Japan Trip 2012 by Simon Asian Club

By: Bonnie (He) Liu

Hi everyone! Hope you all had a wonderful start to the New Year and that everything is going well.

As promised, I would like to introduce our Japan Trip during the past winter break. Our nine days trip to Japan was amazing and this was the most wonderful trip that I have ever had! The trip had two major parts, one was corporate visits to companies, and the other one was sightseeing.

The opportunities of visiting top companies are very precious and unique for us business school students. During the trip we visited eight companies including: UBS, Toyota, Hitachi, Microsoft, Nomura, Societe Generale, Citi Bank and Rakuten. All the companies are leading players both in Japan and around the world in their own industry. What impressed me most was their hospitality. Although our visit was during the holiday season, which was also the busiest season for companies to do year-end balances, almost all the companies had their senior managers even CEO welcome us and present to us.

For the content of presentation, each company covered different areas of topics and shared their own insight with us. In summary, each company covered one or some of the following topics: 1) overview of the world financial market and Japanese market; 2) estimation of Japanese Economy under a new government leader; 3) company’s history and current status; 4) new product strategy, future business development strategy and people strategy etc.; 5) corporate social responsibility and partnership with other parties. At the same time all our participants had very active interactions with companies raising many insightful questions. We greatly appreciated what those eight companies shared with us and we did learn a lot as well. Not only did we have a deeper understanding of the market and the companies, we also got many networking opportunities with professionals from various areas.

The other important part of this trip was of course sightseeing and culture experience! Thanks to our Japanese classmates who helped organized the trip, we were able to visit those landmarks in Tokyo and at the same time enjoy life in Tokyo as real Japanese people.

We had our crazy Christmas party in Ginza singing Karaoke while enjoying delicious food. We had a whole day bus tour to 1) Tokyo Tower with the view of the whole Tokyo city and even Mt. Fuji; 2) one of the most famous gardens in Tokyo to watch a tea ceremony; 3) DIY Monjayaki on the boat with a great view of the sea; and 4) visit to Sensoji Temple. We had our alumni party in a great restaurant with 17 alumni who came to join us and shared their experience with us. We watched a Geisha performance and learned Japanese traditional art culture.  We went to Yokohama and Kamakura to explore Japanese Ramen culture and enjoyed a seaside hot spring house along with a visit to the famous Kamakura Great Buddha, and great snacks and food were a key part for sure. We also went to many other Tokyo’s landmarks including Omotesendo, Shibuya, Tsukiji fish market and Tokyo SkyTree. And for the last day of the year 2012 we had a wonderful hot spring tour and had our New Year countdown on the cruise with a fantastic night view of Tokyo Bay Area and fireworks! There can’t be a better way to finish an old year like this and start a new year by making a wish at a Japanese Shrine in the early morning.

Does this trip sound great to you? I can keep talking about our trip with a lot more fun we had there if there is not a word limit. Interested in the trip? Why not come and join us! I am curious of where is our next destination now.

At the very end, I would like to thank all our board members of the Simon Asian Club who made great efforts to make this wonderful trip real. And many thanks to all the eight companies who hosted us, thanks to all our alumni who joined our party, and thanks to all the support we received from different offices of the Simon School. We cannot make it without all of this help.

Thank you all who read this blog, and hope to see you soon at Simon.

Meliora.

 

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