In Japan, the internet is very much mobile. And while people in this country spend a lot of time on their phones in general, it may surprise you to know that women use mobiles 25 minutes longer than men per day, according to a recent Nielsen survey. Women spend about 47 hours per month on their mobile phones, with the most frequently accessed services being chat application Line and popular online mall Rakuten. But beyond those, there are lots of great internet services that I believe that many Japanese women cannot or should not do without. Here is a quick overview:
OZmall is an information portal operated by Starts Publishing. The website is an online version of OZmagazine, a publication available in Tokyo. OZmall features a huge database, including information about hair and nail salons, hotels, and restaurants. On the site, users can obtain OZmall exclusive deals called ‘Premium Reservation’. For beauty salons, the discount rate can go as high as 70%.
OZmall launched all the way back in year 1996, the same year that Yahoo Japan made its debut. The site gets over 3 million monthly unique visitors.
Women’s Park ¶
Women’s Park is a review portal for mothers that launched back in 2000. The public company behind the site is Benesse, whose primary business is education. There are over 4 million registered members on Women’s Park, most of them being mothers in their 20s or 30s. Users can post questions or find answers about topics like pregnancy, parenting, or relationships with neighbors.
Benesse also partnered with popular crowdsourcing services CrowdWorks back in April, providing work opportunities for mothers.
Luna Luna ¶
Luna Luna is a tool that helps women to be more aware of their menstrual cycles. By recording your menstrual period and body temperature, it predicts suitable timings for pregnancy, or help with contraception. The service was originally provided on featured phones, but now there are dedicated applications.
Luna Luna has over two million members, an impressive number, considering that there is no social aspect to this service. It costs 189 yen per month (about $2).
Oisix is an online subscription service that delivers fresh, organic vegetables and other foods from strictly selected farmer partners. In its thirteen year history, it has accumulated 750,000 subscription members. Oisix has partnered with over 1,000 farmers, each following the guidelines put in place by the company. Vegetables are harvested only after an order is made.
For any housewives out there looking for quality ingredients, this is a great resource!
Cookpad is Japan’s largest recipe portal, used by over 32 million people as of April of 2013. The company provides apps for smartphones and tablets, with the total number of downloads exceeding 14 million. The recipe portal launched in 1998, and has grown massively ever since. Registered users can upload recipes of their own, and other users can post reviews to those recipes which in a way shows the popularity of a certain recipe.
Users are free to browse recipes, but to search for the most popular ones in a given category, they must pay a premium membership fee of about 300 yen (or $3). The number of premium members was 950,000 as of April of 2013.