Showing posts from July, 2010

Banana Vending Machine in Shibuya

By Mike in Tokyo Rogers

I read about how in the west that people are buying gold from vending machines now that their fiat currencies are dying a slow death.

In Japan, we sell something that is gold colored as well, but it's not gold; it's bananas in vending machines.

Dole has installed a banana vending machine underground at 109 in Shibuya.

Now, you might think that a banana vending machine that sells bananas for about $1.50 (USD) could sell any bananas at all due to the high price, but you would be wrong. According to a Dole spokesman, the banana vending machine is doing quite well.

I usually buy my bananas at OK store. OK sells bananas for about ¥20 each (about $0.22 cents) when you buy a bunch of four.

According to Kyodo News, the banana vending machine is doing well. Kyodo reports:

Despite the premium prices, more than 2,500 have been sold within a month.

So, how is it possible that a banana vending machine could be selling bananas at such a high price and still be doing a brisk …

Shocker! Yahoo Japan Throws in the Towel to Google Japan

By Mike in Tokyo Rogers

For so many years here in Japan, was the preferred search engine for the average Japanese person. Then, about two years ago, started making serious moves into Yahoo Japan's dominance.
Last year, for the very first time, Japanese users found Google to be the search engine of choice for their needs.
Now, Yahoo Japan seems to have given up...
From the Yomiuri Newspaper:  

Yahoo Japan aims to improve the quality of its services with its recent decision to use Google Inc.'s search engine, a move that will cause the firm to rely on a rival company, according to analysts. The partnership between Yahoo Japan and Google of the United States is indicative of the fierce competition in the Internet market.

The deal, announced Tuesday, means Google will dominate about 90 percent of the Internet search market in Japan. While both firms will use the same search engine, each company will provide services using its own information. "The competitiv…

Asia Images by John Lander

By Mike in Tokyo Rogers

If you are ever in need of excellent, super high-quality stock images of Japan and Asia, then let me highly recommend John Lander. I think his work is fantastic.

John Lander Asia Images
Here is a slide show of a recent trip John took to an onsen (hot springs) in Japan. See the slideshow here.

John is a free-lance photographer and here is a short bio on John from Phottix Journal:

John Lander is a freelance writer and photographer based in Japan with a passion for Japanese gardens, Japanese cuisine and festivals. John’s credits include photos and articles published by Travel+Leisure, Forbes, Camping Life, Diversion, Asian Geographic, The Japan Times, The Toronto Star, Sydney Morning Post,The Australian among many others. Other clients include Twentieth Century Fox, Hachette Media, Asahi Press and McGraw-Hill.

You may not be able to visit Japan right now, but, if you have the desire, you can see John Lander's work and get the feel of being here.

John Lander photog…

Book Reviews for Thinkers: Malcolm Gladwell "Outliers"

By Mike in Tokyo Rogers

I am a huge fan of Malcolm Gladwell and, even if you don't read books too often, I strongly suggest that you read Malcolm Gladwell.

It will put you well ahead of your peers in understanding, perhaps not the nuts and bolts of marketing, but philosophy and great insights to how things work and why some things become popular in our society today.

Gladwell became hugely popular with the books, The Tipping Point and Blink.

The Tipping Point explains why things run as under-currents for so long and then, suddenly, burst out into mass popularity. His theory is best explained as a comparison to the common cold or influenza. In the case of influenza, the disease is in all of our bodies at all times, but what causes it to suddenly explode and to become pandemic only to subside quietly later on just as quickly as it arrived? Gladwell explains that perfectly and in an incredibly interesting writing style that will have the reader enthralled the entire book.

In Blink, Gladwe…

Does Social Media Need Old Media to be Effective? No! Here's Proof!....

By Mike in Tokyo Rogers

There sure is a lot of boring stuff on Social Media these days. I was just checking out Linkedin where they had a topic of "What are for you the most common mistakes in social media marketing approach?" (sic)
It said:

What are for you most the common mistakes in social media marketing approach?Either from client's side or agencies' side, what are the obvious reason why social media strategies you have seen were not working?
For me , some are:
- lack of time investment,
- Boring / irrelevant content,
- lack of clear objectives,
- Being inactive,
- Do not react when sollicitate
- ...
What are yours?
I didn't correct his post. That's how poorly it was written. I'm assuming that he's missing one of the reasons that his SMM is doing poorly is because his spelling, diction and grammar are wretched... 
Besides that, these good people are mainly talking about pick, Twitter and Facebook (Mixi is only in Japan). Some of the good folks actually …

George Williams: The Music Revolution Starts Here

By Mike in Tokyo Rogers

Yesterday, I had the chance to visit George Williams and check out his very cool studio in Tokyo where he records shows for his blog / video blog, "The Music Revolution Starts Here." What a fantastic and extremely cool set-up he has.

George Williams at the Yakult Swallows' Jingu Baseball stadium
At The Music Revolution Starts Here, George introduces many of his extremely famous Japanese musician friends and the site is totally Indie and underground music. It's way cool and there's nothing like it anywhere else in Japan. You can see this completely new and ground-breaking way to promote music and do your very own TV right here.

The reason why I mention George and his web site is that I think he is setting records for unique users to his site. Get this: The site started on July 15th. Yesterday was not quite 2 weeks and The Music Revolution Starts here web page has been averaging just over 1,100 visitors a day! That's incredible!

Of cours…

Is Tokyo's "Monster Pool" fact or fiction?

By Mike in Tokyo Rogers

Summertime in Hot Hot Hot Tokyo, Japan

Japan has a lot of funny and strange things, but one of the funniest is how news is reported completely out of context as the gospel truth.

One such oft-cited example I recall is how, in the late 1980's CNN would report that melons in Tokyo - that the average Japanese housewife would buy for home - cost $200 each... That wasn't just a gross exaggeration, it was just plain incorrect.

Tokyo is expensive. It's not that expensive.

Sure there were $200 melons... But there were also $5 dollar melons too. The housewives bought the $5 dollar melons for home... The $200 dollar melons were sold at stores that are usually near hospitals, and those melons were brought as presents for the well-to-do and their friends convalescing in bed in those hospitals.

People in the west, especially, the well-to-do think nothing of spending $100 or $200 dollars or much more on flowers for someone in the hospital right?

You can't eat …

Airplane 4! Adventures of .com Domain with .jp Sub-Folder Fools in Japan.....

By Mike in Tokyo Rogers
I am often simply astounded by the foolishness of companies from the west that come to Japan and think that they can control what is going on here from 6,000 miles away.
As is well-known, "Japan is a different animal altogether." What I'm talking about is how many companies have .com domains that they use for Japan and add a /jp subfolder.
I could give you a litany of examples of foolish companies that do so, there's hundreds of them in Japan. Why do they do this? It defies theory, logic, simple math and common sense... (It also completely ignores what other companies are doing and doing so well as is shown by a simple comparison of competitors on a Google search).
I wonder if the supposed "experts" on the Internet running these .com domains back in the States or Europe bother to read what Google has on their blog everyday. It seems that they don't. You'd think that they'd keep up with the latest information, but, alas, I gue…