Buyma site hooks up fans of luxury brands

Jan 15, 2014

Buyma site hooks up fans of luxury brands

A website called Buyma, billing itself as a “social fashion site,” is connecting individuals looking for luxury brand products unavailable in Japan with people abroad willing to buy them on their behalf. The main overseas buyers for the site, which is managed by a ...

Employers pay, entice workers to take leave

Jan 9, 2014

Employers pay, entice workers to take leave

An increasing number of companies are starting unique leave programs aimed at improving employee morale. Software developer Cybozu Inc., for example, allows employees to leave their jobs for up to six years to study abroad or take other sabbaticals, because it believes the program, ...

'Hometown' firm helps new city folk aid farm kin

Jan 6, 2014

'Hometown' firm helps new city folk aid farm kin

Mitsushi Kodama established Jimoto Co. in Tokyo in April 2012 to sell rice, vegetables and other farm products together with people who, like himself, have moved to the capital but still want to support their families. Kodama left Ueda, Nagano Prefecture, to study at ...

'Real-life' puzzle escape games catching on

Dec 11, 2013

'Real-life' puzzle escape games catching on

“Real-life” puzzle games are booming, prompting even big companies to let employees play to improve their communications and problem-solving capacities. Some 100 men and women gathered in the basement of a building in Shibuya Ward, Tokyo, on a recent Friday evening to play an ...

Highway rest areas get retail-centric makeover

Nov 28, 2013

Highway rest areas get retail-centric makeover

Operators of expressway rest areas are refurbishing their sites in often unusual and creative ways to draw customers and increase their earnings. One operator, East Nippon Expressway Co., redesigned a rest area off the Kanetsu Expressway based on “The Little Prince,” a novella by ...

Nov 21, 2013

All ages heading to guesthouses

Traditionally popular with young people, hostels and guesthouses are growing in popularity among middle-aged and elderly people looking for reasonably priced accommodations. One such guesthouse in Kyoto, called Kazariya, was converted from a 100-year-old private house. The guesthouse has four rooms, each of which ...

Firms tap apps that 'augment reality'

Nov 19, 2013

Firms tap apps that 'augment reality'

Smartphone applications featuring “augmented reality” are being used by an increasing number of companies to promote their products. Ikea Japan K.K., the Japanese arm of the Swedish furnishing giant, launched a service in August that gives customers a virtual preview of how a piece ...

Service delivers famed ramen to the home

Oct 30, 2013

Service delivers famed ramen to the home

You no longer have to travel far and wide to try ramen or dishes from popular restaurants that are much talked about. On takumen.com, run Gourmet Innovation Co., you can find ramen with miso, soy sauce or “tonkotsu” pork bone broth among other varieties ...