When the next ‘Golden Ticket’ is coming to Japan?
Japan’s economy is struggling, but that hasn’t stopped a growing number of businesses from making the most of the country’s golden ticket.
The nation’s oldest stationery company is now offering customers the chance to collect and exchange their favorite stationery for a reward, and a slew of Japanese restaurants and bars are offering customers a chance to redeem a gift card, which can then be used for a variety of discounts.
“People are willing to pay more than usual for their products,” said Nobuyuki Shindo, an owner of Shindos Stationery Co., which offers hand-stitched stationery and other products, including hand-drawn stationery.
“That’s why they’re so excited about what’s happening now.
They’re willing to take that chance.”
Shindokawa, the oldest stationer in Japan, has been offering gift cards since the 1990s.
He opened the company in 2014.
It’s one of a handful of Japanese businesses to offer gift cards, which are typically exchanged for a new product or service.
“It’s like giving a gift,” said Shindoks business partner and co-owner Masahiko Okuda.
“The customer’s buying a product that was bought by someone else.”
A number of local businesses are offering gift card promotions, including a sushi bar in Tokyo’s Ueno district, which has been selling limited edition Japanese cuisine since it opened in 2010.
“This is the way to celebrate Japan’s culture,” said manager Yoshihiro Takahashi.
“If you are a loyal customer, you can exchange your card for a different product.”
Another Japanese restaurant in the same Ueno area, Takayama, has become a popular place for Japanese families to eat out after their holiday.
The restaurant, which also offers food, has also been offering a “Golden Ticket” to its customers, offering a 10 percent discount on their tab.
The offer is in addition to the regular menu, and customers can also exchange their cards for a discount on a bottle of sake, a dessert, or a gift.
It was also the first Japanese restaurant to offer a special dinner for Japanese parents with kids, which was a hit, said chef Tomoki Nakamura.
“I’m not sure why people don’t like this, but it is.”
The Golden Ticket has become an even bigger deal for the Ueno restaurant, as customers have started posting pictures of themselves wearing a Golden Ticket on social media.
A few days after the restaurant opened, they were sharing pictures of them with the hashtag #GoldenTicket.
“When the Golden Ticket is released, we’ll make it available to everyone,” said Takayamas co-founder Hiroshi Matsuyama, who has been on a sales mission to make Golden Tickets available nationwide.
“We’re going to do it like a game.”
But the Golden Tickets are not limited to Japanese restaurants.
The American branch of the Japanese branch of an online shopping site, Yoyo.com, has recently begun offering a Golden Seat gift card.
The company’s founder, Matthew J. Dennison, said that the Golden Seat offers a way for people to give gifts to friends and family who may not normally be able to afford gift cards.
“We’re trying to encourage people to get involved in helping other people out,” Dennions Yoyojun.
“When we’re talking about this, we’re trying not to think about money.”
One business owner in New York City said he is happy that there are people around the country who are willing and able to give out Golden Tickets.
“It’s great to see people taking advantage of these special offers,” said Joe Hernanz.
“Especially when you’re not paying taxes, it’s just great.”
The Golden Ticket, which is in the process of being phased out nationwide, has helped some businesses, including the Japanese restaurant that has started a Golden Chair, to survive in an increasingly competitive market.
But, it can’t compete with the hundreds of thousands of gift cards that retailers like Amazon.com and Walmart have offered since they were introduced last year.
Amazon has given away $3 billion worth of Golden Tickets since the Golden Chair was introduced.
And Walmart has sold $25 billion worth in gift cards through the Golden Door.