Any product targeting the Japanese market should take into
account the unique needs of Japanese travellers, including language
assistance and, in some cases, dietary preferences.
Market Key Facts
Sources: CIA World Factbook (Currency, Population,
Tourism Marketing Co (Total Outbound Travel)
|Key Source Regions/Cities
||Greater Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya & Fukuoka
|Direct Routes into New Zealand
||Air New Zealand with code share partner Japan Airlines: daily
from Narita, Tokyo (Nov - Mar); 5 times a week from Kansai, Osaka
(Nov - Mar)
||Direct: Air New Zealand, Japan Airlines. Non-direct: Jetstar,
Singapore Airlines, Korean Airlines, Cathay, Qantas, China Southern
Airlines, Air Asia X
||15-20 days per annum
||126,475,664 (Jul 2011 est.)
||Japanese Yen (JPY)
|Total Outbound Travellers
||16,637,224 in 2010 (+7.7%)
|Peak Booking Periods
||August - January (typical advance purchase is 2 months)
|Peak Travel Periods
||November - March
Doing Business in Japan
- The language barrier is still significant when dealing with
Japanese travel sellers and consumers, and operators should ensure
they have written information available in Japanese. English is
taught in schools, but competence varies considerably. It is
strongly recommended that you hire Japanese-speaking staff if you
are serious about getting into this market.
- The Japanese are perfectionists and demand very high standards
of quality. Once they lose confidence in something it is unlikely
to be regained. Japanese follow strict rules of etiquette.
- The exchange of business cards ("meishi") is mandatory. You
should carry your meishi with you at all times as they are not just
handed out in meetings, but in social settings as well. The giving
and receiving of cards is regarded as an important and solemn
gesture, therefore cards should be presented formally, received
with due respect and examined carefully. Tips: use two hands,
Japanese side up (if applicable), and never put a card away that
you have just received. Examine each card carefully and keep it on
the table until the meeting is over.
- Patience is a virtue in Japan as most decisions are reached by
consensus. Japan is all about building relationships and
information is often more freely exchanged in informal social
environments. Punctuality is also very important in Japan.
- "Face" is still a big issue in Japan and one should avoid
criticising or contradicting one's superior or colleagues in front
of others, especially in front of outsiders.
- While it is a social custom to give small gifts to business and
social acquaintances, the importance of this is diminishing.
- With titles, the suffix "san" can be used instead of Mr, Mrs or
Ms (i.e. Suzuki - san, rather than Mr Suzuki). As a general rule,
first names should not be used when addressing business
- Formal business attire is recommended for meetings. Visitors to
this market should also take into account seasonal weather changes,
including the very hot and humid summer months and cold winters. In
recent years, acceptance of "Cool Biz" has meant some relaxation on
the use of suit coats and ties during the summer.
- Temperatures vary widely by region - from sub tropical in the
south to a cooler, more temperate climate in the north. Winters are
cold and dry and, with the exception of Hokkaido, the summers are
hot and humid. In Tokyo, summer temperatures reach highs of close
to 40 degrees Celsius, falling to 5 degrees Celsius or lower in
January/February. The rainy season in Japan, during June/July, is
Want to know more about doing business in Japan?
Visit the New Zealand Trade & Enterprise