Dear readers! Sakura season is here, a new Financial Year is starting for most of the companies in Japan and it’s getting warmer! It’s time to take the short-sleeved T-shirts out of the back of the closet. As always, if you missed the previous volumes of Around the world, you can find all of them by clicking here. In this episode we’ll spend some good time with 2 new guests……. Let’s find out who they are!!
Name: Zeke Kuo
Years in Japan: 4 Years
What do you do at PayPay: Product Designer
Things you love about Japan:
“I love the culture and food of course ! Also the fact that it’s just super clean, and not away from Home (Taiwan), plus there are so many activities to do every season!“
Name: Pandey Shrey
Years in Japan: 3 Years
What do you do at PayPay: Manager for QA and PPFD teams
Things you love about Japan:
“I love traveling here. I’ve been to Hokkaido, Sendai, Niigata, Nagano, Kyoto, Osaka, Kobe, Awajishima, Nara, Okinawa… and I also learnt Skiing after coming to Japan which was a fun experience”
This goes for the readers who want to embark on a new journey in Japan: Do you think it is difficult to do it without speaking Japanese?
For those who don’t speak any Japanese, I don’t think it’s a huge issue, but I would definitely suggest you to learn while you stay here. It’s a beautiful language. You might have to know some Japanese when doing the paperwork you need in Japan, like taxes, changing your address etc. but it’s a price you have to pay if you want to live in this country.
When I came for the first time I was amazed at how helpful the people were in guiding you towards your destination when I did not speak Japanese, at the same how unhelpful the doctors when I was injured. I understand what their thoughts are, the risk of miscommunication in diagnosis, etc. and I also understand that learning the language of the land is very important, however doctors back in my home country would still take the risk to treat a patient even if they did not speak the same language. After that incident I made it a point to understand the language thoroughly to get by smoothly in daily life.
Tell me something interesting that you have learned in Japan, something that can be somehow related to your community as well.
There are quite a lot of Taiwanese people living in Japan and it’s not too difficult to know each other by joining some activities. For example, there’s a Facebook group called UIUX designers in Tokyo. By sharing the same background and experience it’s easier to have topics to chat about.
I now understand the Japanese culture of Omotenashi very well, and I also understand business at large as it is very similar to my upbringing in Ghatkopar.
Let’s go with some quick fun questions! End of March, beginning of April… it’s time for hanami in Japan! But sadly because of Covid 19 we can’t really enjoy it. Have you ever do hanami? How was it?
When I was living in Kyoto, Hanami was a big thing for me. It was really fun sitting under a Sakura tree and play board games while drinking beer.
Previously we used to do a team hanami in Yoyogi park, Ueno, etc. This year I will go for Hanami this weekend at Ueno, so if you are nearby feel free to ping!
When they come to Japan, tourists from all over the world are very surprised about this next topic. What do you think about the people sleeping on the train in Japan? Personally, I tried to do it too when commuting to my previous job early in the morning. But never slept. As a side note, I will not mention every time I actually did it after being partying all-night years ago.
They must be very tired. I hope they don’t overslept through their stations.
I would tell them: お疲れ様(otsukaresama)
It was very common and popular in Taiwan too, and of course we’ve all done it.
Yup, it made me feel like a college kid.
Is it true that Japan is full of vending machines? Did you find any original ones?
Yeah, but still sometimes when you need a drink, you can’t find it. I heard there are very weird ones in Akihabara, but I haven’t seen one.
Yup, many! Original ones too at Akihabara, etc. I would probably not delve much into details.
And finally, At Paypay we are trying to make Japan cashless, but unfortunately we can’t make it paperless. What do you think about Japanese bureaucracy?
It’s stiff and inconvenient , but there’s nothing we can do , right? But I feel that the Japanese government is slowly adapting to the rest of the world. So let’s be more patient.
Coming from India, I understand the love of Paper in Japan, however recently India and China have made leaps of changes in moving away from Paper, hopefully Japan would embrace soon! Also last year Japan removed hanko/inkan as mandatory for some documents which is a very welcome and bright move.
That’s all for this volume of Around The World With PayPay. I hope you guys enjoyed it! With the coming of May, another great event in Japan is happening: The Golden Week. We’ll be back with more stories!