_____Asahikawa Tourism

In recent years, nail art has become increasingly popular amongst Japanese girls and young women (and some young men), with designs ranging from the conservative two-tone, to the all out beads+dimonties+stickers and anything else that makes it possible to hail a cab from 600 meters.

Whether it was a nail technician accidentally dropping her cell phone into a stash of product or poor nailswomanship rubbing nail designs off and onto phones, the nails craze has in more recent times given way to the "pimp my phone craze".

And it's not really as though the major phone companies are sluggish in delivering new products to consumers. The main four telecommunications companies each have dozens of different models available, models which are in a constant state of development to satisfy the Japanese love of all things modern and up to date.

Yet, for Japanese younger women, the need to express themselves using cute, shiny, colorful, floral or themed phones seems greater than any company offering, no matter how modern or seemingly stylish. The results oscillate between the artistically simple and the truly bizarre, to the extent that in many cases it is difficult to find where the decoration ends and the phone starts. In some examples there is no indication of the existence of a phone at all, the third image being a good case in point.

It will be interesting to see what the customization trend will be applied to next, but in the meantime, if you find yourself in Shinjuku walking down the street and see someone talking into a hamburger, don't be alarmed, there is likely to be a phone in there somewhere.