Nagano, summer festival, medical exam, Shinjuku, Star Wars: Episode 3, O-bon

I'm going on a business trip to Nagano next week (update: actually I don't know when but it's 'soon').

Work is tough but since I'm working on some very new technology, I'm happy. I can't reveal much, but it's to do with the next version of Windows, Windows Vista (formerly codenamed Longhorn). Research is in the form of reading 400+ page Microsoft confidential documents that have like 8 pages or so of legal blah-blah before the real material. Company policy dictates that we read the legal stuff =P.

Let's look at some differences between the work environment in a software company here and in Canada (using Roxio as the reference):

-almost everyone here works crazy hours. Like 9:00 to 21:00.
-no games room here =(
-more company events here (tommorow we have a summer festival! I bought some raffle tickets.. I hope to win a PSP hehe)
-bureaucracy is rampant here
-the reception ladies are quite cute :P

I'll add more differences as they come to me, but other than these, it's pretty much the same. Oh, and we speak Japanese here, but that's obvious, right? =P

Due to popular demand, (actually just one person so far, but eh.. :P) I'll be posting more differences in the near future, about everyday life though, not work. Although do keep in mind that many points are generalizations, and as there is inherent danger in generalizing, be careful not to infer too much.

All new employees must undergo a thorough medical examination, which I think shows a bit of the extent of bureaucracy here. I went to a nearby hospital today (the building I'm in has a small hospital too, but it's too limited to perform such an exhaustive medical exam). Among the things performed were:

-measuring height, weight, chest, hip, waist
-urine sample, blood sample (4 tubes!)
-x-ray scans
-blood pressure
-vision tests, hearing tests
-reflex exam

Yesterday, us 3 Canadians in the office (me, John, and Sachin) went to Shinjuku to meet Sachin's Japanese friend. She's pretty and studies law - wow, go Sachin! =P We had fun eating Shabu-shabu buffet. We had plans to watch Star Wars: Episode 3 so we had to leave her in the middle of Shinjuku (one of the busiest cities in Tokyo).

I'll take some pictures of my colleagues soon, and with their permission post them here =D.
I also want to watch the O-bon festival. I'll try to take pictures but it's a nighttime festival I think, so they might not turn out well.

以上。(the end)


Bao said...

that wasn't a long post :P

Vista doesn't sound as special as Longhorn :P

9:00-9:00? That's crazy. Although it explains why EVERYONE wears suits at night..

Alan said...

Wow...that's a pretty beast medical examination. How long did it take to complete sir? And it seems kinda interesting that they'd have a summer festival now, when it's more near the end of summer, but oh well.

What's this O-bon festival about?

I agree with Bao - Windows Vista doesn't really sound that cool...

and yeah...I've been playing a lot of Magic lately. When I was reading your first paragraph, I thought I saw the name of a certain legendary human samurai, heh.

Ambrose said...

Can you post pics of Sachin's law student friend instead? =p

9-9, that's long, but I was expecting like...7-11, ha ha.

Our tour guide in Japan said that it is part of the Japanese culture that the later the man returns home from work, the more "prestigious" they seem in the eyes of the neighbours. And it seems neighbours > every one else when it comes to face. Weird.

Jason should confirm this, heh.

Jason Yu said...

The med exam took about an hour and a half. Umm, I don't know exactly what O-bon is about either, but it's a fairly ancient tradition. Nagao? =)

Sorry Brose, I didn't take any pictures but we'll surely meet up again sometime later :P

I can't confirm or deny that thing about coming home late..

I returned home at 1:30 am today! (After the summer festival, a group of us, about 15 people, went drinking yet again..)

And no, I didn't win a PSP =(

transcendent said...

Just out of curiosity, what exactly is nijikai?

RT said...

Nijikai is the second party!!! The fun one!!!

Hi Jason, I followed a link to your blog from Lorenzo's. Why am I even remotely interested in Epson? Cause I was last year's intern in Kagoshima!!!


I'm actually an intern at Microsoft in Core Security right now. I agree: Windows "Vista" is a bad name.

We have these posters everywhere that say "Clear, Confident, Connected" and I just want to call it Windows Noxzema... buy 3 bottles of Clearasil and redeem your proof of purchases for a free copy of windows!

I hope you're having an awesome time in Hino! Your Leopalace looks EXACTLY the same as mine did. I also visitted Hino once on a business trip - do you know Hagiwara-san? I was working on some CoolBeat stuff...

Your lab is pretty neat! Anyways... yes, just wanted to drop a line. I hope you're having a great time in Japan. Take every chance you can, eat it all up, don't forget any of it, do everything you can possibly, cause pretty soon it'll all be over and it'll feel like a bubble and dream.


Jason Yu said...

Hey Rob! I read your "voice of working students" become coming here =P Kagoshima seems to be a great place, with the volcano, sea and what not!

Thanks for the advice! I'll take every chance and make the most out of it.

Hehe good ol' Leopalace. It's like a mass produced housing system, a 'stock' apartment. I want to tune it up =P

Kevin said...

I agree with ambrose.

9-9. That sounds like ATI when you're working in a testing department.

Wait, try 9-10. But for a software company, maybe that's a bit worse.

No wait, testing is much more annoying a repetative.

And Vista sounds more like a car. Can't you just see a commercial with a truck that looks like the Silverado and having the commercial go:
"Microsoft Vista - Where would YOU like to go today?"

Jason Yu said...

Hahaha Kevin..
Now when I think of Vista during those endless meetings we have here, I'll think of a truck: where would YOU like to go today?

Man, I need that bank account real fast. I'm running out of cash now, only like 200 dollars left in my wallet T_T