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Japan loves brands

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.


  • [...] Collections Mobile Phone Blog wrote an interesting post today onHere’s a quick excerpt [...]

  • Akihabara is one heck of a busy place and the stories about being able to buy (almost) any electronic device known to man is available. It’s one of the last places in the world I can find parts for my 5 year old American-only HP notebook :???:

    That said, if anyone is going to Akihabara to look around, you’ll want to give yourself at least a full day, but a long weekend would be best. There are just so many great places to explore and shop at :)

  • Pete Steege Says:

    Thanks Jason. Definitely allow more than a day. It’s an easy repeat visit via subway for anyone in Tokyo for a while.

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