• January 27, 2022
    • October 13, 2022

    Marketing Tips: What Is the Key to Survival in the Business World

    Do you think you say thank you? What about your thank you? My mother very often told me this when I was a kid. Even if it’s minor stuff like asking to pass something on the table and forgetting to say thank you, she was nagging at me. As growing up in such a background, I believed I was a man who can say thank you, but now, my confidence is wavering. I found a research article of Royal Society Open Science. The article claims we humans remarkably rarely express gratitude for everyday life events where someone seeks and gains a good, service, or support from another. The researchers seem to interpret it as a good sign that most people rely on the tacit understanding of reciprocal relationship, though. Gratitude can turn a meal into a feast Some weeks ago, a furious snowstorm hit a part of Hokkaido, and the […]

    • January 25, 2022
    • October 12, 2022

    Hokkaido Nature: Have You Seen How Lumberjacks Cut Trees Now?

    Snowy mountains are really harsh Last week a logging company invited us to a mountain tour to see the cutting of trees. While we were going up the mountain plowing through snow, a staff member talked a lot about the troubles they have faced in the mountains. The stories reminded me of a huge hostage crisis lasting for 10 days in the deep mountains in the winter of 1972, though I hadn’t been born yet. The police riot squad laid siege outside but soon became dysfunctional. Food and water were frozen. There was no bathroom, of course. In order to continue the operation, the military was dispatched for logistic support. The remote mountains are such a harsh environment especially in winter. Winter is the season to cut trees You might say “Why don’t you cut trees in other than winter?” but that’s not going to happen. In summer, for example, […]

    • January 20, 2022
    • September 28, 2022

    Zoom Fatigue: How to Get Away from Remote Work

    We come to need hotels for another reason The COVID destroyed the bright future of the Japanese tourism industry. The number of foreign tourists to Japan was increasing year by year and exceeded 30 million in 2018, when the nationwide hotel construction rush reached its peak. After the disaster, the rumor said many landlords went bankrupt by changing their apartments to accommodations for Airbnb. In addition to an awful lot of vacant hotel rooms, the COVID created a strange trend at the same time. Nowadays people come to stay at local hotels near their homes. One reason is, as you can imagine, the free-falling hotel charges due to the collapse of the supply-demand balance, but it’s not good enough to explain why local hotels. Guess another one. I think it’s remote work. We can’t get away from work Thanks to the COVID, even workaholic Japanese people managed to escape from […]

    • January 18, 2022
    • October 14, 2022

    Snow as an Energy Source: The Renewable Energy in Hokkaido, Japan

    This is the reality of the frozen world The snow glows white on the mountain tonight, not a footprint to be seen. When you hear this song, you may picture in your mind some beautiful scenes, like Elsa and Anna playing in the snow and ice. Me? It’s more realistic and boring. Snow fields seamlessly spreading to the surrounding mountains (even to the gloomy sky when it snows), a heavy snowfall immediately covering even human figures let alone footprints, fingers numb with cold, etc. Our hometown is the heavy-snow and coldest place in Japan, of which lowest recorded temperature is -41°C. On the other hand, our summers are very hot. The maximum temperature often exceeds 35°C. On a hot summer day, I always wish I could get back the snow treated as a nuisance in winter. How to use snow as a renewable energy source As a matter of fact, […]

    • January 14, 2022
    • October 13, 2022

    Japan Travel in the Know: The World’s Largest Chair Collection in Hokkaido

    Most of the kids are collectomania As I think I’ve learned the figure somewhere, 70% of kids under 6 years old are collectomania. At the age of around 10, I was devoted to collecting stickers that came with chocolate cookies. The stickers were very popular among boys at that time. One day, I found a girl in a car running next to my mother’s car, and showed her the best one from my sticker collection through the car windows. My mother, seeing me, said “Stop it. It’s embarrassing.” I still don’t know why my mother felt embarrassed, but I clearly remember that was the moment I quitted collecting the stickers. Soon after that, I made big money for a kid by selling all the rare stickers to my classmates, by the way. Sorry, the introduction has become a quite long. Today’s topic is collection. Valentino Zagatti Collection: The world’s largest […]

    • January 10, 2022
    • October 26, 2022

    Japan Travel in the Know: Sake (Rice Wine) and Wooden Furniture in Hokkaido

    Have you been to roadside stations in Japan? This is one of the basics to enjoy a road trip in Japan, especially in Hokkaido: Make the best use of roadside stations. This transport infrastructure was born in around 1990. It’s like rest areas on highways, providing a parking space, restroom, restaurant, and souvenir shop. Different from such highway rest areas, roadside stations are located along local roads. Currently, their number amounts to 1993 in all, and 129 of them are here in the biggest prefecture, Hokkaido. They are useful for a road trip and informative as a source point for each local culture. I always enjoy learning a lot about marketing. We can see the struggles of local municipalities in the operation of the roadside stations. The roadside stations are exhibition sites for locally-made products I think locally-made canned juice, bottled jam, and pouched curry are the top three products […]

    • January 6, 2022
    • October 13, 2022

    Japan Travel in the Know: Asahiyama Zoo and CondeHouse in Hokkaido

    The rebirth of the small zoo on the edge of bankruptcy Do you know the best zoo in the world? It’s San Diego Zoo. In Asia? It’s Singapore Zoo. In Japan? It’s Asahiyama Zoo in our hometown, according to the world zoo ranking of TripAdvisor. Asahiyama Zoo is not biggest in size and the number of visitors in Japan, and doesn’t have any rare animals like pandas, but it’s very popular. In the early 90’s when I was a kid, the zoo was so boring and a little creepy. It was like a horror movie scene of Stephen King: there were few people; animals were deathly still; old and rusty attractions made a squeak (in the amusement area in the zoo). In 1995, the zoo took the first step to the great comeback by the inauguration of a new director. Back to the basics of entertainment The director said “All […]

    • January 3, 2022
    • October 13, 2022

    Marketing Tips: The Customer and Market Are Always Right?

    The COVD struck a final blow to the world logistics Somewhere in countryside in early morning, a boy on a bicycle is throwing a newspaper to a front porch house-to-house. I’m sure you’ve watched such a scene in some Hollywood movies. It was so surprising when I watched it for the first time, but now I think it might be a good solution to the problem of a shortage of delivery workers. It would be done not by people but by drones in the near future, I believe, though. By increasing demand for e-commerce and the rapid economic recovery from the COVID crisis, the world logistics is still overwhelmed. According to Bloomberg, container ships have to wait for an average of 16.9 days to enter the port of Los Angeles. Our containers take twice as long to get to our branch office in the US. Logistics service is one of […]