Here is a list of where Japanese users usually go on the web when they want to connect with their friends, buy something or get information. I feature “made-in-Japan” sites and software only (well, almost), knowing that i.e. Google, Amazon and Firefox are highly popular in this country as well.
Some of these Japanese sites are also available in English. I linked to the English versions whenever possible and marked them with [ENG].
Note: This list is highly subjective. If you have other ideas, please let us know in the comment section.
I) General web services
What is the Japanese equivalent of Google?
Yahoo! Japan Photos.
Minna no Topics (Everyone’s topics).
Nico Nico Douga.
Hatena Bookmark. [ENG]
dooyoo (price comparison engine)?
imdb (Internet Movie Database)?
Nihon Eiga Database (Japan Movie Database).
Wall Street Journal Online?
Nikkei Online. [ENG]
Yahoo! Japan Auctions.
2 channel (the original).
Mixi Music (registration required).
Oshiete!goo and Yahoo! Chiebukuro.
What is the Japanese equivalent of Techcrunch?
Asiajin. [ENG]….Joke, people!
the Huffington Post?
III) Web tools and software:
What is the Japanese equivalent of Gmail?
Yahoo! Japan Mail.
the iTunes store?
iTunes Japan (Lismo for mobile downloads which accounted for 90% of all music downloads in 2007 in Japan).
Sleipnir [ENG] and Lunascape [ENG].
IV) Web Companies
What is the Japanese equivalent of Federated Media?
Agile Media Network. [ENG]
NGI Group. [ENG]
In case you want to know more, please add a comment.
There is also http://www.jalan.net/
It is much like the equivalent of travelocity. (except that most Japanese people still prefer going to the travel agency for booking)
Also, much like the futureshop in Canada. (probably would be bestbuy in America?) : http://www.yamada-denki.jp/
yamada denki was recently sued for being monopoly because it’s considered too innovative of a company in Japan to have reward points that can be used in all over the place.
what is the equivalent of wordpress and godaddy to buy domain names?
WordPress.org is quite popular also in Japan now. In few years ago, Movable Type was at the top. You see its popularity by seeing Six Apart remaining as a Japanese company.
If you mean WordPress.com counterpart, there are Ameblo, FC2 blog, livedoor blog, etc.
Popular domain resellers are Onamae.com, Value Domain, Muumuu Domain, etc.