Tech is huge in Japan, but is mostly fulfilled by multinationals
There are 2 things I’ve learned from my colleagues here about the Japanese consumer and small business market for technology:
The Japanese are brand-focused as much or more than any country, which means custom-made solutions have a lower share of the market than other countries.
The early adopters are as geeky as they come! Meaning that the Japanese enthusiasts really know their stuff, and demand incredibly rich detail and knowledge from their suppliers.
For this small but passionate and high-spending segment, Akihabara is still the center of the universe. In this district in Tokyo, end users and businesses can buy any component, gadget or system known to man. A few mega-stores are the main source for most of the volume here, but there are still many mom-and-pop techno shops.
For storage, this is the home turf for 3 of the world’s 6 disk drive makers. So Hitachi, Fujitsu and Toshiba are the usual suspects for storage devices. Still, globalization has reached even the traditionally insular Japanese tech market. Seagate, WD and Samsung drives are readily available as well.
Many innovations here are designed just for the Japanese market. So if you want some fresh new-to-the-world ideas and want to see some really cool technology, find a way to get to Akihabara.