Terrie's Take -- A weekly roundup of news & information from Terrie Lloyd.

TT-969 (Tourism Edition) -- Is the Japanese Inbound Tourism Boom Coming to an End?

My take is that the levels of growth experienced over the last five years are indeed coming to an end. The market is maturing and our repeat visitors will continue coming and spending more strategically.

TT-968 -- Off-shoring for Small Companies in Japan - What's Possible? Ebiz news from Japan

If you are a company owner or manager in Japan, what do you do to deal with the worker shortage? Options: Automate with robots and software, reorganize the business so that you need less workers, dabble in the gig economy.

TT-967 (Toursim Edition) -- Ideas for New Startup Businesses Serving Japan's Hotel Industry

Many hotels are not receptive to doing business with foreigners - which is amazing when you consider we're already 5 years into the biggest travel boom Japan has seen in the last 30 years.

TT-966 -- The Holy Grail of Fermentation - Koji and Cheese Making, ebiz news from Japan

We love the whole concept of fermenting so much that Japantravel.com is planning to start fermented food tours to artisanal factories (no automation and time worn facilities) around Tokyo, Nagoya, and Osaka.

TT-965 ((Tourism Edition) -- Bumps on the Road for Evolable Asia - A Local Company that Gets Travel IT

Evolable Asia is the leader in the sector of domestic and Japanese outbound air ticketing - a market that is worth about JPY1.5trn annually, selling about 2.6% of all domestic flights.

TT-964 -- How the Japanese are Accidentally Good at Data Security, ebiz news from Japan

(1) A foreigner loitering in a car parked in a Japanese neighborhood would be quickly spied by a local or the police. (2) The Japanese are aware of the need to preserve some basic engineering capabilities in-country.

TT-963 (Tourism Edition) -- After Floods and Earthquakes, a Flood of Government Handouts for Tourism, e-biz news from Japan

The government announced that it would be allocating JPY11.2bn in funds, five times the 2012 number, to help Hokkaido tourism recover from the September earthquake.

TT-962 -- Baring To Buy Stake in Pioneer, But is it Too Late? e-biz news from Japan

Last week the audio/car electronics manufacturer, Pioneer, announced that it was selling a large private placement to Baring Private Equity in Hong Kong. The placement will be for JPY60bn, and appears to give Baring control of the struggling firm.

TT-961 (Tourism Edition) -- A New Guide Service for the Naive and Trusting

A company to catch our attention this last week was Huber, a matchmaker of mostly Japanese students acting as low-cost uncertified guides to foreigners who feel intimidated by the language barrier here.

TT-960 -- Uber Scores Small But Significant Victory in Taxi App Wars, ebiz News from Japan

Uber Japan pulled off a bit of a coup, by announcing completely unexpectedly that it was teaming up with Fuji Taxi of Nagoya and launching the Uber taxi app with Fuji.

TT-959 (Tourism Edition) -- How Japan's Travel Companies Can Claw Back Market Share

Not challenging the big foreign firms who control the inbound market causes lost revenue not getting reinvested locally, and this hurts the development of new products and services.

TT-958 -- Mercari's Problems in America, e-biz News From Japan

Like many Japanese fast-rising internet companies before them, the Mercari senior management have a "bug up their butts" about taking on the e-commerce sector in the USA. Why this market is so important to them at this early stage, versus Asia, is not exactly clear.

TT-957 (Tourism Edition) -- Why Taiwanese Bicycle Maker Giant is Cleaning Up in the Japanese Market

Instead of the local players making good in Japan, it has taken a Taiwanese firm to show the locals how to revitalize the market. And the way they are doing it is really interesting.

TT-956 -- An Unsung Hero with a Pragmatic Approach for Orphans, e-biz news from Japan

Also foreigners do their bit to make lives of disadvantaged children better. Recently we interviewed Michael Clemons, the founder of the NPO named YouMeWe NPO and a social impact fund called eMPOWER.

TT-955 (Tourism Edition) -- Emergencies as a Tourist in Japan - The "What's Going On?" Moment

While my fellow Japanese passengers knew to be patient and endure, the foreign tourists could only wait about 30 minutes before they started fidgeting and needing more information.