Published in Notion HQ

A momentous year for Notion in Japan

By Katsukiyo Nishi

General Manager APAC

3 min read


It’s hard to believe that it’s only been a year since we launched our Japanese beta product. It’s been a whirlwind, witnessing Notion’s tremendous growth in Japan — another step toward our mission of making software toolmaking ubiquitous.

We’ve been thrilled to be welcomed so passionately here. In 2022 alone, there have been six books published, offering tips and tricks on how people can use Notion to achieve their goals. We now have more than 3000 members across 11 communities.

I’m happy to share some of the milestones that we announced at our official Japanese launch event, “Notion Japan Launch Event for Teams.”

Our business growth

During my tenure as Japan General Manager, I’ve observed that the topic of digital transformation (DX) remains top-of-mind among many Japanese businesses and the government. As part of this movement, many companies, ranging from startups to enterprises, have chosen Notion to improve their workflows and collaboration.

In fact, in just the past year, we’ve seen our growth in team workspaces created (representing businesses using Notion) increase nearly 3x. It is a true honor to add large companies such as Toyota, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, and CyberAgent to the Notion client roster.

Notion’s growth can be attributed to its versatility as an all-in-one workspace, and its simple, yet elegant, design. Last month, for the tenth consecutive quarter, we were awarded the “Leader” badge in the collaboration tool category from ITreview, a user review site for business software products.

We were also selected for the Good Design Award, a leading Japanese design award, and also officially won the Good Design Best 100 award. I’m grateful to see that our Japanese users recognize the value that Notion can bring to their businesses.

The teams that use Notion are looking to innovate and bring about change in their business. Whether you’re a large enterprise or a smaller startup, it’s crucial to share the right information with the right people at the right time to make sure teams stay aligned and your company executes on its goals.

But don’t take it from me — you can see what some of our customers are saying about Notion in our brand campaign in popular spots and transit lines in Tokyo’s Shibuya neighborhood and Kyoto.

Looking ahead

What does the future hold for Notion in Japan? We’re committed to further investing in the Japanese market so that we can offer a truly localized experience for our customers. Today, we’re excited to announce the following:

  • Our Japanese product is officially graduating from beta status. With the release of our official Japanese product, we’ve addressed functional and linguistic issues for a polished and native experience.

  • Our Help Center is also now fully localized to provide a better experience for our users.

We’ve also made strides to offer a localized Japanese business experience.

  • Just a few months ago in June 2022, we established our Japanese subsidiary, Notion Labs Japan G.K., in order to better serve the Japanese market.

  • We’ve built out a Japan leadership team and are expanding quickly. I began 2022 with just one other employee based in Japan; we expect that number to reach 20 by the end of the year.

  • We now partner with three leading Japanese IT consulting firms—Cloud Native, Nextmode and NorthSand—to help even more Japanese companies adopt Notion and transform their business.

  • We’re also launching the Notion Champions Community in Japan, so that Notion enthusiasts in companies can learn from each other, swap best practices, and connect with the Notion team.

This week, the Japan team is honored to welcome Ivan Zhao (Co-Founder and CEO) and Simon Last (Co-Founder and CTO) back to Japan for their homecoming to Kyoto, where they rebuilt Notion. Tune in to our community event livestream this Friday, November 11, at 17:30 JST.

With so much happening in just one year, I’m excited for what’s to come next!

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