1. Toffy smokeless yakiniku grill
    Photo: Radonna Co., Ltd.
  2. Recolte individual egg steamer
    Photo: Winner's Inc.
  3. One-person tempura pot, deep-frying
    Photo: Cecile
  4. Recolte food stocker
    Photo: Recolte
  5. Godzilla humidifier
    Photo: Shine Co., Ltd.Godzilla humidifier
  6. Thanko one-person hot pot
    Photo: Thanko
  7. bento rice cooker thanko
    Photo: Thanko Bento rice cooker
  8. Qoobo robot pet
    Photo: Yukai Engineering

The best Japanese products for single living

From robots to combination toasters, these compact products make the Tokyo single life much sweeter

Kaila Imada
Kasey Furutani
Written by
Kaila Imada
&
Kasey Furutani
Advertising

Tokyo is the perfect city for single life. No one will side-eye if you sit alone in a restaurant. In fact, it seems like ramen restaurants were made for people eating by themselves. The city is full of fun solitary activities, like chilling in an onsen, wandering around quiet temples and shrines, and sipping lattes in cafés. Even the apartments are made for singles – a 20sqm metre apartment can’t fit two people without consequences. Whether you live in Tokyo or you’re just vacationing here, stock up on these Japanese products made especially for just one person: they’ll save you time, space and money. Sometimes it’s fun to be single.

Recommended: Best Japanese products you need in your life

Kitchen

i-Wano toaster cooker
Photo: Universal Bussan Co., Ltd.

i-Wano toaster cooker

Don’t have room in your kitchen for a rice cooker? No problem. Cooking rice has never been easier with this nifty cooker, which allows you to cook rice in 30 minutes with just a toaster oven. All you need to do is add water and rice to the heat-resistant container and pop it in your toaster oven for 15 minutes. Once the time is up, let it sit for another 15 minutes to steam before digging in. The container is the perfect size for one person and is also microwave-safe in case you have leftovers.

¥3,990, available at i-Wano

Toffy smokeless yakiniku grill
Photo: Radonna Co., Ltd.

Toffy smokeless yakiniku grill

If you love yakiniku but hate smelling like a barbecue after a meal, this smokeless grill is for you. Using a unique side-heating method, this appliance does not emit smoke like your typical grill or barbecue. It also gives you two different ways to grill your meat: either using a standard wire barbecue mesh or a flat hotplate, which can be used to fry other items like cheese and noodles.

¥19,800, available at Yodobashi Camera

Advertising
Recolte individual egg steamer
Photo: Winner's Inc.

Recolte individual egg steamer

Forget boiling water – this handy compact appliance lets you steam an individual chicken egg (or a handful of smaller quail eggs) in a matter of minutes. What’s more, the appliance is built with an energy-saving design, so using it consumes less power than boiling a pot of water. Depending on how long you cook it for, you can get a proper hard-boiled egg to add to your bento or even a gooey soft-boiled egg for your ramen.

¥3,300, available online at Recolte

Ninben microwavable dashi pot
Photo: Ninben

Ninben microwavable dashi pot

Dashi is a core ingredient in Japanese cuisine and now you can easily create your own soup stock with this handy dashi pot. The jug consists of three pieces: a heat-resistant glass pot, mesh filter and a lid, making for easy cooking and clean up. 

To make your stock, all you have to do is place bonito flakes into the mesh filter, fill the pot up with water and then zap it in the microwave for seven minutes – no stove needed. If you don't have bonito on hand, you can also use the same method to make stock from vegetables and even chicken.

¥3,850, available online at Ninben.

Advertising
Air-tight vacuum sealed food stocker
Photo: Recolte

Air-tight vacuum sealed food stocker

Keep your dry ingredients and snacks fresh and ready to eat with this handy air-tight vacuum sealed food stocker. With Tokyo's climate, it can be hard to keep opened items like potato chips, flour, rice, and coffee beans from going stale, especially when the humidity is high. This food storage unit could be your saving grace as it vacuum seals your items with the press of a button to protect them from moisture and oxidation. 

The 7L container recharges via a USB cable and can easily be stored anywhere including inside your refrigerator. A fully charged container holds for roughly three weeks.

¥7,480, available online at Recolte

Twin Chef automatic cooking pot
Photo: Shop Japan

Twin Chef automatic cooking pot

When you’re cooking for one, sometimes you can’t be bothered to bring out all your cooking gear just for one single meal. A nifty solution, this Twin Chef automatic cooking pot saves you the hassle by cooking your main dish and a side of rice in one convenient machine. Whip up a simple curry, soup, or slot in one of the steamer plates to steam some additional veggies for a full-on meal.

¥19,900, available online at Shop Japan

Advertising
One-person hot pot maker
Photo: Thanko

One-person hot pot maker

Hot pot, or nabe, is an essential during the cooler months, but sometimes it can leave you with a load of leftovers. Luckily, Thanko's one-person hot pot device is ideal for making small serves. The handy cooking gadget is compact, easily portable and can hold up to 1 litre of liquid, giving you plenty of cooking space to work with. There's also a voltage selector meaning you can adjust your nabe to use in other countries outside of Japan.

It also comes with a steamer tray which can be used to steam dumplings and other food items. To make your hot pot, just dump all your favourite veggies and ingredients into a tasty broth, set the cooker on one of the two available settings and voilà – dinner, sorted.

¥6,028, available online from Thanko

Mini Mini Tempura pot
Photo: Cecile

Mini Mini Tempura pot

Ah, the crispy texture of freshly cooked tempura. Deep fried shrimp and veggies don’t require much culinary expertise, but they’re still a challenge to cook at home thanks to the strenuous cleanup. This one-person tempura pot makes frying a much easier task, without leaving a huge mess afterwards. Extremely compact, the lid doubles as a metal cooling tray for the just-cooked tempura. Plus, this tempura pot makes the perfect portion for one person, so you can have restaurant-quality food at home.

¥3,278, available online at Cecile

Advertising
Bento rice cooker
Photo: Thanko

Bento rice cooker

Rice cookers are a necessity in every carb-lover’s household, and leftover rice just doesn’t have the chewy je ne sais quoi of fresh Japanese sticky rice. Enter the bento rice cooker from Thanko: compact enough to take to the office filled with your home-cooked lunch, but large enough to cook a hearty donburi for one. Pair it up with the Mini Mini Tempura Pot to make your own tempura donburi.

¥6,980, available online at Thanko

One Person Morning Toaster
Photo: Thanko

One Person Morning Toaster

Also from Thanko, this combination toaster oven and frying pan seems like it was invented for creating the perfect avocado toast – just pop a slice of shokupan bread into the toaster, crack an egg on top and slice up that avocado for a perfect start to the morning. It fits right on a countertop, requires minimal cleanup and saves time – no more jostling around the kitchen for pots and pans. You’re not limited to breakfast eggs and toast, either; branch out with mini pizzas, sausage or even grill some fish.

¥3,180, available online at Thanko

Advertising
Ceramic Far-Infrared Barbecue Grill Mesh
Photo: Global Kitchen Japan

Ceramic Far-Infrared Barbecue Grill Mesh

Craving yakiniku or yakitori in your tiny home? Move over barbecues; this grill mesh fits on top of a gas stove to create a makeshift grill for cooking meat and fish, making toast or giving anything a nicely charred flavour. Just wash and fold away when done. Grab a beer, invite some friends over, and enjoy a grilled meat and veggie night.

¥1,250, available online at Global Kitchen Japan

Tabletop Smoker
Photo: Aux

Tabletop Smoker

As we eat in more these days, our kitchens have become a whole lot fancier. If you've always wanted to try your hand at smoking meat like a barbecue restaurant, here's a handy gadget that will help you do just that, right at your dining table. The compact Apeluca Tabletop Smoker is designed like a tagine and allows you to adjust the amount of smoke by simply turning a knob on the lid. Besides using wood chips or tea leaves to smoke meat and fish, you can also try doing the same with snacks (like nuts) and even butter.

¥16,500, available online through Aux 

Home

Godzilla humidifier
Photo: Shine Co., Ltd.

Godzilla humidifier

When winter comes around, humidifiers are a lifesaver. That's where this adorably quirky Godzilla humidifier comes in, helping breathe some life into that stale, dry indoor air. Known officially as the Burning Godzilla Humidifier, the nifty little device can either blast out a constant or intermittent spurt of mist, all while being lit up with a bright orange LED. The mini humidifier also plays five tunes from the Godzilla movies as the King of the Monsters mists up your room.

¥5,540, available online from Amazon

Qoobo therapy robot
Photo: Yukai Engineering

Qoobo therapy robot

Apartments in Tokyo generally have a strict ‘no pets’ rule, which can make city life a bit lonely. Good thing Japan is also home to an ever-growing range of robotic companions. Created by Yukai Engineering, Qoobo looks like a headless cat but is so much more. When you pet its round body, the tail moves calmly or excitedly, similar to a dog or cat, but without all the messy cleanup. 

Qoobo will quickly become your best friend – the robot is perfect company while working from home or to pet while you’re on the couch. A petit Qoobo will also be released this autumn, so you can take your robot pet wherever you go. 

From ¥12,000

Advertising
Pet bottle humidifier
Photo: B-Grow

Pet bottle humidifier

Standard humidifiers can get pretty bulky and take up too much valuable apartment space. Try this compact humidifier, which fastens to the top of a plastic bottle and mists fine water into the air to keep your skin hydrated during air-conditioned summers and dry winters. 

The humidifier, which fits in the palm of your hand, is portable and makes the perfect substitute for an unwieldy machine, and it’s much cheaper too.

From ¥2,750

Food

Freeze-dried soup
Photo: Kasey Furutani

Freeze-dried soup

Sure, it’s probably astronaut food, but freeze-dried soup, sold in individual packs, makes cold weather food much easier to cook and clean up. Just stop by your local supermarket or konbini to pick up heat-and-eat soups in traditional Japanese flavours like miso and sesame, or go for a comforting vegetable dumpling.

From ¥100, available at most convenience stores and supermarkets

Curry packs
Photo: Kasey Furutani

Curry packs

We’ve all had long days at work, too tired to cook and eat dinner. Forgo the takeout and grab one of these packets filled with curry to make an easy, quick meal. Just empty the contents into a bowl and microwave, or put the entire pack into hot boiling water for a few minutes – you’ll have steaming curry in no time. Available in multiple flavours and spice levels, from meaty Japanese curry to Thai green curry and butter chicken, you can find them at any major supermarket or even at Muji.

From ¥100, available at most convenience stores and supermarkets 

More shopping in Tokyo

Advertising
Recommended
    You may also like
      Advertising