Women from various countries have participated in events and workshops at JPsalon. We introduce and interact with Japanese culture and each culture.
It’s such an opportunity to know more about other women living in Japan. I would like to pick up one woman every month and do an interview. It was a very popular column last time in this series. Today is the second one!
How does she enjoy her life in Japan and what are the difficulties? Please enjoy while having new awareness and empathy!
Interview for Ayako
Her name is Ayako. She’s from Zushi, Kanagawa in Japan and married to German man! She has two beautiful boys. My son goes to the same school and I met her at mom’s meeting.
Her first impression is “cheerful”. She is always smiling and very friendly. She enjoys mom’s chat, PTA work, cooking, exercise and everything, on the other hand, her second son still needs a lot of care. He was crying for nap during PTA meeting and what would she do in such a case?
She carried her son on her back and did everything perfectly. She’s the toughest woman that I’ve ever met!
Let’s see how she enjoys her life in Japan!
Q＝Question by Ayumi, A=Answer by Ayako, (〇〇)＝Additional explanation by Ayumi in parentheses
Q: Could you tell me your back ground and working experience?
A: I joined a German lingerie company and experienced HR and Distribution management in Japan. After I got married I moved to Europe and America. Worked as distribution management, receptionist, assistant and volunteer internationally.
Q: When did you come back to Japan?
A: November 2015 in Shinagawa(Tokyo) with my husband. Then came to Kobe in 2018.
(They moved back to Yokohama just after this interview for her husband’s new job.)
What is her life in Japan?
Q: Can you tell me your daily time schedule? (This is the time when she was still in Kobe one month ago.)
- 6:30- Waking up. Preparation for bento (Her bigger son goes to pre-school)
- In the morning- Taking the second son out to the park, shopping at grocery, cooking while the nap time.
- 15:30- Picking up the elder son at school.
- 16:00- Homework, play
- 17:30- Dinner
- 18:30- Bath time
- 19:30- Story time and kids go to sleep
- 20:00- Free time, Preparing bread for the next morning
- 22:30- Going to sleep. Taking care of the second son as he still wakes up in the middle of the night
Q: What do you do at your free time?
A: House work, Shopping, NETFLIX
Q: What is the joy/happiness/good/convenient parts in Japan?
A: Food! I can’t find any good Japanese food restaurant in Germany. Safety. It is of course convenient to be able to use my native language.
Q: Do you have any recommended restaurant in Kobe?
A: Honey Garden Cafe in Nishinoniya! It’s a good place for kids!
(I haven’t been there but it looks so good! Nice garden, nice food and homemade! Gotta try! Thanks, Ayako:) Info ↓ Sorry only Japanese)
Q: What is the struggling/difficulties/bad/inconvenient parts in Japan?
A: When I had my first child in Germany, I was incredibly surprised that people are so friendly and helpful with kids. Without being asked, they helped. After coming back to Japan with a baby, I realized that Japanese are different in that regard.
Q: Do you have anything that you wanna challenge?
A: Studying German and taking an exam. It is necessary for permanent visa. Also, after the second son enters a school, I want to start working again. I want to work in a diverse environment with people from different backgrounds and countries. Maybe part-time in Japan and full-time in Germany! Most German women seem to be independent, which I aspire to be as well. Interested in the fields of food or kitchenware.
(Wow! I can easily imagine that she smiles and works hard as a strong women with many strong woman in Germany but.. not carrying her second son on her back anymore!!)
Q: What are the things in your heart?
A: 50%- Kids, 30%- Husband and 20%- Cooking
Her message to all
Q: Do you have any comments that you would like to tell to the readers?
A: Cherish the moment! I met people of different ages and backgrounds in Kobe. The fun time will pass in a blink of an eye, so please enjoy it now.
I am always amazed by her strong ability to take action. She must have her hands full with her two sons and support for her husband, but she always raises her hands to help other people. Not only for PTA work which is responsible, but also she does it in her private time. There is no wonder she is loved by many of her friends.
I was also helped by her too for this JPsalon operation. Thank you again Ayako. And her love of English and different cultures is a bit like mine, and I feel an affinity.
I want her to keep her smile and strength then I’m sure she finds very nice friends soon in her new place.
Take care and see you and your family soon!!