Fridge 冷蔵庫

When our family of two became a family of three, Mrs M persuaded me that a fridge-freezer upgrade was essential if we were to cope with the enormous quantity of baby food M Jr would soon be consuming. A quick visit to the local second-hand shop and 45,000 yen later (52,000 if you include the price of delivery and of having the old one taken away for recycling), we were in possession a Sharp fridge-freezer so enormous that it made it through the hallway of our apartment with just millimetres to spare.
You can of course cram enough food in it to feed all forty-eight members of AKB48, and as well as the fridge part and the freezer part, there is a large bottom drawer for keeping your fruit and veg cool (known as a yasai-shitsu – 野菜室 / vegetable room – and a standard feature on many Japanese fridges).
The really clever thing about it, though, is the door. As you can see, there are handles on both sides, meaning you can open it like this:
And like that:
Normally, the only way of choosing how your fridge door opens is by ordering a bespoke one, but this design enables easy access whichever direction you approach it from, and even in the most cramped of kitchens (that is assuming you can fit it into a cramped kitchen in the first place), you’ll never find yourself squeezed between the wall and the door, or trying not to elbow your sous chef in the face as you extract a shallot from between the gnocchi and the truffle oil. Dare I say it, it’s a fridge that swings both ways.

(Oh, and in case you were wondering, it isn’t possible to pull on both handles at the same time and remove the door completely – I know this because I’ve tried.)

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