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 ...

Farm-fresh produce delivery goes online

Oct 17, 2013

Farm-fresh produce delivery goes online

A growing number of consumers are purchasing fresh vegetables and fruit online directly from farmers. Ayako Kakumoto, 36, a company employee from Tokyo’s Toshima Ward, began ordering vegetables six months ago on the My Farmer website operated by Tokyo-based mobile phone content developer Cybird ...

Companies try to fire up bubble generation

Sep 16, 2013

Companies try to fire up bubble generation

Hotels, publishers and retailers are trying to capitalize on the buying power of people in their 40s and 50s who experienced the go-go days of the 1980s bubble economy before it imploded in 1991. In early August, the Grand Prince Hotel New Takanawa in ...

Sites push recipes made from leftovers

Sep 3, 2013

Sites push recipes made from leftovers

Recipes using leftovers have been growing more popular as they help homemakers reduce waste and save time in the kitchen. Expecting this trend to contribute to sales of their products, food manufacturers have been moving to promote recipes using leftovers on their websites and ...