「Moving to Japan and Working in a Japanese Tech Company」English Ver

Hello! My name is Eza and I come from Indonesia. I have been living and working in Japan for one year. I am passionate about technology and cultural exchange, and I enjoy exploring new places and learning new languages.

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Skills and Professional Background

I specialize in software development, with a focus on front-end technologies like React and TypeScript. My experience also includes back-end development using Node.js, Firebase, and Google Cloud Platform. I have a strong background in UI/UX design, having led design teams and created comprehensive design systems.

Interests and Passions

I enjoy going to coffee shops and trying new foods. I have a particular interest in Japanese cuisine. Exploring new technologies and improving my language skills are also passions of mine. One fun experience I had was trying fugu, the famous puffer fish dish. It was thrilling and a bit nerve-wracking knowing that it has to be prepared very carefully to avoid poisoning. The taste was unique and definitely a memorable adventure! I also love visiting local markets and trying street food, which offers a wide variety of flavors and textures that are new and exciting.

During my weekends, I often explore different neighborhoods in search of hidden culinary gems. One of my favorite finds was a tiny soba noodle shop in a secluded alleyway, where the owner personally prepared each bowl with meticulous care. The rich, flavorful broth and perfectly cooked noodles were unlike anything I had tasted before. These culinary adventures have not only delighted my taste buds but also deepened my appreciation for Japanese culture.

How I Ended Up Working in Japan

My journey to Japan began with a deep fascination for its culture and technological advancements. I received an opportunity to work remotely for a company based in Fukuoka, which allowed me to combine my professional skills with my interest in Japan. I was introduced to a Japanese CEO of a startup by a friend, which opened the door to this opportunity.

Initially, I worked remotely from Indonesia for one year. The experience was rewarding, but I was eager to immerse myself in the Japanese work environment and culture. The company eventually invited me to work directly on location. To facilitate my move, they contacted an administrative scrivener (行政書士), who helped with the entire visa process. The process took about 6-7 months, including a trip to the Japanese embassy in Jakarta. With the help of the administrative scrivener, everything was made simpler. I just had to provide the documents they asked for, like my CV, photos, and university graduation documents, and everything was processed smoothly.

Paperwork in Japan

After arriving in Japan, there are still many processes that you need to complete, such as looking for a house, registering your address at city hall, setting up a bank account, and getting a phone number. The administrative processes in Japan can be quite detailed. Initially, everything was hard because I wasn’t used to doing paperwork in Japan. However, with the help of my work colleagues and support from foreigner centers available in Japan, things became easier.

One of the biggest challenges was setting up a bank account, as it required several documents and a lot of patience. Whenever there was something I didn’t understand, I contacted the Fukuoka Foreign Employment Service Center (福岡外国人雇用サービスセンター), and they helped a lot for new foreigners coming to Japan. Their support was invaluable in navigating the complexities of the Japanese bureaucratic system.

Working Style in Japan

Working in Japan has been a unique experience. The work culture emphasizes punctuality, teamwork, and meticulous attention to detail. Japanese workplaces often prioritize group harmony and consensus, which can be different from the more individualistic approaches I was used to. However, this has taught me the value of collaboration and empathy. Meetings are always on time, and the work pace is fast.

I had heard how strict the working culture in Japan could be, but it turns out that, at least in the smaller tech companies I work for, everyone is pretty lenient and open to discussion. It’s similar to what I experienced in other tech environments but with a unique Japanese touch. The respect for hierarchy is noticeable, but there is also a strong emphasis on mutual respect and team cohesion.

Things to Be Careful About When Staying in Japan

Living in Japan requires awareness of certain cultural norms and regulations. For instance, understanding the importance of respecting personal space and being mindful of noise levels in public places is essential. Separating trash is not usual in Indonesia, but in Japan, it is very important to follow the recycling guidelines strictly. This includes separating burnable, non-burnable, and recyclable items, which can be a bit confusing at first but becomes second nature over time.

Additionally, it’s important to be aware of social etiquette in Japan. The Japanese are very particular about manners, and showing respect in these small ways goes a long way in building good relationships.

Recent Concerns

Even after learning Japanese extensively, I still feel the need to improve more, especially in professional settings. Language proficiency is an ongoing journey, and there are always new nuances and expressions to learn. This can be both challenging and exciting, as it keeps me motivated to continue improving.

Family’s Reaction to Living in Japan

My family’s reaction to my decision to move to Japan was mixed. They were excited about my new experience but also worried about the distance and the cultural adjustments I would need to make. Over time, they have become more supportive as they see how much I am enjoying my life here. We do video calls once in a while to keep the connection strong and share updates about our lives. These calls have been a great way to stay connected and share my experiences with them.

Tips for Living in Japan

  1. Learn the Language: While some people in Japan speak English, knowing some Japanese will greatly enhance your experience.
  2. Understand Cultural Etiquette: Simple things like bowing, using chopsticks correctly, greeting others, and being polite can go a long way.
  3. Explore: Japan has so much to offer, from beautiful landscapes to rich history. Take the time to explore and appreciate it.

Tips for Working in Japan

  1. Be Punctual: Punctuality is highly valued in Japanese work culture.
  2. Embrace Teamwork: Japanese workplaces often emphasize group efforts over individual achievements.
  3. Stay Open-Minded: Be willing to learn and adapt to new ways of working and thinking.

That’s it!

I hope this article provides a useful insight into my experiences! Moving to Japan has been one of the most exciting and enriching experiences of my life.

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