Expedia Japan Office MeetThe 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.
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.
The Expedia office in Tokyo, 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 décor of the place as Sayaka went on to explain the working model of the company.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Expedians helping us plan out our activities for the next dayAll 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...
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!
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