Yodobashi Camera

Founded in Tokyo in 1960, Yodobashi Camera is one of Japan's largest electronics retailers and sold some $8.2 billion of merchandise in the year to April 2012.

Its flagship store is just outside Shinjuku Station, one of the world's busiest train hubs, and consists of 14 wings selling everything from smartphones and refrigerators to hobby goods and adult DVDs.

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Black box

This sleekly designed object is a rice cooker. The JKX-A100 from Tiger has an induction heating system that's meant to make perfectly steamed rice. It retails for around $640.
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Pocket monsters

The Mimamori Keitai from SoftBank is a cell phone for kids and seniors. They can call or message home at the touch of a button. The phones can also display earthquake warnings, a handy feature in quake-prone Japan.
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The EH-SW50 Eye Este Steamer from Panasonic is designed to gently heat your eyes to prevent dryness and fatigue. Slap it on your peepers for a 12-minute steam bath and you'll see the world in a different light.
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Pink & black

This colorful unit isn't a very compact Netbook -- it's an electronic dictionary aimed at high school students. The best-selling Casio Ex-word XD-N4800VP, priced at around $340, has 5.3-inch and 2.6-inch touch-panel TFT displays, a stylus, two SD card ports, and dozens of dictionary options.
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Cooling towers

These slick AP-C500 air purifiers from Cado have smell and dust sensors. Priced at a cool $1,000, each can clean an area of 688 square feet.
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Handheld thingy

Barbeque lighter? Nope. This is Panasonic's DL-P200 Handy Toire, a portable bidet and bum spray that mimics the functions of Japan's tricked-out toilets. You can take it on the road for about $100.
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Step on it

Tanita turns out high-tech bathroom scales. Its BC622 BK scale ($189) can measure your body weight, body fat, muscle mass, visceral fat, bone mass, and metabolism, and store it all on an SD card.
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Sony speakers

These cute Sony SRS-BTV5 speakers link with your Bluetooth device and kick out sound in all directions. They feature NFC one-touch tap-to-pair technology.
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Alien smartphone?

This puzzling device seems like it has two silver golf balls attached to it, but it's designed to improve your skin. The ReFa EXE for Men is a "platinum electronic roller" from MTG, which has pics of celebs such as LL Cool J using it.
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High-tech bullhorn?

It looks like a loudspeaker, but Omron's NE-S19 is a steam inhaler that's designed to alleviate allergy symptoms such as an itchy, runny nose. Millions of Japanese wear filtration masks during hay fever season.
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Fax of the matter

Despite the ubiquity of smartphones and e-mail, Japan still loves old-school means of communication, particularly fax machines.

Japan's Internet Fax Research Institute conducted a survey that found 87.5 percent of Japanese businessmen believe the fax is an indispensable tool for business. Meanwhile, nearly 60 percent of Japanese households still have fax machines that also function as landline telephones.

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