Being the Bridge

If you’ve seen our website, you know that with our global team in particular, we strive to be the bridge between our clients and local vendors and teams here in Japan. I spoke with our global team manager, Jeremy Doccola about this topic specifically. There are many ways we are able to bridge the gap, as managing events overseas can bring about a unique set of challenges. It is rewarding for us to over come challenges together with our clients and partners, making each event stand out in the best way.

Expo for a Global Hotel Group

This an event that had been done in Japan for many years, but the APAC marketing manager in Singapore, always had to leave the design and set-up of the event to the Japan team as she could not directly communicate with the local event vendors. When she found peak 1 she could communicate her requirements of the event directly to us in English

starwood expo

Global Tech Company with Japanese HQ, Tour

In many cases even if the client knows which venues they would like to hold their gala dinner at or which hotel they would like their group to stay at they can’t communicate with the local managers in English. We often help in between the client and the venue during site visits so that if they have any questions we can get the best answers to help them decide which venue or hotel to have their event at.

venue

 Global Computer Company, Incentive Trip

When we do incentive tours we have to be aware that most of the guests will be coming to Japan for the first time. So we have to prepare some activities that will provide them with a satisfying Japanese experience. For welcome activities we have girls in kimono welcoming them, taking pictures with them and serving them drinks. During dinners we have interactive samurai or ninja shows for some exciting entertainment. Other cultural experiences include tea ceremonies, onsen or rickshaw rides.

Picture2Global Computer Company, APAC Regional Event 

Another challenge when welcoming many guests to Japan is dietary restrictions as guests come from all over the world we welcome vegetarians, gluten-free, or guests with other food allergies. Such diets are not that common in Japan so we must prepare ahead of time with hotels and restaurants so that all guests are taken care of.

diet

Israeli Tech Company 

Another part of being a bridge between an overseas client and local venues and vendors is managing expectations. Clients may have grand visions for their event, either in decorations or stage production that are just not so common in Japanese events. Even if the local staff may not be used to doing such events we have to educate them of why the client is requesting such things. The end result is often creating a new environment that is unexpected for the Japanese guest. On the other hand, if we are unable to do something in Japan do to cost or availability of equipment or staff we must explain to clients why we can or can’t do things they may be used to doing in other countries.

communication

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Japan’s Rainy Season

Japan is a country that experiences 4 true seasons, 5 if you consider the rainy period of summer it’s own season. Tsuyu in Japanese, is the especially rainy season typically between the end of May until the end of July. This year, although rainy season was officially announced in the first week of June, we really didn’t feel the affects of it until last week when sudden heavy humidity, along with warmer temperatures and thunderstorms rolled in. I can’t think of one person who considers rainy season the best part of the year, as it can be very tiring dealing with the weather during this season, however there are things you can do to beat the humidity and wet days during tsuyu.

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Dress Accordingly

Although typically hot and humid, when the rain storms roll in it can cool down quickly. The best way to dress is in light layers with breathable fabrics. Not only does it cool down with rain, it also can get rather cool at night or inside air conditioning so it’s best to bring a light scarf or sweater with you.

Activities

There is a lot to do indoors while you’re visiting or living in Japan, particularly in a big city such as Tokyo. Visit one of the many museums – there is surely something to suit your taste. From art, to history, science, pop culture and special pop up exhibits that are always changing, you won’t get bored. The department stores around Tokyo are also worth checking out. Even if you’re a window shopper, you will enjoy the fantastic displays and cool air conditioning. Shibuya, Shinjuku and Ginza have massive department stores on most every corner what will surly impress.

Image result for japanese department store

Onsen

There are people who prefer to visit onsens in rainy season. You can find Japanese onsen (natural and man made) all over Japan. I personally prefer to visit onsen in the winter, however the cloudy gloom of rainy season attracts many people during tsuyu as well.

Image result for onsen summer

Umbrellas

During rainy season, more often than not it is necessary to have an umbrella with you. Conveniently, in Japan there is no shortage of umbrellas. There are convenience stores on every corner selling the clear plastic umbrellas and many specialty umbrella shops too. Japan has many unique, stylish umbrellas in all price ranges and sizes. Grab yourself a folding, pop-up umbrella to stick in your bag and you’ll be good to go!

Image result for umbrellas in tokyo

Image result for umbrellas in tokyo

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Flowers

One of the great things about the changing seasons in Japan is all of the different flowers that bloom throughout the year. When rainy season rolls around, you see hydrangeas pop up everywhere. You’ll be able to spot the blue, white and purple flowers from the train, in neighborhoods, temple grounds and even the big city streets. Tokyo has a few spots well known for hydrangeas so if these colorful flowers put a smile on your face, be sure to stop by Hakusan Shrine in Tokyo’s Bunkyo ward. To be honest, there is actually not much to see here except the hydrangea flowers. During the rainy season there are over 3,000 hydrangeas in bloom and a festival in honor of these flowers every year in mid-June.

Hakusan Jinja

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Hokkaido

If you want to skip out on rainy season all together, you might consider visiting Hokkaido which is a region of Japan that barely is affected by rainy season, if at all.

There is a bullet train you can take from mainland Japan to Hokkaido but the more common way to get there is by flying. Hokkaido summers are known to be cool, with no humidity and beautiful mountain scenery. There is a famous lavender farm in Furano, lakes, ocean side towns, seafood, and more. Prices from mainland Japan to Hokkaido can vary greatly depending on when you book – so if you’re flexible play around with the dates and times until you find a good deal.

Image result for hokkaido summer

Image result for hokkaido summer

Although rainy season is perhaps not the most ideal time of year in Japan, there is certainly a bit of Japanese culture that has been built around it. I hope that if you have the chance to spend time in Japan during tsuyu, you enjoy it!