6 Most Outstanding Technologies in Japan

Tokyo never ceases to impress me, till this day, I missed every single thing about Tokyo.

The only thing I regret was not being able to explore more of the city, the country and not having enough time spent there.

If given a choice, I would probably spend three months traveling around the whole of Japan without any budget constraint, but that only happens in dreams for common folks like us. :)

So here I present to you the top 5 most outstanding technologies in Japan,

1. The Air Towel

hand dryer

I saw this at the Osaka airport and was so fascinated by it I took a photo before putting my hand through it.

It’s genius and a great way to save the environment from too much paper wastage. Of course back then (last August) I have never seen this device before and thought it was the coolest thing I have ever seen.

Little did I know soon after I returned from Japan, I saw my first air towel in Sunway New Wing Toilet and later on Chef Wan’s cooking show. Apparently they are importing these devices into Malaysia too. Yay…

2. The Automated Water-Soap Tap

wash basin

The name says it all. Together with the air towel, I took this photo in the same toilet and was already impressed by Japan’s way-in-advance technologies before I stepped out of the airport.

I’m easily amused. -.-

But this is really awesome. Normally you will see a liquid soap dispenser like this,


at the side of the wash basins in toilets in Malaysia where you need to walk to the end of the row, squirt some soup into your hands and walk back to you wash basin to wash. The more prestigious toilet (like in KLCC) would have soup dispensing tube installed in each individual wash basin where you still need to manually press to squirt the soap out.

Not the automated water-soap tap, all you need to do, is move your hands left and right and wa la… 5 seconds of air towel and your hands are clean and dry. You don’t even need to touch anything, sounds almost futuristic.

I do hope they come up with an automated shower and dry room soon.

3. Taxi GPS system

GPS system

Where else can you find a city full of taxis installed with individual GPS systems and automated door. Now you don’t need to use your hands for anything, wow…

Map? Bah… who needs that, these GPS babies even come with touch screen.

Hail down taxi, door open for you, enter, state your destination, don’t know where it that? Check GPS system for nearest distance, reach, pay, door open, step out.

4. Tokyo Metro

Yes, this is probably one of the greatest technologies that can go down in history in the world. The Tokyo underground network, or they call it, Tokyo Metro.

underground japan

No wait, not this one, this only applies to Tokyo city.

This one,

metro map

This goes beyond the suburbs of Tokyo. Drawing this network map alone should be awarded a year achievement award. It’s so complicated it was the reason why I took taxi in the first place.

5. Hand-held Computerized Ordering Device

waiter smiling

No not the waiter, though he is one of the best creations on earth (ah.. dreams~), eh hem…, focus on what he’s holding in his hands.


An ordering device where you just input your order and it will transfer into the system, puff.. you food shall arrive, amazing. The last time I saw something similar was in a famous kopitiam in Ipoh selling beef ball noodles where I think the aunty was holding a palm pc.

But this is specially designed for ordering, reminds me of Sakae Sushi, minus the very cute slightly unshaven waiter.

The same goes with their karaoke system,

karaoke room

Apart from the calories counter


Their hand held remotes came in really handy to avoid fighting-over-remote-problem.

karaoke remote
Not one, but two.

There, all top 5. I decided to add another one to make it top 6 because it is impossible to go to Japan and not experience this.

The final and most amazing technology in Japan is….. *drum rolls*

6. Unagi Don

unagi don

So it’s not really a technology, but admit it, this it the BEST creation the Japanese can ever come up with. It’s superbly ingenius, easy to make, extraordinary (who else uses sweetened eels and vinegar rice and seaweed as much), and the taste? Oh.. the taste…

Up the heaven and back.

Tell me that’s not one high tech food.


47 kissed Nicole

  1. Give me UNAGI DON!!!!!!

    I used to cook that myself when I was in the states. Fast and delicious, too bad they're a bit too pricey here.

  2. Cool... now if only we had those... but I guess it's still kinda exp in msia, no?

  3. if they have all these technologies now, lord knows what they'll have when u return in 5 years time.

  4. If you noticed The Garden (midvalley) toilets, they use the air towel too..

  5. Katsu Don > Unagi Don.

    Not a fan of Unagi.

  6. You know it is MORE environmentally friendly to use paper towel than hand dryer machine right?

    At the very least, we recycle paper wastage. we can't recycle electricity, in a way.

  7. i also want to go to japan !

  8. i used to eat so much unagi that i got rather sick of it.

    only now am i starting to love it again. haha~

  9. i know one place in us, new jersey.. er, burlington county.. mount laurel.. there's this restaurant called Singapore Restaurant, and they make the BEST japanese food in the WHOLE EnTIRE USA..

  10. seriously.. you have a good camera..

  11. The dryer looks like a meat grinder! I rather keep my wet hand than no hand at all :P

  12. Nicole, Japan's most outstanding technology to date is this:


  13. Must be something about airport toilets. The Dyson Airblades (similar to the drier you photographed) were the only highlight of Gatwick Airport when I had to fly from there.

  14. funny, everything you mentioned can be found in Melbourne too! :)

    Btw, we have that air towel and automated water soap tap in Malaysia. Did you go to the new toilets in Sunway Pyramid? They have the exact same thing!

    Well, the guy toilets that is.

  15. ky: unagi!! let's breed our own eels...

    alvin: cheaper than MSC project

    willar: yea... can't wait to go back

    curryegg: do they? ooo

    swifty: how can you not like unagi!!!

    luvenny: errrr.....

    misha: me too!

    amberite: you lucky...

    peritectic: really? wow.. i wanna go there!

    der: o thank you. but the camera died on me last year :(

    eng seng: very cool, you can youtube that too

    geraint: dyson airblades look much cooler

    kenneth: yea i have. stated in my blog too.

  16. bwhaha... funny! come to think of it .. i think i chanced upon a state of the art toilet in pyramid ... there's one that looks exactly like the toilet in harry potter. 5 sinks aranged in a circle ... woo ... now all they need is the ghost.

    And then theres the garden 5 ringgit toilet. Went in before they impose the charge ... that's one heck of a toilet!

  17. Looks like M'sia is going "techy"

  18. Looks like M'sia is going "techy"

  19. The food looks nice. It is very outstanding and maybe expensive too.

  20. Oh unagi donn..

    Why must you tempt me so..

  21. Japan, if I'm there I have a billion of things to talk about, they always come up with something so darn unique!

  22. HI, I like reading ur blog but, I think Japanese do not deserve that much of a praise. Please go read the following links.




  23. Things have changed, nkw. We shouldn't hold on grudges. Let's forgive them for what they've done, from our own heart.

    Oh yeah, the Tokyo rail network is more complex than our own integrated rail network. It seems like you can go anywhere you want with ease right?

    The fact is that, after World War II, how they managed to rebuild the whole country into an economy powerhouse. What about us? Given 50 years to develop still can't catch up with other countries who were far behind us initially.

    In Singapore I've seen automated water drinker. That was cool!

    Here.. it's disheartening to hear that some ppl in Sabah are still below the poverty line, from Jeff Ooi's blog. The people still live in ignorance, oblivious to the latest developments, conflicts, and hidden agendas of big powers. What is the meaning of burning our cash to send an astronaut into space, but our own government has yet to address the fundamental needs of the citizens?

    Great, amazing things can be made to happen with engineering. What about the service sector dominated by Malays? Ask them to do simple repair work they're also slow to respond on it. Just count how much productivity is lost with prolonged downtime.

  24. Unagi Don! Give it to me anytime! I don't know how they do it but I love love love the unagi. So yummy!

  25. Nicole, you've left out one of the all-time-favourites the all-wonderful-thingamajig...Japanese vending machines! Haha...

  26. biolovepulse,

    I think that the atrocities committed is just too much. Even though time and the limitations of memories do seem to have ease some of our hatred, I think it's just too much for me to stomach, emotionally.

    Quoted out of Wikipedia,

    "To determine the treatment of frostbite, prisoners were taken outside in freezing weather and left with exposed arms, periodically drenched with water until frozen solid. The arm was later amputated; the doctor would repeat the process on the victim’s upper arm to the shoulder. After both arms were gone, the doctors moved on to the legs until only a head and torso remained. The victim was then used for plague and pathogens experiments."

    Yes, I acknowledge with you on your stance on a good government is important and affects our lives in many ways.

    The problem here is that the Japanese government have omitted those events on their history textbooks and have tried to deny responsibilities on the atrocities they'd committed. It is important for people to learn of their history so as to not repeat them in the future. Especially such horrible ones. I suggest you and everyone else reading this comment to go through the documentaries as well.

    Parts I to V


    Anyway, this is just an informational note and I'm fully aware of Nicole's light and free spirited blog. I am not trying to make anyone feel down in any way.

  27. me like unagi too... but lately the eels don't taste nice, I wonder why they have a weird sorta taste... I miss the delicious taste of unagi that used to linger in my mind...

    Guess Fayth will probably read this blog... so many photos... bwahaha...

  28. the unagi don is very expensive and at least costs about RM45 (the cheapest u can get in Tokyo), Nicole makes me wanna get one of it for dinner...

  29. oh, they are suck, they gotta have a girlfriend!!! (Opps, sorry, haven't come back from previous entry XP )

    If I were you, I would take a taxi too once I saw that kind of map.

  30. kao, the unagi don makes me hungry. Can't have real good, yummy yet cheap Unagi Don in El Paso. Last time I had unagi don here is 1 small piece of unagi with lots of don (apparently 99% of the bowl is filled with rice, left 1% for unagi), it costs me USD16.

    Day light robbery.

  31. Japan is a well developed country anyway. I think it is pretty much the same if you go to other developed countries in Europe.

  32. even in school also got those automatic water tap not only in shopping complex-I currently studying in some high schoole in japan- but the best creation for me is the washlet.just tap on the button n the water will spray to ur butt..n there is some type that even air-dry ur butt..huhu...this thing not only in public toilets but also in houses.

    for food...i think...hurm....tendon-tempura don- is the best!

    come n visit japan again lor.lets go backpacking to osaka or to hokkaido.dun use the shinkansen,but use the seishun 18 kippu-only available during holiday ie haru,natsu,fuyu- huhu.

  33. even in school also got those automatic water tap not only in shopping complex-I currently studying in some high schoole in japan- but the best creation for me is the washlet.just tap on the button n the water will spray to ur butt..n there is some type that even air-dry ur butt..huhu...this thing not only in public toilets but also in houses.

    for food...i think...hurm....tendon-tempura don- is the best!

    come n visit japan again lor.lets go backpacking to osaka or to hokkaido.dun use the shinkansen,but use the seishun 18 kippu-only available during holiday ie haru,natsu,fuyu- huhu.

  34. and not forgetting the auto car parking building: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0WYLM_5Kn_o&feature=related

    and my friend's toyota prius has this auto car parking gps where the car could park to places u directed it to =p

  35. 1 Utama's Carl's Junior use the air towel thingy also.

  36. Oh wow, I like the last technology the best! It sure looks better than all the other technologies. Very edible. Unfortunately I can't get to eat it!

  37. I know how innovative Japanese are but i didn't know that they are "that" advance, even in the toilet. Wow... oh, and i like vinegar rice, very much better than our local rice. Cheers

  38. mmm unagi.. mmm.. why did you have to take that picture it looks so delicious!

  39. Japan has some cool tech. But you forgot the WASHLET!! Best thing when you have to use the bathroom and it's cold out...



    And their silly commercials!

  40. hey nicole...do u know u appear on the JAN issue of JUICE?

  41. I love Unagi!!!
    The air-towel...er...juz put our hand inside?

  42. we've got the air towel, automated water+soap system and taxi with gps and automated doors here in singapore too. they've been around for a rather long time too hey.

  43. Yea the automatic soap dispenser is available in The Gardens actually...

  44. I didn't bother reading all the comments so if anybody's said anything about this already... sorry lah. You gotta read it again. Haha.

    The air towel is at Sunway Pyramid. Been there since before they opened the new wing. =)

  45. hi nicole

    interesting post. but in singapore, you can actually find taxis with gps... and which also automatically opens the door.

    however i was once told by a taxi driver that he dont use the auto door because ppl might get a lil shocked.. and which is not good if they were the elders.