Last weekend my son and I decided to stop by Aeon, a sprawling American-style shopping mall that recently opened near us, featuring 150 shops and a large-scale department store filled with good things for consumers to buy. We were sorry we’d bothered, though, since 25,000 people or more were also converging on the place, resulting in huge traffic jams for miles around. The shopping center follows the U.S. model so closely that my son and I felt we had been transported back to San Diego, and I was tempted to pull out a $20 bill to pay for our Starbucks, instead of Japanese yen. One of the most important rules for success in business is, wait for the next inevitable paradigm shift to come along and take advantage of it it when it does, advice which American companies seem to be taking, judging from the number of stores like Gap and Body Shop that were chasing a new type of Japanese shopper. How land is allotted and used in Japan is a very complex subject, and the new Aeon shopping center had been plunked down in the middle of an area designated for rice-farming, supposedly forbidden to all construction. No doubt the developers got special permission from the city in the interests of economic development.
prepaid iTunes music cards that J-List sells, which make it a snap to surf over to the iTunes Japan store with the iTunes you’ve already got installed, browse their offerings, and make your purchases with your Japanese account. Music purchased at the iTunes Japan store is fully compatible with iTunes and iPod, no matter where you live. It’s a great time to try the iTunes Japan store, because BMG/Sony has just added their catalog to the Japan store, so there’s more cool music to choose from than ever before.