Around the World with PayPay is a series of articles featuring our global workplace, with people gathered from approximately 40 countries around the world. The article consists of two parts: “FROM OUTSIDE” (published every first Thursday of the month) focuses on a comparison between Japan and the interviewee’s home country. “FROM INSIDE” (published every second Friday of the month) focuses on experiences within PayPay.
In this article, we’ve sat down with Katie Cai from Melbourne, Australia!
Don’t forget to check out past issues too.
* The Japanese version of the article is available here.
Country: Melbourne, Australia / Years in Japan: 4.5 / Location: Tokyo
“PayPay’s vision to help bring Japan into a cashless and more digital society seemed very interesting and I wanted to be a part of that story”
Recommend a spot/thing in your country
Grab a car, do a big road trip and stop off at a few different States. If you are into the great outdoors, you are in for a treat.
What places/things would you recommend in Japan?
Recently, I’ve really fallen in love with Nagano, especially the Kiso Valley area and the Nakasendo trail. There is something about following the ancient pilgrimage route, passing through the same inns, and observing the reminiscence of the past versus now that makes it quite magical.
Recommend a dish from your country
Chicken parma – the quintessential Aussie pub food. This was the go-to dish every time we went out for office lunch. It’s pretty much a piece of chicken schnitzel topped with a tomato sauce mix, cheese, and then baked and served with a side of salad and chips. Great with beer.
For something very Australian, google “billy tea swing.”
Best restaurants to feel like you’re at home in Japan
It’s difficult to pinpoint what exactly is “Australian cuisine” since the country is a melting pot of different cultures, but here are some of my favorite picks:
- Punk Doily：For your proper Aussie meat pie and sausage roll cravings. 3F, 3 Chome-28-21 Oyamadai, Setagaya-ku, Tokyo
- The Apollo：Delicious Greek restaurant from Sydney. 11F, TOKYU PLAZA GINZA, 5-2-1, Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo
- Ocean Road Coffee：Legit brunch and coffee run by two Melbourne lads. 1-6-12 Minami Gyotoku, Ichikawa City Sun City, Minami Gyotoku I102, Chiba
Biggest similarities with your country?
This is a difficult question. Is it fair to assume that (many) Aussies and Japanese people really like their alcohol?
Biggest differences with your country
I feel like Australians are more willing to voice their thoughts and straight to the point, whereas Japan tends to dance around the edges. Navigating “honne” and “tatemae” can sometimes be challenging, but it’s part of learning and better understanding the culture.
Why did you come to Japan?
One of the main reasons I came to Japan was to better my craft. As a product/UX designer, I think it’s important to observe, try to empathize with your users and translate that across our work. I realized that I can’t design amazing products for people if I’m unaware of different audiences. I’d been curious and intrigued by the Asian market, and what’s a better way to learn than to fully immerse yourself in another country and its culture? That’s why I decided to take the plunge and moved overseas.
What’s the thing you like the most about living in Japan?
I love the convenience of the bigger cities and how easy it is to travel around even if you don’t drive.
What’s the most memorable thing you did in Japan?
Attending my first sumo match! I always assumed that sumo wrestling would be a very proper event, similar to a tea ceremony, but was pleasantly surprised with the casual and energetic atmosphere of the audience.
Check back in next week for “FROM INSIDE” !
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Special Thanks: Katie / Edited by: Kye & Naoko
* Employee affiliations are as of the time of the interview.