Episode 9

Published on:

4th Jul 2022

The Japan market is not as hard as you think with Greg Lane from Tokyo Cheapo

Greg Lane has proved over many years in Japan that it’s possible for a foreign company to be successful. Despite the challenges of Covid Tokyo Cheapo and Japan Cheapo are still serving the local community and tourists visiting Japan wanting to find good value. Greg shares his insider knowledge of how to tackle the bureaucracy of Japan like water off a duck’s back, and how he actually doesn’t mind the paperwork, as well as his golden jandals of where Kiwi businesses could find opportunities.

If you enjoyed this episode and it inspired you in some way, we’d love to hear about it and know what your biggest takeaway was. Head over to Apple Podcasts to leave a review and we’d love it if you would come and say hi (or Kia Ora or Konnichi Wa!) over on @jandalsinjapan on Instagram.

In this episode you’ll hear:

  • How Greg came to be in Japan and co-founded a website that helps people get good value from goods and services in Japan
  • How Japan is not as expensive as you might think
  • The benefits of working with the bureaucracy in Japan and support systems available for small and medium sized businesses
  • The opportunities there are for Kiwi businesses as tourism starts to open up in Japan again
  • Greg’s favourite word! Hint: it starts with “J”. 

About Greg

Originally from Hamilton/Kirikiriroa, Greg has been in Japan since 2000. After teaching English, working as a salaryman, starting a company, and winding up a company, Greg started Japan travel guide tokyocheapo.com with co-founder Chris Kirkland in 2012. The business was perfectly timed to ride the post-2011 Japan tourism boom, and since March 2020, has been riding out the bust.

Connect with Greg



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About the Podcast

Jandals in Japan
Bringing The Land of the Long White Cloud to The Land of the Rising Sun
The best show about New Zealanders doing business in Japan, bringing The Land of the Long White Cloud to The Land of the Rising Sun
How do you build a brand in Japan and nurture a loyal customer base?
What do you need to have in your tool belt if you are thinking of coming to Japan to launch a business here?
Japan is often considered to be in the "too hard" basket but we are here to open up the black box of doing business in Japan.
We will share stories from successful Kiwis selling their products and services here in Japan.
They'll tell you their tips for success and pitfalls to avoid.
They'll share their challenges and what they did to overcome them.
They will tell you things you can't find in textbooks or on the internet.
We will also be sharing the latest intel and insights on Japan from our on-the-ground presence
And you'll hear some super business culture and other tips from us sprinkled throughout.
Grab a glass of sake and let's get into it.
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About your hosts

Jayne Nakata

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Jayne Nakata is a Southland girl who arrived in Japan in 2002, planning to stay just two years. 20 years later she is still living in Fukushima Prefecture with her Japanese husband and two children. When the triple disaster hit in 2011, Jayne made the commitment to stay in Fukushima and contribute to rebuilding the area. She is the host of the award winning podcast Transformations with Jayne, which is a favourite with international women living in Japan. She is also the double award winning podcast producer and manager for PodLaunch with Jayne.

Catherine O’Connell

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Originally from Christchurch, Catherine O'Connell has lived in Japan since 2002. Catherine has over 20 years working at brand-name Japanese corporations as legal counsel. In 2018, Catherine launched her own boutique law firm in Tokyo, which has become become a multi-award-winning business. She is Vice Chair of the Australian & New Zealand Chamber of Commerce in Japan, Audit & Supervisory Board Member at TOYOTA Motor Corporation & FUJITSU Limited. As well as the Jandals in Japan Podcast, she hosts the award-winning Lawyer on Air Podcast.