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Monday, July 16, 2012

Expedia Japan Office Meet: An Afternoon to Remember


Expedia Japan Office Meet

The clock strikes 11 and a petite figure with youthful childlike demeanor turns up at my hotel Villa Fontaine lobby.

Arti from India? She enthusiastically questions with enquiring eyes.

Yes, and you must be Sayaka from Expedia! I reply excitedly.

She nods with a huge warm grin... and thereon begins my first encounter with the Japanese from close quarters for the first time in the trip .......

She was Sayaka Hirayama, marketing executive for Expedia and my sweet host for the trip. A visit to the Expedia office in Japan was one of the many things that were on my to-do-list in Japan and frankly speaking, I was quite nervous about it. Since I didn’t quite know what to expect out of it, I had come to harbor my very own fanciful qualms of boring presentations and endless introductions and secretly wished for it to get over soon... even before embarking on the trip.

Expedia travel network - The one name for travel

However, it wasn’t long till I realized that all my self imposed nervousness and fears were just that... a fancy.

At the office, which was just a stone's throw away from our hotel Villa Fontaine Roppongi, I was at once relieved to see everyone busy in their own works. No commotions, no disturbances, no overstated welcomes, nothing – all calm and quiet. Sayaka introduced me to some members of the staff and all of them responded with much warmth and affection.


Expedia travel company Japan Office in Tokyo
The Expedia office in Tokyo, Japan

ExpiBear - The mascot of Expedia Japan
The official and adorably cute mascot of the Expedia Japan, the Expibear
[In the pic: Sayaka (left) and Natsuko - marketing director (right)]

I wandered around the office and appreciated the casual d├ęcor of the place as Sayaka went on to explain the working model of the company.

Expedia Office in Japan, Tokyo
Expedia Japan Office

I glared at the computer screens of the people working there in a curious attempt to make out what exactly they were doing at their work stations. The amazing thing was that they never stared back and generally remained engrossed in their work. A few people returned pleasant smiles but that was it, no one ogled back thus ensuring that I feel relaxed, comfortable and at ease at all times.

The views from their glass balcony were impressive. Amid all the concrete, the picture of the red and white painted 333 mtr. high Tokyo tower touching the skies was splendid.


View of the Tokyo Tower from the balcony of Expedia Office in Japan
The Tokyo Tower: View from the balcony

Later after completing the office tour, I was delighted to be presented with a big goodie bag that included a stuffed Expibear and a few stickers.

My Gift in the Goodie bag from Expedia - The adorably cute
The ExpiBear that came in my Goodie bag

To add something more to it, there was a surprise lunch with four members of their staff members organized for us.

My first Vegetable Sushi in Tokyo, Japan
At Potager Veg Sushi Restaurant, Tokyo - My First Sushi

The entire arrangement was so artistic and beautiful,
I actually didn't feel like disturbing it.

My first sushi – vegetable sushi - platter accompanied with some insightfully engaging banter with the lively and spirited Expedia staff was a delight and made for a fun afternoon.

Expedia Japan planning out our sightseeing activies
Expedians helping us plan out our activities for the next day

All in all, the warmth of my Expedia friends, a lot of glorious food and the wonderful company along with some great conversations kept growing in charm all through the afternoon...

The very lively Expedia company members of Japan
Warm, lively and spirited: The 4 Expedians

... giving me very little reason for not marking something that I initially dreaded, as one of the memorable highlights of my Japan trip!

Getting there:

It's a short walk from Villa fontaine Roppongi, the hotel in Tokyo where I stayed.

Roppongi First Building, 7F,
1-9-9 Roppongi, Minato-ku, Tokyo,
106-0032 Japan

+81(03)4577-3201
shirayama@airasiaexpedia.com

Previous Posts from the Japan Trip -

54 comments:

  1. It does look as though you are having an incredible trip, Arti! I'm so happy for you! And I do love your photos!! Enjoy and have a great week!

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  2. how sweet :)

    http://sushmita-smile.blogspot.in/

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  3. Very interesting Japan yaatra.
    Where are you Arti in the pictures?

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  4. I have enriched myself with your experience. The Tokyo Tower has been beautifully captured.

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  5. Sounds like after a visit with them you will have a busy days with all the activities they have planned out. Enjoy your trip as with all of them they can be such great learning experiences as well.

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  6. All so exiting Arti - like a fairy tale come rue!

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  7. A good lesson for us all, Arti - sometimes our mind makes a huge problem when there is none. Glad you felt so welcomed and were immediately at ease.

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  8. What a nice welcome! I am glad you felt so at ease there, Arti. The Japanese are courteous at all times.

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  9. Vege sushi... how the taste arti..? it's smeeels like fish or?

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  10. oh, wish would also have the same opportunity as you but you very much deserve this Arti, and soooo happy for you. I admire the dedication Japanese employees put in their work, and their professionalism you shared. looking forward to more of your trip and journey in Japan.

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  11. Finally the wait is over and a glimpse of Japan now begins:) Thanks for this post, Arti!

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  12. They are focus,

    they are friendly at the same time.

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  13. You seem to have had a great time at their office.

    www.rajniranjandas.blogspot.com

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  14. the ExpiBear is so cute! and yes they all look warm, lively and spirited: The 4 Expedians...I am sure you had as you described a memorable Japan trip! I think I too would not have wanted to destroy the artistic arrangement of the Sushi haha, I am sure you are having a fabulous week :-)thank you for taking the time to visit my humble world....

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  15. good to visit ur post after a long time... interesting post where u have showcased some of the cultures of Japan.

    must have been a very great experience. expecting the next set of posts...

    have a nice day :)

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  16. Happy that you enjoyed the experience and some firsts! xo

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  17. What a great trip. I didn't know that there is the company in Japan.
    I also want to visit the office.

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  18. I have heard that the Japanese are very strict and punctual in office. Now I have proof too :)

    Nice to know about Expedia office. I am sure they can utilize this post as feedback too.. :)

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  19. Glad to see u enjoyed ur trip arti..it's good to get acquainted with locals.. That really makes us feel like living a life in Japanese style and in getting to know more of their culture... They are synonymous with hard wok isn't it!???

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  20. Can I have that bear? Please...

    Looks like you had a wonderful trip, Amazing Hotel, nice expedia office visit and what's next?

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  21. Lovely office and cute mascot bear. Vege sushi? They made sure you've got vegetarian food?

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  22. Oh my goodness, how exciting and how cute is that bear. Loving here about your adventures, I look forward to more.

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  23. They are nice ladies. It's convenient that your hotel and expedia is near.And also the vegetable sushi is good for vegetarian.
    Enjoy a week ahead!

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  24. What an interesting experience. I like the bear and the vegetable sushi :)

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  25. What a beautiful office!! I wouldn't mind working there. :)

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  26. Wow! They know how to treat a guest. Did you come to enjoy sushi at all? We've never been to Japan, but we love sushi... both in Florida and Oregon there are many Japanese restaurants that serve it. (I wish I could compare it to some made in Japan ;>)

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  27. Hi Arti, Thanks a lot for your review of my blog, I have tried and incorporated all your suggetions regarding the layout, though I am not very good at it, your feedback was really encouraging. I am so glad to have come across your blog, it is just so wonderful and so is your post on Japan. Thanks once again and take care...

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  28. That is one cute post with many cute smiles...how was the sushi??

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  29. @Mareta @Sallie @Cloud Nine
    I guess, the real beauty of Sushi for me was more in its visual appeal rather than the taste. And even when I was having my first Sushi, the delightful company I was in was more engaging and managed to take the real cakes. :)

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  30. Looks like a great place to work, Arti. And they took good care of you too!

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  31. You make the experience come alive Arti! Keep it going

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  32. WOW Arti... Looks like you had an awesome trip... Looking forward for more posts from Japan

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  33. Hey, you are having a ball..! Envy Envy :)

    Ps: What was the trip for? Office work or something. Sorry for being ignorant ~

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  34. Arti....
    The details are fascinating..:)
    The Expedia office offers a great ambiance! Would love to work in that kind of an environment, any day!
    Aah, so you tasted 'Sushi'! Am relieved that it was a veg one, else, I would have been sooo Jealous...lol!<3
    The pics are awesome..please do keep updating us!

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  35. Interesting...And that one is a Vegetarian rest?

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  36. ...beautiful pics and wonderful narration as always! thank you Arti:)

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  37. So awesome to read about your Japan experience. :)

    And btw, only in India people stare and ogle back at foreign nationals. ;-) Glad to know that is not the case in Japan. :)

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  38. @Ghazala The trip to Japan was the Expedia contest prize I won, held by IndiBlogger. I'm already back and just documenting things right now. :)

    You may like to go through this post... I had published it on the day I was to leave for Japan -

    My Yatra Diary Goes International


    And this was my contest entry for which I was awarded the trip by Expedia -

    The Village Woman By The Riverside


    Thanks for your interest. :-)

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  39. Beautiful pics of the Expedia Office..Nice post

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  40. I found myself drooling at the food .. and wow you enjoyed being there

    initial response i guess

    Bikram's

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  41. lovely,write up and lot of info with details!

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  42. Your hostesses look very cheerful & friendly,but where are you ?

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  43. This is the first time I heard about veg sushi. Good post and pics.

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  44. the best thing about your posts are...everything falls in the right place at the right time..be it photos or words... as if u know what ur reader is expecting . very nice post or should i say event-narration !

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  45. Awesome experience...so nice to read the story, pics and sushi is really artistic. I did not know, sushi is a veg recipe.

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  46. Wow! Seeems you had a great time, but one thing...where are you in the pictures O_o
    Well, m still to go through the rest of the posts on Japan...soon :D

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  47. Thank you everyone for your kind comments and appreciations. Sushi is not traditionally a vegetarian delicacy but my hosts took pains to find a place which serves a veg one for me. Will post more details later.

    @Punit @Indu @Rakesh Kumar Ji I am behind the camera :)

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  48. I have always read about the kindness of Japanese people and same was reflected in your post. Reading about Sushi I thought its a non veg specialty of Japan never knew they have veg Sushis too :)

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  49. It's great you found vegetarian sushi. It is somewhat difficult to get vegetarian food as they use non-veg stock in most of their food items. When i had been there, our organisers had most of our lunches and dinners scheduled at Indian restaurants, which majority of the people in my group including me hated:P We were thankfully treated to a Japanese meal one night. But i was seriously amazed at the number of Indian restaurants that were there in Tokyo. Incidentally, the Japanese love Indian cuisine:)
    now onto the next entry in this travelogue:)

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Delighted u stopped by... Your suggestions, feedback are really appreciated. Thanks a lot! Hope you visit again!

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