Written by Hilary Keyes
5 Cute Dog-Themed Items To Help You Celebrate The Year Of The Dog
2018 is the Year of the Dog according to the traditional calendar, and so everywhere you look, you'll find adorable dogs and dog-themed items across Japan.
2018 is the Year of the Dog according to the traditional Chinese calendar, and as such, you'll find that come December 26th, stores and businesses across the country will have suddenly become puppy havens overnight.
A slightly modern take on the traditional inu (dog) statues.
If you were born in the Year of the Dog, or just love dogs in general, then here are five popular items that have recently come available for 2018.
1. Traditional Statues
Isn't he cute? This little guy, who also happens to be a bell, is meant to sit on a kamidana, or household shrine, but can also be a great interior design item as well. You can find these statues sold in variety goods and department stores, but there are also some regional variants that you may find in sightseeing spots like Asakusa or in Kyoto too.
These small statues can cost anywhere from 300-7000 yen, depending on what they are made of and how they were produced. The puppy in the above photo cost 648 yen, with tax.
2. Lucky Charms
Cell phone straps, key chains, or small talismans featuring man's best friend are also widely available at temples, shrines, traditional goods stores, and department stores at this time of year. They tend to cost in the 100-700 yen range.
This small phone strap is made from ceramic and is said to represent positive thinking. What makes this strap so popular, however, is that it can absorb scents. Simply put a couple of drops of your favorite aroma oil or perfume on it, and you'll have a pleasantly scented lucky dog strap with you wherever you go.
3. Beauty Masks
Face masks and packs are almost a daily part of the beauty routine for many in Japan, so it should come as no surprise that one's featuring dogs would be popular this year! You can become a cartoon dog with a bone, a Shiba inu, dalmatian, or even a toy poodle with these adorable moisturizing masks.
Most masks come in single use packages, and cost from 99-400 yen each, or if you pick up a beauty lucky bag, you may get up to ten masks for as little as 500 yen.
4. Stickers and Stationery
Stationery goods and variety shops are incredible places to find some truly cute items. This year, with so many people making their own nengajo or New Year's cards, you can also find plenty of stamps and stickers featuring dogs, especially Shiba inu.
This playful cartoon Shiba is part of a series of stickers available at Loft for about 300 yen, but you can also find photo realistic stickers, washi tape, and other stationery items featuring many different breeds of dog for sale as well.
5. Craft Goods
If you'd rather test your crafting skills, then why not try making your own dog out of felt? Felting is a popular and stress-relieving hobby for many, and with these kits, available in hobby, 100 yen, and variety goods shops, you can easily find a cute little dog to craft.
Best of all, most of these kits are complete with needles, and even English instructions, so you can purchase one (for anywhere from 100-900 yen), stick it in your suitcase and take it back as a souvenir as well.
The Year of the Dog - Find a Puppy to Take Home
With so many cute dog themed items to choose from, it may be hard to narrow down your options, but hopefully, this article will make it a little easy to find the right inu item for you!