Meanwhile in Japan…


Bullets the shape of missiles and mini rocket launchers, grenades, steel knuckle rings, razor blades, massive shears… among other weaponry I could not decipher, lined up in the ‘Prohibited Items’ display case of Kuala Lumpur International Airport, Malaysia.

Of course I took a photo.

I wondered if someone actually pulls out any of these items and drops them in the bin before security check.

Memorable welcome to my first time in Malaysia.

Meanwhile in Japan…


At Narita Airport, the prohibited items in the case are food. I couldn’t help but smile at the airport taking extra steps; peeling off labels and carefully setting the packages to cover the brands’ names. If these items were in the US display case, I’m almost positive the TSA would scratch out the brands with Sharpies. Or white-out the names with duct tape.

But even without a label, the mayo tube with the red cap is recognizable; it’s Kewpie mayo!


I’ve been hearing for a while Kewpie mayo is the next Rooster Sauce (Srirarcha). David Chang of Momofuku even once called it “the best mayonnaise in the world“. Looks like the rumors may be true, as people seem to be smuggling mayo out of Japan.

But then I remembered Kewpie is sold outside Japan (you can even buy it on Amazon) so there doesn’t seem to be a need to sneak Kewpie out of here. Do people travel with mayo? Traveling with mayo would make sense. Travelers who carry mayo, are most likely the same people who bring their own hot sauces when eating out; I know a handful of people who never leave home without Srirarcha. Or maybe Kewpie is so popular it’s now a souvenir? I can’t imagine anyone being thrilled receiving a tube of Kewpie from the motherland; but there are 7 billion people on the planet, who knows. So many questions.

I called Narita Airport to ask what kind of humans they confiscate mayonnaise from. After 2 hours of being transferred and placed on hold, the head guy (I ended up talking to the person in charge) said that information is classified. Classified? Is there some underground mayonnaise ring the world doesn’t know of? I guess I have to camp out at Narita’s immigration check-in to see who these mayonnaise criminals are. Maybe tomorrow.

Learn more about Kewpie here.


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