Always being interested in the superlatives of life, I spent a couple of hours - that, as usual, I don't have - goofing around on Alexa. It is always interesting to see the traffic rankings of various websites, both big and small.
Among other things I was curious as to how Japanese websites rank traffic-wise compared to other sites around the world. I found 8 of them in the top 100. Here they are, with rank and a short description (or anti-description) by yours truly.
5: www.yahoo.co.jp - Need you ask? Abbreviated to "NYA?" hereafter.
17: www.google.co.jp - NYA?
35: www.rakuten.co.jp - Japan's biggest shopping site. You can think of it as a digital mall, where individual sellers can set up shop.
41: www.mixi.jp - A social networking site. Similar to myspace, but much broader in terms of age and demographics. Also, it doesn't allow the kind of page customization that myspace does, so generally it is much a neater and more relaxing social surfing experience.
58: www.goo.ne.jp - Portal site. In particular the Japanese <-> English dictionary is popular. Yes, Japanese people are frequenty looking up English words... ranging from kids trying to figure out Nirvana lyrics or studying for an English test, to businessmen struggling with an email from a foreign client to a scientist trying to read an academic paper from abroad.
60: www.msn.co.jp - NYA?
65: www.infoseek.co.jp - Portal site.
76: www.amazon.co.jp - NYA NYA NYA NYA NYAAAA NYA! (imagine me singing it)
(rankings as of today, March 21, 2006)