First of all, happy new year 2013 everyone! 2012 has been a great year for me, that I finally made it to be here in Japan! I hope there will loads of fun adventure in 2013, I hope that I can accomplish more.
Anyway, in this post I will tell you about the trip that I had to Atami City with my Study on Japanese Companies and Industries class mates. We had the trip at 25th and 26th of December.
So for quick facts, Atami is a small city located on Shizouka Prefecture, approximately 2 hours drive from Tokyo. Atami combined the beauty of sandy beach and mountain range. This city is specifically famous for its onsen (Japanese hot springs) and the hotel that we stayed is also a special Japanese Onsen Styled Hotel (Ryokan) named Heart Pia Atami.
At the day of departure, the Christmas day, we gathered in front of West 9 Building at approximately 11.30. A bus had already waited for us, for total there were 42 participants (besides YSEP student, there were also several other international student taking this class and some Japanese student).
We set off at approximately 11.40. The journey was filled with such a beautiful panorama. When we were at the high way we could see mount Fuji with its snowy top, and after that we’ve went through really beautiful blue sea!
We didn’t go directly to Atami. But we spent some time at CREARE (クレアーレ), a public arts studio that was located at Yugawara. CREARE was founded by Mr. Hisao Taki, another successful Tokyo Tech graduate. The main idea of this company was to create public arts and mural for public spaces all over Japan, such as train station, airport terminal, etc. One of the most famous works that we can see is the ceramicmural in the Hachiko Exit of Shibuya Station.
During the tour we were accompanied by Miss Ishii, a Tokyo Tech graduate that work as a public relation and marketing staff there. She accompanied us to go around the studio and see every steps of the making of the public art works. The main materials used for their work were ceramics and stained glass, particularly because of their durability. An artwork being placed in a public space had to be able to sustain any disruption from its surrounding environment, generally speaking, they have to be durable.
The studio was divided into two stories, the first story was for ceramic art and the second story was for stained glass. In my opinion, I found that ceramic art was more interesting because the color was not made from usual coloring. It was made originally from metal and organic material. We could not predict which color will appear because some oxidation reactions and oven conditions during the baking process would affect the color. I found this pretty interesting! Although CREARE already had so many color sample for every new artworks usually they have to create and experimenting with new color.
We also had the time to experience clay shaping, and it was real fun although i’m definitely not good at it 😛
For the stain glass, I think that it was also beautiful but frankly speaking i still think that Murano Glass is still more beautiful (but i’m also not sure whether they are the same kind of glass or not). Correct me if i’m wrong :p
One question that immediately appeared on my mind was how this company works? Who will pay for the creation of a public art, because creating a public art from design to installment involves a loads of experts and it did not cost only a little. So, basically, CREARE offer their design to a train company that will build a station and once they’ve agreed the process will begin. A long process that would take approximately 2-3 years from designing until installment.
I really think that the public art idea that CREARE has is a really good perspective. Especially, nowadays people don’t really think about art anymore, they only think about the usefulness of a thing. But in my point of view, art, especially public art that can be enjoyed by more people, is still very important and the beauty of this magnificent artwork still really need to be embraced in our daily life.
After we have finished the CREARE tour, we were heading to the hotel, Heart Pia Atami. The hotel was located up on a hill and from there you could see the whole city plus the beautiful beach line. The hotel was really decorated as Japanese traditional house. They had tatami, Japanese sliding doors, and also futon. Since they provided us public bath (onsen) inside the room there was no bathroom. And anyway, since I could not go to onsen that day, me and my Indonesian friends preferred to do Yukata Photo Shoot inside the room, LOL 😀
After that we had a quite big supper and we had presentations and group discussions. The presenter was both Tokyo Tech graduate. Mr. Farid Triawan from Torishima Seisakusho (a middle class Japanese pump company, and I’m proud to say that he is Indonesian) and Miss Ena Ishii, the CREARE employee that we’ve met that afternoon.
First was Miss Ena Ishii presentation. From her presentation, I could say that Miss Ishii was a very brilliant young woman that is willing to take the chance of being different from the other. In her student year she went abroad so many times, from exchange program, internship, until just travelling. And she had done that by herself!
In her working year, despite her biochemistry major, she took the job at CREARE which doesn’t have any direct correlation with her major. She also had to manage with some public relation and management thing, things that she had never try before. One of the lessons that I learned from her is that once we have the willingness to do something and do it wholeheartedly, in the end we eventually can do that!
Second was Mr Farid Triawan, I could say that he gave us such a motivating speech. At first he talked about his company, Torishima Pump. The companies make big pumps for water drilling and also dealing with renewable energy. And after that he talked about globalization of Japanese industries. According to his thoughts, Japanese industries are trying to globalize their industries. It is not only by expanding the company outside Japan, it is also related by the way they deal with everything inside.
So here as an exchange student actually it is definitely our time! We have the qualities that actually most Japanese companies need to globalize their company. As an exchange student, we are advantaged by our ability to deal with foreign culture, our ability to speak multilingual, and also we are already quite accustomed with Japanese culture! I could say by his age, he has already achieved quite many things and his key of success that I would really like to implement in my life is as simple as to always set up goal, do the planning, and do the plan (but you know, in real life the implementation is not as simple as that).
And after that we had a group discussion to answer some questions and do presentations. There were me, Daniele, Alfan, Shen Yue, Chaiyatorn (Note), and Kondo-san. Sadly I lost the jan-ken-pon and I had to go to present the discussion result with Daniele. We picked up the question of merit and demerits of working at Japanese companies and also about the ways Japanese companies have to do to attract foreign employees. And I really think that night everyone did their presentation excellently, and I was also considering about finishing my master and doctoral degree here and maybe work here as well! X)
Anyway, that’s all for the first day at Atami. I will write again more about my second day at Atami!
With Loads of Love
Afifa Ayu Koesoema