stores

Hokkaido Earthquake Day 5: Our Hokkaido-based reporter shares his experiences in an affected area

Modern conveniences are returning to parts of Hokkaido, but there’s still much to be done.

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We visit the brand-new Disney store for grown-up women in Tokyo’s Harajuku 【Photos】

Disney’s elegant princesses and cute characters have earned them legions of fans around the world. In Japan, adults of all ages are smitten, unashamedly saving up for specially branded clothing and accessories, and using precious vacation time for day trips to Tokyo Disneyland.

This love for all things Disney has resulted in three stores exclusive to Japan that cater directly to the adult market. Fukuoka and Chiba have each been blessed with a unique branch of their own, but it’s the newly opened store in Tokyo’s Harajuku, the birthplace of kawaii culture, that really sets out to impress.

Come with us as we take you through the store, with its pretty princess accents and attractive displays filled with bags, jewellery, smartphone accessories and more.

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Racism hits close to home in China as Beijing store reportedly “bans” Chinese customers

In the wake of the protests in the US over the controversial Ferguson decision and subsequently President Obama’s unfortunate choice of words galvanizing anti-immigration sentiments in Japan, the Chinese are facing a racism scandal of their own, but this time by their own people.

A Beijing store recently came under fire when they hung a sign outside of their shop proclaiming: “Chinese not admitted. Staff excluded.” Just so we’re clear, this is in China.

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Japanese people reflect on examples of irritating, excess customer services in Japan

Unless you grew up in Japan, you may be baffled by the emphasis that Japanese employees place on customer service. Customers in Japan are treated as royalty from every possible angle, even if they’re just out buying a few pieces of fried chicken at the local convenience store. If you’re not used to it, you may find the special treatment to be endearing, but after a while you may come to think of all the excess services as unnecessary and annoying.

It turns out that some Japanese people feel the same way about their own country’s customs regarding customer service. Have you ever felt the same about any of the following situations?

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