Global Programs Blog


Cody Gee (JD '​20)
Legal and Internal Audit Department, Kobe Steel Group, Kobelco
Tokyo, Japan

Kon’ nichiwa Nihon

After my first ever 13-hour flight, I landed at Narita Airport (NRT) approximately at 3 p.m. on Saturday, June 22nd. After going through customs, I was pleasantly greeted by one of my colleagues, Kikui-san. One important thing to note in Japanese culture is that the “san” suffix is a Japanese “honorific” and essentially the English equivalent to “Miss” or “Mister,” thus, Azumi Kikui, my colleague, is Kikui-san (Family Name/Last Name + san).

Kikui-san then began to lead me into my accommodation in the Magome area (Ota ward) of Tokyo. It was about eight minutes from Magome train station, which I would soon realize was the most important reference point I would need to remember to get to the office. At my apartment, we met with another colleague of mine, Fukuda-san, who together with Kikui-san helped me understand everything I needed to know about my stay. In the evening, Kikui-san and I began to make our way to dinner, where I got to meet many other colleagues. We went to a yakitori restaurant, which is a restaurant dedicated to grilled chicken. It was amazing!

Busy Japanese streetI don’t think anyone can ever re-live the first time they step into Tokyo. Japanese culture is especially different from American culture, and I could not help but notice how clean, polite, and busy this city really is. Imagine going to New York City and multiply that experience by ten. There is so much going on in this city that truly never sleeps. However, my first impression of Japan was how clean and polite this country really is, and it is a culture unlike any other in the world.

On the next day, I had the whole day to myself. With little to no sleep, I went off to familiarize myself with my everyday route to work. I took the Asakusa line to Gotanda station, and I started to walk to the office building. It took me about ten to fifteen minutes, and it was nice to know there were so many restaurants on the way.

Cody Gee in JapanI then returned to Gotanda station, but I apparently went to the wrong line. See, each station has multiple entrances to many different lines, and I accidentally entered the gate onto the Yamanote line, not the Asakusa line. An important lesson I learned that day is never go through a gate you are not sure is the right gate because, once you enter, you can’t leave until you go to another station.

Japanese streetHowever, another lesson I learned was that getting lost in Japan is an amazing experience I would never forget. The wrong line that I had taken was heading to Shibuya, one of the largest commercial districts in the world. I stepped off that train, and stared at awe. At that moment, I knew I was going to have the best summer of my life.


Cody Gee in Japan
Cody Gee in Japan
Cody Gee in Japan