Japan may be renowned for its high speed bullet trains, but a new kind of rail revolution is set to put the wheels of the country’s economic growth in motion. The Seven Stars in Kyushu is one in a number of luxurious cruise trains charging big bucks to meander through Japan's exquisite countryside.
Omotenashi – which roughly translates as ‘selfless hospitality’ – is a complex concept; one the Japanese pride themselves on. As the 2020 Olympics approach, Japan is preparing to serve it up on a mass scale, turning to robots for help. But are androids advanced enough to emulate such a human service?
Japan is experiencing a tourism boom. But its struggling countryside is absent from most itineraries, with limited access for foreign visitors and areas marred by runaway development. Could spreading the word about Japan’s rural charm bring tourists and locals back to its dying towns?
From ramen shops to sushi stands, there’s no doubt that eating out is big business in Japan. But authentic, local dining is off-limits to many foreigners due to the formidable language barrier that persists outside major cities. Could an app get tourists to pick up the chopsticks?
Is Japan really light-years ahead with technology? Is sex really a taboo? Is sipping on sake still the drink of choice? In our 2015 cultural snapshot of Japan, we debunk cultural myths, shed light on the country’s economic outlook, and explore the emerging and established trends across 12 sectors.