Oct 072014

Tenga Iroha MikazukiFor as much as I love the Tenga Iroha Minamo, I’m underwhelmed by the Iroha Mikazuki. The Iroha Minamo arrived first on my doorstep; I was so excited about it and liked it so much that I asked Tenga if I could review both. I wanted to be certain that I could recommend them interchangeably. I’m so glad I did because I am more reluctant to recommend the Mikazuki.

My first Iroha vibe was the Iroha Midori. I had expected a lot more squish and give than I experienced with the Midori and felt a bit let down but it all. The Minamo delivered on that squish, and how. But the Iroha Mikazuki goes back to being barely squishy. The tip is very squishy, like Vixskin heads, and this continues for about the first inch because there’s no plastic body underneath, it’s simply all soft material. But after that first inch it’s just not as soft. However, the Mikazuki is thinner than the Minamo and still could be a decent insertable vibe for those who are very new to penetration or have vaginismus. The slender shape starts out very slim, 0.75″ wide and gradually enlarges to a max width of 1.25″ at about 4.5″ of insertable length, or just below the buttons.

The color is hard to pinpoint, and photograph. The yellow is just a bit more yellow than it appeared onscreen to me. It’s not quite a banana yellow. It’s maybe a tad bit more than butter yellow. It perfectly matches the color of raw sweet bi-color corn on the cob. Yet in certain lighting it’s just….not an appealing yellow. I super appreciate this color deviation, but I foresee a lot of people possibly passing this up because of the less-than-popular color. Tenga is definitely one company totally ignoring the American gendering of colors, though, I’ll give em that. They’re also bucking the marketing standpoint. I’ve been told by more than one company that orange and yellow barely sell in sex toys.

The Iroha Mikazuki is very much like the Minamo in most ways; the charging, the vibration strength, the feel of the silicone skin, it’s waterproof, and flexible-ish. For some reason I thought at first that the Mikazuki would be a little *more* flexible than the Minamo, but it’s not. It’s the same, which is to say….not a whole lot. It’s nowhere NEAR as flexible as the photos from Iroha show on Shevibe

Tenga Iroha Mikazuki vs Minamo

All in all, my relative meh-ness on the Iroha Mikazuki can be attributed directly to the level of squish. If it had just a tiny bit more squish all over, then I would love it a lot more. The way it currently is, though, is underwhelming. I think the slender size and silkiness of the silicone is still great for the newbies, those who’ve not experienced vaginal penetration, those with medical issues and so on…..and of course the tip is very squishy, which could make for a very pleasant and comfortable clitoral/vulva vibrator. But for those who really want the comfort and forgiveness of soft and squish for an insertable vibe? I really need to recommend Minamo, instead. It might be slightly bigger, but that extra tiny amount of girth is all super-soft squish. .


I was give the Mikazuki in exchange for my honest review, courtesy of Tenga Iroha. You can find the Iroha Mikazuki at my favorite retailer, SheVibe.

Sep 302014

Tenga Iroha MinamoTenga asked me to review their new insertable line, the Iroha Minamo and Iroha Mikazuki, the sisters to Tenga Iroha’s original debut trio of “soft touch” clitoral vibes, the Midori, Yuki and Sakura. This is one of those times where a reviewer needs to be objective and look beyond their own preferences. The Iroha Minamo is not something that I personally would be drawn to, but I have had many people ask about a gentle, soft, pliable silicone vibrator. A number of people with vaginas dislike silicone vibrators because too often they’re a hard plastic vibe with a silicone skin over top, and so they choose porous/toxic toys like those made of TPR and jelly because it’s soft enough for them.

Both the Iroha Minamo and Iroha Mikazuki are small and best suited for people who need something slender, something with “give”, something they would describe as “soft and gentle”. The tip has the marshmallow-y plushness that I found myself wishing the Midori had. It’s truly a comfortable vibrator. The vibrations are probably the most intense about an inch and a half back from the tip (at the first “wave” spot). Minamo technically is thicker than Mizaku (review coming Thursday!) but I think it’s only because there’s more plushness – Mikazuki has less squish. These “ocean waves” in the design of the Iroha Minamo are pure squish. There’s squish along the “top” side too, just not quite as much. This is one sex toy that you will want to keep on your desk just to squish and squoosh. 

How is the Minamo so Squishy?

Like the first Iroha vibes, Minamo is covered with a plucky, pliable silicone skin with a polyurethane elastomer underneath. Just like with the Midori, there is an odor (reminds me of latex wall paint) when you first open the packaging, but I left the vibes out for a few days and it mostly dissipated. I don’t have any problems recommending this material combination in terms of safety. Silicone is indeed non-porous, but it’s not impermeable especially to odors. The silicone skin completely covers the elastomer underneath, making this a very body-safe product. I know that the odor can be alarming at first, as we’re told that silicone (vs the cheap, stinky materials like jelly and PVC) is odorless. And it is, on its own. Regardless, the strong smell of the polyurethane elastomer doesn’t last very long at all; it would only bother those absolutely very sensitive to smell. The silicone skin isn’t tight on the vibrator, either, because there’s a weird little joint in the plastic body of the vibe about 2/3 of the way back from the tip which makes the body slightly flexible. I expected it to be flexible like the Je Joue g-ki, I suppose, but it’s not. It’s subtle, and would only really serve to move with your body rather than form a curve that stays put.

The Important Part – Vibrations

It’s a vibrator, so let’s get to the important bit: The vibrations aren’t going to knock your socks off if you need something considerably “more”, but they’re also much better than standard surface-buzzy / weak vibrators. Is it “enough” for me? No. Definitely not as an insertable; borderline as a clitoral vibrator. I would rank it as less powerful than the Lelo Mona 2; maybe about the strength of the original Mona? It’s not rumbly enough for me to compare it to the We-Vibe Tango on any setting. I’d say (from memory) it’s almost as strong as the Eroscillator Plus. The vibrations are definitely noticeable, and will be powerful enough for many folks. 

Is the Iroha Minamo Right for You?

If you could use a little bit of help from a vibrator to get off, you’d like Iroha Minamo. If you’ve never experienced PIV sex or insertable sex toys, you’d do well to start off with Minamo. If you have vaginismus, Minamo is your jam. The tapered size starts out at the tip with an extremely pliable 7/8″ of an inch. At the first “wave” its 1″ wide, then another fraction of an inch, and at the last wave it’s 1 1/8″. The squish, oh the squish. You can apply pressure, but it’s gentle pressure. If your clitoris is sensitive and likes pressure that is easier to control and less likely to bruise? Minamo! It’s a great, versatile vibrator and I’d recommend it for even clitoral use over the little Irohas. It’s because of the design that I love Minamo…..for others, not myself. I’m excited to be able to have something to recommend to those who need something like this.  

Tenga Iroha Minamo

Specs, Deets, and Blahblahblah

The silicone is completely dust/fur repellent. nothing sticks to it. And unlike the first Irohas, the Minamo is waterproof and submersible. The Iroha Minamo is not an anal safe toy, please do not use it as such. The charging process is very discreet, as well. It reminds me a bit of one of the JJ Form 6 iterations. There is a black plastic box, and the USB plug goes on the outside of the box. There is a depression in the box for the vibe to sit and magnetic prongs. I’ve never had a problem yet getting the Minamo to settle into its charging base properly. With a little effort, you can roll up the charging cable and store it inside the black box with the Minamo, for travel. From what I can tell, Minamo is only offered in blue, which is a very pastel blue – my photos aren’t accurate on the color, no matter how hard I tried. I like the Iroha Minamo for what it is, and I hope others do, too. The price is a bit higher than I would like (currently it’s $119.99 at SheVibe) but it is a quality product, and unique.


I was give the Minamo in exchange for my honest review, courtesy of Tenga Iroha. You can find the Iroha Minamo at my favorite retailer, SheVibe. 

Jul 192013

tumblr_mdw5to4Dbp1rl4iulo1_500For those into all things Japanese, the correlation between the Japanese rice ball treat Mochi and the Tenga Iroha line is not lost. The names of the three vibrators, yuki and sakura mostly, are used in describing kinds of mochi too (as well as being words for other things). Traditionally, daifuku mochi comes in white, pale pink, or pale green just like the Iroha vibes. Professionally-made mochi tends to have a perfectly soft-looking, unblemished exterior, especially mochi ice cream. The Iroha vibes were described minimally at first, with a photo showing their powdery-soft looking seamless finish and boasting a bizarre plushness factor. Cue delighted squeals of interest.

MATERIAL  Naturally, sex toy reviewers go nuts for anything new and different. We hope for something awesome and want to tell the world all about this grand new sex toy that we love. I’m no different, and really wanted to try one; mainly because I’d purchased a few Tenga items for my husband over the years, all met with varying degrees of success. Tenga’s material,SquishMidori be it the white material they used for the 3D models or the clear material used for the Flipholes, felt unique and weird and neat and awesome. It wasn’t silicone, but it wasn’t toxic, either. The Iroha vibes are covered in a skin of silicone, underneath which is a layer of squishy something (actually it’s “polyurethane elastomer, so says Zoe Hanis who grilled her Iroha rep – it also fully explains the odor), underneath that is the hard plastic of the vibrator. On the underside is a hard plastic disk with two metal buttons.  The silicone skin can be “plucked” at, it’s not glued to the squishy underlayer so I keep playing with it (in ways not intended). It reminds me of the skin formed on cooked pudding, oddly enough. The skin is also a silicone type that is cured differently than we’re accustomed to – the shiny, lint & fur attracting silicone wouldn’t work here, so Tenga is using a silky, powdery sort of matte-finish silicone. Combine the pliant aspect of the skin with the silky matte finish, and the plushy layer under it, and the whole vibrator feels very soft and pillowy at first. You don’t have to press in very much though before you can feel the hard inner portion – oddly, it’s more plush in the body than the tip.


It’s pretty cute, right? Odd, yet discreet I suppose. Although if anyone were to see it they would want to touch it and pick it up.

IT STINKS  Now, granted, my Midori sat in a delivery truck probably for 7 hours on a day where it was 96 degrees ambient temp (so likely well above 115 in the truck) but when I opened the package and took out my Midori vibe I was hit with a very strong odor that smelled exactly like latex wall paint. That was troubling – and nauseating and headache-inducing1. Especially when someone else tells me that theirs arrived stinky back in February, and Iroha claimed to have addressed the issue. The smell has faded so that it’s barely noticeable now to me unless I sniff it close up, but I do notice that it will pick up my natural scent after use, until I wash it clean.  Since the manufacturers admitted that the odor is due to the polyurethane-elastomer layer, unless they change that material, I don’t understand how they could have “addressed the issue” as they told GrittyWoman.

SHAPE  Midori seemed to be the most practical, to me. Sakura, with the weird, Pacman-esque pincher bit doesn’t seem like it would really work for me personally. The Yuki, claiming that a portion is insertable, doesn’t seem big enough to be worth anything when you insert the tiny portion, unless you’re doing anal stimulation. Midori has somewhat pinpoint vibrations in the smaller head. However due to the material, the vibrations are muffled and spread out a little bit more. Those with very plump, fleshy labia and a smaller clitoris, or those who like firm pressure, aren’t going to get much from any of the Tenga Iroha vibes, I think. They’re more for those who want a vibrator that is not as buzzy, but who don’t like pressure and don’t like hard materials. The only way that I might possibly change my mind on the practicality of the shapes would be if Yuki actually had more intense power than Midori but so far I’ve not seen any evidence of that. 

VIBRATIONS  There are 3 speeds and 1 pattern; 2 buttons, + and -. +, when held, turns it on. You can then use either + or – to circle through the settings. Hold the – to turn it off. The buttons are thankfully easy to use, but the button panel is indented just enough that combined with the locations of the buttons you won’t find yourself changing it without meaning to. On the highest speed, I’d say that the power level is fairly equal to the We-Vibe Salsa/Tango on level 2 of 4. The vibrations would be considered rumbly by most, certainly not the dreaded surface-buzzy, but the vibrations lack the oomph needed to really wow me. You’ll get a little bit more strength by pressing the tip of Midori against your skin firmly, to bypass the squish layer, but doesn’t that defeat the presumed-purpose of the vibrator being soft & pillowy to begin with? One thing I will note is that pressing on the vibrator or holding it firmly does absolutely nothing to dampen the vibrations, which is good. The Je Joue Mimi suffered terribly from that affliction, as well as the We-Vibe Touch and, to some slight degree the We-Vibe Salsa & Tango, too.  Since the entire vibe is so small, you’re bound to feel the vibrations in your fingers and hand as you hold it.

CHARGING & STORAGE  The Iroha vibes charge magnetically, by sitting on the black charging platform. This is probably the only magnetic-charging system thing that I’ve not hated. All other sex toys that use this method have a little “fob” that pops off so easily, held on by the weakest of magnetic force fields. You can plug it in USB to your computer, or use the included wall adaptor and plug that into the wall. There is a white LED light on the front of the base that glows while it is charging and shuts off when it is done. The charging base will double as storage; a clear acrylic lid is included – however, this isn’t the most discreet of storage options.  You could then put the charging base & cover back inside the box it came in, too, that would make it more discreet. I was able to fit (but it required finagling) the charging cable inside the acrylic box but could not fit the wall charger. For me when it comes to storage, I prefer to be able to keep everything all together.

MidoriCharger MidoriInBox

CAUTION  First, the Iroha vibes are not waterproof. This doesn’t affect cleaning because the vibes are “splash-proof”, so you can hold it under running water long enough to clean it. You cannot, however, use the toy in the bath or shower. The overall design is seamless, except that the plastic disc surrounding the buttons creates a seam where dirt and fluids could easily get trapped. I have seen many vibrators where the silicone skin goes over the buttons, allowing for a more seamless, waterproof design. Not sure why Tenga didn’t go that route. Another area of caution goes back to how the vibe is made – a plush elastomer material under a silicone skin. While the silicone skin is likely tough, I’d have to wonder how easily it could get punctured. A silicone skin that is firmly against a hard underlayer wouldn’t have this issue, but I could see how a sharp object might get pressed against this in storage and possibly puncture the skin.

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Pros: Interesting material construction, small and discreet, unique, 2 charging options
Cons: Odor, not waterproof, only moderately powerful, could be hard to clean thoroughly
Who would love it: Those who like form over perfect-function; those who do not require strong vibrations; those who do not like hard materials; those who need something a little easier to grip than a tiny2 or oddly-shaped vibrator3. If you’re intrigued, also do consider the Yuki – while I cannot fathom using it internally, externally it could be great for delivering pinpoint vibrations. Also, cute Xmas gift?
Who should avoid it: Those who need stronger vibrations; those who do not like vibrators that vibrate your hand too much; those looking for the most bang for their buck – at $90 it is a little overpriced for what it offers. Instead, go for the We-Vibe Tango.

All in all, it just didn’t wow me…..but I’m notoriously hard to please. If you saw this thing in person you would no doubt want to pick it up and then you would quite likely spend a while just petting it and squishing it. Everything about it, from the charging base that doubles as storage to the material, shape and color is pretty damn unique and overall I’m satisfied with the quality. Some will be awfully tempted to Pokemon it up and “collect them all”. However, I expect a vibrator to really knock my socks off in all categories to warrant a price tag of $90, so that’s why I’m lukewarm on this. I think that the shapes are just not perfect enough for me, and the vibrations are not quite strong enough for me. I do think, though, that many who don’t require the power of the We-Vibe Tango will quite like this adorable little vibe. If I loved the vibrations, then I can see it being worth the price tag.

UPDATE: I wanted to show you that not everyone agrees with me. In fact, here’s the opinion of one reviewer who prefers the Midori to her Salsa!  Navigator sums it up really well as to why it works for them, and this might help you figure out that even though it didn’t work for me, it might work for you:

I read a review a while back that described the orgasm this toy brings about as “comfortable”, and I think that’s a pretty accurate adjective. This is a comfortable toy, rather than an intense toy like the Hitachi or the Wahl, or an insistent toy like the Salsa or the Eroscillator. (You know, the toys that take your attention away from whatever else you might have going on and insist you focus on them.) It makes me feel downright sweet. I’m twitterpated over a sex toy.

But the best thing, my friends, is the squishiness between the silicone skin and the motor underneath. I thought initially this would dampen the vibrations, especially if the motor was in the body of the toy, so I’d be fruitlessly pressing it against my skin wondering where the vibrations were. Thing is, I press vibrators against my clit like a fiend anyway, but the squish prevents me from having a case of Bruised Clit the next morning (I’m looking askance at my Mia and Salsa as I type this). That, and the motor is located very solidly in the little nub at the tip of the Midori, so they’re nice and focused.

Thanks to Shevibe.com for sending me this to review!

  1. that usually signals VOCs for me but I am notoriously sensitive to those
  2. Some people find that the slender We-Vibe Tango is just too small, that it gives hand cramps if held too long
  3. The i-Gino One is a perfect example of that