The Wonder 500

A collection of japan's finest goods, foods and travel experiences



Begin with Exhibition@PMQ, a series of events throughout Jan 2016

28th Dec 2015

The Wonder 500TM

Hong Kong Management Office

The Wonder 500TM Project Management Office has started The Wonder 500TM Project in May 2015, and it is aimed at discovering unique Japanese local products that are unfamiliar outside of Japan, and introducing them to the rest of the world. The Project is organized by METI (Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry) and it is part of the effort to invigorate local economies based on the “Cool Japan” approach under the Comprehensive Strategy for Region-Building.

On 27th Aug 2015, the Project announced the 500 discovered “hometown specialties” from around Japan and the homepage ( has been opened for introducing the Project and the selected 500 items. After Paris and Taiwan, here comes to the turn of Hong Kong to hold a series of promotion events. Starting from the The Wonder 500TM Exhibition at PMQ, the Project is planning to organize several events throughout Jan 2016, so that both the buyers and consumers in Hong Kong can view, touch and appreciate part of the selected items, and discover the glamour of Japan.

 The Wonder 500TM includes five-hundred carefully selected finest goods, food, and travel experiences from all 47 prefectures in Japan. The 500 items are selected based on the following two criteria: “items which convey the refined taste and persistent passion of their makers” and “innovative items which embody Japan’s unmatched craftsmanship and services supported by traditional Japanese values.” The selected products would be promoted to the overseas, together with the values embodied.

 Regarding the item selection process, about 30 professionals who are experts in product branding and developing overseas sales channels were appointed as “Producers”. In the initial stage of the Project, Producers visited different prefectures in Japan, discovered highly appealing local products that are not yet known outside Japan. At the same time, a public application was also held to identify other potential products which might be outside of the areas of the Producers’ expertise.

 During the screening of items collected from public application, 10 professionals from different fields have been invited to form the Judging Committee. Mr. William To, the Creative Director of PMQ was invited as one of the Committee. William joined the screening process in Japan in late-July, and he nominated items as a foreign professional. Finally, out of the 1900 items, comprising 600 recommended by the Producers and 1,300 collected the public application, 500 of them has been selected as The Wonder 500TM official products. 342 items of finest goods, 148 items of food and 10 items of travelling experience are included in the Project.

 Overseas events have begun with France and part of the items has been exhibited during “Paris Design Week 2015” in Sep 2015. Tasting events in 4 local restaurants and bars, also tie-up with 10 best-known select shops could be found. Besides, in Taiwan, the Project joined the Japan Tohoku Day at the beginning of Dec 2015, and exhibited those items which come from Tohoku areas of Japan.

 Then, starting from 2th Dec 2015, until 31st Mar 2016, The Wonder 500TM is in a tie-up with the global information magazine MONOCLE. Selected products are displayed and even for sales in MONOCLE’s directly-managed lifestyle shops, MONOCLE SHOPS, which locate at six world cities (London, Tokyo, New York, Hong Kong, Toronto and Singapore). Apart from that, storybook introducing background information and charming points of the 500 products would be published and distributed in targeted cities, in order to let the readers understand the stories and passion embodied in the products.

 Coming to Hong Kong, there would be a “Japan Creative Week” in Jan 2016, and the Wonder 500TM is going to carry out a series of event. First, starting from 6th Jan 2016 (Wed), there would be an exhibition at PMQ for 2 weeks. Besides of exhibiting around 50 selected finest goods and items, the 10 travel experiences would be introduced by panels too. Following the PMQ Exhibition on 2 weekend days in late-Jan, there would be a special 2-hour TV Programme on iCable Channel, divided into 2 episodes. Flying to Kagoshima, we could have an insight into the background stories of The Wonder 500TM items from Kagoshima. The Programme would also show the message and ideas embodied in The Wonder 500TM through travelling around Kagoshima.

Although the Exhibition at PMQ would be opened for 2 weeks only, The Wonder 500TM would have tie-up with different restaurants and cafes etc. Special menus using The Wonder 500 TM products would be provided and items would be used in those tie-up shops too. So both the buyers and consumers in Hong Kong could have a chance to touch and appreciate the selected products. Further information of tie-up promotion is to be confirmed and would be announced later.

The Wonder 500TM Exhibition@PMQ

Date: 6th Jan 2016 (Wed) – 19th Jan 2016 (Tue)
Opening hours: 11am – 8pm
Venue: Unit H403, Block B, PMQ (No.35 Aberdeen Street, Central)

The Wonder 500TM ×Good Design Store Reception Party

Date: 8th Jan 2016 (Fri)
Reception Time: starts at 18:00
Venue: PMQ Block B, Verandah H4A (No.35 Aberdeen Street, Central)

~Detail of the Reception Party~

  1. Cousul from Consulate-General of Japan in Hong Kong to give a speech on the Project and the Exhibition.
  2. The 2 MCs from the iCable Programme would also come and have a sharing with the guests.


Founder and Creative Director of PMQ, William To visited Japan in July and joined the screening process of the items collected from the public applications. The Judging Committee nominated items based on the design, appearance, availability, taste and price. All the items collected from public application are placed on the table and they are from different prefectures.


069 Upside-down Mt. Fuji sake cup, Edo glass)

Edo glass is a traditional craft that has been passed down since the Edo period. Edo Kiriko, which is decorated with a pattern called kiriko, is a traditional craft representative of Tokyo that is famous throughout Japan for its beauty. Edo Glass Guinomi Sakasa Fuji is made from Iroseki glass, which uses a glassblowing method producing several layers of glass that was developed over many years of research. It captivates the eye with the beauty of the colored glass and the gorgeous light reflected in the Edo Kiriko. Looking from above, the glass depicts fireworks, but when placed upside down, it becomes Mt. Fuji.


220 Masking Color (Masking color strippable paint)

Masking Color is a new type of paint that is available in a rich variety of 20 colors and proudly made in Tokyo. Its greatest quality is that it lets you return a painted item to its pre-painted state. This is because once the paint dries, you can strip it off and repaint the area, and even affix the painted strip to another area. This quality lets you easily change window displays to suit the season, and make places you never thought you could repaint into new canvases. While durable enough to use outdoors, it is also water-based paint that contains no harmful substances, and is therefore safe for small children to use. The excellent pen-type bottle design makes it easy to carry and easy to apply.


235 iPhone case in Tokyo train map design

This iPhone case emits LED light without a power supply by converting the radio waves emitted by the iPhone into electricity. The design of the case features a complex Tokyo railway map imprinted as a wiring pattern on a circuit board. The elaborate design is truly eye-catching and sublimes the circuit board with its functional beauty inherent to industrial items into a consumer artifact. This product exemplifies the high-tech spirit of modern Japan.


276 Samurai armor bottle cover

About 500 years ago, Japan was embroiled in an age of warring states known as the Sengoku Period. Active during that time there were five well-known warlords, Masamune Date, Yukimura Sanada, Motonari Mori, Shingen Takeda and Hideyoshi Toyotomi, and in honor of these men, Staff has given these names to its bottle covers. Resembling body armor, these bottle covers are handmade with painstaking care to as closely as possible look like the real thing. The dignity of body armor is left intact, and being made from lightweight and flexible materials, the small armor can be used to cover Japanese sake or wine bottles, transforming them into the Samurai warriors of the Sengoku Period.


408 Niji no Shio (Flavored salt seasoning)

Wakuden is one of Kyoto’s finest traditional Japanese restaurants originally established as a Japanese-style inn in 1870. Niji no Shio was born from Wakuden’s commitment to food. Sea salt from Kyoto cooked slowly in a pan is blended with chemical-free rice grown in the Kyotango area, home of Wakuden, Japanese pepper, Japanese basil, turmeric, red yeast rice, and other natural ingredients. It is a Japanese seasoning with the colors of Japan presented as a colorful rainbow over the sea of Kyoto. The eye-catching colors and flavors liven up dishes by one sprinkle.


475 Masu Iroiro Set (Sake set in masu containers)

Arising from the Seto Island Sea is the beautiful island of Shodo-shima. Here, Morikuni Shuzo uses this spring water to brew Japanese sake at Shodo-shima Island’s only sake brewery. In addition to this spring water, rice ideal for sake brewing harvested from the Seto Island Sea’s coastal regions is an ingredient that the master brewer uses to hand make the Japanese sake set, Masu Iroiro. This includes four different types of sake, junmai-ginjo, ginjo, junmai and honjozo.

This news release is published by The Wonder 500TM Hong Kong Management Office – Compass Communications, on behalf of The Wonder 500TM Management Office. For enquiry, please feel free to contact us anytime.




Ms. Helen To

TEL:2147 1100 / 6135 3592

E-mail: (CHI/ENG/JP)

Ms. Cecilia Kwong

TEL:2147 1100 / 9857 3837


Ms. Chizuru Kimura

TEL:2147 1100 / 9027 5779


Mr. Yusuke Ohtsuka

TEL:2147 1100 / 9027 1325