This is a guest post by my brother-in-law, Mike, about his recent trip to Japan. You can read Part 1 here. Thanks for taking the time to record your experience for us Bro!
The Sales Manager of our subsidiary in Japan picked me up in Tokyo and brought me to Osaka, the second largest metropolitan area in Japan and among the largest in the world, with nearly 19 million inhabitants (according to Wikipedia). We checked into Hotel Osaka Garden Palace, freshened up and left our rooms to meet the client, who was already waiting to get the Job done.
The maintenance manager there is over 70 years old and is still in good shape. He works as a consultant and isn’t planning to retire anytime soon. He reminded me of my grandfather-in-law in Mangalore, whom we fondly call “Nana”. Without any further discussion, we directly went to the workshop to begin our work. It took about 2 and a half hours for me to fix the compressor.
The Customer was very happy!
As a symbol of apology for the inconvenience caused to the client, I handed over 2 big bars of Toblerone! Apparently, they are very fond of Swiss chocolates. Once the job was completed, our sales manager insisted on taking a group picture. It is a general practice here in Japan to take a picture with all the members involved after completion of a work.
To celebrate, we went to a restaurant called Japanese BBQ. It is also a common practice in Japan to get to know someone personally before doing business; You have to go out, eat and drink beer and Sake (Japanese rice wine made by fermenting rice that has been polished to remove the bran) together. I drank some beer and sake and tried Sushi and Sashimi, which are special Japanese delicacies.
With a respectful bow and a hand-shake we returned to our hotel after dinner.
The next morning (Wednesday) we headed back to Tokyo by train to visit the office of our subsidiary. In the evening we boarded another train to Yokohama, where our service center is located.
Yokohama is in the outskirts of Tokyo. Most people who work in Tokyo live in Yokohama as living costs are cheaper in Yokohama but the salaries are higher in Tokyo. I checked into the Royal Palace hotel, which had a beautiful view of the city. Yokohama reminded me of Winterthur; Small but busy.
The next morning on Thursday, we took a train back to Tokyo. After finishing my work, I decided to leave from the downtown area at 7 pm and take a bus to the Toyo Narita Airport. After the formalities, I relaxed a bit at the Emirates lounge, which was pretty big, and reflected on the past week with satisfaction. I’d accomplished what I set out to do and and had experienced another culture and cuisine along the way. It felt good, but I was anxious to be back with my wife!