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Japanese Web Design As Compared to American Web Design

Buy Accutane Without Prescription, On a recent trip to Japan I had the opportunity to analyze Japanese web design and development first hand. I have compiled a gallery of some of the most popular websites in America and matched them up to their Japanese counterparts, Accutane duration. No prescription Accutane online, Please enjoy!


Adobe Japan
Adobe US


Amazon Japan
Amazon US


AOL Japan


Apple Japan
Apple US


Ask Japan
Ask US


AT&T Japan


Blogger Japan
Blogger US


CNN Japan


Dell Japan
Dell US


Disney Japan
Disney US


DoubleClick Japan
DoubleClick US


Expedia Japan
Expedia US


Facebook Japan
Facebook US


Google Japan
Google US


Live Japan
Live US


Microsoft Japan
Microsoft US


MSN Japan


MySpace Japan
MySpace US


NBA Japan


Wikipedia Japan
Wikipedia US


WordPress Japan
WordPress US


Yahoo Japan
Yahoo US


YouTube Japan
YouTube US

A few leading American sites not supported in Japanese:

Other Popular Japanese Websites

A few other popular websites in Japan include:



















Nico Video

Nico Video










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About the Author

Shay Howe

Shay Howe is the man behind letscounthedays. He works as a professional web and user experience designer with a love for creating all that is interactive. Keep up with him on LinkedIn and feel free to follow him on Twitter.

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7. Angus on May 31st, 2011 at 10:46 am

Interesting topic!
Many western designers assume that Japanese website design would carry the minimalistic, simple approach (such as in many traditional arts – this does exist in lots of advertising in Japan on tv and in print, just not on the web) however this is not commonly the case. I am not a designer but just someone with lots of design research looking to establish a western/japan crossover web site. So in my observations as user living in Japan and working with Japanese designers I’ve found most japanese web sites concentrate on:
– pack as much content in the space as possible (like the streets of tokyo). I would argue the reason for this is most people especially younger Japanese access the web through their keitais (mobile phones) these are not smart phones and have limited space for images. However smart phones are becoming more common so this trend is changing – keep an eye on the home page of yahoo.jp to get an idea of what the everyday user looks at as this is often peoples home page.
– Those that don’t use only keitais tend to be impressed with interactive and flash elements (as computers are rather fast). Look at this popular shopping site http://people.zozo.jp/ This I think is indicative that Japan follows Asian (esp korean) web trends a lot more closely that western trends. I personally find this style annoying but I can’t deny it’s popularity.
– Most of the best design (my favourite stuff) is not for corporations but in independent arts and music. The examples above are on the wrong track.
– The strongest points of good Japanese design (above most western design) is that font and headings can be both vertical and horizontal which allows for interesting creative possibilities. Some sites use layout like a magazine format rather than a website. Also many sites effectively use just font and photography to powerful effect (as photography is very popular here) with no need for boxes or headings.

Most Japanese web design is like the packed streets of tokyo rather than the zen gardens of gifu or kyoto – but when you go to the tallest buildings and look down on Tokyo there are always interesting gardens hidden here and there.

6. Ian Cheung on July 13th, 2010 at 10:22 pm

I think the last part was most revealing, the problem with the first part comparisons is that they are conversions of a design (usually western-> japanese).

Maybe lining up, rakuten with amazon, sakura with dreamhost or mediatemple and nico nico with vimeo (plus facebook with mixi) would have been a better choice.

BTW next time you’re in Japan come visit us in Osaka :)

5. Shay Howe on July 19th, 2009 at 1:54 pmAuthor Comment


You make a great point (of which I had not thought of), most of these sites are fairly content driven. I would be very curious as to see what Japanese designers would consider the best websites as well.


I have yet to find a good minimalistic Japanese website, which as you mentioned may be a direct indication of their culture. If you know of any good minimalistic websites please share as I would love to see them.

4. countzeero on July 19th, 2009 at 12:54 pm

Great idea for a post!
I surf often to Japanes websites looking for Anime and Manga stuff and they are often really cluttered – as some of the examples here are. Although Japanese typography can be really elegant you rarely find a “Minimalist” design, maybe it´s a cultural thing – they are obsessed with packing the maximum possible “content” into a minimum of space -see Tokyo or any of the other megacities in Japan…

3. Matt on July 19th, 2009 at 12:48 pm

Hm, I was hoping for more revelation in style and usability practices, but most of the sites are the same with a translation done. That said you can definitely see the heavy text based nature of the design in some of the comparisons. I think the almost ‘mono-spaced’, detailed nature of Japanese characters makes them prone to this style as it takes so much space. I’d be interested to see what Japanese designers consider the best sites of the day, rather than just the most popular in Japan (because those are usually about the site’s content rather than its design)

Good post though!

2. Shay Howe on May 1st, 2009 at 2:14 pmAuthor Comment


That is a great question. I would have to say that the most common difference, recognizable without being able to read the Japanese language, would be that the Japanese websites are more times than none scaled back from their American counterparts. For example, WordPress eliminates their entire navigation, Expedia down grades their navigation and features, and CNN makes use of a fixed width.

Also, from what I could tell a lot of the websites originated in Japan are much more text driven than the website originated in America.

1. Tim on May 1st, 2009 at 12:54 pm

Hi Shay,

Interesting idea for a post. What, do you feel, are the common differences between Japanese and American web site layouts and design?

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