Getting to the top in Japan

Jul 2, 2004

Getting to the top in Japan

There is a Japanese proverb that says only a fool has never climbed Mount Fuji — or has climbed it twice. The 3,776-meter dormant volcano, referred to as Fuji-san by Japanese, is the nation’s highest mountain and one of the best-known symbols of Japan. ...

Blossom, blossom, briefly everywhere

Mar 19, 2004

Blossom, blossom, briefly everywhere

Yes, the sakura has for ages been the favorite of our people and the emblem of our character. . . . But, its nativity is not its sole claim to our affection. The refinement and grace of its beauty appeal to our aesthetic sense ...

Creature comforts fuel business boom

Feb 29, 2004

Creature comforts fuel business boom

The growing popularity in Japan of dogs as pets has turned its pet industry into a lucrative market in which suppliers and sellers are eagerly competing to offer products and services from the pet’s cradle to its grave. According to Yano Research Institute, pet-related ...

Pooch paradise

Feb 29, 2004

Pooch paradise

A dog’s life in Japan can be about as close to canine heaven on earth as it gets. Sure, just like anywhere, there are losers, too — the unfortunate ones who are abused, neglected or abandoned to their fate, perhaps passing through a pound ...

The great treasure hunt

Jan 9, 2004

The great treasure hunt

A few months ago there was a news story about a painting bought at a flea market in France for around 200,000 yen that turned out to be by Vincent van Gogh and worth upward of 300 million yen. That was an extreme case, ...

Topping off your tipple

Nov 9, 2003

Topping off your tipple

As wine has become more popular in Japan, an increasing number of related goods have appeared on the shelves of the nation’s shops. Of these, what’s needed first and foremost is an opener to get at the bottle’s contents without too much trouble. Although ...

In with le new!

Nov 9, 2003

In with le new!

It’s Beaujolais Nouveau time again, and Japan — despite its piffling per capita consumption of just three bottles of wine a year — will suddenly become a nation of tipplers and quaffers (if not connoisseurs) of this fresh-from-the-vine red wine from France. One of ...

Wine trade in gear for party of the year

Nov 9, 2003

Wine trade in gear for party of the year

Just 10 days to go, and the scramble to cash in on Japan’s biggest-ever demand for France’s youngest wine is heating up. As the number of wine-drinkers continues to grow, and with interest in Beaujolais Nouveau as high as it’s ever been, everything points ...

Is anyone out there looking?

Aug 24, 2003

Is anyone out there looking?

In streets and parks, at schools, airports or shopping centers, you won’t go far in Japan these days without encountering artworks in some shape or form, from monumental sculptures to decorative tiles underfoot — or even simply children’s drawings on display. But with the ...

Brands vie for your thirst

Jul 27, 2003

Brands vie for your thirst

“Advertising,” as it’s often defined, “is the creation of wants.” In summer in Japan, though, there’s little need to create a demand for cool drinks. But if you’re a supplier, there’s every incentive to create a demand for your particular product. And when products ...