KYOTO • Ms Naomi Hasegawa's family sells toasted mochi out of a small, cedar-timbered shop next to a rambling old shrine in Kyoto. The family started the business to provide refreshments to weary travellers coming from across Japan to pray for pandemic relief - in the year 1000.
Now, more than a millennium later, a new disease has devastated the economy in the ancient capital, as its once reliable stream of tourists has evaporated. But Ms Hasegawa is not concerned about her enterprise's finances. Like many businesses in Japan, her family's shop, Ichiwa, takes the long view - albeit longer than most.
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 04, 2020, with the headline 'This Japanese shop is 1,020 years old. It knows a bit about surviving crises'. Subscribe
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