Day 7 – Trip to Nara and Uda City

We started the day with a welcome of Masaji Ono, Assistant Section Manager of Uda City, and Sei Ando, Cooperation Staff of Uda City. After they took us to the city hall all the employees gave us a warm welcome. They showed us their excitment of our visit by standing at the entrance and waving with Swiss flags.

Following by that the mayor of Uda City, Mikio Takeuchi, introduced us to the staff and to the invited presenters. Mainly the presentation was held by Isao Miyagawa, Director and General Manager of Dai-Ichi Seiko Co. Ltd. He talked about the Japanese business life and the business condition in the past 60 years. He came to the conclusion that both countries, Switzerland and Japan, have to look out for “lucky spaces”, like in football.

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We were invited to have lunch also with students from Nara University. The students Yuko Fujii, Eri Shintani, Yuri Takentaka and Kurumi Murata gave us some information about Nara and its sightseeing places at the end of lunchtime.

After lunch, they accompanied us when we went to Mr. Kajiya, one of a few katana sword crafter. He gave us some insights about the production and the use of these swords. Impressive was the fact that the completion of a Katana sword can take up to a whole year.

The final stop was at the Todai-Ji Temple where we can see the great Buddha. This temple also served as the Japanese headquarters of the Kegon school of Buddhism and it is listed in UNESCO as a historic monument of ancient Nara.

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On the whole it was very interesting to experience the differences between the crowded, noisy Tokyo and Kyoto and the countryside of Nara. This day was a compensation to the other busy days we had before and it was a pleasure to meet the polite and open-hearted people in Nara.

Day 4 – Tokyo Fish Market and sight seeing

A Day full of diverse impressions started off at 8 a.m. at the Tsukji Fish, Fruit and Vegetable Market. One of the first and lasting impressions was the way by which a police officer at the fish market got rid of our group not by telling us to leave but by simply handing over a piece of paper. ” Tourists shall keep out of the fish market before 9 a.m.” it said and that was it for the moment. Though one or two tuna sawings were still seen after nine, the “real” action was over when we entered. Still there was heaps of diverse captured species to be seen. Some tied up and still alive and some cut into fine pieces. The sight-seeing through the market was followed by some of the best and earliest tuna-sashimi so far. The Meiji-Shrine was our next station. We were able to witness a wedding ceremony which caused both. Depression and awe. The same could be said for the whole experience of the shrine which was built in remembrance of the emperor meiji. This second station of ours stood in great contrast to Takeshita street with its overloaded and unbelievably colorful stores and quite obviously displayed teenage culture. Just standing on the side of the street for a couple of minutes and watching the runway was a unique experience indeed. The rest of the day was spent to get the JP Railpass for the group members and later in individual manner.

Day 3 – DeNA & Credit Suisse Japan

Being still enthusiastic about the victory of the Swiss national soccer team and recovered from the jetlag, we started the third day of our trip by having a brief meeting in the hotel lobby. From there the group travelled with the public transport the Shibuya district. Tomo Akiyama, Head Corporate Communication of the Japanese Technology Company DeNA, welcomed us at the 21th floor of their headquarter. Before entering the meeting room, we had the chance to enjoy a breath taking view over Tokyo’s skyline and smiling at the receptionists.  Continue reading

Day 2 – Hosei University & Embassy of Switzerland Tokyo

At 8:30 a.m. we headed to Hosei University where Dr. Matthias Frey – Head, Science & Technology Office Tokyo, Embassy of Switzerland in Japan – welcomed us. After a brief introduction about the Hosei University given by Till Oehler we took the elevator to the 26. floor. From the “Sky Hall” we had an astounding outlook over the never-ending city Tokyo. We got introduced to Japanese students from the University by their professors Prof. Horaguchi and Prof. Taji. Subsequently, we got divided into groups. Each group consisted of three ZHAW students and one Hosei University student. Next, we left the Hosei campus and walked to the nearby Yasukuni shrine, a place where Japanese pray for everyone who died on behalf of the country, including soldiers and citizens. Continue reading

Welcome to Japan

Japan is the first stop of our field trip. Today all of the students checked in at the Sotetsu Fresa Inn Hotel in Tokyo. At seven o’clock in the evening we met Prof. Dr. Rüttimann and Prof. Angst in our hotel lobby. The trip started with a welcome drink and some snacks in a traditional japanese restaurant. We are looking forward to an exciting trip with unforgettable experiences! imageimage

Japan and China Trip 2014

Emerging Markets and Developed Markets are standard concepts in business schools. To visit one country from two economic stages of development, is the privilege, the students of this year’s SML-fieldtrip have. Combining in a single trip two different countries offers a high educational value.

japanJapan will be the first stop of the Asian trip. This country has a long standing friendship with Switzerland. This year marks the 150th Year of the diplomatic relationship between Japan and Switzerland, an event to honor, to celebrate and a good occasion to visit this land of the rising sun.

china Our second stop is China, a country which also has a longstanding relationship with Switzerland. In the year 2010, we celebrated 60 year of diplomatic relations between the two countries and since this year, a Free Trade Agreement has been reached.

These two Asian countries will allow our students to emerge first into the rich cultural heritage of Japan and to experience its way of doing business. Afterwards, China, the economic powerhouse build also on its rich historical heritage will be the next highlight. Comparing these two countries will allow to draw interesting parallels as well as to recognize distinctive differences.

This year’s trip follows again the academic mission of the School of Management and Law – “Building Competence. Crossing Boarders.” The overarching goal of this class is to understand, what economic needs 1’500’000’000 people have and how companies, local and foreign, serve them!

Furthermore, the students will explore live Cross Cultural Management while they emerge deeply into global business activities! Along these lines, the overarching goal is to prepare the SML-students even better for the challenges Western companies face and to become truly global minded future business leaders.

All this is made possible through the companies we can visit, the personal support of our Dean A. Haelg and Prof. F. Angst and C. Bamert, M. Morger, R. Nerz, T. Oehler and J. Paravicini of the student organization team.

For the participants, it is my wish that all aspects of the trip will be a part of their positive educational experience at the SML: May the trip enables them even further to enhance their horizon of success!

Asia, here we come again in 2014 . . . .

Prof. Dr. R Rüttimann

School of Management & Law / Zurich University of Applied Sciences