My Trip to Tokyo
I set out on a mission to study the millennial digital landscape beyond America. My first stop was Tokyo, Japan—a country where millennials are changing the tired traditions of their baby boomer parents in favor of cutting-edge technology and innovative digital strategies. Unlike in the United States, millennials in Japan have been more successful in shaking up the digital marketing landscape.
In Japan, baby boomers have less social and political clout, and are declining in financial power. Accordingly, the social and economic climate is changing to reflect the burgeoning influence of millennial consumers. The impact that Japanese millennials have on pop culture (and therefore, marketing trends) is clear in cities like Tokyo.
In Tokyo Millennials are very similar to those in America. In terms of marketing and digital communication, Millennials use apps, but mostly they use social media to gather their information. Yes we know about the weather app, but we know that you can simply engage with a stranger on social media to be in the know. You can find out what and how to pack, where to eat, the best places to stay and all the while makes a few new friends. After I made connections on Instagram, I used the Line app, which is a similar to WhatsApp in America. Line is a text app is used on Wifi instead of a cellular line. It ensured that my new friends and I stayed connected.
I leveraged the collective wisdom of the internet to find the best places to eat, visit, and hang out in the city. I even used my smartphone to share my location in order to meet up with folks I’d connected with earlier online. In these cases, social media and the world wide web served as icebreakers that piqued my interest into what Japan, and specifically, Tokyo, had to offer — priming me for the face-to-face interactions that would take place when I set foot on the island.
I stayed at the Space Hostel because it is for the mature millennial and it was fairly close to my speaking engagement. The staff was very friendly and spoke English. It was about a 15 minute scenic walk from the train station. The lobby has a small kitchen that I used to warm up my food or make a cup of tea. Remember I said this is for the MATURE millennial so there is no bar or food service area. This not for the party going individual. This is a place you come to work and chill without a bunch of noise. There are 6 computers and a seating area for mingling with friends. The rooms are coed, but are very clean and each bunk has a private curtin. This hostel had a little more rules than some of the other places I stayed in the past, but it is best suited for the more business millennial. I was able to focus on writing my blog and book in the late and early hours. I spent a lot of my time on their rooftop, which is the reason I choose the hostel in the first place. It was a great place to relax with my new friends or simply by myself to enjoy the view of the city. Since this was a business trip I spent most of my days up there focusing on myself and finishing up the chapters of my upcoming book #MillennialState.
Bradlee, my photographer is dope. He most recently moved from Atlanta, GA to have a new experience and use his degree. As I was talking to him I learned that he is definitely in the #MillennialState. His focus is not to make money or please others, but more to see the world starting with Asia and becoming a global photographer. It was inspiring to see another African American male millennial working towards his life plan. During our dinner meeting to prepare for my speaking engagement, he gave me some insite on his perspective as Millennial who moved to Tokyo. As many Millennials he too has a degree that he was not using and wanted to be somewhere that allowed him to use that degree. He felt Tokyo was the perfect place for him to put his photography degree to use. The cool part about our conversation was it was like talking to a local who looked like me. He provided insight on some of the customs such as how to greet someone, the best times to use the transportation and it helped me grasp a lot of the things that I had wish I known sooner.
My first time in Tokyo I was not scared so I said let’s try street food and of course the squid was at the top of my list. However, the second time in I had a different angle. I actually asked the concierges at the hostel were there any ramen noodle restaurants around. They looked at me like I was a tourist and gave me that face of ummm yeah you are in Tokyo. Well aduh, I was in the place where they make ramen from scratch. Once I stop acting like a tourist-because this was my second trip to Tokyo-I enjoyed a traditional Japanese lunch-dipping noodles with a side of dumplings. It was so good that I ordered more. I found a home in this restaurant and tried a few dishes because I loved the energy of the chef and the kindness of their staff. Every time I walked in I was greeted correctly with Konnichiwa(hello) & Sayōnara(good bye) and my favorite arigatou gozaimasu. This phrase essentially means “thank you very much. Also, I had the cliche “dollar sushi” where the sushi came out on a conveyor belt-my sushi had wheels. It was just as I expected, but even cooler. And of course I am American so I had to stop by Mcdonalds to enjoy a chicken sandwich. The majority of My trip was full of ramen noodles and chopsticks.
I was scheduled to speak to a room full of social media & digital marketing experts in Tokyo, Japan about the latest digital marketing trends in Los Angeles. At first I was nervous; I wondered if the information was going to valuable or if it mattered to my audience. My nervous subside during the meet and greet. I made sure that I greeted everyone correctly to show a sign of respect. I mades sure I followed the custom of exchange information to follow up later. In Tokyo the correct way to exchange business cards is both parties hand each other their cards, you are to read the name out loud and say thank you. After the meet and greet I was ready to start. Jeff Crawford introduced me and I began my workshop Digital Marketing 101 course how to turn your followers into dollars. The audience was very receptive of the information and fully engaged. Multiple people asked questions about the best ways to visually enhance their business. Also, another popular question was how to enhance their content so that they attract followers that are interested in their products. Overall the audience received the information very well and the seminar was a success.
To view all cool photos follow me @joe_Luckett