Beer from Portlandia in the Land of the Rising Sun
While some in the States may see Portland as too hip for its own good, in Japan that hipness is celebrated. The Economist reports that Japan is home to festivals, bars, and blogs dedicated to all things from Portland (especially beer). Many American businesses looking to cash in on the cachet of the city have opened Japanese franchises.
City leaders have looked to Portland as well, "The mayors of several small Japanese cities, which face gradual extinction if young people cannot be persuaded to stay instead of moving to Tokyo or Osaka, have been visiting Portland in search of ideas."
It remains to be seen how many insights Portland can provide to struggling Japanese cities, some of which have been forced to try some unconventional strategies to cope with an aging population. According to the Economist "Japanese are interested in Portland not just because of its nifty gadgets or funky food, but because of its 'future vision'—a combination of individualism, enterprise and greenery."