Surprisingly popular with foreigners sights

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Perhaps some of my readers have made the New Year resolution to head to Japan, so here are a few suggestions for where to go from a survey by goo Ranking into sights that Japanese are surprised to hear are popular with foreigners.

I’ve linked all the sights to either their official sites or to other reviews of the places. I’ve never really understood the attraction of the Shibuya crossing; perhaps I was too used to other busy crossings in Osaka before it appeared on my radar? The Robot Restaurant looks utterly cheesy and I’ve heard it’s quite overpriced for what it offers. The one I’d recommend the most (although probably the most out-of-the-way one) is number 16 Koyasan Okunoin, a graveyard with a lot of spooky atmosphere:

Okuno-in cemetery, Koyasan
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Problems being a leftie in Japan

I’m not the sinister kind, so I cannot say if these are universal problems identified by goo Ranking’s survey into typical things lefties have to face.

I’m not sure if this cat is left-handed (left-pawed?), but it’s the only image I could find that suggested Japan and left-handedness. Interestingly, cats would appear to be twice as likely to be lefties!

Inviting Cat Fawns Cutely
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Scams, fraud and other negative stories keeping Japanese away from Bitcoin

Do you know about virtual currencies? graph of japanese statistics

The company Bird, who sell the virtual currency New Century Currency, and the tax accountants Meijidori, together run seminars on tax reduction, presumably including information on tax issues surrounding virtual currencies like Bitcoin. Thus, they jointly sponsored a survey by iResearch into buying and using virtual currencies.

I personally wouldn’t touch Bitcoin with a barge-pole, and as a regular reader of /r/Buttcoin and its sister sub-reddit /r/SorryForYourLoss I know all too well of the scam artists and frauds that infest the virtual money world.
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Sniffing your own sweaty armpits

Do you sniff your own armpits in public? graph of japanese statistics
Don’t say I don’t bring you surveys about these weird corners of public opinion in Japan, as today I offer you the officially-titled checking sweat smells, but as the accompanying video makes clear, it’s all about sniffing your own pits.

I don’t need to secretly sniff – I only worry when I can smell it without exerting any effort into pong detection. Anyway, it’s a natural function, and my cat loves that the temperatures have now risen and he can get his nose stuck into my armpits.
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What Japanese businessspeople have for breakfast

How often do you eat breakfast? graph of japanese statisticsiResearch recently published a survey into businesspeople and their breakfasts.

I have breakfast every day, but weekdays it is merely toast during the winter, and once it gets a bit warmer I’ll switch to granola. I’d like to have bananas more often, but for whatever reason I don’t eat them. If I’m staying in a hotel, I’ll have grapefruit juice, but otherwise I almost never drink any.
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Young folk now not just shouting but tweeting at the telly

Do you ever actually shout at, wisecrack at people on TV? graph of japanese statisticsIn a survey from iResearch reported on by japan.internet.com into SNS usage there was the rather depressing to me result that young folk today are watching the television with one eye and their mobiles with the other, and rather than just yelling at the goggle box they are spewing their thoughts for all to see on Twitter.

Demographics

Between the 12th and 14th of June 2012 300 male and female members of the iResearch online monitor group aged between 20 and 39 who were also SNS users completed a private internet-based questionnaire. No further demographic breakdown was provided.

You may have noticed that this survey is for a change not from goo Research – after a couple of years I have finally found where japan.internet.com hid all their other survey data, so I hope I can have a more varied selection for you in the future!
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Virus worries keep Japanese on Galapagos

How much do you want to upgrade to Android? graph of japanese statisticsThis recent survey from Media Interactive looked at upgrading to a smartphone, specifically from current Japanese feature phones, often called Galapagos mobiles in both English and Japanese due to their unique evolution to fit the needs of the Japanese market.

How much do you want to upgrade to an iPhone4S? graph of japanese statistics

Demographics

Between the 9th and 11th of December 2011 300 feature phone-using members of the iResearch monitor group completed a private internet-based questionnaire. No further demographic information was provided.

There definitely is a problem regarding viruses, worms and other malware on Android in particular, but it is debatable how likely the average user is to encounter them; I would guess that not often enough to make buying a virus scanner a good investment. Do any of my readers use smartphone virus scanners, and if so, why and how?

Looking at the list of negative reasons from Q1, if one thinks about the iPhone on SoftBank, lack of electronic cash, infrared and One Seg (terrestrial digital television), a need to change email addresses (I believe), poor reception, lack of design choice and no waterproofing all count against it. For Android phones from Japanese manufacturers on Docomo, virus worries and perhaps a lack of apps (or at least a perception of a lack) count against it. That gives a total of 62.3 points against the iPhone, versus 29.7 against Android, about twice as few negative votes for Android. Curiously enough, just about twice as many people want an Android versus an iPhone4S according to Q3 and Q4.
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Coffee drinking habits

What day do you drink the most coffee? graph of japanese statisticsAn interesting survey from Media Interactive iResearch took a look at coffee drinking habits.

Demographics

Between the 24th and 25th of August 2010 500 members of the iResearch monitor group in their twenties, thirties or forties and who drunk at least one coffee per week completed a private internet-based questionnaire. No further demographic breakdown was given.

I drink probably just under the one cup per week threshold. Coffee caffeine affects me much more than chocolate or tea, so I don’t as a rule drink it, limiting it to when eating out or sometimes when popping into cafes. My biggest exception is Mr Donuts, as they have unlimited refills for their hot coffees, so when I go I always make sure to have at least three cups, and damn the shakes!
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What and how Japanese sell on Yahoo! Auction

About how often do you sell items through Yahoo! Auction? graph of japanese statisticsLast month I had a look at buying habits on Yahoo! Auction, so as a complement today I look at selling on Yahoo! Auction, in a survey from Media Interactive (iResearch) reported on japan.internet.com.

Demographics

Between the 5th and 7th of January 2010 1,000 people who had sold items on Yahoo! Auction completed a private internet-based questionnaire. 52.4% of the sample were male, 0.5% in their teens, 13.6% in their twenties, 39.3% in their thirties, 31.6% in their forties, 12.0% in their fifties, and 3.0% in their sixties.

It does seem that sellers are quite busy, with over two in five selling at least once a month. I’d love to find out more about what they are selling and if they are doing it as a real business or just selling off books they’ve read and clothes they’ve got bored with. Have any of my readers had any experiences of Japan online auctions?
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What and how Japanese buy on Yahoo! Auction

Which Yahoo! Auction payment method do you use the most? graph of japanese statisticsIn Japan, Yahoo! Auction rules the roost, and this recent survey from Media Interactive (iResearch) into Yahoo! Auction showed that they also had the payment side of the auction well-covered too.

Demographics

Between the 7th and 9th of December 2009 1,400 people who had won auctions on Yahoo! completed a private internet-based questionnaire, although how exactly they found the 1,400 winners was not described. 52.1% of the sample were male, 0.6% in their teens, 15.4% in their twenties, 35.6% in their thirties, 31.2% in their forties, 13.1% in their fifties, and 4.1% in their sixties.

Yahoo! Simple Checkout is not like the standard for Ebay auctions, PayPal, in that it is not a bank-like entity but instead a trusted go-between so that there is no direct exchange of banking details. Yahoo! Simple Checkout can also be used when shopping through Yahoo! services, so there is no need to give your credit card details to the shops, just your Yahoo! Simple Checkout details.
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