I have always thought that Japanese must be the most fascinating people to conduct research on. It is like a future-bizarre picture of what can become of us (if we will be cool, clever and rich enough). The fun site of whatjapanthinks.com makes it possible for English speaking people to understand a bit more about this community. There, I ran into an interesting research conducted by the Japanese portal goo The question they addressed on their pool at January was “what could you most bare to stand in a long queue for”.
Interestingly, (see results in picture 1) both men and women reported that standing in line for a popular ramen shop is a good cause (number 1 reason for men number 2 for women). As I wanted to find more about this popular behavior, I searched google trends for “ramen”: it seems that ramen noodles are not searched by Japanese through google (can’t “google trends” reveal trends?), nor much by anyone else (all but Europeans (thanks to the wise comments I have received) who search for “ramen” only because it means “windows” in Dutch (see graph 1).
For my disappointment, banks and ATMs are still a major reason for Japanese to stand in line for, even in a modern country like Japan.
Picture 1 whatjapanthinks.com
Graph 1 – “ramen” in google trends