Small vs Big company!

I am currently working in a middle sized company which has >20 employees in Tokyo and half of my engineering department are "gaijins"!

So, what is a small company in Japan? those with <10 employees and those big company are >1000 employees! There are many MNCs (multi national company) in Japan such as Sony, Panasonics, Toyota and etc, they hired hundreds of thousands employees!

This is how company size is categorised purely based on the number of employees the company hired!

But, the most crucial point is most of the MNCs in Japan has way better working welfares compare to small company! Employee usually received better medical welfare, various allowances such as subsidized computer purchase (Rakuten), free meal (GREE), language training and Japanese culture adaptation (Toshiba), discounted rental (usually 60% cheaper than normal price - Asahi Glass) and the most important of all! the bonus! usually Japanese company will pay bonus twice a year - winter and summer bonus! for big company, their employee could get up to 5 months of bonus a year(Asahi Glass)!!! that hell lot of money!

However, there is a surprising fact that both actually pay almost the same starting salary for their staff! in fact smaller company pays slightly higher compare to the big company! the range of starting pay for engineer is > 210,000 yen!

Tokyo Hotaru Matsuri 2013

I just went to Tokyo Hotaru Matsuri 2013 yesterday, and the view was amazing! 

Matsuri means festival and Hotaru means firefly! it is an annual event held in Sumida river which is near to Asakusa!, if you are not familiar about Asakusa, you might heard of the famous temple there name Sensoji temple, it is one of the biggest temple in Tokyo!

beautiful view of Sumida river

This is the picture that I took from the center of the bridge! there are 100, 000 of floating LEDs are released on that day for the festival! 

The LEDs are manufactured by Panasonics to resemble the firefly that flies through the Sumida river in older days! because of rapid development in Tokyo, it is rare scene to see firefly flying through it! thus, Panasonics has decided to bring back the beauty scene back! 

the hotaru light
The LEDs light are shown below, it is powered with a AA battery! it has a high intensity blue LED and it has diffuser to spread the light. Below the light, it has 2 screws which allows electricity conduction when it touches the water!, it only glows when it touches the water else it wont!

and another interesting point, is the design of the light shape, do notice that at the bottom is flat and at the top is rounded, this allows the light to float upwardly regardless on how it orients itself on the water! it is due to the buoyancy of the light! brilliant engineering by Panasonics for providing this modern firefly!

So, on that day about 7pm, we are given the light and to throw it to the river! It is kinda interesting, it is like the modern Chap Goh Mei instead of throwing oranges we throw "fake" firefly!

Besides, the people constantly throwing the light, the organiser did release thousands of the lights! this makes a spectacular view and it lights up the river! Here is the video on how it looks like! 

Now, I will share about the travel tips for this festival! I have to queue up for 1 hour just to get the ticket and 1 hour to get in! There are thousands of people and it is so congested on that day!

Here is the official website for the festival:

You have 2 options to see the festival either you pay or you see it for free!
a) if you choose to pay for the entrance fee which costs 1000 yen for different zone
> they will give you the light and you can throw it to the river, once you have thrown it you are asked to leave the area because behind you there are so many people queuing up for it! Remember to choose the zone, which has the view of the Skytree!
> to get the ticket, you have 2 options to buy it online or to get it on that day! if you get it on that day it will cost you 1200 yen and you need to queue up for 1 hour!

b) you can see it for free! just get there early in the morning along the Sumida river (near the Asahi buidling), find a spot that you love and camp there! you got to enjoy it for free! but, you just dont get to throw the light that all!

Here is the gallery of pictures of the festival! 

tokyo sky tree with sumida river

tokyo sky tree with hotaru

sumida river with boat

Getting a Job!

If you looking for a job in Japan, you can try to be a English teacher!

Teaching English is one of the most popular job for foreigners in Japan. I have many friends from the Western countries work as a English teacher in primary school or language school! English teacher is the easiest way for you to come into Japan. If the language school is interested at you, they will sponsor your visa to allow you to stay in Japan for few years! and most of the language school do not require you to have Japanese! 

You can check the list of English school below:

Nova is one of the biggest language school in Tokyo, they have advertisement in every train cabin! 

The average salary for English teacher is from 220,000 to 250,000 yen. It depends on which level you are teaching. If you are teaching the older students, you will get more! In addition, you can give private lessons and you can earn more! An average you can charge is 2000 yen per hour!

Is that salary enough for you to survive in Japan??? What is the working culture in Japan??? Stay tune! I will tell you more on my next update! :)

I am a mechanical engineer graduate specializing in mechatronics. I am currently working as a robotics engineer in Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo. To my surprise, Japanese companies are eagerly hiring foreigners! I always thought that Japanese is very closed corporate culture! But, now they are trying to shed off this image. The government is relaxing the rules, making the immigration process much easier and convenient for gaijin!

My company is the only commercial robotics company in Japan, you can google it and I am sure you can find it easily! The good news is my company is actively hiring foreign engineers! 

Furthermore, there are few job portals that you can look out for. If you are fresh graduate, you can try the link below:

or you can try the link below, but this is mostly language career

Starting engineering career in Japan don't pay well, the average salary is from 190,000 yen to 230,000 yen per month before tax. Besides, the net take home pay is about 80% of your base salary! But, Japanese company is known for their good bonus! If you are working in big company you can get about 5 months bonus per year! and bonus is paid twice a year! I will address those in the future post, stay tuned! :D

and again most of the starting career in Japan does not require you to know Japanese. This is my biggest surprise to me! So, do not let language as barrier for you to come here! Try to apply and woola you might land a job here! However, I strongly advised you to learn Japanese beforehand because most of the Japanese are really bad in English!, they usually cant speak but they are able to listen to you!


This blog is about me getting my 1st job to work in Tokyo, Japan!

I am from Malaysia and I got this wonderful chance to work abroad after graduating from my university!

I will share my experience on how I got this job and flying here to work and getting all the complicated administrative stuff done! Also, addressing some of the common questions that the 'gaijin' (foreigner in Japanese) wannabe will encounter!

and I make my adventure to Japan more exciting, when I cant even speak a single word of Japanese!
Yes, I could not speak Japanese at all! That is how exciting my journey is! :D

Stay tuned for more! :)