BANGKOK -- When Bangkok's iconic Japanese department store Isetan closed its doors in late August, some observers were puzzled. Thais have a well-known passion for Japan, so why didn't Isetan's business go well?
The answer is simple: Thailand's honeymoon with all things Japanese has moved on to a new stage. From a rustic hot spring ryokan (Japanese-style inn) to sushi omakase (chef's choice) restaurants headed by a Thai chef, Japanese culture in Thailand is becoming more authentic and accessible. The days when Japan could only be consumed in a department store are long gone. Thai consumers seem to know and love Japan more than ever.