Opening a Restaurant in Sapporo

When starting a restaurant business here in Japan, zoning regulations usually are not the primary concern. We can open and run a restaurant right in the middle of a quiet residential area.  Surprised? One of the reasons behind it probably lies in the limited land. Japan is a mountainous country where two thirds of the land are covered by mountains. So the government, in order to efficiently use the limited land, thinks that it is insignificant to place a clear cut distinction between commercial and residential areas like in other western countries. If you plan to start a restaurant business in Japan, one thing you may wish to remember is that officers […]

Japan’s compulsory car inspection

I think owning a vehicle in foreign countries involves experiencing social and cultural differences.   In Japan, we have “sha-ken”, that is mandatory vehicle road-worthiness inspection, comparable to MOT in the UK. While MOT is a checkup of basic vehicle functionalities, Sha-ken is rather the “preventive maintenance” of vehicles and it’s costly here in Japan. This time, it cost me “only”, I would say, a total of 93,000 yen, however, it cost me more than 200,000 yen two years ago, because I had to have brake pads, brake cylinders, ATF and others replaced with the new ones.  The next time will be a headache again.  I will have to replace […]