Japanese web users visited seasonal websites in their millions during the last days of 2007, driving up average traffic in some sectors by as much as 171 per cent.
Nintendo was one of the fastest risers, enjoying a 17 per cent surge in visitor numbers owing to strong interest in its Wii and DS consoles over the holiday period.
"The holiday season is a testament to the relationship between online and offline activity," said Maru Sato, managing director of internet market data firm comScore Japan.
"People went online not only to shop and search for gifts, but to plan their holiday activities, such as forget-year parties."
The Japanese Bonenkai, or forget-year party, is a meal or banquet shared towards the end of December by staff from companies and members of other organisations.
Visitor numbers to e-card companies, which host various animated online greetings cards, more than doubled to 5.5 million, according to comScore data, while sites aimed at teens saw a 57 per cent rise in traffic.
The highest ranked local site, the Rakuten portal, scored 29 million unique visits. The total internet audience during the month was 54.3 million, according to comScore.
The figures are based on data from the company's World Metrix audience measurement service, which does not count traffic from internet cafés or mobile networks.
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