Pre-battered suitcases and other weird travel necessities

Japanese fears, explained by travel products

I used to laugh at the sheer array of disinfectant travel wipes for sale at Tokyu Hands (for planes! for trains! for public bathrooms!) but in this day and age, those aren’t so funny anymore. But there are a few Japanese travel aids whose entertainment value never grows old…

Fear #1: Foreign countries might smell really really bad

NoseMint package
After catching a whiff of sweaty tourists on the subway and encountering blue cheese at “foreign” restaurants, it’s not surprising that Japanese might worry that foreign lands may not be up to snuff, fragrance-wise. Ever anxious not to wrinkle a nose at the wrong time and offend the natives (as well as preserving oneself from the onslaught of foreign stinks): NoseMint. A little dab inside the nostrils makes every country smell clean and minty-fresh.

Fear #2: Sharing a toilet with someone who isn’t family

SmellDrop package
When a courtesy flush might not be enough to conceal that you just used a toilet for its intended purpose: SmellDrop. One drop in the water puts a lid on any smells escaping into the atmosphere, so you can occupy the throne with confidence

Fear #3: Suitcase mix-ups

Suitcase skins
Behold the suitcase skin! These stretchy fabric covers not only protect the bag from the inevitable scuffs and scrapes inflicted by barbarian cargo wallahs, they’re a unique fashion statement that ensures any missing luggage was stolen on purpose

Fear #4: Foreign baggage handlers will treat your luggage with callous indifference

Pre-dinged suitcases
Buy it pre-dented! If you’d like to forgo the relief that follows that first ding in a new car door, you can buy your suitcase already battered

Fear #5: Lack of civilized toilets

Portable bidet wand
Yes, you can take it with you. The purse-size BYO bidet wand

Fear #6: Making rude noises in public bathrooms where strangers can hear you

OtoHime phone app
There’s an app for that. Behold the Sound Princess mobile app, that allows you to choose the sound, volume and duration of your audio camouflage

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Jonelle Patrick writes mystery novels set in Tokyo, and blogs at Only In Japan and The Tokyo Guide I Wish I’d Had

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