Japan’s favourite conveyor belt sushi chain

Whenever (if ever…) tourism opens back up again, one must-visit place for many foreigners is a conveyor-belt sushi restaurant, so this survey from goo Ranking into Japan’s most favourite conveyor-belt sushi chain may be useful for ideas of where to go. This video might also give you tips on how to behave whilst there:

Note that in Japanese, the “conveyor belt” part of the name is pronunced as “kaiten” (or sometimes “mawashi” or “mawaru”), so I have kept the original Japanese rendering in this translation.

Despite having been in Japan more years than I care to remember, I’ve only once been to a sushi place and I stayed clear of the whole raw fish section…

Android just ahead of iPhone in Japan

This survey from MMD Labo into mobile service provider usage shows three-quarters of Japanese using one of the three full-service, full-price carriers, but with all three launching new low-cost self-service plans, it will be interesting to see how these figures change.

I’m a long-term Docomo/Android/Sharp Aquos user myself, and I am considering switching to Docomo’s new plan ahamo, which gives you 20Gb and 5 minutes free per call for about 3,000 yen including tax.

Where in Japan Japanese wish they had been born and brought up in

GIRLS' EDUCATION IN OLD JAPAN -- Freedom of Hair Styles and Kimono in the Classroom -- ALL DIFFERENT !

This survey by goo Ranking into which Japanese prefectures Japanese wish they had been born and brought up in was conducted last year, but they only got round to publishing it a few days ago.

Not surprisingly, Tokyo is the most popular, and I presume people were mostly voting for the main metropolitan area, not the suburbs. Hokkaido being second is not a surprise either, although the winters are too harsh for my tastes. Kanagawa, in particular the prefectural capital of Yokohama, is the best of the top three for me. The photo above is apparently from Yokohama, although a bit before my time.

If I had been brought up in Japan, I’d want it to have been Kobe in Hyogo Prefecture (9th here), as it’s a compact city with easy access to the countryside, and for a long time has been very international.

If you had been born in Japan, where you would you choose?

What the Japanese are learning online

This survey from MMD Labo looked at online lessons. With the pandemic and people spending more time at home, it would have been interesting to see how many people had chosen to start lessons for these reasons, but the results of that question were not offered in this summary of the survey.

I’ve not started any private lessons, although for work I’ve done a good number of free lectures I’ve found through YouTube, mostly on the subjects of GPUs and autonomous vehicles.

I’m surprised to see yoga, fitness and sports as the second-most popular genre; I can understand watching YouTube videos, but two-way lessons seem difficult without physical feedback.

Japan’s favourite crisps

Let’s find out with goo Ranking what Japan’s favourite crisps (or chips, if you are so inclined) are.

Back in Scotland, it was Walker’s, and usually cheese flavour, but now in Japan it’s sour cream and onion, and Calbee is my favourite brand, although Koikeya’s Pride Potatoes are not bad too.

Now there’s a thing – I’ve never seen Smoky Bacon despite that being a standard UK flavour, and Vinegar is a rarity in crisps yet is a fundamental in many Japanese dishes.

The Calbee adverts can be quite entertaining (these are for Consommé Punch)


Electronic commerce, home delivery and unattended delivery

Although the norm in Japan is for goods to be handed over at the doorstep, perhaps this survey from MMD Labo into electronic commerce and home delivery might point to a new norm of unattended delivery.

I’ve never tried unattended delivery, and don’t particularly want to either. I do live in a block of flats that has shared lockers for when people aren’t in, so there’s little worry about missed delivery, and anyway we set delivery times when we can usually assure we are at home.

Have you tried unattended delivery in Japan? How did it go?

Japanese prefectures I’d want to try living in

This is the first survey for a while from goo Ranking not featuring a long list of quite unknown to me celebrities, a look at which prefectures in Japan Japanese themselves might want to try living in.

I’ve lived in a grand total of three (out of 47) prefectures, which I see all feature in the top ten here. In my opinion, Hyogo is underrated; Kobe and the surrounding area are very livable, with a lot of history of foreign settlement from when it was a major trading port. Osaka is also great, but I understand that Tokyo people are quite put off by the image of the locals. Tokyo is my current abode, in a suburban city, but I wouldn’t want to stay near the centre, but like capitals anywhere, the roads paved with good always attracts.

For where I’d like to live, Fukuoka seems attractive, as does Nagasaki.

For the top ten here, everything rusts and/or gets covered in mould, Hokkaido is too harsh in winter, and Kanagawa, or the main city Yokohama at least, is pleasant, but from my standpoint, a cheap copy of Kobe. Kyoto city has too many tourists (well, not currently, of course) to detract from the rich cultural heritage.

Note that I am mostly focusing on the major built-up areas in the prefectures, as once you get into the countryside the differences between many prefectures disappears. Even Tokyo has about a third of its area taken up with deep, deep countryside, and over 1,000 km offshore there are sub-tropical islands:


Where would you like or dislike to live in Japan?

QR Code-based payment methods in Japan

Contactless payments, be they IC chip or barcode-based are perhaps becoming more popular due to COVID-19 making physical cash a potential transmission vector, so this survey from MMD Labo into smartphone QR Code-based payments may reveal some trends in Japan.

I mostly use smartphone-based public transport IC chip-based payments, JR East’s (the major train operator in the Tokyo area) SUICA. Once in a blue moon I use QR Code-based methods, the mobile phone operator Docomo’s dBarai system, and I once got 500 yen free credit from FamiPay.


Online live music consumption in Japan

This survey from MMD Labo looked at the safest way to enjoy live music these days, viewing online live music.

I’ve not watched any online live music free or paid, although over the New Year my favourite Japanese band, Southern All Stars, did an online live concert (they normally see in the New Year with an in-person concert) with tickets at 4,500 yen each, and I was sorely tempted…

Here’s a random song of theirs off YouTube; I’d not actually seen or heard this one before: