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 Marius Eikenes from Norway.
* The Japanese version of the article is available here.
Site Reliability Engineer
Country：Norway / Months in Japan：4 / What do you do at PayPay：Engineer (Platform team)
“The biggest similarity between Japan and Norway is that people value their personal space. You may think Norwegians are very quiet, but that’s only until you get to know us. This seems to be another thing common among Japanese people.”
Recommend a spot/thing to do in your country.
Norway is well known for its nature, mountains and fjords, and by extension the hiking trips around these destinations. One of the most famous places is “Trolltunga,” which translates to “the troll tongue,” and heading there will take you to one of the greatest views Norway has to offer. People say it looks photoshopped, but it does in fact exist. There are a lot of other beautiful locations like this, so if you’re a hiking fan you won’t run out of places to hike all too quickly. I’m actually not a huge hiker, which is one of the reasons I decided to move.
Your favorite spot in Japan
That’s quite a difficult question because there are so many great places here. I particularly love going to various places across the country where I can go for a dip in an onsen and enjoy the local cuisine. If I have to recommend a specific place though, the first place that comes to mind is Shirahama in Wakayama. I like going there in early summer when it’s not too hot to enjoy both the beautiful beach as well as the onsen. Another onsen spot I enjoy is Okuhida in Gifu.
Recommend a dish from your country
Norwegians tend to enjoy simple meals. Like Sweden’s “mashed potato and meatballs” made famous by IKEA, Norway also has a simple but enjoyable dish – pan fried salmon with salt & pepper, together with mashed potatoes and broccoli (optional) on the side.
Best restaurants, festivals, and stores to feel like home in Japan.
It may be a bit unusual, but I don’t miss Norwegian food. I do miss the restaurants I used to eat at, but I have always enjoyed foreign dishes too from before moving out of Norway. I’m enjoying all the various foods Japan has to offer, which is why I haven’t had the opportunity to miss Norwegian food so far, I think. The only thing I really miss from Norway is my friends and family. Hopefully, they can visit me in Japan soon!
Biggest similarities with your country?
The biggest similarity between Japan and Norway is that people value their personal space and usually keep to themselves on trains and buses. Norwegians are considered to be very quiet, but that’s only until you get to know us. This is another thing that seems to be common among Japanese people.
Biggest differences with your country?
The biggest difference is the population. Norway has much less people. Because of this, for example, Norway does not have as many restaurants or shops because there just aren’t enough people to keep them in business. Even in Oslo, the capital, there isn’t a huge selection compared to most of the main cities in Japan. I lived in Oslo for more than 15 years and know Oslo quite well. I have probably eaten at most restaurants I’m interested in. But in Tokyo, this would be impossible as there are too many shops and restaurants for one person to get through.
Why did you come to Japan?
I traveled to Japan for sightseeing, mostly focusing on food and onsens, almost every year for many years. As a tourist, I got to enjoy many parts of Japan and at some point realized that I would really like to live in Japan. So far I’m enjoying living in Japan very much! I definitely do not regret coming here.
What’s the thing you like the most about living in Japan?
Only one thing? That’s quite difficult! If I have to pick one, it’s the fact that trains run on time. In Norway I wasn’t able to schedule anything because I could never trust the train or bus to be on time. In Japan, If the train is supposed to arrive at 11:08, it arrives at 11:08. I can relax and plan my day in a less stressful way, which is wonderful.
What’s the most memorable thing you’ve done in Japan?
It may not be something I’ve actually done here, but the most memorable thing has been the move to Japan!
I’ve done many things tourists would do in Japan, but nothing can quite beat the feeling of moving my life to Japan from the other side of the planet. I only moved here half a year ago, so everything is still very fresh. The simple things, like searching for a place to live, felt surreal.
I remember, in particular, how it felt after finally settling down – I had my own place and things at work were sorted too. I fell back onto the couch in my own living room after a hard day at work and at that moment, I found myself thinking “wow, I’m actually living in a different country now. It is real!”
Check back in next week for “FROM INSIDE” !
Don’t forget to check out past issues too.
Current job openings
*The recruitment status is current at the time of the interview.
Special thanks : Marius Eikenes / Author: Az / Managing Editor: Naoko
* Employee affiliations are as of the time of the interview.