One of the things that I like about visiting Japan is seeing products or services that you don't see in the United States. And due to my time spent in Japan, sometimes I will see a new product in the United States that I had previously seen in Japan where most Americans would never realize that.
UNIQLO is one. I have been to UNIQLO many times during my visits to Japan and have some clothes from there when I am lucky enough to find some that fit my 6 foot 3 inch frame. A couple of years ago UNIQLO started to make a move into the US market when they opened one or two stores back East. They have yet to move out to the West coast yet and it may be a while before that happens due to the economy.
More recently, Family Mart has been expanding in to the US. Although they are not the traditional convenience store formats that you see in Japan. They have opened many outlets in the downtown Los Angeles area but they are a more upscale style convenience store and stores are not called Family Mart but are called Famima. You guessed it, a combination of the name Family Mart.
And within the last year or so, Gulliver has now come across the ocean to California. I am not sure if Gulliver is all over Japan but if you are not familiar with it, they are a used car dealership. I had seen the funny looking Gulliver signs all over Tochigi and now there is a Gulliver in Torrance California.
And yesterday, I saw a TV ad for Yakult. A beverage from Japan. This is same Yakult as the Tokyo Yakult Swallows baseball team. I remember seeing Yakult TV ads and on store shelves in Japan. I have never had it though but it is some sort of milk-like product. One thing that is interesting is that the bottles of Yakult here in the US are really tiny but a little bigger then the bottles in Japan.