Big in Japan: The Re-Launch!

Long-time readers of Gadling may remember the Big in Japan series, which reigned for 200 posts from 2007 to 2009. Well, we’re proud to announce the re-launch of our weird, wacky and wonderful coverage from the Land of the Rising Sun.

My name is Matthew D. Firestone, and I’m a long-time resident of one of the world’s greatest megalopolises, namely Tokyo. When I’m not stuffing my face full of sushi and drowning my cares away in sake, I’m usually on assignment as an author for Lonely Planet.

But we’re not here to talk about travel writing and guidebooks. There will be plenty of time for that in some of my other posts. On the contrary, this featured column is all about Japan, and why you shouldn’t overlook this tiny archipelago floating in the vast Pacific.

Like what you hear? Please keep on reading…Since 2009, Japan has been suffering from what many in the PR business would call *bad press.* The original Asian tiger is no longer the world’s second largest economy, and analysts predict that many others aren’t too far behind.

The all-mighty yen aside, Japan’s divine sport of sumo wrestling was rocked by match-fixing scandals, prompting the first tournament cancellation since World War II. And lest we forget the Toyota recalls, which shattered the image of Japan’s once reliable export market.

Here on the ground, the general mood has certainly soured like an umeboshi or pickled plum. Japan may be down on its luck, but in this blogger’s opinion, it’s certainly not out. And that is exactly why we’re here today to celebrate the re-launch of Big in Japan…

China and India are catapulting themselves towards world economic dominance. And SE Asia may be the world’s next great investment hot spot. But when it comes to the weird, wacky and the wonderful, Japan still has plenty of lucrative equity too offer.

So be sure to tune into Gadling for Big in Japan updates from the Land of the Rising Sun. Rather than setting a regular timeand a place, we’ll leave it at an informal invitation. Indeed, inspiration comes from all sorts of random places.

In the past, weblogged about everything from the perfect bowl of ramen and pig placenta beauty supplements to flesh-eating doctorfish and Japanese language primers. In the future, you an expect all this and much, much more…

In short, we’re glad to be back, and a bit sorry that we even left in the first place. We hope you feel the same (^_^)

** All images courtesy of the Wikimedia Commons Project **