Blog Banner: How to Build Amazing Japanese Websites: Unique Features and Tips

Konnichiwa! Japan, the beautiful island country and also the homeland to one of the largest creative culture and technological hubs in the world. We’ve all seen glimpses of Japanese culture and talent through television dramas, anime or comics. We also know about the humble nature and polite manners of the people in Japan. It would not be wrong to say that Japan has its own culture and practices, which differ a lot from the culture in the West.

These differences are evident not only from food habits, demeanor and language but also from the work habits, business and social trends. This is obvious since each country or geographic location has developed at its own pace and has accommodated a series of cultural shifts along with general social behaviour and trends. No two countries can have the exact same kind of businesses: what may thrive in one country, may not gain enough customers in the other.

In this article, we will discuss these differences in terms of websites. We would see how japanese websites differ from the websites in the West, and what might be the possible reasons for this contrast. We would also tell you the steps and some helpful tips that you can follow to create amazing websites that succeed among the Japanese audience on the internet.

Although there has also been a recent shift in the way people prefer or navigate japanese websites, few things remain the same. Let’s first briefly discuss the type of websites that have been generally popular in Japan and the striking features of the japanese websites design:

What are the Unique Features of Japanese Websites?

a Japanese e-commerce website

Image taken from Rakuten

  1. Accessibility

One of the unique features of Japanese websites such as the one above, can be easily noted. Their layouts allow users to access information without the need to scroll when visitors are on the main page. Everything is included in the space, which appeals to the older generation, who find it difficult to adapt to the idea that you need to go through a lot of options and steps just to get to the information you need. The Western approach to creating websites differs a lot from the intuitive interface of Japanese websites. Many websites from the Western side of the world tend to focus more on the needs and habits of a younger age group of internet users - the ones who are used to swiping, clicking and scrolling to get to where they need.

  1. Text-Heavy Pages

In the West, websites put much importance on engaging visuals and strong images to convey their message to the potential customer. On the other hand, the best and most popular Japanese websites are actually quite text-heavy by nature. A typical japanese web page is filled with text or text links in the different corners of the website. Japanese website templates allot a significant amount of space for text heavy content because of the nature of the Nihongo language. Japanese characters are clearly more graphic than that of English language alphabets and when combined to create words or sentences, they do not use as much space as English.

Users of Japanese websites need to be convinced with detailed information before they engage towards a business or intend to buy a product/service. However, customers in the West tend to be slightly more attracted to packaging and aesthetic of a product or website. Japanese buyers put more emphasis on making informed decisions regarding the things they purchase. This explains the heavy use of text for websites in Japanese to some extent. With Japanese sentences taking up less space than English sentences, Japanese websites get a lot more room to add details and information on the product or service they are promoting.

  1. Busy Websites

For an internet user from the West, a Japanese website may seem too busy and cluttered because of the lack of space. For instance, Japanese fashion websites or e-commerce websites tend to cram everything in a small space by using smaller graphics. This could be rooted from the idea that the Japanese do not really like to waste anything and have something to the best of its possible use. So, they don’t take the underutilized digital space too well. Japanese websites reduce file sizes and ensure that their pages load much quicker by using relatively low-resolution images and optimized text.

  1. Advertisements and Colours

Generally, Japanese websites have a lot of advertisements to cover up the space and to promote other features or products of the website itself or some other businesses. This is another reflection of the ability of fitting information in a small space for the audience. Another feature of a Japanese website design that differs from the western websites is that the former uses a lot of themes and attractive colour schemes to catch the attention of the potential customers and make them stop and take a look at the website. Some of the colours that are most often used include pink, orange, yellow and red.

Although, Japanese website designs may not work well with a Western audience but if there is one thing you want to take away from these sites, it’s that they place a huge importance on maximizing space and making it easier for their audience to understand their product or service more. They try to be as informative as they can through their content. This is what you should be aiming for while creating websites for the japanese audience. Let’s now take a brief look at the changing modern culture of building websites in Japanese:

Modern Approach of Japanese Websites

If there is one thing that best describes modern Japanese websites, it would have to be simplicity. Contemporary Japanese web design is characterized by simple and straightforward display features that reflect the country’s unruffled and clean culture. This leads to a unique beauty that can be found in Japanese-style web design.

 a Japanese agriculture website

Image taken from Strikingly user’s website

Still, you would come across websites in Japanese that look cluttered. One of the reasons behind it could be because of their aging population’s use of old devices running on Internet Explorer and older browser versions. Old people do not embrace change too easily, so in order to keep design inclusive, many popular Japanese websites are built with older browsers in mind.

Let’s now look at some of the best examples of modern Japanese websites, which we have handpicked for you from Strikingly that reflect simplicity:

a handmade Japanese tool website

Image taken from Strikingly user’s website

a Japanese music band website

Image taken from Strikingly user’s website

a Japanese camping tent selling website

Image taken from Strikingly user’s website

Some of the major changes that one may observe from the modern Japanese websites above include the use of lesser text, more prominent imagery and lesser advertisements/options. Although there are things that can still be observed similar to the old japanese websites like utilisation of space (with images), graphic and creative content arrangement.

These things cannot change due to the nature of Japanese language. But the blend of a creative arrangement with the beautiful Japanese language gives out a perfect website that looks attractive and appropriate for almost all age groups and their internet habits.

We at Strikingly, have helped many users build Japanese websites. And we believe some of the most important tools that one may require while going about it, include:

  1. Japanese language support and fonts

Well of course, this has to be the first thing you should look out for while starting out to build a Japanese website. Not many website building platforms offer Japanese language support and option to choose Japanese fonts. Even if you wish to make a multilingual website, this is one feature that you cannot ignore.
Japanese Font

  1. Custom fonts

You should always look for custom fonts if you have specific requirements regarding the way you want your website to look. As mentioned earlier, Japanese people value the text a lot more than images, due to the script’s graphic nature.

Custom Fonts image

  1. Extensive range of colour scheme options

We just cannot undermine the importance of colours when it comes to Japanese websites. The bright and attractive colour schemes work best when you want people who are surfing the internet to pause and take notice. At Strikingly, we offer a large collection of colours for your website templates. You are completely free to choose any of them and experiment to see what looks the best. In case you have any doubts or queries, we are there for you 24/7.

While these are only a few, but indeed really essential when it comes to building a website specifically for the Japanese audience. All the other website building tools are anyway standard and can be commonly found.

We have got you covered for all these. whether you want to build an e-commerce store to sell your products, catered specially for the Japanese audience, or build Japanese fashion websites or blogs. We can assist you right from the beginning and guide you throughout the entire process of building a website, gaining an audience, optimizing your content, having a custom email address, etc.

Strikingly online store builder

Image taken from Strikingly

When it comes to building a Japanese website, as you may have observed, it not only requires a different approach but also different tools. Hence, we offer Japanese font support along with the freedom for you to add custom fonts and even choose from a wide range of colour schemes and templates. With Strikingly, you can literally build any website! We even provide 24/7 live support for all our users so that you can sit back and make your website in no time.

Strikingly guide section to templates and styles

Image taken from Strikingly

We also offer numerous benefits with advanced plans like building simple stores with 300-500 products per site, custom font upload feature, special password protection, creating membership facilities on your website and even giving you priority customer service.

Along with so many features, we have a great affiliate program for all our users as well. With it, you can build a great source of passive income which would help you earn money with the help of the website you created. It is an easy and effective way of getting some extra money on the side while following your passion and building an audience. Start your journey with Strikingly today, and create amazing websites!