Michael Keferl runs the Tokyo office of the global innovation consultancy, Mandalah. But I knew him from the early 2000s, when he was the genius behind one of my favourite, and in fact, one of the most popular blogs in the world at that time - CScout Japan. CScout was the go-to emporium for all things weird and wonderfully Japanese. When we caught up in Tokyo, Michael gave me a behind the scenes tour of the city’s latest retail, technology and subcultural trends. Later that day, sitting at a sidewalk cafe in Shibuya, we debriefed on what we saw, discussing the evolution of mobile technology and payments in Japan, interactivity and politeness, why ramen fanatics keep notebooks, Astro Boy’s influence on modern robotics, the fall of Mt Gox, and why this tiny island continues to be a source of inspiration to innovators.