It’s always fun to meet up with a friend or two from Hawaii, living in a destination you visit. You get to hear about how they live and work, and eat food that is very local to the area — in places that a tourist might not normally go.
I had the opportunity to meet up with a bunch of Hawaii ex-pats, even a few who have lived there about 20 years, thanks to Kurt Saito (who has lived there for four). It was so interesting to hear about how much they love living there as well as what you have to go through to get to live there in the first place. You have to be serious about moving to Japan and have people vouch for you, and in the process they have to open up all of their personal records. It’s not an easy or quick thing, but once you get there, it’s apparently a really great life (especially if you’re a guy, but that’s another blog post for another day).
Also, you’ve heard about Japanese people working long hours. Did you know that they are obligated to stay long at work even if they’ve long finished? That’s their culture — they show their loyalty to their company by staying late at the office. “They don’t work hard, but they work long,” observed one ex-pat.
Nonetheless, it was nice to meet up after work with the Hawaii peeps. We went to Noboru, a multi-level bar in Ebisu that offers all you can eat and drink in two hours for just $28. It’s super local and and fun, and decent bar food. Here’s how the night went:
Big mahalo to Kurt Saito for getting the event together and introducing me to the gang from Hawaii!
Up next: Random wandering through Tokyo. Follow me on Twitter and Instagram at @Melissa808 if you want to get the most current updates!