Japan’s new State Secrets Protection law Kameda's "Marys Gone Crackers" Acquisition 2 Years Later On In TT 700, we wrote about a rice cracker company called Kameda Seika, which had just bought an upstart cracker company in the USA called Marys Gone Crackers (MGC). Has it actually worked? Terrie's Take Competition for Unique Experiences Japan has many unique and interesting experiences. What all these events have in common, apart from the fact that they are powerful enough to draw foreign travelers, is that they are highly popular here at home as well. Terrie's Take
The view from the Osaka Sky Observatory at night How to get free Wi-Fi in Osaka The best way to get free Wi-Fi in Osaka is to stay in a Wi-Fi enabled hostel or hotel. Surprisingly, you are more likely to get free Wi-Fi at the cheaper accommodation providers, like Hana Hostel or J Hoppers. Kombu-wrapped kamaboko from Iki Iki Toyamakan A Taste of Japan By Joan Bailey Melon-flavored ice cream from Hokkaido. Natamame (sword bean) tea from Hyogo. Mikan juice from Wakayama. Usually such unique regional items can only be savored by visiting the prefecture or city they are from. The F-Word The F-Word When working with my clients, I refuse to let sales people use a particular foul word.

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Japan holds its breath on casino bill

With the Japanese lower house of parliament currently debating a bill to legalise casino gambling, the subject of gambling is a trending topic in Japan right now. The bill is the culmination of ten years of lobbying - not least by former Tokyo Governor Shintaro Ishihara - and is seen by many as paving the way for the construction of some of the largest casino sites anywhere on earth.

A Matter of Trust

By Todd Wojnowski

“Trust me.” -- It’s perhaps the least-trustworthy sentence in existence—even children know to put their guards up when they hear it. There’s something diabolical in it that we connect with Hollywood villains and used car salesmen. Directly asking people to trust you is a sure way to tip off that they probably have no reason to, probably shouldn’t.

Kishiwada Castle

By Bonson Lam

The Stone Garden in Kishiwada Castle brings together the present and the past in a symbolic way. It was designed by Mirei Shigemori; a famous architect and designer who also built the Kokuan tea house in Kyoto.

The Customer Is God Delusion

By Philip Patrick

As an agnostic, I have never really felt comfortable with the whole “customer is God” philosophy. I know I’m supposed to feel charmed, but I can’t help experiencing mild embarrassment as I am showered with “welcomes” and “thank yous” and “I’ll be waiting for your next visits” by shop staff in Japan, often when I have only dropped into their store to get out of the rain. Basically, I don’t think I’ve really earned it.

Kyoto Adashino Nenbutsu-ji Temple

By Tomoko Kamishima

More than 800 stone statues sit close together at Adashino Nenbutsu-ji Temple. Splendid autumn leaves put their arms around the statues and give them a comforting hug. The location of today’s Adashino Nenbutsu-ji Temple (northwest outskirts of Kyoto) was once a location used for open-air burial.

Predictions for 2015 in Japan, e-biz news from Japan

As is our tradition for the last few years, we will make some predictions about the coming year, but with a slight departure -- all the predictions this year are about the same theme, the economy.

Hurdles of Halal

The Japanese government and tourist industry has been wrestling recently with how to look after its growing number of Muslim travelers -- especially for food, cosmetics, and toiletries.

Anime-Manga Boom in SE Asia, ebiz news from Japan

The exhibition hall in Singapore where AFA was held was packed to the gills. For a city/state of just 5.4MM it's amazing how they can produce such large crowds of excited fans.

Cash and Regional Tourism

In April, for the first time since records were kept in 1996, inbound tourists outspent Japanese ones. That's no small feat, given that there are about 25% more Japanese going abroad versus foreigners coming in.

Bane of Our Business Lives -- Documents and Bureaucracy, e-Biz News From Japan

The average Japanese company stores (and pays for) about five times the number of documents that the average U.S. or South Korean company does. However, that is set to change in favor of digitally stored company records.