Starbucks Coffee Japan plans to open new outlets at an accelerated pace while shifting its focus from urban centers to suburban areas. Over the next three years, the company will spend roughly 15 billion yen ($146 million) to open 260 new coffee shops, which is 60% more than were opened during the last three years. Starbucks now operates some 1,000 stores in Japan, of which around 10% are located in suburban areas along main streets.
Many Japanese purchasers of e-books are facing a situation inconceivable to owners of conventional texts: They are no longer able to read the books they purchased. With an increasing number of e-book distributors withdrawing from the market, some people are calling for a new system to protect e-book consumers. On May 29, Yamada Denki Co. notified users of its Yamada E-book service that it would discontinue its e-book distribution service.
Japan has a Kawaii Ambassadur - a cute ambassador. Yep, that is a thing. At least in Jaoan. Kawaii ambassador and model Misako Aoki travels such countries as France, Italy, South Korea, Spain, Russia and Brazil under the auspices of the Foreign Ministry. Lolita fashions served as one of the program's major highlights. During the time of the Kawaii Ambassadors program, the Japanese media used to ask her all the time: "Why Lolita fashion?"
Fast-fashion titan Uniqlo had already ventured into the domain of smartphones applications with not-so-exciting Uniqlo Calendar, fashion-style browsing Uniqlooks or again Uniqlo Wake Up applications. However, the Japan-based brand has finally released something that speaks directly to its target customers with UTme!, an application that lets smartphone users design their own T-shirts.
A select group of soccer fans have enjoyed watching a World Cup match on an ultra high-definition television at a public viewing event in Tokyo. The set uses 8K Super Hi-Vision technologies being developed mainly by NHK. It was used to broadcast live a game between Japan and Cote d'Ivoire on Sunday. About 150 people attended the event.
America may have put the first man on the moon, but Japan is going to be the first to send up the first advertising billboard — in the shape of a can. Japanese drink-maker Otsuka is going to send a titanium can that weighs about 2.2 pounds and that can serve as a mini-sized billboard for the company. It’ll be packed with Pocari Sweat powder, which forms into a non-carbonated, citrus-flavored drink when liquid is added, United Press International reported.
Although the association of carnations with Mother’s Day began in the United States and stretches back over 100 years, I grew up never really being conscious of it (likely due to some combination of being a terrible son and having little interest in historical events that didn’t involve swords). In Japan, though, most people are aware that carnations are a symbol for Mother’s Day, and a bouquet of the flowers is by far the most common gift given on the holiday.
The Japan Tourism Agency has devised guidelines to improve signboards and make them easier to understand for foreign visitors. Tourism officials are trying to turn Japan into a more tourist-friendly country by enhancing explanations of facilities and places in foreign languages. The draft guidelines say names of facilities, such as parks and museums, will be translated. For example, "Hibiya Koen" will become "Hibiya Park."
Singapore’s public transport operator for the rail system, may want to take a leaf out of Japan’s book on how to improve train arrival times. ‘Super Japan: On-time Metro’, gives an inside look on how trains are run in Tokyo. The video by Discovery Channel Asia is available on YouTube. At the start of the video, a driver is seen being timed while driving from one station to the next. The time taken to reach each station is calculated down to seconds.
Long under siege from Facebook, Twitter, and more recently, the semi-social Line, and confronted by a shift toward more open and international social networking preferences, Japan’s native mixi has signaled what looks a lot like retreat: it’s been announced that they will effectively merge with istyle, an online marketing company best known for its cosmetics sales site, @cosme.