We know, we know, it’s only just November. You’re not supposed to be bombarded with “Best of 2013” lists yet. But Japanese magazine Nikkei Trendy is so trendy that their year starts and finishes at a different time to us normies. September to October to be exact.
As the trendy year has just finished, the magazine has released their annual list of the most popular items in Japan evaluated by three categories: Sales, Novelty and Cultural Influence.
In 2011, the winner was Geo-location games and prizes, while Tokyo Sky Tree beat social media app LINE to the number one spot last year.
Here’s the top ten for 2013:
1. Convenience Store Coffee
Earlier this year, all the large conbini chains began offering fresh self-service coffee for between ￥100-200 ($1-2). At similar prices to the canned and bottled coffee also on offer, they were an instant hit.
2. Puzzle & Dragons
A Japanese mobile game by GungHo Online Entertainment which mixes Bejeweled-style puzzle elements with a battle aspect similar to Pokemon.
3. Abenomics (and it’s resultant increased consumption)
Here at Tokyo Desu, we’re not big fans of the economic policy that made commodities more expensive without increasing our salaries. The devaluation of the yen has been great for exporting companies, but for Japan’s foreign workers it has resulted in a 20% reduction in wages when converted to other currencies.
Still, it’s trendy now though so we guess we’ve changed our mind.
4. Hanzawa Naoki
A TV show following the eponymous Hanzawa Naoki as he works his way up the ranks of Japan’s largest bank. The season finale (with the excellent title 100 times the payback! Who will be kneeling in the end! A shocking end!! Friendship? Betrayal?) drew a 42.2% audience share, the highest percentage for a drama in 30 years.
5. The Grand Shrines of Ise and Izumo
2013 is Shikinen sengu, the year of renewal, for these two shrines. As the restoration only happens every 20 years in Ise and every 60 years in Izumo, there’s been a sharp increase in tourism to both areas recently.
6. Nexus 7 and iPad Mini
If there weren’t any Apple items on the list we’d know there was something wrong.
“Amachan” is an NHK morning drama about a girl from Tokyo who returns to her hometown in Tohoku and eventually becomes a famous idol. A collection of music from the show also reached number 1 on the Japanese charts.
A small vacuum cleaner made by Korean company Bukang Sems Co. Ltd.
9. Air Fryer
A Philips cooking device which uses air and heat to fry without cooking oil. It doesn’t have an ex-professional sportsman’s endorsement though, so we’re not sure that we trust it.
10. Grand Front Osaka
A gigantic shopping mall opened on the site of a former rail yard in Osaka in April, Grand Front Osaka contains 95 eateries and bars as well as shops, cinemas and conference facilities.