January 3, 2014

#Tokyo is a city of contradictions. I was out there recently for some strategic work and it was completely not what  thought it was going to be.


For example I always thought that they wore protective masks (as in the picture above) to protect themselves, but in fact it is to protect others from catching your bugs when you have a cold.


Contrary to the astounding amount of technology that surrounds them, it is still a cash economy. Whilst we we carry 20 quid and a bunch of cards to pay for things, Tokyoites carry bundle of Y60 notes, sometimes amounting to many hundreds of pounds. They just prefer to pay for things in cash.


And whilst they are fiercely proud of their culture and traditions, they love western brands and western branded communications. The more visually western a website is, in both photography and colour, the more they aspire to it. Some stereotypes were borne out, such as politeness and detail, both of which relate strongly to website design, but overall Japan is a country that is complex for western brands to culturally adapt to.

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