Best of the Bay 2011: BEST EVERYDAY KAN DO

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Peruse the labels of say, a kitty-shaped exfoliating washcloth or exquisitely lacquered bento box at Ichiban Kan, and you're likely to see a Good Housekeeping seal of approval-style label trumpeting that the item won a design award in Japan. At times it seems like everything wins a design award in Japan, then the realization sets in that no other country seems to have dedicated itself so fervently to assuring that the everyday things of life — from paper clips to cooking utensils — be attractive, eminently functional, durable, and well-designed. When we want to load up on the best of the quotidian (we're particular fans of the rolls of plastic wrap for $1), we come here.

Various locations, www.ichibankanusa.com