turn (hopefully) allow for enlightenment. The brand has a wide selection of scents available, from floral and fruity fragrances to richer, musky scents fit for fall. If you have yet to try incense, the brand’s best-selling Morning Star scent, founded in the 1960s, is ideal for daily use thanks to key notes of sandalwood, green tea and sage. Consider it the perfect way to start your morning. 

Japanese Straight Razors

Sure, shaving might be something you do every day out of necessity rather than want, but that doesn’t mean it has to feel like a chore. Make the process feel a little more luxurious with these chic disposable razors from Kai. The brand was founded in Seki City, Japan, where they’ve continued to build on the nearly 800-year-old tradition of blade foraging, drawing on ancient blade-making traditions to bring customers their best shave yet. The sleek razors will bring a much-needed feel of luxury to your morning routine. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself actually looking forward to your daily shave.