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Around the world with PayPay Vol. 19 FROM OUTSIDE

Danata

07/07/2022

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 Alvaro Parra from Spain.

*The Japanese version of the article is available here.

Alvaro Parra

Alvaro Parra

Backend Engineer

Country:Spain / Years in Japan:6 / What do you do at PayPay:Developer / Location(where do you live currently):Osaka
“We do what we must, because we can”

Recommend a spot/thing in your country

Spain is the result of the union of many different cultures, with many historical monuments that reflect different periods and architectural styles. For example, the Alhambra of Granada, a beautiful Islamic fortress, the aqueduct of Segovia, one of the best-preserved elevated Roman aqueducts, or the Santiago de Compostela Cathedral, the end of the pilgrimage route of Camino de Santiago.

Alhambra of Granada
Alhambra of Granada

Santiago de Compostela Cathedral
Santiago de Compostela Cathedral

I would recommend visiting any of these monuments, walking through the city’s historical center, and enjoying tapas and local traditional food. Tapas are small appetizers present all over Spain that reflect the local cuisine and are the perfect excuse to gather with your friends.

What places/things would you recommend in Japan?

Miyajima island is one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen in Japan. The first thing you will see is the floating torii gate of the Itsukushima Shrine. The torii gate is accessible during low tide. The island has many temples and beautiful views – both from sea-level as well as from the top of Misen mountain.

There are also deer wandering amongst the tourists in the village. They are not dangerous, but it is better to leave them alone, as they are wild and may confuse some of your belongings with food. Oh deer, please don’t eat my map!

You can lay hands on good oysters and conger eel in the restaurants. These are the local specialties and some of my favorite foods in Japan.

Miyajima island. Photo by Alvaro Parra
Miyajima island. Photo by Alvaro Parra

Recommend a dish from your country?

I would recommend tortilla de patatas and jamón.

Tortilla de patatas is a simple but tasty dish with potatoes, eggs, and sometimes onion. You can find it anywhere in Spain, and there are many different preparations and local versions.

Tortilla de patatas
Tortilla de patatas

Jamón is dry-cured ham from Spain. The quality of the jamón depends on factors such as the pig’s feed and the dry-cured time. The way the jamón is cut also affects the final flavor, and it is not an easy feat to master.

Jamón
Jamón

Best restaurants/festivals/stores to feel at home in Japan

Before Covid, there was a Spanish festival in Kyoto. I hope it will resume this year. For Spanish restaurants in Tokyo, I recommend Gracia and Sal y Amor. In Osaka, I recommend Maspi, Aupa, and Can Bashi.

Biggest similarities with your country?

It is normal to meet with friends in a Japanese izakaya or Spanish bar to drink and eat small dishes.

Biggest differences with your country?

Convenience stores in Japan are everywhere and provide a lot of services. In Spain there are fewer stores, they’re not open 24 hours, and offer fewer services. I miss these Japanese “konbinis” when I go to Spain.

Why did you come to Japan?

While living in Spain, I was a member of a Igo (a game similar to Chess) club. The game has deep roots in Japan, and it was the reason I got interested in Japanese culture.

I organized summer training camps for the club as a volunteer. One year, an Igo teacher came to Spain from Japan. That teacher became my wife years later, and now we live together in Japan.

Photo by Alvaro Parra
Photo by Alvaro Parra

What’s the thing you like the most about living in Japan?

The train system in Japan is excellent. It is punctual and reaches many places. Except for some rural areas, people can communicate well using trains, bicycles, and buses. Japan has an infrastructure that allows me to move freely without depending on a car.

What’s the most memorable thing you did in Japan?

I haven’t seen much snow in Spain, so I was very impressed the first time I went to Monbetsu (Hokkaido) in Winter.

Check back in next week for FROM INSIDE !

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Special thanks : Alvaro / Author: Danata / Managing Editor: Key
* Employee affiliations are as of the time of the interview.