The drugstore, stationery store, and home goods store were my favorite haunts in Japan, weirdly. Not even just to buy stuff, but as Museums of Aesthetic Interestingness. I probably would have been in heaven had I found a hardware store.
I think it was because they revealed the application of beauty and aesthetic into even the functionally rote/mundane.
I don’t claim to know what it means, or have any brilliant analysis– but it was notable!
Part of why I love vintage stuff is the meticulous detail and ornament in everyday things.
I’ve always assumed mass production ruined aesthetic in American consumer goods.
But taking even Japanese candy as an example– i think it must also be mass produced? So how do they preserve beauty in everyday things?
My favorite Japanese candy — a compressed powdery/grainy sugar that melts in your mouth — is an example of (delicious) fine detail and beauty!
Other gorgeous Japanese candy:
These are *Baskin Robbins Birthday cakes* in Japan..
For contrast, see a horrifying sampling of American Baskin-Robbins cakes:
Why?? Don’t we need beauty too? (Is this related to why Americans always have garbage when we’re walking around? )
Cuteness is an offshoot of beauty in Japan. There were more examples than I could possibly capture – it was obicuteous (ha!) but here is some of the cuteness we saw:
Don’t know what this was pointing to, but people seemed to be taking it very seriously.
Anthropomorphic sweets abound
Even *vice* was aesthetically pleasing in Japan.
The only gambling I saw was Pachinko. (In which a small metal ball bounces around between pegs to hopefully land in a lucky pocket).
These parlors were insanely loud, colorful, smoky, bright, …. and cuteness filled (?).
There were serious pachinko players .. With equally serious pachinko ball holders
I felt kind of creepy photographing what, I assume, are gamblers who might not prefer to appear in someone’s blog — (clearly not enough to *not do it*) — but I was quick about it, so… Blurry.
The following is a photo of a lobby of some serious business in and out of which were walking hurried harried businesspeople:
Why do they have a image of a boat full of wacky cute blobs in their lobby?
Lastly, some misc beautiful or cute (cutiful) things I liked enough to purchase: