On one of the days that we were in Tokyo, we got up early one morning and started walking to the nearest subway. Right outside our apartment there was a garbage truck collecting rubbish. The garbage trucks in Tokyo are a lot smaller than the ones we’re used to back home… maybe to make it easier to go through small alleys to collect stuff.
At first we couldn’t smell anything so we thought that it was some kind of Hi-Tech Japanese odorless Japanese garbage truck but as we got closer to it we realized we were wrong.
Yep… garbage in Japan smells like garbage everywhere else in the world. One thing different about the truck though was we noticed how they put all these cute teddy bears on its side.
It’s like they unwanted teddy bears were pickedup by the guys and they used it to “cute-en” up the truck.
They all look like they were in good condition too.
After we passed the truck we got to the train station and headed to the real reason why we were going to Tokyo: For a tradeshow.
It’s supposed to be the largest trade show of its kind in Tokyo and it was held in this huge convention center.
I’ve never been to anything like it before. I wish they allowed me to take pictures of the inside but they didn’t so I’m going to have to try describe it in words. It’s like they have many many halls filled with booths. Each of these booths are uniquely decorated and they all exhibit products that are really novel or cute. But you can’t buy any of it though because it’s only for suppliers there to find distributors for their products. The only way you can get it is if you order in large quantities.
I’m secretly glad that they didn’t allow me to buy any of the products though because if they did, I would have spent sooo much money. They have all sorts of cool things. Like tissue box covers that make sound whenever you pull a tissue from it, or like modern shaped lamps or even like these little teddy bears that can open up into a eco-grocery bag.
A number of the exhibitors were suspicious of us though. Whenever they saw us, they would get protective, thinking that we’re from China and would just copy their designs and have it made in China for a quarter of the price. It helped when we told them that we were from Malaysia and Singapore.
We spent two full days at the trade show.
On the first day we just went to take a look at the products and the second day we actually went to talk to the people there. We made a lot of contacts and learned a lot of new things about how things are done in the retail world. Like how if a retail product was being sold for RM10, its distributor would be able to buy it from the supplier at half the cost so they would make a 50% profit of whatever they sold. For some products it’s even higher.
It was a really tiring two days though, but it was quite an experience. It was my first but something tells me it won’t be my last trade show. My favourite thing about the trade show though, this little fat cat mascot.
It was so cute. It was so big so it only took very small steps at a time and had to be guided by an official. Then it would stop when it sees someone walk past and it would wave his short little stumpy hand. Damn cute!
All the Japanese women who walked past it went “Kawaiii!!!”