85.7 billion servings of instant noodles were consumed throughout the world in 2005. The appeal of instant noodles has expanded as far as outer space - noodles were taken aboard a space shuttle for consumption by astronauts in 2005. (Chicken Ramen: 1958, Cup Noodles: 1971; Nissin Food Products Co., Ltd.)
Instant vacuum packed meals form an indispensable part of daily menus and a wide range of meals is now available. Vacuum packed meals figure prominently as emergency provisions in times of disasters as packs, which can be stored at room temperature, have long shelf lives. (Bon Curry: 1968; Otsuka Foods Co., Ltd.)
Sweets with toys provide children with not only the pleasure of the actual sweets but also with the fun of the toy. Nowadays such toys have become collector's items. (Glico: 1927; Ezaki Glico Co., Ltd.)
Utility knives (cutter knives) are an essential office supply. Utility knives are exported to over 100 countries throughout the world and there are now over 100 different varieties of knife. (Utility knife: 1956; Olfa Corporation)
In the present PC age calculators are one item we cannot do without. The first calculators to go on sale weighed 25kg and were devices placed on "desktops" in the true sense of the word. Nowadays calculators are far more compact and slim. (Compet: 1964; Sharp Corporation)
In days gone by tickets were sold by station employees and stations had gates at which tickets were checked. Nowadays the automatic ticket gates and automatic ticket vending machines found at almost all stations have greatly contributed to labor saving at stations. (Automatic ticket gate: 1967; Hankyu Corporation Kita Senri Station; Automatic ticket vending machine: 1954, Hankyu Corporation Umeda Station)
Prefabricated houses accounted for approximately 160,000 of all houses built in Japan in 2006 which works out at 1 prefabricated house per 8 houses built. (Midget House: 1958, Daiwa House Industry Co., Ltd.)
Televisions form an increasingly vital part of our lives as we move further into the digital and flat screen age. When they first went on sale people crowded around televisions placed in streets. (Television: 1953, Sharp Corporation)
At 3,750m this bridge which connects Kansai International Airport, the world's first real offshore airport, and Rinku Town on the mainland, is the world's longest dual train and motor vehicle truss bridge.
Osaka Monorail's main track which is 21.2km long has been recorded in the Guinness Book of Records as the longest monorail system in the world. The total length of monorail system has reached 28.0km following extensions to the Saito Line.
This shopping arcade full of small stores and which echoes with the high spirited cries of shopkeepers is a fun place even just for a stroll. Tenjimbashisuji Shopping Street extends 2.6km from 1 Chome to 7 Chome making it the longest shopping arcade in Japan.