Embracing the Land of the Rising Sun: My Unforgettable Journey as an Intra-Company Transferee in Japan

Embracing the Land of the Rising Sun: My Unforgettable Journey as an Intra-Company Transferee in Japan

Arriving in Tokyo, I knew my life was about to change in ways I could never imagine. Last year, I was given the incredible opportunity to work in Japan as an intra-company transferee. Leaving behind the familiar sights and sounds of the Philippines, I embarked on an adventure that would not only transform my career but also open my eyes to a world of new experiences and profound life lessons.

From the very beginning, I was captivated by Japan’s rich cultural tapestry. The traditional beauty of shrines and temples coexisting harmoniously with cutting-edge technology and modernity left me in awe. Every day was an opportunity to learn and embrace cultural nuances, from the art of bowing to mastering the intricacies of the Japanese language.

In freee K.K., I encountered a work culture that valued diligence, teamwork, and meticulous attention to detail. Meetings were a symphony of precision, where decisions were made collectively, respecting the input of every team member. The Japanese dedication to their craft was contagious, and I found myself inspired to push my boundaries and strive for excellence in every endeavor.

While the experience was immensely rewarding, it came with its fair share of challenges. Language barriers sometimes made communication tricky. However, each hurdle presented an opportunity for growth and self-improvement. I learned to be adaptable, resilient, and more open-minded than ever before.

One striking culture difference was the Japanese commitment to punctuality and respect for time. Meetings started promptly, and deadlines were strictly adhered to. Being on time was considered a sign of respect towards colleagues and showed a commitment to the task at hand. In the Philippines, while we valued punctuality, there was a more relaxed approach to time, and meetings might start a little later than scheduled.

The communication styles in the Japanese workplace were notably different from what I was used to back home. The Japanese valued harmony and were often more indirect in their communication to avoid causing offense. As a Filipino, I found myself navigating the balance between being respectful and expressing my thoughts openly. I gradually learned to read non-verbal cues and context to better understand my colleagues’ perspectives.

One of the most enriching aspects of my work experience in Japan was the opportunity to collaborate with people from diverse cultural backgrounds. Our team comprised individuals not only from Japan but also from countries like Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Taiwan, America, France, and many more. Working with such a global workforce provided me with a unique perspective on teamwork, problem-solving, and creativity.

Interacting with colleagues from different cultural backgrounds allowed me to learn about their customs, traditions, and work styles. We shared stories about our home countries, exchanged ideas, and leveraged our diverse skills to tackle challenges creatively. This exposure to diverse perspectives broadened my horizons, enabling me to see problems from various angles and approach solutions with greater innovation.

During my time in Japan, I discovered solace in embracing my hobbies. I loved taking long walks to different parks, immersing myself in the tranquility of nature. The meticulously maintained gardens and serene landscapes provided the perfect escape from the bustling city life.

Japan’s cafe culture became my haven for relaxation and contemplation. I indulged in the artistry of a perfectly brewed cup of coffee in cozy cafes, surrounded by the soft ambiance of mellow tunes and gentle conversations.

In these shared hobbies and serene escapades, I discovered that Japan and the Philippines shared common threads of camaraderie, a love for adventure, and an appreciation for simple pleasures. The fusion of both cultures in my everyday life added depth and richness to my experiences, connecting me to cherished memories of my home country while embracing the beauty of my new home in Japan.

As a devoted Catholic, attending mass on Sundays became an essential part of my routine. Finding a church that felt like a spiritual home in a foreign land brought me a sense of comfort and familiarity, reminding me of the strong connection that faith brings, regardless of language or cultural barriers. Also, encountering fellow Filipinos in church gives me a sense of familiarity that momentarily takes me out of the feeling of being in a foreign country.

Japanese cuisine has always been a favorite of mine, and being in Japan allowed me to indulge in authentic ramen like never before. From rich tonkotsu to delicate shoyu broth, each bowl offered a delightful explosion of flavors that satisfied my taste buds and warmed my heart.

Amid the excitement of my new life in Japan, I couldn’t help but miss my home country, the Philippines. The warm smiles of my fellow Filipinos, the vibrant colors of our festivities, and the laid-back lifestyle were dearly missed. This longing for home taught me to appreciate the beauty of my own culture while embracing the richness of Japanese culture.

As my one-year journey in Japan came to an end, I found myself overwhelmed with gratitude for the experience. The knowledge gained and the personal growth achieved made it a life-altering adventure. I returned to the Philippines with a newfound appreciation for diversity, a deeper sense of empathy, and an eagerness to share my unique experiences with others.

Being an intra-company transferee in Japan was more than just a career opportunity; it was a transformative experience that enriched my life in countless ways. The memories of Japan’s beauty, its people, and the lessons learned will forever hold a special place in my heart. As I move forward, I carry with me the understanding that embracing change and stepping out of one’s comfort zone can lead to some of life’s most profound and rewarding journeys.