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disruption games native smart phone games smart phone games Urban

Pokemon Go – everybody loves Pikachu…

Pokemon Go is great – but will it bring another Nintendo boom as in 2009? or even exceed 2009?

Google spin-out Niantic Labs’ augmented reality smartphone game booms to the top of charts

Niantic Labs is specialized on augmented reality games. In a previous game, Ingress, players selected about 15 million memorable locations globally. Niantic picked about 5 million of these crowd source generated locations, placed characters out of 740 Pokémon characters at such Pokéstops. Using smartphones, GPS, cameras and their avatars, players hunt Pokémon characters placed at Pokéstops, bring them to arenas/gyms and let their Pokémon characters fight for arenas/gyms. Thats just the beginning, and we can imagine many ways to expand this basic game structure, for example Pokéstops and Gyms sponsored by stores or corporations.

Overcoming Galapagos

Pokémon Go’s success is also significant, because the fundamentally Japanese Nintendo and The Pokémon Company are overcoming the Japan-Only Galapagos Syndrome by cooperating with Google and San Francisco based Google spin-out Niantic.

At the same time, Pokémon Go is also an indication of the power Nintendo can achieve in the smart phone sector. Will Nintendo dethrone current smart phone game kings Mixi and Gung-Ho in Japan?

Everybody loves Pikachu… No. 25 of currently 740 Pokémon characters

For the open day at my older son’s high school, kids made posters introducing their country: the highest mountain, the most characteristic flower, and the most famous person.

One Japanese student writes: “The Prime Minister is the most famous person in Japan, because he decides everything”.

Another Japanese student writes: “Pikachu is Japan’s most famous person, because everybody loves Pikachu”. Which of the two Japanese students knows more about his own country?

Pikachu is No. 25 of currently 740 Pokémon characters, and represents electricity with his zig-zag lightening bolt tail, and bright yellow color.

Pokémon character developer The Pokémon Company estimates the global market for Pokémon characters to be US$ 48 billion.

Nintendo market cap increases from US$ 20.3 billion to US$ 31.5 billion from 6 to 13 July, 2016

Nintendo shares rise from ¥14,055 in the morning of July 6, 2016 to ¥21,830 at close on July 13, 2016

Nintendo market cap rises from ¥ 2.56 trillion (US$ 20.3 billion) in the morning of July 6, 2016 to ¥ 3.09 trillion (US$ 31.5 billion) at close on July 13, 2016

Nintendo boomed around 2009 by disrupting the game world with motion sensing Wii and two-screen handheld DS game consoles. Smartphone disruption reduced Nintendo to pre-2006 size in sales, and profits did not yet recover to pre-boom levels.

Nintendo revenues peaked in 2009, and are now back to where they were before 2006
Nintendo revenues peaked in 2009, and are now back to where they were before 2006
Nintendo income peaked in 2009, and just recently recovered from losses - has not yet reached pre-2006 levels
Nintendo income peaked in 2009, and just recently recovered from losses – has not yet reached pre-2006 levels

Unexpected consequences- The Bank of Kyoto booms, and Bank of Kyoto’s 4.5% holding in Nintendo is worth more than 1/2 of Bank of Kyotos market cap

The Bank of Kyoto owns 4.5% of Nintendo, at close on July 13, 2016, this holding is worth YEN 139 billion (US$ 1.4 billion).

The Bank of Kyoto (TSE Code 8369) at the close on July 13, 2016 has a market cap of YEN 274 billion (US$ 2.64 biliion)

Thus Bank of Kyoto’s holding in Nintendo corresponds to more than one half of its value. This also means that Nintendo is worth about 10 times as much as the Bank of Kyoto.

The Pokémon Company – global market size estimate for Pokémon characters estimate: US$ 48 billion

The Pokémon Company manages and develops the currently 740 Pokémon characters.

The Pokémon Company is a private company owned in equal 1/3 parts by Nintendo KK, KK Game Freek and KK Creatures. KK Game Freek and KK Creatures are both privately held game development companies

More details and analysis in our Report on Japan’s game markets and makers.

Niantic Labs

Niantic Labs, focused on augmented reality games, is a Google spin-out founded in 2010, headed by John Hanke, one of the founders of Keyhole, which is at the basis of Google Earth.

Niantic Labs had staged initial funding of US$ 90 million equally from Google (1/3), Nintendo (1/3) and The Pokémon Company (1/3), and since then an additional Series A round in February 2016, plus we assume that Founder John Hanke, maybe Google at spin-out, other founders likely also own equity. So its not clear to us how much exactly Nintendo owns of Niantec, either directly or via its holding in the Pokémon Company.

There was a augmented reality company in Japan, Tonchi-Dot 頓智ドット株式会社(トンチドット) which created a augmented reality app called Sekai-Camera during i-Mode and Galake-Phones, but it ended all services on January 22nd, 2014.

Japan game market disruption market report:

Copyright (c) 2016-2019 Eurotechnology Japan KK All Rights Reserved

Categories
disruption Leadership M&A Urban

Burberry Japan: breaking up is hard to do

Burberry Japan pivots from successful partnership to direct business

by Gerhard Fasol, All Rights Reserved.

Burberry's new directly operated flagship store in Tokyo Omotesando
Burberry’s new directly operated flagship store in Tokyo Omotesando

Sanyo Shokai pivots from Burberry to Mackintosh and other brands

Burberry Japan pivots to direct business to solve Burberry’s “Japan Problem”: for the last approx. 50 years Burberry’s business in Japan was not Burberry’s business at all, but run under license by the Japanese company Sanyo Shokai and the giant trading company Mitsui. Sanyo Shokai’s core business was developing its own product lines Blue Label and Black Label and selling them under the Burberry Blue Label and Burberry Black Label brands.

Almost every day a foreign company approaches us to help them find a “Japanese partner” to build their business in Japan…

There are many examples of very successful Japan-market-entries via partnerships. Success stories include: Oracle, Salesforce.com, Starbucks, Fuji-Xerox, Yahoo, SuperCell, and many more, and until a few months ago, Burberry.

Read our analysis here, and background facts here.

Burberry found an excellent Japanese partner in 1965, Sanyo Shokai, backed by giant trading company Mitsui, and Sanyo Shokai built a terrific business for Burberry in Japan! Not only did Sanyo Shokai import Burberry products to Japan, but Sanyo Shokai also developed two enormously successful sub-brands for Burberry in Japan: Burberry Blue Label and Burberry Black Label. And Sanyo Shokai kept transferring substantial royalties/license fees to Burberry’s headquarters.

Actually it turned out that almost all the business value for Burberry in Japan was in the Burberry Blue Label and Burberry Black Label sub-brands, which were developed by Sanyo Shokai in Japan, by Japan and for Japan – and with the required Japanese quality and customer service. Sanyo Shokai also contributed the Japanese Burberry flagship store in one of the world’s prime luxury shopping areas, Ginza, and about 300-500 Burberry stores all over Japan – many in prime locations.

In June 2015, Burberry terminated this very successful licensing relationship.

Now after their divorce, both Burberry and Sanyo Shokai rebuild their businesses in Japan from scratch:

  • Burberry lost 300-500 stores which belong to Sanyo Shokai, and Sanyo Shokai’s flagship store in Ginza, and essentially has to build a Burberry business in Japan from zero, while former partner Sanyo Shokai is busy moving former Burberry customers over to Mackintosh and other Sanyo Shokai brands, with Mackintosh in almost the same segment Burberry is now entering afresh
  • Sanyo Shokai licensed the Mackintosh brand from Osaka based Yagi Tsusho, and is now pivoting 300-500 stores in Japan from the Burberry brand to the Mackintosh brand, and other Sanyo brands
Sanyo Shokai's flagship building  in Tokyo-Ginzs, one of the world's prime luxury shopping areas, much frequented by cash-rich Chinese shoppers. Currently being converted from the Burberry brand to Mackintosh and other Sanyo Shokai brands (second building from the left)
Sanyo Shokai’s flagship building in Tokyo-Ginzs, one of the world’s prime luxury shopping areas, much frequented by cash-rich Chinese shoppers. Currently being converted from the Burberry brand to Mackintosh and other Sanyo Shokai brands (second building from the left)

Some puzzles about this split

  • why has Burberry not decided on a less disruptive transition? For example, acquiring Sanyo Shokai comes to my mind. Acquisitions in Japan are not unheard of, and since Sanyo Shokai is a publicly traded company, well established rules apply.
  • why did Sanyo Shokai over the 50 years since starting the relationship with Burberry not build its 100% owned brand? Much smaller Yagi Tsusho managed to acquire Mackintosh, why did not Sanyo Shokai within the last 50 years acquire or develop a 100% owned and successful brand? With Blue Label and Black Label, Sanyo Shokai has proven its ability to build and develop brands, why not under their own brand?

There are a number of other puzzles here. Has this transition been well thought through?

It will be interesting to see where both Burberry and Sangyo Shokai will stand 10 years from now – 10 years from this divorce. Both certainly are in challenging situations in Japan now after this divorce. Will both survive in Japan? Or only one of the two?

Read more details here.

Foreign companies seeking to build a business in Japan via a partnership, and Japanese companies seeking to build the business of foreign companies in Japan can certainly learn from this case study. Although its fashion and apparel, many of the underlying issues also apply in all other business areas, such as electronics, and technology.

Copyright 2009-2019 Eurotechnology Japan KK All Rights Reserved

Categories
Finance Japan's electronics industry Japan's energy sector M&A Urban

Japan Perspectives for 2014: can Abenomics succeed? Can Japan grow again? Can Japan solve the population crisis?

Will Abenomics succeed?

Stanford Economics Professor Takeo Hoshi thinks that there is a 10% chance that Abenomics will succeed to put Japan on a 2%-3% economic growth path, while the most likely outcome will be 1% economic growth. Read our notes of Professor Hoshi’s talk in detail here.

Can Japanese companies globalize?

“Globalization” of course is not an aim in itself. In Europe and USA there are plenty of companies which are very successful and not globalized. However, Japan could capture much more global value from technology and creativity by creating more global companies: the shining example is SoftBank.

When four experts including myself briefed the President of Germany about Japan, we all agreed on Japan’s extraordinary creativity. At the same time there are many difficulties for Japan to capture global value from this creativity.

Read legendary Masamoto Yashiro’s viewpoints about globalization at a recent Tokyo University brainstorming event by the President of Tokyo University (Masamoto Yashiro was Chairman of Exxon-Japan, of Citibank-Japan, and Shinsei-Bank, and Board Member of the Construction Bank of China). Masamoto Yashiro says that a change of mind-set is urgently needed.

Overseas direct investment is one way for Japanese companies to globalize. Japanese companies have been investing strongly in EU, just a few days ago Sompo Insurance/ NKSJ Holdings acquired the UK Canopius Group for about US$ 1 billion.

Other recent mergers globalizing Japan are, TowerJazz acquiring three Panasonic IC fabs, and the merger of Applied Materials and Tokyo Electron, another is GungHo and SoftBank investing in SuperCell, and GungHo has now been even floating the idea of moving corporate headquarters to Finland!

Disruption for Japan’s Energy markets

Until March 11, 2011, Japan’s energy markets were essentially frozen in the structures created in 1952, which again resulted from the war-time nationalization of Japan’s electricity sector (see our Energy Report). Japan’s electricity markets alone are worth about US$ 200 million per year – and this market is now in disruption.

Recently I was invited to brief the Energy Minister of Canada, Mr Joe Oliver, and Sweden’s Trade Minister Dr. Ewa Björling about Japan’s energy markets. My briefings are based on our analysis, which you can find in our Energy Report, and Renewable Energy Report.

The liberalization of Japan’s energy markets will create winners and losers – comparing the financial performance of Japan’s electricity companies and gas companies is an indication of things to come. Actually, only Japan’s electricity markets are being liberalized currently, liberalization of Japan’s gas markets is still for the future.

Disrupting Japan’s game sector

Japan’s game makers have essentially created the global game market, and are ripe for disruption by smart phones and tablets one would think. Indeed, just three Japanese newcomers Gree + DeNA + GungHo alone (there are many more) create more annual net income than Japan’s top 9 game makers combined! The origin of this disruption by newcomers in Japan however is not created by Western companies, and not by smart phones, but goes back to the creation of i-Mode in February 1999 (and some months later EZweb and Jsky). Recently the world is slowly waking up to the fact, that Japan’s game markets is one of the world’s biggest, if not the biggest… and hard for foreign companies to penetrate, unless done correctly…

We wish you a very Happy New Year!

Copyright 2013 Eurotechnology Japan KK All Rights Reserved

Categories
Economics Renewable energy Urban

Scandinavian renewable energy conference in Tokyo

Was invited to attend the Scandinavian renewable energy conference in Tokyo.

Topics covered:

  • Electricity infrastructure, market and governance
    • Electricity market reform in Japan
    • Power of network and for green growth – learning from nordic experiences
  • Nordic renewable energy sources
    • Nordic solution for bio energy production
    • Bioenergy from blue biomass
    • Nordic way to increase efficiency of hydro power production
    • Norwegian PV, the benefit to Japan
    • Offshore wind market and technology
  • Nordic experiences in green solutions
    • Agriculture districts as energy supplier
    • Smart grids for a sustainable society
    • Nordic way to increase efficiency of hydro power production
    • Sustainable Stockholm –the greater context
    • Hydrogen as energy carrier in future energy system
    • Geothermal Utilization
  • Panel discussion: sustainable future – the role of communities

A great day of talks and discussions was followed by a reception hosted by the Scandinavian Ambassadors and more great discussions.

“Renewable energy Japan” research report

Categories
Urban

Seen in a fashion store

Seen in a fashion store in San Francisco:

smart has the brains stupid has the balls

Categories
games Urban

Sanrio licenses "Hello Kitty" to Diseno Textil SA (ZARA)

Diseno Textile SA (ZARA) entered Japan’s market earlier than H&M and can now collect some fruits from timing advantage: Diseno succeeded to obtain a license for Sanrio’s Hello Kitty character, and plans to market Hello Kitty branded goods.

Will be interesting to see if H&M will do quid-pro-quo and seek to license other famous Japanese characters?

Copyright·©2013 ·Eurotechnology Japan KK·All Rights Reserved·

Categories
Urban

Speech by Japan’s Chief-Cabinet Secretary Takeo Kawamura (河村建夫)

Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Takeo Kawamura (河村建夫) gave a speech at the Foreign Correspondents Club on December 17th, 2008. Kawamura is born in Hagi (Kawaguchi-ken – a beautiful Castle Town in the west of Japan’s main island, which is also host to many famous potters). Kawaguchi was Education Minister in Prime Minister Aso’s cabinet.

In his speech Kawamura of course mainly talked about the current global financial crisis and stimulation programs to support the economic recovery, to support new industries and new technologies. Another emphasis is consumer protection support of the consumer agency in view of recent food scandals, and other consumer good problems.

Points which I found interesting in Kawamura’s presentation where:

– A comprehensive law for decentralization is on the way for next year

– The basic law on space development

There was quite a long Q&A with discussion. What I found interesting was Kawamura’s answer to the question about the disputed Takeshima islands, that a solution in an international arbitration court is desirable.- This is the first time I heard about this possibility from Japanese leaders.

Asked also about the disputed Sentaku Islands, Kawamura mentioned the possibility of joint ownership areas for maritime resources, and the development of gas resources beyond the 200 mile territorial limits.

Takeo Kawamura (LDP)
Takeo Kawamura (LDP)

Copyright·©2013 ·Eurotechnology Japan KK·All Rights Reserved·

Categories
University Urban

Modo Gakuen Cocoon Tower in Tokyo Shinjuku

Modo Gakuen Cocoon Tower in Tokyo Shinjuku

Purpose: shared by three Universities and schools, and others

4 underground floors + 50 above ground floors
building started: May 1, 2006
opened: October 15, 2008
Architects: Tange Associates
Building company: Shimizu

Modo Gakuen Cocoon Tower in Tokyo Shinjuku
Modo Gakuen Cocoon Tower in Tokyo Shinjuku

Modo Gakuen Cocoon Tower in Tokyo Shinjuku
Modo Gakuen Cocoon Tower in Tokyo Shinjuku

Modo Gakuen Cocoon Tower in Tokyo Shinjuku
Modo Gakuen Cocoon Tower in Tokyo Shinjuku

Modo Gakuen Cocoon Tower in Tokyo Shinjuku
Modo Gakuen Cocoon Tower in Tokyo Shinjuku

Modo Gakuen Cocoon Tower in Tokyo Shinjuku
Modo Gakuen Cocoon Tower in Tokyo Shinjuku

Copyright (c) 2013 ·Eurotechnology Japan KK All Rights Reserved

Categories
Urban

H&M success in Japan: green field market entry to Japan

H&M opened the first store in Japan in Tokyo-Ginza on September 13, 2008

by Gerhard Fasol

Long queues in the first few days: 8000 shoppers/day

H&M entered Japan‘s apparel market initially using a green field strategy, opening stores. On September 13, 2008, H&M opened the first store in Japan in Ginza, and is planning two more stores in Shibuya (see picture below) and in Harajuku.

H&M success in Japan – adapt to Japan:

H&M adapted it’s global way of doing things to Japan’s market needs – for example, H&M introduced “Quality Managers” in it’s Japan store, in order to match Japan’s consumers high expectations for quality (and I guess also to avoid problems with Japan’s recently introduced product liability laws).

H&M success in Japan – 8000 customers per day:

One week after opening, customers are queuing in line to enter the store – typical waiting time is about 2 hours, daily number of visitors to the store are estimated to be about 8000/day.

Closest foreign competitors in Japan include US retailer GAP, and Spanish retailer Inditex (Diseno Textil SA)’s ZARA.

Biggest Japanese competitor is Fast Retailing’s UNIQLO.

H&M is preparing to open the second and third stores in Shibuya (photo below) and in Harajuku.

H&M success in Japan – comments:

H&M has had a very successful start and has created a successful opening “event”. To be successful longterm H&M will have to:

  • sufficiently tune to Japan,
  • continue to innovate,
  • compete successfully especially with UNIQLO
Long queues on the first days: 8000 shoppers/day at H&M's first store in Japan
Long queues on the first days: 8000 shoppers/day at H&M’s first store in Japan
H&M first store in Japan, in Tokyo/Ginza opened on 13 September 2008
H&M first store in Japan, in Tokyo/Ginza opened on 13 September 2008
H&M first store in Japan, in Tokyo/Ginza opened on 13 September 2008
H&M first store in Japan, in Tokyo/Ginza opened on 13 September 2008
H&M's second Japanese store is under construction in Shibuya
H&M’s second Japanese store is under construction in Shibuya

Copyright (c) 2013 Eurotechnology Japan KK All Rights Reserved

Categories
media Mobile QR codes Urban

SuiPo – linking posters to mobile phones and IC cards

JR-East introduced SuiPo (Suica Poster).

People who want to participate need to register and link their plastic SUICA card, or their mobile SUICA (wallet phone with installed SUICA application) with a registered mobile or PC email address.

Whenever a registered participants touches the SUICA reader/writer on the side of a poster, links to a campaign homepage, coupons, event announcements or other information is sent to the registered PC or mobile phone email address.

The SuiPo system puts interactivity into posters and allows the advertiser to build an opt-in data base of interested people and to interact with them.

SuiPo = SuicaPoster: linking mobile phones and smartphones to posters for interactive advertising
SuiPo = SuicaPoster: linking mobile phones and smartphones to posters for interactive advertising

More about SUICA: Download our SUICA report

Copyright·©2013 ·Eurotechnology Japan KK·All Rights Reserved·

Categories
Economics other Urban

50 years EU celebration in Tokyo

Today was the 50th anniversary of the treaty of Rome which was at the beginning of the European Union. In Tokyo we had a big party at the top of Roppongi Hills – 52nd floor. Here are some pictures…

Celebration of the foundation of the EU 50 years ago with the Treaty of Rome
Celebration of the foundation of the EU 50 years ago with the Treaty of Rome

Celebration in Tokyo of the 50 year anniversary of the Treaty of Rome- the foundation of the EU
Celebration in Tokyo of the 50 year anniversary of the Treaty of Rome- the foundation of the EU

Celebration of the 50 year anniversary in Tokyo of the Treaty of Rome that laid the foundation for the European Union
Celebration of the 50 year anniversary in Tokyo of the Treaty of Rome that laid the foundation for the European Union

Copyright·©2013 ·Eurotechnology Japan KK·All Rights Reserved·

Categories
Urban

Green Tokyo Tower on St. Patrick’s Day

Tokyo Tower was illuminated in green color on St Patrick’s Day – (when I took these photographs a Japanese policeman guarding the Russian Embassy nearby asked me if Tokyo Tower from now on will always be green – so I explained St. Patrick’s Day to the Japanese policeman):

Tokyo Tower on St. Patrick's Day
Tokyo Tower on St. Patrick’s Day

Tokyo Tower on St. Patrick's Day
Tokyo Tower on St. Patrick’s Day

Tokyo Tower on St. Patrick's Day
Tokyo Tower on St. Patrick’s Day

Tokyo Tower on St. Patrick's Day
Tokyo Tower on St. Patrick’s Day

Tokyo Tower on St. Patrick's Day
Tokyo Tower on St. Patrick’s Day

I took these photographs standing close to the perimeter of the Russian Embassy in Tokyo, which is heavily guarded by Japanese police. When I took the photographs of the green Tokyo Tower, a police officer standing guard asked me, if Tokyo Tower from now on will always be green. I told him that its only today for St. Patrick’s Day. The Japanese police officer did not know about St. Patrick’s Day, so I explained St. Patrick’s Day to him….

Copyright·©2013 ·Eurotechnology Japan KK·All Rights Reserved·

Categories
Urban

Human vending machine in Tokyo

Catching attention on the world’s most busy crossing: Shibuya Hachiko

Creative marketing in Tokyo

by Gerhard Fasol

Shibuya Hachiko square (in Japan usually called “scramble”) is certainly among one of the world’s most busy street crossing, and therefore also one of the places in the world with the highest density of advertising and marketing efforts, certainly on a par or exceeding Times Square in New York. It is not trivial to catch attention for particular promotions within this environment of information overload.

Shibuya Hachiko and surrounding areas challenge the creativity of creative agencies, and many new concepts have been tested out first here, e.g. many different types of using QR-codes for advertising and marketing.

While Coca-Cola promotes Cmode vending machines with mixed success for wallet-phones and mobile payments, a promoter used the opposite extreme at the most visible spot on Shibuya’s Hachiko square recently: a human vending machine with a built-in charming human operator for the human touch (there is an upper window to serve adults and a special lower window to serve children):

Human vending machine in Tokyo/Shibuya
Human vending machine in Tokyo/Shibuya
Human vending machine in Tokyo/Shibuya
Human vending machine in Tokyo/Shibuya

Japan media analysis report:

Read our report on Japan’s Media Landscape (approx. 200 pages, pdf file)

Copyright (c) 2013 Eurotechnology Japan KK All Rights Reserved

Categories
Economics Urban

Ikea reenters Japan after 32 years: IKEA’s first try to enter Japan in 1974 failed for IKEA. Now second try in 2006 – a full 32 years later

IKEA enters Japan for the second time, 32 years after the first entry to Japan.

Ikea reenters Japan: IKEA created a joint venture in Japan in 1974 and abandoned it in 1986 – this company still flourishes, but IKEA withdrew from Japan…

Ikea reenters Japan: Today, Monday April 24, 2006 at 7:30am, IKEA invited about 300 guests to celebrate the opening of the first 100% IKEA-owned IKEA store in Japan. We had the honor of working for IKEA – IKEA is another company that “thinks different” in so many creative ways. We wish them all the best in Japan!

IKEA failed the first entry into Japan in 1974 – but the business JV IKEA created was a success!

IKEA had attempted earlier to establish business in Japan via a joint-venture established in 1974. This Joint-Venture was terminated in 1986, and IKEA ended business in Japan in 1986. Interestingly – and this is not the only such case – its only that IKEA itself at that time failed in Japan. The business IKEA created in this joint-venture actually continued successfully without IKEA even after IKEA had left Japan.

There are several cases where foreign companies withdraw from Japan, while the know-how they created in Japan with a joint-venture survives and thrives in Japan under Japanese ownership.

IKEA enters Japan a second time

Ikea reenters Japan: About 20 years later, this is now IKEA’s second venture into Japan.

The photographs shows Mr Koshichi Fujishiro, the Mayor of the City of Funabashi, and Mr Gordon Gustavsson, Manager of the new IKEA Funabashi store sawing the traditional log. Witnessing the log sawing ceremony are Ms Akiko Domoto, Governor of the Chiba Prefecture, His Excellency, Mikael Lindstrom, the Ambassador of Sweden, Anders Dahlvig, CEO of the global IKEA Group and Tommy Kullberg, CEO of IKEA-Japan:

IKEA opening ceremony for the IKEA store in Funabashi
Ikea reenters Japan: IKEA opening ceremony for the IKEA store in Funabashi
Opening ceremony for IKEA's store in Funabashi
Ikea reenters Japan: Opening ceremony for IKEA’s store in Funabashi
Opening ceremony of the IKEA store in Funabashi: the Mayor of Funabashi and the IKEA store manager saw a log
Ikea reenters Japan: Opening ceremony of the IKEA store in Funabashi: the Mayor of Funabashi and the IKEA store manager saw a log

A JR-Keiyo Line train with IKEA logos passing the new IKEA store in Minami-Funabashi:

IKEA advertisements on JR-East trains
Ikea reenters Japan: IKEA advertisements on JR-East trains

Copyright (c) 1997-2019 Eurotechnology Japan KK All Rights Reserved

Categories
Urban

3 hours in … Kamakura (Wallstreet Journal)

(unedited original manuscript of an article printed in the Wallstreet Journal).

Guest guide Gerhard Fasol takes you to his favorite town in Japan.

Your Guide:

Gerhard Fasol, Founder and CEO of Eurotechnology Japan KK, a group of hands-on Japan experts, who build and expand the Japan business for US and EU high-tech companies and vice-versa.

Where He’d Go:

“I take a Yokosuka-Line JR-train to Kamakura, about 50 minutes from Tokyo. On the train I read the book “Kamakura – Fact and Legend” written by Japanese Countess Iso Mutsu (née Gertrude Ethel Passingham) around 1918.

What He’d Do:

“From Kamakura station it’s a 10 minute taxi ride to Houkokuji Zen temple founded in 1334 by Ashikaga Ietoki. I’ll walk up the narrow path to the temple, admiring the lush gardens and the moss. Near the back of the bamboo forest, I’ll order macha (Japanese green tea, made by whipping hot water and green tea powder with a special bamboo whisk). I’ll sit on a bench under the red umbrellas, listen to the waterfall, watch the beams of light through the dense bamboo trees and recover my peace, away from Tokyo’s intense life. It seems worlds away from the 30 million metropolis. I’ll drive 15 minutes to Yuigahama beach, and if it’s summer I’ll take my kids for a swim on the shore of the Sagami Bay and drink a cocktail in one of the beach houses, while my kids eat kakikouri (shaved ice with syrup). To return we’ll take the Enoden railway along the Shonan beach back to Fujisawa.

Why You Should Go:

“Kamakura is a jewel and a lifetime is not enough to discover all of it’s treasures. Today Kamakura is a city of art, history, tranquility and peace. It was not always so peaceful. You need to take a closer look to discover that it was also a place of ferocious fighting and many battles for power. Many artifacts in Kamakura, and warrior’s graves, remind of Japan’s “war of roses” 900 years ago – between the Minamoto (also called Genji) clan represented by white, and the Taira (or Heike) clan represented by the red color. In 1180 the victorious Yoritomo of the Minamoto clan set up his headquarters in Kamakura, which remained the focus of government – and the power struggles which come with it – for about 300 years. Gone are the horses and swords – since the Yokosuka railway opened for business in 1889, instead of warriors, about 17 million tourists invade Kamakura every year.

Copyright·©2013 ·Eurotechnology Japan KK·All Rights Reserved·