Week 3

This week had a fun mix of things going on in and out of work. At work, I dove into the interviews, talking with at least two employees each day. The variety of people’s lifestyles and opinions really fascinates me, so I feel lucky to have the chance to converse with so many people! On Wednesday afternoon, Michael, Mr. S, and I went on an outing to see one of the company’s cold storage buildings. The inner storage rooms were extremely frigid, but the people there treated us warmly. They explained to us about how the facilities work and did fun demonstrations like blowing bubbles that would instantly freeze and shatter in the air. On Friday, we met for a free discussion with some employees from the customer service department.

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Week 2

This past week has left me feeling more settled into living and working in Tokyo, but has still involved a rapid fire of new experiences. At the beginning of last week at work, we learned and talked about the Marketing, IT, and CSR departments in the last few free discussions. The free discussions let us not only meet new people and get a broad view of how the business works, but also see some of the interesting comparisons and contrasts between Toyo Suisan in Japan and Maruchan Inc. in America. I’ve spent most of the rest of the time during the workdays conducting and transcribing interviews and creating surveys. The company let Michael and I each decide what kind of marketing project we wanted to pursue, so I’ve gotten to focus on researching people’s habits and perceptions related to food and health, meat, and vegetarianism. So far things have gone pretty well – I feel lucky to get to talk with people about such a passion-inspiring subject as food!

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Week 1

Yesterday marked one week since I arrived in Tokyo. In many ways, it’s been a whirlwind of a time so far with introductions, adjustments, planning, etc., but with a few odd bits of stillness here and there. To give a brief snapshot of the week, after I arrived at Haneda airport last Saturday, Professor Hamada and a General Affairs employee Ms. N, kindly came to greet me, take me to the company apartment where I’m staying, and make sure I had the basic supplies to survive in Tokyo. The rest of that weekend I spent figuring out how to grocery shop, find my way around my neighborhood, and ride the trains, all of which took some getting used to but weren’t as daunting as I had feared, thankfully.

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