Daily Activities in Japan

The widespread success of the location-based game Pokémon Go is inspiring a wave of interest in location-powered entertainment among consumers and businesses around the globe. In Japan, in fact, growing time spent by younger smartphone users with these mobile games is leading to potential marketing opportunities for businesses.

According to a September 2016 survey of location-based gaming habits in Japan conducted by JTB Tourism Research and Consulting, a growing portion of the country’s young smartphone users were interested in such games. Twenty percent or more of male and female smartphone user respondents in the 18-to-29 age segment said they spent between 0 and 60 minutes per day playing location-based smartphone games. In addition, a particularly engaged segment of smartphone users (7.8% of males and 8.7% of females) from the same 18-to-29 age group said they spent an hour or more playing them.

One consequence of the time spent playing location-based games is that they often lead to adjustments in game players’ real-world habits. For instance, in JTB’s survey, 13.4% of location-based smartphone gamers said they had made a purchase at a store in order to stay longer and continue playing. Meanwhile, a majority (55.4%) said they had gone on a detour from their daily commute in order to participate in such games.


While the popularity of specific games like Pokémon Go may rise and fall, it is entirely possible that the habits shaped by this phenomenon will see more consumer adoption in the future. Businesses that are able to use the rules of location-based games to encourage visits through paid sponsorships or active participation in the games could potentially reap significant benefits.