The Wellingtonista

Random stuff about Wellington since 2005

Japan City: the fruity fruits of globalisation

by Robyn on October 18, 2010 in Retail

The former Hallensteins building on Cuba Mall has been undergoing a bit of a facelift, getting rid of its cute and interesting 1980s post-modern facade and replacing it with something that looks a lot less interesting (sob!)

But what’s lost in the building has partly been made up for with its cheerful new tenant, the Japan City variety shop.

While Japan City does stock a large range of very reasonably priced homewares (most items are $3.60, some higher), my eye was drawn to the more quirky objects. Here are my faves:

Faux Louis Vuitton teddy bear

Hey, who says it’s too soon to be nostalgic for the ’00s? Put on some Pussy Cat Dolls, watch your The Simple Life DVD boxset, cuddle Mr Louis Fuzzy-Face and all your troubles will disappear.

Wet towel for an adult’s buttocks

It’s products like this that make me think Japan City will do really well. They’re not just selling the cheap fruits of globalisation, they’re managing to sell things you can’t buy anywhere else in New Zealand. A wet towel for an adult’s buttocks? Why not!

Egg brush

You know when you’re cooking an egg or two and you think, “Man, these eggs are awesome, but they need a good brushing.” And you try to brush them with your toothbrush but the yolk breaks and it’s all ruined and then you just give up and head to Meow for brunch? Well, this will solve all your eggy woes.

Wooden spoons

Hey, it’s some wooden spoons. Wait, these aren’t hilarious. They’re actually quite nice. That’s right – there are lots of nice kitchen things you should check out. The cups and bowls are quite nice too.

Executive gentleman’s chopsticks produced by… WTF?!

This is a pair of executive gentleman’s chopsticks, produced by the well known chopstick producer LUBE SHEEP. Obviously Japan City has researched the market well before opening in New Zealand. Also: LUBE SHEEP.

Robyn Gallagher

Robyn used to live in Wellington, but now divides her time between coastal Waikato and wherever. She can be found over at her long-running blog, watching too many music videos, or generally mucking around on the internet.

Selina October 18, 2010 at 10:23 am

We have a similar shop to this in Auckland (beside Borders and below the movie theatres on Queen St) and I always pop in there if we go to the movies. I never come away empty handed either. Oh and Lube Sheep don’t just do chop sticks, I have some very cute Bento boxes made by them. And I am avoiding making any sheep jokes!

Annette October 18, 2010 at 10:37 am

I used a Lube Sheep lunchbox for quite some time. It had a built-in chopstick holder and little elastic band with an apple on it – sweet!

Robyn October 18, 2010 at 10:43 am

Selina: I know that shop! It’s great. They stock a lot of Daiso goods, a Japanese dollar-store chain. I looked for Daiso in Japan City, but didn’t see the logo on any goods. Their stuff is very similar though.

Annette: My theory is that “lube sheep” is a corruption of “love sheep”, which seems a more apt name for a company making kawaii lunch utensils.

Phil October 19, 2010 at 5:44 pm

Correct me if I’m wrong, but aren’t you supposed to use the brush on the pan AFTER you’ve cooked eggs?

mishan October 22, 2010 at 8:49 pm

I’m pretty sure they are not allowed to sell LV branded teddy bears.

Brenda November 19, 2010 at 1:56 pm

my haul of lunch box stuff: (assuming your comment form allows images…)



Brenda November 19, 2010 at 1:57 pm
noizyboy November 19, 2010 at 3:23 pm

Images — yeah, thought they’d have auto-embedded. Will check it out. Thanks Brenda.

Phil D December 23, 2010 at 10:29 am

Japan City rocks.
Better quality than $2 Shop and cheaper than the Red Shed

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