1 Year Working in Japan

Time for some reflection as I have now worked in Japan for one year.  I had posted my initial impressions in this blog earlier this year so it is a good time for an update.

I am now very comfortable wearing a business suit and tie every day, and I do actually feel more professional.  Only drawback is extra dry cleaning costs 🙂  And in the typically hot Tokyo summer, I was thankful for the “coolbiz” wear – shirt and slacks.  Will I continue to wear a suit and tie to work daily when I return to Canada?

In Canada, it took me about 15 minutes door-to-door to commute to work normally (longer in the winter with snow) – driving.  Here in Tokyo, my typical commute is between 45 minutes to 1.5 hours one way (I typically go to 2-3 various locations every week) – walking and subway.  Although my commute is longer in Japan, I get some exercise by walking and reading or listening to audio books or music on the train.  Finally, I had an office in Canada, no office in Japan and I am back as a mobile employee, though rarely working from home.

Working office hours are definitely longer in Japan, but I think I am probably working less at home.  Telecommuting is not common here, and most work is performed in the office location.

My biggest challenge is language.  I hate to admit that I have not learned any Japanese (no time to take lessons and I am very poor with languages to begin with).  Although I have a part-time interpreter to support me, I know much is lost in translation.  I have attended meetings without my interpreter and continue to receive many emails and documents in Japanese.  So if you do want to work in Japan, I would suggest you learn Japanese before coming here as all business is conducted in Japanese here.

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5 thoughts on “1 Year Working in Japan

  1. One year in Japan. おめでとう!(Congratulations!)

    Do you still like it here? “Homesick”?

    Everything you described about working in Japan (attire, commute, etc) just seems normal to me. But, I only worked a couple years in America before I came to Japan…so almost my entire working life has been here (Japan).

    Anyways…how much longer will you stay in Japan? One more year?

  2. Tokyo5, thank you very much for your comments.

    >> Do you still like it here? “Homesick”?

    Yes, we love it here. Not really homesick as my family is with me. I try to call my Mom regularly (she is not Net savvy as your parents are). Finally, Facebook has been really great to keep me connected, virtually, with friends and family back home.

    >> Anyways…how much longer will you stay in Japan? One more year?

    Yes, my assignment length is 2 years, but we hope to stay until June 2010 (so 2 1/2 years) so that my son can finish Middle School and when we return to Canada, he can start High School there.

  3. Time flies! In another year or so you will be back and you’ll think: where did the time go? But you have had some great experiences in Japan, and I am glad you’ve been sharing them via the blog and other things.

  4. Pingback: Happy New Year - 1 Year Living in Japan « Konnichiwa

  5. Pingback: 2 Years Working in Japan « Konnichiwa

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