A Look at Tokyo Youth at Leisure: Towards the Design of New Media to Support Leisure Outings
In this paper we present a set of studies designed to explore Japanese young people’s practices around leisure outings (how they are discovered, planned, coordinated, and conducted), and the resources they use to support these practices. Tokyo youth have a wealth of leisure opportunities and tools to choose from; they are technologically savvy, and are in the vanguard of those for whom the new mobile Internet technologies are available. We characterize typical leisure outings described by our study participants, how they are structured, and the tools used to support them. We found that discovery of leisure options tends to occur serendipitously, often through personal recommendations from friends and family. For leisure research and planning, the Internet is the tool of choice, but accessed via PC, not the mobile phone (or “keitai”), which is primarily used to communicate and coordinate, not to search for information. These and related findings suggest some emerging issues and opportunities for the design of future leisure support technologies.