7 Best Japanese Baby Products Made in Japan

One of the most common comments I’ve seen at major online shops is, “I trust anything that is made in Japan, including stuff for babies.” The quality of Japanese products already has a solid international reputation.

For instance, Pigeon’s nasal aspirator vacuum suction for newborn babies has a cult following online. It is uniquely designed to prevent liquid from entering into a user’s mouth, and apparently works like a charm, and no other vacuum suction works the way Pigeon’s does.

This has to do with the fact that Japanese company heavily focus on research and development and take pride in producing high-quality, well-thought-out design Japanese baby products.

It is natural to want the best products for your babies. Here are some of the best-selling items for babies loved by mothers and fathers in Japan.

1. Nasal Aspirator Vacuum Suction

It is a super popular product and the reason is clear – it’s so well designed. Pigeon’s vacuum suction was developed in collaboration with otorhinolaryngologists. The tilted nozzle makes suction easy from any angle. The single-tube also makes suction easy and effective. This vacuum suction is designed to stop liquid from entering the user’s mouth. Established in 1957, Pigeon is one of the largest and most trusted baby products companies in Japan.

2. Baby Nappies

Japanese baby nappies are so popular among international parents that when they visit Japan, they bring back an amazing number of nappies back home. As a result, many supermarkets and drugstores have had a nappy shortage, and some shops imposed the “One nappy, one family” rule!

3. Baby Nail Clippers

Japanese baby nail clippers are a piece of art – it cuts extremely well but never too deep, giving mothers and fathers peace of mind. In particular, Pigeon’s series are highly sought after. It ranges from newborn to x years old. Give it a try and experience the difference a made-in-Japan clipper can make for your baby.

4. Easy-to-Use and Hygienic Baby Bottles

There are many types of baby bottles, but Japanese baby bottles work like a miracle. According to some reviews, Japanese baby bottles never drip a drop, every part of the bottle fits with the other parts and they are so easy to use.

5. Baby Nipple Cleansing Brush

Again, there are many types of nipple brushes, but Pigeon’s brush has been one of the best-selling products at many online stores. One of the reviewers says, “Through various baby showers we received several different types of nipple brushes. This one by far works the best. A lot of nipple brushes are simply small wire brushes that end in either sharp wire or bent wire. They don’t end with an actual cleaning surface as this does. I wouldn’t look any further than these brushes. I wholeheartedly recommend them.”

6. Baby Snacks

Japanese snacks such as Pocky, Hi-Chew, and Matcha KitKat are well known internationally as top Japanese baby products. Baby snacks in Japan are equally diverse and of high quality. If you don’t want to give your baby unhealthy snacks, try Japanese baby snacks.

7. Japanese Baby Products: Bento Lunch Boxes

Japanese bento lunch boxes are highly sought after overseas. They are well designed, cute, and last for a long time. Many Japanese parents choose made-in-Japan bento lunch boxes because their children are eating out of the boxes. Feel safe with made in Japan lunch boxes!

Importing baby products into Japan? Want to know if your products are subject to Japan Toy and Baby Products Import regulations?

Importing Toys under the age of 6 and Baby Products requires attention to detail and full compliance with Japan import regulations. COVUE is the direct IOR. We own our licenses and our compliance teams are in-house. We have the only Online IOR system in Japan. We take attention to detail and compliance to the next level.

Let COVUE’s regulatory experts help you to speed up the market entry process so can that you can focus on your business. We’re here to help!

Market Trends: Selling Fashion and Beauty in Japan

Consumers in Japan are some of the most sophisticated and hard-to-please in the world, yet with open wallets for products, they trust.

Here are some facets of Japan’s rag trade, beauty trends, and beyond—including makeup, youth, and senior fashion—that marketers in Japan or those that plan a market entry into Japan should know, as well as how shopping for all this stuff is changing.

The major key is self-expression for those times when not in harness in the working world.

Exhibitor feedback from the autumn Fashion World Tokyo Show reveals that Japan’s consumers have some particular tastes. Accessories and bags with a low bling factor, for one. They also prefer clothes that don’t wrinkle or fade, which makes clothing produced using completely natural materials and dyes less attractive. In footwear, they favor more comfortable, less formal styles.

The skincare game and other altered states

Bihaku – white skin as the epitome of beauty

Bihaku is an integral element of a sophisticated skincare regimen, encompassing makeup removal, cleansing, lotion, serums and moisturizers, exfoliators, and more. That self-care actually extends to what’s eaten and drunk—collagen-rich and fermented foods, seaweed and oily fish, for example, and green tea—as well as onsen bathing.

The mochi skin phenomenon

There’s a definite desire among Japanese women to attain what’s known as “mochi skin”—essentially a complexion that mimics the soft, smooth texture of mochi rice cake desserts.

In vivid contrast to that flawless skin, Japan’s young fashionistas are applying colored eyeliner (yellow, green, pink, and more), or maybe under-eye blush or glossy, glittery eye shadow.

There’s a vibrant gloss for the lips, too, in fruity shades. Younger Japanese women also go in for colorful nail art, including what are known as “nuance nails,” with each nail covered in different colors, designs, and decorations.

Cutting edge contact lenses and hair care

Colored and patterned contact lenses—the latter known as “circle lenses”—hold a particular appeal in the land of manga, anime and cosplay.

Important to know for overseas marketers is the fact that while some circle lenses are nearsighted,
farsighted or astigmatic folks, most are pure fashion statements.

Japanese manufacturers have also devised some radically new tech for hair care. Louvredo’s Fukugen hair dryer uses a special far-infrared wavelength of 6 ~ 20 μm and negative ionization to shake the moisture out of the hair, eliminating the usual damage to hair proteins that hot air causes. Lumielina’s Bio programming range of care and styling products use a new type of ceramic that not only shields hair from heat but also actually improves its smoothness, moisture balance, and gloss.

Online fashion buying habits of the Japanese

Buying fashion and beauty products remotely has always been a bit tricky unless you know exactly what you’re getting, especially when it comes to fit/drape and shade. That doesn’t stop many, though. You see ladies avidly scrolling through clothes and accessories online. On a train or in a coffee shop, for example, they may be hunting for bargains on name-brand goods at a flash sale site.

Smartphone apps are changing the game as well. One called Bodygram uses AI deep-learning and machine-learning algorithms based on just a front and profile photo to the size you perfectly, like a master tailor. Augmented reality (AR) makeup mirrors from app developer Perfect Corp. are helping Estée
Lauder, L’Oréal, and Amway give shoppers the chance to virtually apply products via smartphone
as well. New Balance has set up machines in major Japanese department stores
and elsewhere to do 3D scans of your foot for an exact fit.

The customer is not king, but god in Japan. Anything you can offer them to enhance their shopping experience might get you into their good graces – and purchasing decision.

The Japanese senior fashion market: A graceful transition into maturity

Older women in Japan are increasingly opting for mature styles in both hair and what they wear, not seeking to duplicate the fashions their daughters and granddaughters pursue. That includes a more natural, personal look and going gracefully gray up top. All featured older women rocking distinctive styles and dos.

That’s one powerful indication that designing for and selling to the senior market is worthwhile.

Functional fashion is not a niche, but mainstream in Japan

For marketers, some other pivots include temperature—such as wide-legged pants to stay cool in Japan’s
steamy summertime, and Uniqlo’s “heat-tech” garments for keeping warm in the winter. Other upcoming segments include fashion and beauty addressing environmental, ethical, and sustainability issues, like e.g. anti-pollution skincare products.

Planning to sell Fashion and Beauty Product In Japan?

Having local help onboard is essential in order to be successful in Japan Market Entry. Don’t know where to start? We can help!

COVUE is a trustworthy Japanese company that has import licenses for many product categories. Let COVUE’s regulatory experts help you to speed up the market entry process so can that you can focus on your business. We’re here to help! It’s what we do best!

Japan Luxury

Understanding New Trends and Opportunities in Japan’s Luxury Industry

Japan is the second-largest luxury market in the world – behind the United States and ahead of mainland China – with 3.6 trillion yen (about US$33 billion) spent each year in luxury goods.

  • Luxury labels, built on exclusivity, used to mean that having an online presence was not necessary; not the case anymore
  • digital channels must used by companies to get leverage in the market (search engines, social media, email, websites and mobile apps etc.)

Japan’s luxury industry:

  • GFC then disasters in Tōhoku and Fukushima, luxury spending in Japan shrank by over 1 trillion yen ($10.6 billion) by 2012
  • report by McKinsey & Company: Japanese luxury market… to maintain positive growth
  • 82% of luxury executives surveyed responded that their sales outlook for 2017 is significantly better than 2016.
  • by 2020, it is anticipated that the market will grow by a moderate rate of 3% to 4% per year
  • Japanese department stores are still the main venue of purchase for Japanese luxury consumers
  • 70% of people polled buy in Department store representing 50% overall revenue
  • Younger generation is buying brands like Céline, Balenciaga, and Gucci
  • Older generation are purchasing from brands like Hermès and Chanel, which are perceived as “very reliable” and “have a heritage.”

Digital marketing in the luxury industry:

  • a renewed interest in Japan in the past year or so due to recent market growth
  • Japan accounts for 11% of global luxury spending
  • Luxe Digital recently published a report suggesting that digital influences at least 80% of all luxury sales

Digital marketing techniques that are currently trending in the luxury industry:

  • Content is King
    • Storytelling, being able to tell the story behind the brand, explaining the values that define it: Luxury goods as much about image, style, and intangibles than about the actual quality of the product
    • Create contents that are aspirational and appeal to the customer’s desire to display their status
    • A luxury brand gives their customers an opportunity to showcase a lifestyle and a value system
  • Successful digital marketing campaigns
    • Burberry: social media campaigns and creative videos that combine history, fashion, and the appeal of a glamorous lifestyle. YouTube – 99 million viewers, 317,000 subscribers. Recent ad received 12 million views within a month (holiday campaign tribute for the movie Billy Elliot – Celebrating 15 years of Billy Elliot).
  • Social Media Marketing
    • Visual social networks like Pinterest provide a huge opportunity for luxury brands
    • Photographs are one of the best media for marketing luxury products
    • Chanel: one of the most ‘pinned’ brands on Pinterest – over 1,244 pins of Chanel products pinned per day
  • Boost SEO
    • A well-executed SEO strategy is one of the most lucrative digital marketing investments that a luxury company can do.
    • Google is one of the most significant channels for luxury
    • A large proportion of luxury brands have begun investing in SEO strategies
    • Tiffany: bought into SEO, have firm, successful strategies which have led to them dominating the search results

Importing Luxury Goods In Japan? We got you!

Having local help onboard is essential in order to be successful in Japan Market Entry. Don’t know where to start? We can help!

COVUE is a trustworthy Japanese company that has import licenses for many product categories. Let COVUE’s regulatory experts help you to speed up the market entry process so can that you can focus on your business. We’re here to help! It’s what we do best!

Japan Skin Care

Top 5 Japanese Best Collagen Supplements Japanese Women’s Beauty Secrets Revealed

To begin with, Japanese skincare products containing collagen are a must item for most women in this country. They also eat collagen regularly. Visit restaurants or izakaya, and you’ll find dishes that are rich in collagen, such as pigs trotters (tonsoku), shark fin (fukahire), and chicken skin. Collagen-rich food becomes particularly popular during winter as their skin tends to get really dry.

Of course, they can’t always eat such collagen-rich dishes at restaurants all the time. What do they do then? It seems collagen supplements are the answer and Japanese supplement producers provide plenty of types for women of varying ages to choose from.

Even just a quick visit to drugstores in Japan will quickly prove how popular and various Japanese collagen supplements are. They come in the forms of tablets, powder, and liquid, and from major to not-so-major producers offer hundreds of different collagen supplements.

While this is a welcoming state of beauty affairs, it could be quite confusing and time-consuming to find the right one. If you are new to the collagen scene, you’d probably like to go with the most trusted ones in the Japanese collagen market. Here is a list of the top 5 selling best collagen in Japan available at Takaski.com, which has hundreds of fans ordering repeatedly.

#5: ASAHI Perfect Asta Collagen

As soon as ASAHI Perfect Asta Collagen was added to our store, we started to receive inquires and orders. This series is growing extremely popular because it of course contains high-quality collagen, but also 12 kinds of beauty ingredients including hyaluronic acid (3mg), Elastin (1mg), Beauty body lactic acid bacteria (30mg), Glucosamine (60mg), CoQ10 (5mg), Vitamin C (100mg) and more! This is one of the best-selling collagen powders in Japan.

#4: FANCL HTC Collagen DX

Fancl is widely known as a Japanese skincare producer, but they make amazing supplements, too. After all, it’s best to try to improve your skin from the inside out – using high-quality skincare products and consuming high-quality collagen supplements!

Japanese Fancl HTC Collagen DX comes in three forms – tablets, powder, and liquid. The Fancl HTC Collagen DX 30 contains 900mg of collagen in addition to apple polyphenols which help prevent the damage of ultraviolet. This is one of the best-selling collagen tablets in Japan.

#3: MEIJI New Amino Collagen Premium

Perhaps you think Meiji is a snack producer but established in 1926, Meiji has been one of the leading health supplements producers in Japan! In fact, Meiji Collagen has a cult following and we receive orders for them from all over the world. There are two types to choose from MEIJI Amino Collagen and Amino Collagen Premium. They recently renewed – thanks to advances in collagen quality and concentrated beauty ingredients, the necessary daily intake of collage has reduced from 7g to 3g! This reduced amount intake is more effective than previous products. Delicious and easy to consume every day by mixing with drinks or food. The older model is still available until stock lasts. This is one of the best-selling collagen powders in Japan.

#2: DHC Collagen Supplements

You might know DHC as one of the most trusted Japanese skincare companies, but they also make an amazing range of health and beauty supplements. At our store, the most popular DHC supplement is DHC Collagen Supplements 60 Days, which contains fish-based collagen peptides and vitamins B1 and B2. The product helps improve skin quality and maintain moisture in and beauty of the skin. Collagen is a type of protein that is combined with amino acids. 70% of original skin is said to be made of collagen. The best time to consume DHC Collagen is in the evening. The recommended dose is up to six tablets per day and it helps digest if taken after a meal. This is one of the best-selling collagen tablets in Japan.

#1: SHISEIDO The Collagen

Shiseido The Collagen is really the queen of collagen supplements in Japan. The series comes in the forms of powder, tablets, and liquid. The most popular at our store is the powder type, which can be consumed with any of your favorite food or drink. The Collagen Powder contains active ingredients including collagen 5,000mg, hyaluronic acid 1mg, Ceramide 600 micrograms. Japanese Shiseido The Collagen has the following types:

Japanese Shiseido The Collagen Japan also has smoothies with mango and banana flavor. If you are new to collagen, the smoothie type may be a good one to start with! This is one of the best-selling collagen powders in Japan.

This is the right time to sell your Beauty Product in Japan!

Having local help onboard is essential in order to be successful in Japan Market Entry. Don’t know where to start? We can help!

COVUE is a trustworthy Japanese company that has import licenses for many product categories. Let COVUE’s regulatory experts help you to speed up the market entry process so can that you can focus on your business. We’re here to help! It’s what we do best!

Japan Land

Land Prices in Japan Fall for First Time in 6 Years

Land prices in Japan fell 0.5% on average in 2021 from a year before, down for the first time in six years due to loss in demand by foreign visitors amid the coronavirus pandemic, government data showed Thursday.

The data released by the National Tax Agency showed that land prices as of Jan. 1 fell in 39 of the country’s 47 prefectures, with metropolitan areas of Tokyo, Osaka, and Aichi, and 10 other prefectures suffering a setback after rising in the previous year.

Shizuoka saw the steepest decline of 1.6%, followed by Gifu and Ehime, both down 1.4%. Many other prefectures expanded their margin of decline.

Land prices in seven prefectures rose, down from 21 prefectures last year, with the margins of increase narrowing.

Fukuoka saw the biggest rise of 1.8%. While prices in Okinawa climbed 1.6%, the margin of increase shrank steeply from a 10.5% hike last year.

Of the 47 prefectural capitals, prices fell in 22, compared to one last year, particularly at tourist spots and downtown areas usually popular with inbound travelers.

The Omiya street in Nara saw a fall of 12.5%, Sannomiya Center Gai shopping street in Kobe a drop of 9.7% and Midosuji avenue in Osaka a decline of 8.5%.

The Kokusai-dori shopping street in Naha, Okinawa, dropped 1.4% after registering the highest increase of 40.8% last year.

Land prices in eight capitals rose, down by 30 from a year before, supported by development projects. Seventeen remained at the same level.

A plot in Tokyo’s Ginza shopping district, in front of Kyukyodo stationery store, marked the most expensive piece of land in the country for the 36th year, fetching ¥42.72 million ($384,500) per square meter.

But the price represented a fall of 7.0% from the year before, the first drop after rising for seven consecutive years.

Land designated as evacuation zones in parts of Fukushima Prefecture following the 2011 nuclear disaster continued to show no value in the data.

The tax agency’s annual survey of prices per 1 square meter of land facing major roads as of Jan. 1 covered about 325,000 points across the country this year. It is used for calculations of inheritance tax and gift tax.

How to Start Selling Your Consumer Product in Japan through ECommerce

Are you planning on selling your consumer product online in Japan? Do you know exactly what is necessary for a successful B2C e-commerce strategy in the Japanese market? Although there are some hurdles that overseas retailers need to overcome in order to trade in Japan, the obstacles are greatly diminished when selling online or on Japanese eCommerce marketplaces. Here we will introduce the easiest and fastest ways for you to start selling in Japan.

Top 3 easiest ways to sell your product in Japan

D2C via your eCommerce website:

This is probably the easiest way to start selling in Japan without having to set anything up in Japan physically. If you are already selling online via your website, you can easily create a localized version in Japanese. We do, however, recommend that you properly localize your entire website into native Japanese as English literacy is below 10% in Japan. Without a Japanese website, it will be difficult to win the trust of Japanese online shoppers and, as a result, your conversions will be low. In addition, as a newcomer to the Japanese marketplace, you will need to run brand awareness campaigns and promotions across all digital channels, utilizing search engine marketing and social media. Selling direct to customers on your own website will require some investment into online advertising, but you won’t have to open an office in Japan or hire anyone locally. 

B2C via eCommerce marketplaces:

If you’re an unknown brand in Japan, then utilizing one of Japan’s popular marketplaces would be a great way to get your foot in the door. The top marketplaces (or “EC Malls”) include Amazon Japan, Rakuten and Yahoo! Shopping, and what is great about these platforms is that millions of Japanese online shoppers are already using them. Japan’s most popular marketplace, Rakuten offers support to overseas sellers in English.  You can also leverage your visibility with marketplace PPC advertising. Furthermore, should you choose to sell on Amazon Japan, they offer Fulfillment By Amazon (FBA) in Japan, which means logistics is taken care of by Amazon. Moreover, if you use their Multi-Channel Fulfillment (MCF) service, they can fulfil orders that come from other channels – like Rakuten. 

Distributor partnerships and third-party agencies:

Traditionally, it has only been possible to successfully enter the Japanese market via multiple layers of intermediaries. Although the landscape has changed dramatically with eCommerce as mentioned above, distributor channels can prove successful depending on your desired distribution channels. Local distributors and agencies will have the market expertise and existing relationships you need to start selling in Japan. Organizations such as the Department for International Trade and Export to Japan can help you with such partnerships. As for selling on Japan-exclusive marketplaces such as PayPal Mall, we at DFMA have a new solution for overseas sellers interested in selling on the platform.

Enter Japanese Market with No Worries!

Having local help on board is essential in order to be successful in Japan Market Entry. Don’t know where to start? We can help!

COVUE is a trustworthy Japanese company that has import licenses for many product categories. Let COVUE’s regulatory experts help you to speed up the market entry process so can that you can focus on your business. We’re here to help! It’s what we do best!

GPS Shoes

Honda creates GPS navigation system for your shoes

The vast majority of streets in Japan don’t have names, and so Japanese drivers were early adopters of car navigation systems. Now Honda Motor Co has designed a brand-new navigation system, but this one is for your shoes.

Called Ashirase, outwardly the system looks like a pair of gadgets you clip to your shoes’ tongues. The entire devices, however, actually look more like sandals, though they’re mostly hidden from view since they slide inside your shoes.

The system works in conjunction with a smartphone app, where you set your destination before you set off on your pedestrian journey. Once you’re under way, sensors allow the system to determine your current position, and it gives you directions along the way via vibrations in your shoes.

The straps of the device are outfitted with an array compact oscillators, and firing up different sectors indicates different directions. When the section on the side of your left foot vibrates, for example, that means “Turn left,” and rumbling along the outside edge of your right foot is “Turn right.” About to go too far and miss your turning point? Vibrations all over both feet are the “Stop” signal, and once you’ve got yourself facing the right direction, a tingling over both sets of toes lets you know to move forward.

If the system requires a smartphone, though, why not just use any number of other GPS navigation apps, you might be wondering. The answer is that Ashirase is being designed with the needs of visually impaired people in mind. For those with poor eyesight or other ocular issues, checking your smartphone screen in an outdoor/outside your home environment can be difficult or even impossible, Being hands-free means Ashirase doesn’t cause problems for those walking with a white cane, and the guidance vibrations replacing verbal instructions eliminate the need to wear an earphone and hinder the user’s ability to hear the surrounding environment, an important safety concern for people unable to see cars or other potential hazards.

Honda is developing the system in conjunction with a new company, also called Ashirase, that the automaker helped in the establishment of, and hopes to bring it to market sometime in 2022.

Who are the biggest foreign companies in Japan?

The biggest foreign company in Japan is Toyo Keizai as of 2018.

Naganasu has not included minority foreign owned companies such as Nissan, who were top of the rankings last time. This means Accenture (headquartered in Ireland) has shot to the top, with a 70% increase in employee numbers from 7,600 in 2018 to 13,000 in 2020. 

Gibraltar Life Insurance,  a Japan only brand, formerly known as Kyoei, acquired by US company Prudential Holdings in 2001 is still at #2 with 12,731 employees.

Naganasu has also not included Sharp, 65% owned by Taiwanese Hon Hai, which was at #3 before.

The largest European-owned Japanese company is Bosch, at #6 with 5,333 employees.  VSN (a staffing company acquired by Swiss company Adecco in 2012) has risen to #10 from #31 with 4, 271 employees, a third larger than in 2018. IKEA has also grown in Japan, from 2,700 employees at #36 to #16.

As in 2018, there is a lack of British owned companies in the top 50.  The only one included by Naganasu is AstraZeneca at #19 with 3,000 employees. What happened to GSK, which was at #28 with 3,300 employees in 2018 is not clear. Perhaps they have shrunk to below 2,000 employees, so were not in the top 50. Alternatively, as we’ve often noticed with Toyo Keizai, if you don’t respond to their questionnaires, you don’t get included.

Other European companies in the 2020 top 50 are Adecco, L’Oreal, Bayer, Nestle, Philips, Valeo (French automotive supplier), Triumph (Swiss underwear company) and Autoliv (Swedish automotive company).

Market Entry in Japan

Having local help on board is essential in order to be successful in Japan Market Entry. Don’t know where to start? We can help!

COVUE is a trustworthy Japanese company that has import licenses for many product categories. Let COVUE’s regulatory experts help you to speed up the market entry process so can that you can focus on your business. We’re here to help! It’s what we do best!

Doing Business In Japan: Important Etiquette Rules You Need To Know (Part 2)

Privacy is Valued

Japanese people are notoriously private and reserved. Privacy is important in Japan. People can have their names removed from phone books if they want. Windows are designed so people can’t look in. Avoid asking a lot of personal questions at the beginning of the relationship. It may be regarded as pushy or rude which is to us a way of building a rapport. This may be why Japan lags the world in social media adoption. According to a 2021 article in Ad Age Digital, only 28 percent of Japanese internet users visit social media sites on a monthly basis. The time spent on social networking in Japan is 2.9% compared to the U.S is 16.8%.

What You Don’t Know Can Hurt You

A business gift exchange is an important tradition in Japan, especially at the first meeting. The choice of gift says a lot and can convey the wrong message. Flowers such as lotus blossoms, lilies, camellias and any white flowers are used for funeral services and should be avoided. Potted plants carry negative superstitions. Buying a set of 4 of anything is deemed unlucky. The number nine is also inauspicious. On a side note, if you Christmas cards, avoid red, as funeral notices are usually printed in red.

Chopstick Manners Speak Loudly

A towel is most likely provided at the start of the meal. Wipe your hands only, not your face on the damp towel. When you serve yourself form shared dishes, if there are no utensils for serving yourself, use the opposite end of your chopsticks to pick up food to add to your plate. Don’t use chopsticks to pierce food even if it slippery. After eating, leave your place setting close to how you found it, this means placing your used chopsticks in their paper envelopes or holder and replacing lids on small dishes. It doesn’t hurt to know the different types of sushi. Inform yourself on some of the differences, that way you don’t seem unsophisticated.

Honor the Unofficial Dress Code

Business clothes are conservative in Japan. Men wear conservative business suits and blend in with the group. Women are encouraged to keep jewelry minimal and not to stand out. It is also considered for women to not wear high heels if this results in towering over their male Japanese counterpart.

The Small Stuff Matters

Observing small details of politeness is a big way of showering respect in Japan. For example, blowing your nose in public, such as in a meeting room, is considered in poor taste. It’s best to excuse yourself and walk out. We all know about taking our shoes off at the door and wearing slippers your Japanese host will provide, but it doesn’t stop there. You might have to remove your slippers once inside if you encounter a tatami floor which is a type of mat, which should only be stepped on with bare feet or socks. If you go to the washroom, you might have another pair of slippers reserved for the washroom only. While you’re not expected to know all of the this, it’s noticed and appreciated when you do.

Japanese do not like to be pressured or confronted. When pitching your business proposal, approach the presentation in a gentle and persuasive way. Don’t emphasize so much on decisions and deadlines. Focus on points you mutually agree on and build on that. Take you time during the pitch. Japanese see rushing the process as disrespectful. Use the time that you find wasted during the meeting, to build trust and cement the business relationship.

Market Entry in Japan

Having local help on board is essential in order to be successful in Japan Market Entry. Don’t know where to start? We can help!

COVUE is a trustworthy Japanese company that has import licenses for many product categories. Let COVUE’s regulatory experts help you to speed up the market entry process so can that you can focus on your business. We’re here to help! It’s what we do best!

Work from Home in Japan?

COVID-19 has led to a major shift in working patterns. Many people have no option but to work from home now. Read on to learn some tips on settling into our new home office.

Relearn how you work:

Some people are used to patterns at a work office. When faced with the freedom of setting your own schedule, we end up being unable to work efficiently. To get back in the groove, be aware of your own rhythms. Do you usually work mornings or nights? Do you need one long break or many short breaks? Do you work best focusing on one task or multitasking?

Next, pick a scheduling technique that works best for you. It can be systemic time management such as the pomodoro technique or free-form management. Remember to be consistent with the schedule so it becomes a habit. Take real breaks that might include taking a walk or eating and hydrating your body.

Define your home office:

Just like scheduling, everyone has their own optimum work environment. Some people focus best with zero distractions, so a work computer should be in a clean, bright environment with no sounds, social media or games on your computer.

Other people need a little variety in their environment, so some desk decorations, interesting pictures, or a good view from the window might be just what you need. Just be aware of your needs, and adjust as much as you can to fit them.

Your work environment should be designated for work only. Don’t work from bed, or from your usual relaxation space. Also, don’t relax or sleep in your workspace. As more people are working from home, people find that show blurring those lines leads not only to a reduction in work efficiency, they also make it more difficult to relax and rest in those spaces when not working.

This can be difficult for those with limited space, I know. Even something simple, like hanging a bedsheet around your computer during working time can help your brain create a work/no work area.

Advice for Dealing with Family:

Working around family can be a challenge. It screams distractions coming from every direction. Not only can families distract from work, but family members can also sometimes confuse physical presence for mental presence. They might think that presence in the house means being off work. Small children in particular can be unable to understand this, so you might need to find a way to work around your children’s schedule. Sadly, no one outside your family can offer advice on the best way to do that. You’ll need to communicate with your family, but one thing is fixed: some boundaries need to be set.

The combination of communication and patience can lead to finding a pattern that works for all family members.