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Tori-no-ichi Festival 2018

‘Tori-no-ichi’ is a festival that accordingly originated at Asakusa area during Edo period (1603-1868). People in Japan, especially in Tokyo, believe that praying and offering to the God of Otori (Otori means giant bird in Japanese, namely the eagle here) can bring you back good fortune, health and business prosperity.

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Living

Chinese traditional holidays/festivals in Japan

On June.18th, 2018, May.5th by Chinese lunar calendar, many Chinese people in Tokyo celebrated one of their traditional festivals, namely, Duan Wu (端午), or Dragon Boat Festival in English.


Traditionally, people shall eat zongzi (a kind of rice dumplings), and do dragon boat racing, in memory of the tragic death of one of the most influential poets, writers in China, Qu Yuan.

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Living

稲荷祭 (Inari Festival)

先日、稲荷祭に参加してきました。
稲荷祭は、弊社が入っているオフィスビルの一階で、年に一度行われています。

この一帯の氏神様(うじがみさま)である日枝神社(ここは首相官邸の隣にある有名な神社です)より神主様がお二人いらして、神事を執り行ってくださいました。

でも、何故にオフィスビルで稲荷祭??と思いますよね。

The Inari Festival was held the other day.
The Inari Festival is held every year on the first floor of the office building that e-Jan resides in.
Two Shinto priests from Hie Shrine (a famous shrine next to the prime minister's official residence) for this region’s ushigami-sama(*1) came to perform Shinto rituals.
But you might wonder, why would Shinto priests come to an office for an Inari Festival??

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Living

In search for a new domicile: being a good neighbour in Japan

Any area around the world, once residing at a new location, it is imperative to understand that each location would have a certain custom or tradition of which you would have to learn, even if it may seem strange. 'When in Rome, do as the Romans do.'

As I mentioned in my previous post, I have recently moved into a house in a suburban area of Saitama (a prefecture beside Tokyo). The area is a quiet neighbourhood, mostly composed of retired folks. Just to paint a picture, every single day, at around 7:30 pm, the streets are dead silent, with hardly any cars or people passing by. Somehow, with a ‘local’ feel that comes with the territory, I felt that I would need to be extra conscious of the local ‘ways of doing things’.

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Living

In search for a new domicile: getting a house


Renting for a place can be tedious and nerve-wrecking, as I mentioned in my previous post. However, once you are equipped with the simple ‘how-to’s, gathered the requirements, and found a reliable real-estate agent, the process runs smoother. In regard to purchasing your own place, it’s more or less the same.

The apartments I’ve stayed at were not too shabby, some were even outstandingly nice. However, I’ve always wanted to have my own house; extra rooms for some mini house-projects, a wide living room, garden and barbecue place, a garage, and such.

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Living

年賀状 (New Year’s cards)

日本では「年賀状」を新しい年の初めに、親しい人、お世話になっている人へ送る文化があります。
西洋文化における「クリスマスカード」と同じ様なものです。

Much like the Western concept of Christmas cards, Japan has a tradition of sending New Year’s cards to close friends/family and others who have taken care of you during the past year.

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Living

正月飾り (New Years decorations)

新年、明けましておめでとうございます。
Happy New Year!

今回のWorking Japan blogでは日本の正月文化の一つ「正月飾り(しょうがつかざり)」についてご紹介します。
This Working Japan blog will cover one aspect of Japan’s New Year traditions: ‘New Years decorations’.

正月飾りは、正月を迎えるに際しての飾り物です。
色々な種類がありますが、家の玄関を飾る代表的な正月飾りを2つご紹介します。
New Years decorations are set up to welcome in the new year.
There are many different kinds, but this time I’ll be introducing two kinds.

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Living

Christmas in Japan

Christmas is obviously a major seasonal, cultural, and retail event for many Christian-majority countries. Japan does not designate Christmas as a public holiday, as some countries do, but Christmas has transcended its theological roots and become a purely social holiday. And while people do not get the day off from work, many people celebrate Christmas or get into the spirit through decorations and activities.

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Living

In search for a new domicile: getting an apartment

Moving to a new area is a thrilling adventure and at the same time an intimidating change, especially here in Japan. Thinking about the location, transportation, budget, etc. is stressful on so many levels, but beyond the stress of logistics, the start of something new brings with it conflicting feelings of eagerness and anxiety. Whirlwind of decision-making can be an emotional rollercoaster, but extremely exciting.

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Living

Tori-no-Ichi festival

In November, e-Jan employees visited Hanazono Shrine for the Tori-no-Ichi festival. Over the years, this has become an e-Jan tradition to give thanks to wish for prosperity in the coming year.

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Living

Essential steps for moving in

So you have put down that deposit, paid your upfront rents and are all excited about moving into your new place. Yay! Phew! One of life’s greatest challenges accomplished; you’ve moved to a new country, found a job and settled down.
You thought all the hurdles were now behind you, since you finally have your own place. However, there are some “small things” that Japanese do when moving to a new place that might stumble or annoy new foreigners here.
This short write up attempts to save you the embarrassing moments and awkward situations, and to help foster a good neighbourhood relationship with your neighbours.

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Living

舌尖上的西日本之福冈

2016年,入社的第二年,被派到公司的大阪营业所工作。从此,我的在日生活起了翻天覆地的变化。

2007年来日留学,语言学校,大学,研究生,直至入职公司,一直住在日本关东地区的首都圈。随着日语能力的提高,和对一个陌生而又新鲜感十足的环境的探索欲的不断膨胀,我的活动范围也以点连成线,线扩成面的方式迅速扩大。大学时还考下了驾照,由此便更加地一发不可收拾。进入公司前,日本的中部地区,信州地区,首都圈,东北地区,以及北海道几乎都留下了我的足迹。由于公司偶然的一次调动,开启了我对西日本,确切地说是对西日本饮食的探索之旅。

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Living
Living

Lunchtime at the workplace

Styles of lunch at the workplace vary from person to person, company to company. While some companies may provide lunch for their employees, many do not; here we’ll explore some of the common lunch options.


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Living

Commuting to Work with Public Transportation

Cities in Japan have very good public transportation systems, which makes it fairly easy to travel both in and between cities. Local public transportation is also facilitated by the use of IC cards, which store money to use on public transportation, such as trains, buses, and even taxis, but can also sometimes be used with vending machines, convenience stores, etc.

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