Day in the Life of an Average Japanese Salaryman in Tokyo

Day in the Life of an Average Japanese Salaryman in Tokyo

[Music] this is Makoto a 27 year old single seller man living in Tokyo and he’s just waking up her work he prefers to skip showers in the morning as well as skipping breakfast at home very common in Japan and also time efficient his house is relatively large for Tokyo but he shares it with his family who run their business from the first floor looks like the rest of the family is still asleep in summer Tokyo becomes unbearably hot so he dresses in cool biz meaning light attire no tie or suit jacket some traditional Japanese companies don’t agree though and you’ll catch some of these salarymen walking the streets in the video Makoto how long does it take you to get ready so you think are you ready you may leave us [Music] mikoto lives too far from the nearest train station ah cabana to walk every morning so he takes a machete a Japanese slang for mom’s bike many people who live far from the station ride their bikes and park them and paid spaces as a city confiscate spikes in undesignated spots so there’s this unwritten escalator etiquette in Tokyo stand on the left and walk on the right as you can see market is excited to get to work so no standing for him so a coupon is in the northern part of Tokyo right Nick the Saitama Marcoses office is located in Korakuen which is luckily in the northern part of Tokyo as well as so he only has a 30 minute train ride to work which is half the time for a standard Tokyo commute but he does have to transfer at Midway and take two trains to get to work time to transfer trains [Music] mikoto how was the train ride about Saint in your home or not conducive to my gosh Thomas oh look that’s Tokyo Dome that’s pretty cool but the trains must be crazy busy on game day Mikoto works for our company called mobile a sim card provider in Japan Mikoto has hired straight out of university and he plans to stay with mobile his entire career another characteristic of a Japanese salary man so he’s gonna pay with an IC card commonly used in Japan and convenience trains taxis restaurants and even vending machines all with one touch oh how convenient his office is in the same building as the convenience as the youngest employee in the company is always the first one to arrive at the office it gives him family good opportunity and get some work done [Music] Makoto how many people are in the office when you is ruining the image of the intelligence the first person came in and more these two ladies are interns that Mikoto is helping manage and that’s his boss although with the small Koki office you can see that Mikoto sits next to his boss without any barriers open seating style what are you doing now in larger Japanese companies usually an office lady would prepare tea and coffee in the morning but in smaller companies you’ll find the youngest person will be tasked with many of the day-to-day administration seems like Michael does happy to do it though it’s about to get really busy we’re gonna be going to a lot of places but that’s kind of like what happens when you work at a small office you kind of have to do everything and Mikoto you come to in turns on the lights makes a car for everyone I don’t know it’s just like very similar to your country let me know in the comments he’s off to his first appointment now how much time do you have until the meeting so Mikoto’s official title is marketing advisor which is kind of vague in fact his business card doesn’t even have a title on it which will make a bit more sense as a video goes on Mikoto where are you going right now Sherman all I hereby sancocho my shop for the money must get all so funny you give us so Mikoto is visiting a coffee roaster in schema to prepare shipments for the company’s subscribers it seems kind of odd for a SIM card company to be in copies of triptans but the business is part of the company’s initiative as it donates all the earnings to charity called warm hearts coffee club managing this effort is also part of my kotas job right now as we speak oh wait I think I’m missing it now he’s heading to Shibuya from squishy Mount which are on opposite ends of Tokyo another 30 minute train ride so where are you going now Shariati no they missed among I’d already much asorio potato tomato juice a tiny dose if you’ve been working in Japan long enough like me you’ll notice that there’s almost an excessive amount of face-to-face meetings in between companies even though many interactions have already done over the phone Japanese feel it’s important to meet and talk in person to build strong relationships in fact makoto spends a lot of his day traveling on the train between home office and client visits all save you from the monotony and edit out most of the travelling but pay close attention to the time in between locations that gets eaten up by travel he doesn’t have a lot of time for a sit-down lunch so he’s gonna pick up some food at the supe or an English supermarket then head back to the office to grind out emails he missed during the meetings [Music] he’s unconscious in a minute thank us I don’t want to bother him during this lunch so let’s go forward explore on this office that’s the other barrier we came in on there’s a company here so it looks like it’s like three rooms are like three companies on this floor and then you have the men’s bathroom and then you have the women’s bathroom like all videos let’s check out what it looks like I don’t know do you guys looking at other people’s bathrooms or is it just me oh so one toilet on the floor and with the standard Japanese washed it and it looks like they do have this sink area which is pretty centered as well on most floors with like these something’s like small business floors I think it’s like pretty much required to have like a sink and instead of having one office and everyone shares like this like common space you know what’s actually in these boxes are SIM cards like free SIM card service for the rest of your life that’s crazy so I think I found something what’s this what’s this little thing here what’s this Mikoto you travel so much can you use taxis instead to get around factionism oh I know the tension a ghost a Makarov pistol I bet it was great Oscar Thomas hey man it’s not straight not impossible to get question with the answer yes [Music] so now Makoto and his boss are going at me with Softbank their supplier for SIM cards in more formal Japanese meetings it’s normal to take several people from the company in fact I’ve been in meetings with more than ten people from one company attend nice one of the first Japanese business manners to master is the Macy cocon meaning business card exchange at the first meeting Macy : is a must it would be quite embarrassing to not have a card as you would be viewed as incompetent or a person of no importance there are many rules such as how to hold the card with both hands how to dress herself how to set the card on the table and to not put away the card until after the meeting but that’s a video for another day it’s also Japanese business etiquette to show your clients at the elevator and to maintain the bow until the door closes [Music] so it’s five o’clock now and it’s just that kind of quiet I thought this is just finishing up some emails to this time not a lot to do before finishes at 6:00 aside from all the emails that he missed throughout the day so he’s just been working away and you would expect the day wouldn’t be complete without a visit and the delivery yay finally done just a little past 6:00 time to clock out and call it a day or maybe right are you going straight home we’re gonna eat your baby what’s gonna do put you there mother see you later before going to the next spot he needs to buy some postage stamps to send out a few documents luckily most convenience stores have a post box inside oh when electrons get closer you’ll often see these campaign cars near large stations so Makoto’s company also supports an after-school program twice a week he mentors the kids and eats dinner with him not so uncommon for Japanese element to work all these additional hours won’t show you that yes what you’re the kind of us and now the day is done back at his home station [Music] Oh No he still has work after getting home you want you to come out any second off you made it a question though would you consider to keep quite to give me your money cuz getting else that’s a true Japanese salary man spirit finally like most Japanese a bat that night before he goes to sleep I mean who would want to climb in a bed after sweating all day without a bath [Music] all right so that’s the end of Marco Thursday what do you guys think you guys like this day in the life series I’m actually gonna have a bunch more of these so definitely hit that subscribe button the bell button if you want to see more of these videos as you can see Mikoto his his chilling has been quite a long day that he’s had he’d have actually been to so many places traveling on the train sisters just right there just chilling I think his mom just came home it’s just been quite a long day if you guys like this video helped me out and hit that like button if you guys want to see what I’m doing on the daily then definitely check out my Instagram channel and I guess that’s it I’ll see you guys in the next one

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About the Author: Oren Garnes


  1. My Day in the Life Video Series Playlist –
    Also, Comment on what other Day in the Life vids you want to see!

  2. Very interesting. But I think the Japanese people work too hard. I admire the ethic but where’s the time to just live?

  3. First of all Makoto is so handsome and hot. Secondly how on earth does he still have his sanity after such a long damn day; still at work at 5 PM? I'd die..

  4. i have seen a lot other channels about how they job is and one video should sum up a dozen of videos , stay strong mako save enough to get out of there ❤️

  5. I really enjoyed this video, Paolo! Hahaha. So fun, regardless of the topic and the notion most of us, foreigners, we have about work in Japan.

  6. The only thing i can imagine keeps him going and wanting to get up in the morning is the large amount of social interaction during work time , and the fact there are so many expected social norms to complete during daily routine, which i guess are HUGELY important in Japan to psychologically giving one the feeling of being satisfied somewhat. Like if theres no order, then theres no value. Which means no happiness ?

  7. The best video until now of a Japanese salary man.
    But the thumbnail isn't attractive to the viewers.
    That is why I'm watching this video today.

  8. Dude, such a stark contrast to the other office video he posted!! Bruv, when the clock hits 5, I'm the first person to leave the door regardless.

  9. Makoto, tailor your shirt please 🙂
    p.s. 3:08 they still use those timesheet cards? that a shame… employers should stop doing that.

  10. that looks like a nightmare tbh my life is way 'privaliged' compared to him poor guy, i did a job like that for a few weeks once. it was alright but i couldnt maintain that….

  11. Anybody else bigger in size and fatter would struggle doing this job , seems like besides the other qualifications one has to be slim and medium size with high stamina to do this job or else he would be exhausted , sweating , and a bunch of other things too

  12. Great Video. I would like to highly recommend this video👍

    Hi I am a korean and making a video related with korea culture please subscribe me share it to your friends

  13. Japan's economy is like a V6 engine revving at 10000 RPM.
    the higher the population the more cylinder, the harder people work the higher the RPM.

  14. At least he does get to leave the office environment for much of his day and can actually see daylight and talk to people/clients. I can't imagine him being confined to that crappy apartment (yeah that's more of an apartment, not an office…) for 10 hours a day everyday and get home after 10…

  15. Absolutely love it.Having traveled to Japan and having experienced such culture is something I’ll never forget. Thanks for highlighting the details!! I ❤️ 🇯🇵

  16. Ohhhhh man….. 8:20am to 10:50PM….. I couldn't do that. I worked as an intern at a small software company in Nishishinbashi. I hated the morning commute….. Traveled from Setagaya. Meidaimai to Shibuya was terrible =(. Shibuya to Toranomon wasn't too bad. I hella miss Onigiri, Soba, and okonomiyaki……..

  17. I'm Japanese but can you tell me which part do you think busy in this movie? Japanese are paralyzed to work. I want to know what is different from your country about working style.

  18. I love how respectfull people are to each other in Japan. We could use more of that respect in the west! Japanese must think we're rude people when they visit us lol

  19. How about a day in a life of a Vietnamese? any labourer? any thing Viet? would like to see my kind do what they do and share it with the world 2 c! thx

  20. USA 3x! I love my 9 to 5pm in the office.. tyvm… Yike poor Makato no wonder hes single no time to date 😖😔…

  21. And here I am complaining to myself that I can't listen to podcast while I'm at work… I've been so spoiled, unlike Makoto.
    That's some level of discipline mann!
    Also, this video made me subscribe! I'm going to go check out more of your content Paolo! =)

  22. Me working 4 hours a day going like wut???? When do you exercise, when do you get your 10 hour sleep a day, when do you binge tv shows/read manga, when do you go out to eat, when do you go to a holiday?

  23. now i get it. although the day is long its cut up into loads of micro tasks, which usually involve a physical meeting, new location and a walk / break. so your active all day and social. thats better than staring at a screen all day.

  24. Japan, the death of free time and individuality… I admire the country for what it is but I would never want to live there. Hats off for all the japanese people who can endure this constant stress all day.

  25. do a video on the armed forces homie. wat like being a soldier in this geo political climate. don't just think money. think protection. Samurai. jujutsu. kempo. also fun stuff like what do they do for entertainment. do a video on military exercises with allied countries. I'm not interested in just money and yen all the time.

  26. Random question, does anyone know what that cute little plush mascot thing is at about 5:34? It's adorable…I also want to buy it lol 🙂

  27. I wonder how many people killed themselves with that passing train that the public decided to have guards rails on there.

  28. They still use the old fashioned punch cards rather than scanning your card.
    It would be too expensive for taxis for the company to cover.

  29. so I loved watching this video that showcases how unique Japanese culture is compared to the US, but I felt myself getting a bit defensive while reading the comments. all of these people are attacking his “bland” lifestyle. Makoto, the average salaryman in the video, often finds himself to be working a steady grind from sunrise til hours after the sun has set. He gets off work around 6-7, only to work further more with other clients. Yet this “overtime” work doesn’t always necessarily have a negative connotation. Twice a weak, makato is also Incharge of mentoring children at a clients house. On the video it shows that he obviously has a positive relationship with the kids, and he seems like he’s thoroughly enjoying his time. Ya even said that sometimes the family will even cook him a delicious Japanese dinner- and if there’s anything I learned during my homestay in Japan is that homemade Japanese dishes are always cooked with enthusiasm and heart, especially when there’s a guest around. I didn’t find any particular point in the video where Makato seemed unhappy with his life style, in fact I often found the opposite. This is not to say I believe there isn’t moments in his where he wishes he could be doing something else, he’s clear that he obvious has a great deal of respect for his job, his coworkers, and his boss. This idea of respect as an integral part of Japanese culture is reinforced many times during the video. Makato takes two train rides taking him from one end to another end of Tokyo just to meet with clients and be able to discuss business with them face to face because they believe that this level of personal communication goes a long way for a business wishing to show their respect and appreciation for their partners. The idea of respect in japan is also reinforced during the clip when Makatos boss exchanges business cards with another executive of another company. During this exchange, both party members make sure to hold the cards with both hands, and bowing down to the receiver. Afterwards, the executives make sure to show Makato and his boss to the elevator, and they hold their goodbye bows until the door closes. What I gather from the video is that many ideas of respect and ideas of showing respect are integrated through Japanese life and are reinforced/taught from an early age. Though Makato doesn’t show a life of freewill as many of us in America hope to have/imagine, I believe the thought of putting his all into his work is what allows him to truly feel accomplished at the end of the day, which is what brings that big smile on his face as he walks to his bike from the metro station.

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