9. Retailer teaming up with Airbnb
Demand for vacation apartments is growing in Japan and companies are rolling out ways to make guests feel as welcome as possible. One recent entrant is convenience store chain FamilyMart.
Executives at FamilyMart say the company will offer a check-in service for Airbnb users starting in June.
They plan to make it available at 150 stores, mainly in Tokyo and Osaka, by February 2019.
Guests will be able to pick up keys for holiday rentals from lock boxes in stores. The system will use a tablet to take pictures of users and scan passport information. The box will open once identity is confirmed.
Executive Vice President Takashi Sawada said, "I believe there will be more foreign tourists coming to Japan. If they use Airbnb and have a good time shopping at our stores, that would make us happy."
Rival firms are making similar moves.
Lawson has installed key lockboxes for vacation apartments at some of its Tokyo stores.
Seven-Eleven Japan is tying up with Japanese travel agency JTB to offer check-in and other services beginning in June.