A few things I’ve noticed about domain names in Japan

Hello from Asuka, a beautiful village in the Japanese countryside about an hour from Nara. If you’ve never heard of Nara, well, Nara is an hour from Osaka which you have probably heard of! The photo above I took during one of my early morning walks.

Anytime I visit another country I can’t help but pay attention to domain names; of course I’ve only been in Japan for a week so take all these observations with a grain of salt. I’ve gone from a larger city like Osaka, to a smaller city like Nara, to a tiny village like Asuka. Here’s a few things I’ve observed when it comes to domains:

  • .JP or a variant like .CO.JP or .OR.JP seems to be the most common domain extension in Japan. This isn’t wildly surprising as there are many countries where the local ccTLD is the most popular.
  • I haven’t seen any IDNs yet so while most signs use Japanese characters (hiragana, katakana, and kanji), the domain names use the standard English alphabet.
  • Somehow I haven’t seen a single .COM domain yet but I did manage to spot a .NET and took a photo of it as proof that there was more than just .JP domains here!

Below are some photos I’ve taken of domains along the journey:

Now all this being said, I imagine that I have a number of readers who either live in Japan or who have spent a lot more time in Japan than I have. So I’m very interested to hear from those who know a lot more than me if my observations are right at all?

As usual – I want to hear from you, comment and let your voice be heard!

{ 6 comments… add one }

  • Doron Vermaat May 18, 2019, 8:55 pm

    The reason you’re seeing all those search boxes with a “call to search” and QR codes is that most Japanese navigate the web via Yahoo! search, even for those sites they visit daily they go to Yahoo, search for the site’s name in Japanese characters instead of typing in the domain name.

    For this reason, most domain names in Japan are optimized for SERPS and not so much for brandability. It’s not uncommon to see a very long, hyphenated, sub-domain used by a major site in Japan. There are hardly any notable aftermarket sales either for domains in Japan. The outliers are when Japanese companies expand globally.

  • John May 19, 2019, 6:54 am

    We own the name Burokkuchen.com for one reason – it’s the exact English word for “Blockchain” in Japanese and we’ll be very patient looking for a large corp.buyer re: Rakuten etc. Thank you for an interesting post – enjoy your trip.

    • Fat Anon May 19, 2019, 10:10 am

      Japanese are perfectly fine with the L in their product titles, as well as using English for naming in general. You might have never heard about such popular car models as Corolla, Lancer, Skyline, Land Cruiser etc. Nobody in Japan needs silly japanized words like burokkuchen.

      Besides, the whole “large corp buyer” idea for a blockchain word is a huge LOL. Nobody needs even the genuine blockchain. domains. There is only Blockchain.com, owning several other extensions, and an active blog at Russian Blockchain.ru. Other than that, there are few lame for-sale or my-wallet pages and most of the sites do not even resolve, absolutely none real users, nobody even has any idea about how to use a blockchain. domain. All of these names are being held by investors or registries who still hope for that crazy “large corp buyer”, yet they fail to wake up and realize there is no demand.

      I remember that guy with yellow ava few months ago at NP who had name like askktoken and a completely insane idea it is going to be bought for millions. You sound just like him.

      • John November 13, 2019, 4:59 pm

        @Fat Anon Really Just now saw this “nobody needs” etc ? Perhaps you should go and read the FIRST page of the Rakuten website – one of the largest retailers in the world and you’ll come to know that you have no idea what you’re talking about. The very first thing this company does is to state what the ENGLISH meaning of their name is – go do your homework and drops us a note after you do. Good luck.

  • Suresh Raghavan May 19, 2019, 11:09 am

    Good to see some articles on cctlds (real countries) and real usage. Not seeing any .com is a surprise to me. Each country has their own reasoning for going away from .com (to varying degrees).

    As someone who is following India’s domain usage, we are seeing a ton of .in and .co.in being used and advertised. .com on the other hand in India, is generally of lower quality hand registrations or long brand names


  • Michael Duffy July 16, 2020, 5:00 pm

    I own a .jp domain and have had some offers for it. Are .jp extensions easy to transfer/sell.etc?


Leave a Comment