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 Sunyoung from Republic of Korea.
* The Japanese version of the article is available here.
Country：Republic of Korea / Years in Japan：10 / What do you do at PayPay：Product Designer / Location(where do you live currently)：Yokohama, Kanagawa
“I want to live in the ‘now,’ full of smiles and happiness!”
Recommend a spot/thing in your country
My favorite places in the Republic of Korea are Jeju Island and Gyeongju. Many of you have probably heard of Jeju Island – it’s like the Okinawa.
Gyeongju is a historical district, similar to Kyoto in Japan, where you can experience the past & present of the Republic of Korea!
Historical architecture in Gyeongju
What places/things would you recommend in Japan?
I have many favorites, but Shikoku and Yakushima are at the top of the list. I like hiking and mountain climbing, so I traced the pilgrimage route in Shikoku and went to see the Yakusugi cedars in Yakushima. Just talking about it makes me want to go back!
Recommend a dish from your country?
You may think that all Republic of Korea food is spicy, but actually, there’s a huge range of dishes! My favorite dish is tteokbokki!
Tteokbokki is a dish you would go and casually eat with friends after school, rather than being an authentic Korean cuisine. There are all sorts of flavors you can try out! The recent trend is a “rosé” version, but the flavor I recommend for people in Japan or in general, is the “gongchu” tteobokki! It’s a soy sauce based flavor with lots of meat and is said to have been served to kings in the past. I love it so much that I could live on it alone every day💜
Biggest similarities with your country?
Korea and Japan are very close in distance, and I don’t think there are any major differences in food, seasons, and other environments. Grammatically speaking, a sentence is made up in the same order in Korean and Japanese too, so I think it’s very easy to study Japanese ⇄ Korean!
Also… we are in the same Far East Asian region!
Biggest differences with your country?
Off the top of my head, “hay fever and cedar trees”! I’m lucky because I don’t have it yet, but I’ve seen quite a few of my friends from Republic of Korea and elsewhere get hay fever after coming to Japan. I’m awed by how powerful cedar trees are… I pray to the moon* every year that I don’t get hay fever.
*In the Republic of Korea, the full moon has been believed to be a symbol of revival and life because its round shape resembles fruit of the new grain. While viewing the moon during the Autumn Evening (the old Bon Festival), people gave thanks for a bountiful harvest and prayed for a good harvest and unfulfilled wishes for the next year’s farm work! This is why the term “asking for the moon” is still used today.
Why did you come to Japan?
I was working in the Republic of Korea for a company that has connections with Japan, so I used Japanese a lot on a daily basis. One day, I thought it would be more fun and challenging to work in Japan while using Japanese in a local situation, so I moved to a company in Japan.
What’s the thing you like the most about living in Japan?
Whether coming to Japan on vacation or working holiday, the people I met have been very kind and I’ve been able to have a great time. About eight years ago, a lady sitting next to me struck up a conversation with me and told me that she had also had the experience of living abroad as an university exchange student and had a very lonely and difficult time. We both agreed that we would help each other out if anything happened, and we’re still in touch as good friends to this day! I think there are many very kind people in Japan.
What’s the most memorable thing you did in Japan?
On my travels to Shikoku and Yakushima, I was able to meet people from many different countries – talking not just with Japanese people but with people of various nationalities living in Japan was an experience that was very enjoyable and has left a long standing impression.
Of course, life at PayPay is the same! It’s so much fun to be able to talk with people from various countries.
Check back in next week for “FROM INSIDE” !
Don’t forget to check out past issues too.
See our currently available open positions here
Special thanks : Sunyoung / Author: Danata / Managing Editor: Kye
* Employee affiliations are as of the time of the interview.