Marketing to Japanese consumers: What I discovered when I visited my hometown for the first time in 2 years

My personal experience after visiting my hometown for the first time in 2 years

If you’ve been following my latest blogs, you’ll know I recently travelled back to Japan.

I’ve now finished the 2-week quarantine at my parents’ house where I grew up.

Now, I have freedom to go out and about, and wanted to share some observations about Japanese consumers that I’ve made since returning to my hometown for the first time since the pandemic started.

Japanese people love giving (and receiving!) gifts

The main purpose of my visit to Japan is to help my mother move to a brand-new apartment.

I was shocked by the loads of paperwork – and the number of complimentary gifts I have received, which is a distant memory after living in Australia for more than 16 years.

The number of people who take care of new residents is something I’ve never seen (many and all are super polite!). For example, a guy is assisting people to get on the correct lift at the ground floor. Concierges meet and greet at the front entrance. They are very kind and willing to help people by answering various questions.

On the actual moving day, the professional removalists came to my parents’ old house and everything went very smoothly. The moving process was completed much earlier than the original plan.

Japanese people are respectful and kind

Whenever I meet people, they bow. Then, sometimes people apologise when they doubt if they did not follow some instructions.  


Initially, I wondered if I was offensive and scary. But I was not.

Simply, I didn’t behave like other Japanese people. In general, Japanese people are respectful and kind.

I have started feeling like a foreigner (gaijin) in Japan.

Written instructions are important in Japan

Something I’ve been reminded of since returning to Japan is that Japanese people listen and try to learn first before using products.

This is why it’s important to provide detailed written instructions for Japanese consumers.

They appreciate the long explanations, which also means there’s less chance of contacting the customer services.

Up-to-date information from Japan

Despite the vaccination rate getting closer to 90% and the case number being extremely low in Japan, the international border in Japan hasn’t opened yet. Luckily, I’m a Japanese citizen who can enter Japan.

This means I have some extra time to provide tailored up-to-date information for your company!

Do you want me to do real market research in Japan? Let’s chat further!

Not planning on travelling to Japan but still want to market your product or services there? I’m a copywriter who helps English speaking businesses market their products and services in Japan. If you’d like to know more about my copywriting services, please message me or email me at