Japan is a land of gadgets that are both marvelous and mystifying. If you can't go to the home of weird gadgets, why not bring some of the weird gadgets home to you? Here is a list of Japanese gadget gifts that will give you culture shock worse than Bill Murray in a Tokyo karaoke bar.
BTW, if you hate the gallery format as much as the you hate Japan-only gadgets, click here.
Bandai Tokyo Diorama Speakers: Do you know someone who is fascinated by Tokyo's Ginza district circa 1950? Or someone who constantly listens to the Godzilla Original Motion Picture Soundtrack? These speakers are the perfect gift for that person. Packed with LED lights and all sorts of moving parts, this is not your Kindergartner's diorama. $2000 [Bandai]
Bandai Gyoza Maker: Rolling a gyoza—essentially a Japanese dumpling—can be tough and is an art that is best mastered with practice. But who has time for practice or mastery? If you want to crank out neatly sealed gyozas every time, there's no better way than to do just that: crank them out. With Bandai's gyoza maker, perfect gyozas slide out a chute for your snacking pleasure. It's not the most authentic way to serve up this traditional treat but definitely the most efficient. $55 [GeekStuff4U]
Yamanote Line Watch: Is there someone close to you whose life is a little too stress-free? Who wishes they felt like they were doing something? Going somewhere? Get them the Yamanote Line Watch, a replica of signage on Tokyo's busiest commuter line, and give their life some hair-pulling purpose. [Seahope]
Sauce Dispensing Chopsticks: If you know someone who is proud of having recently mastered chopsticks, throw them a curveball by gifting them this sauce dispensing pair. They have the dual benefit of taking your chopstick game into the 21st century while also eliminating table clutter. This is a perfect gift for the person in your life who is defined as much by their laziness as they are for their love of Asian cuisine. $21[Oh Gizmo]
Fantasy Gift: 9h Capsule Hotel Pod: It's always nice to curl up in a nook (if not necessarily with a Nook) to take a nap, and the 9h luxury capsule hotel in Tokyo provides the nook of all nooks. Each pod is equipped with Panasonic control panels for setting the ambiance—presumably one that lessens the feeling that you paid money to nap in a coffin. Still, having one of them in your house virtually guarantees that no one jumps into bed to bother you while you sleep. [9hours]
Humping Dog USB Drive: Dogs always hump things—it's their nature—so why shouldn't they hump your USB drive? "Because they're too small!" you say. Real dogs may be, but this humping dog USB drive from Digital World Tokyo is a perfect perverted match for your Universal Serial Bus. In the end, though, do you really want to subject your ports to this little dog's dongle? We must urge you not to buy, unless you have a friend who really likes weird stuff. $32 [Digital World Tokyo]
Tuttuki Box: Are you or a love one embarrassed to prod and poke at things in real life? The Tuttuki LCD box lets you jab at miniature pandas, guys, and girls with a digital version of your index finger. If you know someone who is prone to stick appendages into holes, this is surely more adorable than the alternatives. $46 [Amazon]
Gundam Robot Slippers: Everyone can dance the robot. But for some people that's just not enough. Gundam Robot Slippers are the perfect gift for the hardcore robot enthusiast. Not only do they make your feet shiny and big, like a robot's, but the slippers emit a robotic crunching noise with each step. This benefits everyone: you sound more like a robot and the maker you've turned against is alerted that you're coming to destroy them. Gizmodo]
Don't forget to recommend your own favorite gift ideas for weird relatives in comments—include pic and pricing if possible.
All Giz Wants is our annual round-up of favorite gift ideas, including amazing attainable objects and a few far-out fantasies. We'll be popping guides catered to different interests several times per day for the next week, so keep checking back.