More great design solutions that I wish we could bring back with us to the US:
Say you're shopping in a department store with your toddler and you need to go to the bathroom... where do you stick the kid? TOTO, maker of the world's most amazing (and complex) toilets offers another great product, attached to the corner of the stall.
The Japanese are known for being extremely considerate -- but sometimes, even they need reminding. Or perhaps they'd like to politely remind their visitors? This public courtesy campaign is in train cars and stations. This is not your brain on drugs -- rather, it's a gentle, rational reminder not to be stupid:
We've enjoyed staying 20 stories above Shibuya, one of the busiest pedestrian intersections in Tokyo. So busy, in fact, that they've done away with crosswalks: at the signal, hundreds of people cross every which way, then clear out completely to make way for the cars. The wash of people -- like four dark waves, crashing into each other and then receding back onto the sidewalk -- takes my breath away every time. Especially since I know we'd never be capable of sharing the street so efficiently and gracefully in Times Square.
- Jenny Lawton