Making bookings on smartphones

This straightforward survey from MMD Labo looked at internet reservations by smartphone.

Looking at the options, I’m surprised that “travel” or “flights” do not appear on the list. Given that “other” is less than 2%, they must have been explicitly excluded, but for what reason is not explained.

Majority want vaccination, many others want side-effect reassurance

Note: this survey was conducted in February, before vaccination had started in earnest.

This survey from Leading Tech looked at COVID-19 vaccine awareness.

Note also that an overused trope about Japan is its vaccine reluctance with respect to COVID-19 in particular. I attribute this to lazy journalism, as most of the evidence I have seen points to a general acceptance of the necessity of this vaccine, and Japan is not an outlier given that many other countries are finding the last 30-40% of the population difficult to reach, and lets not talk about the politicisation of it in the USA…

As noted above, since the survey was conducted vaccination of the over-sixties has begun without much incident or excessive dwelling by the press on side-effects, and hopefully within a couple of months we can see a significant decrease in serious cases and deaths, this persuading more people that the jab is worth it. In fact, on this evening’s television there was a short report of the latest figures showing even in the youngest age group about 45% wanted to get vaccinated soon, 35% were waiting to see how things go, and just 20% not planning to get it.

For myself, I’ll be getting it as soon as they open up appointments for my age group, which might be mid-August or so. My workplace is also planning on conducting vaccination of the staff, but I don’t know how long it will take to get it all set up.


How has the Japanese mobile carrier market changed?

This short survey report from MMD Labo looked at the Spring 2021 mobile service provider situation.

The full survey is much more detailed, so if you want a deep dive, please visit their site and purchase the full survey results.

Note that ahamo is docomo’s cheap plan, povo au’s, and LINEMO SoftBank’s, each costing just under 3,000 yen all-in for 20gb data and 5 minutes free per phone call.

In Q2 I’m not surprised that Rakuten is the most-investigated, as they have been flooding the airwaves with exceptionally irritating adverts offering completely free service for the first gigabyte of data port month.


Japan’s tastiest greasy spoon chain

“Greasy Spoon” is perhaps an exaggeration for some of these places listed in this goo Ranking survey into Japan’s tastiest set meal chain restaurants.

The basic features of a set meal in Japan is usually one main meat dish like pork cutlet or boiled beef, with rice, miso soup and pickles, and maybe a small salad or other side dish, all often for under 1,000 yen. Here’s a sample from the rather nice (but over 1,000 yen) Obon no Gohan chain:

鮭魚排蜂蜜生薑燒, 御盤de食堂, おぼんdeごはん, 微風松高, 台北

Number 2, Ootoya is just about my favourite price/performance-wise on the list, and is far from the greasy spoon I in the title. Last time I was there I had a very quiet and relaxed time with basil grilled chicken on a large salad bed plus the above side dishes and self-service soft drinks, posh tea bags and freshly-brewed coffee for just over 1,000 yen.

On the other hand, places like Sukiya, Yoshinoya and Matsuya are rapid gob-stuffing pit stops (convince me otherwise!) that as someone very sensitive to chewing and slurping noises quite frankly scare me!

What’s your favourite chain?

Eighties movies Japanese want to watch again on the big screen

This ranking survey from goo Ranking looked at movies from the 1980s that people want to watch in the cinema again.

I’m familiar with all the Hollywood movies listed here bar Big (I’ve only seen snippets), and about half of the Japanese ones. Top of the list, Back to the Future, interestingly had a now-cancelled Japanese manga version planned:

The Japanese titles of the Hollywood movies are mostly straight transliterations, but some turn out a bit funny; An Officer and a Gentleman is A Journey of Love and Youth, Karate Kid is Best Kid, Coming to America is
Go to New York, Prince of the Stars, and When Harry Met Sally… is Premonition of Lovers.

The Japanese titles are mostly direct translations, but the Kitano film Violent Cop literally translated would be That Man, Being Violent.

What 80s film would you most want to see on the big screen again?

Smartphone photography and printing

MMD Labo recently conducted a survey into smartphone photography and smartphone photo printing.

I fall into the two or three photos per month, usually food photos that never gets further than Google Map reviews, although I do occasionally upload to my personal Instagram account quality photos like this:

I’ve printed out my own smartphone photos exactly once; it was for my father-in-law’s funeral, and rather than pay 30,000 yen or so for a professional memorial photo for him, we found one on my smartphone and I printed it off at a nearby convenience store for the grand total of 50 yen, and framed it in a photo frame we found lying about his flat…

Japan’s living legends of rock

This fun little ranking survey from goo Ranking asked Japanese to choose who they rated the most as Japanese living legends of rock.

My top pick would be number 5 here, Southern All Stars, but there’s a good number of groups I’ve never heard of. One that caught my eye was Yabai T-shirts Yasan, in English “Dodgy T-shirts Shop”, who have a post-punk pop feel and rather silly lyrics, like this ode to Bluetooth Love, and sillier videos like this one:

Who’s your Japanese top rock band?