I LIVE IN JAPAN / Winnie Lam

DECEMBER 2019 (VOL.148)

Winnie Lam

Hometown: San Francisco, California

When was your first visit to Japan?

I came to Japan through a study abroad program in my junior year at UC Davis.Spending almost a year in Tokyo, living with a Japanese host family, practicing my spoken Japanese, many first-time experiences were just fascinating me. 

What bought you to come to Japan again after graduated?

I appreciate the people I met and experience I had when I was studying abroad. I would like to know more about the people and the country. By chance, I got an internship offer at Japanese Consumers’ Co-operative Union(CO-OP) , experiencing to work at University Co-op, supermarket and logistics center. Not only the language, I was able to expand my knowledge and enlarge my understanding about the insight of the work environment, lifestyle and culture. By the way, I have been staying at four host families during 3-month of stay and still keeping contact now. That becomes one of the valuable treasures in life. 

What have you been doing in Japan? 

Actually, I came to Japan the third time for work half year after the internship. At first, I taught English at public elementary schools. (I think that was the most common pattern of people who first came to Japan to work) Glad that my hometown is San Francisco, where diverse culture has gained my insights. Not only the language but also, I could share about the content for international understanding to the children, future generation of the society. 

After then, to make full use of my insight and background, I was lucky enough to get into an advertising company focusing on the inbound market, which promotes Japan to overseas people. With a group of passionate members from different countries, creating an owned media, making original contents, publishing guidebooks, launching events overseas, doing everything creatively to promote Japan with our insider’s insights. 

Afterwards, I have experienced working in travel agency as well, supporting overseas visitors to enjoy Japan in another aspects. Recently, I am getting back to the advertising field doing promotions and events both in and out of Japan. 

Would you mind sharing any unforgettable experience in Japan?

There are a lot. But I would say climbing the Mount. Fuji with my colleagues. I would never forget the moment of watching the sunrise on top of Mount. Fuji. Actually, it has been one of the traditions of the company to lead about 100 of employees to participate every summer. Without any technical training and less knowledge, it is definitely a challenge to your physical limit and mental control. Honestly you are on your own to overcome the difficulties. At the same time, courage and support from the surrounding to give you strength to face the obstacles is extremely important. If you are planning to Mount Fuji, go with someone : )

What fascinates you about Japan?

In my previous job, I had a lot of chances to travel within Japan discovering the hidden and astounding places. Traditional and modern, new and old; moreover, a blend of multiple elements with technology and arts. Wondering if you have heard about J-POP SUMMIT, an event held in San Francisco every summer? I was able to bring what I have experienced in Japan to share with others as part of the sponsors/exhibitors. How impressive! All these coincides have fascinated me.

What are you looking forward to recently in Japan?

Of course, Tokyo 2020. It is just one year to go. How exciting! I am lucky enough to get tickets at the first time of lottery chance. At the same time, it is my pleasure that I am working on some promotional campaigns slightly related to Tokyo 2020. How awesome to take part of the worldwide event! New national stadium is almost done. A lot of new spots and activities are getting ready. The Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020 will start from July 24, 2020. Hope to see you around.