Doing Business in Asia (whereas Asia means China, Korea and Japan)

~August 2017

One of the nice opportunities for my university is an exchange between what I heard was called chopstick countries – China’s Beijing, Korea’s Seoul, and Japan’s Tokyo.

What is it for? Probably fostering the relationship between these powerhouses. Hence, in terms of selecting students in my school, I think that they prioritize the Japanese students, then work on the diversity (seriously, diversity is a BIG deal). Either way, what happened?

Btw, this is an extremely late blog entry and I can’t remember the details that well, so I’m no longer separating the rants and facts. Read at your own risk.

The Beijing Nightmare

This happened in summer. In August. If you ask me when to NOT go to any of these countries, August will probably be my answer. It’s hot. It’s humid. And it RAINS a lot.

A group of students from Peking University welcomed us at the airport, which was, well, very welcoming. We got into the bus, and went straight to the Hotel.

We checked in our hotels, and immediately felt the lack of access to the world’s internet. Goodbye email. Goodbye facebook. Goodbye line. I felt like the Chinese government was basically putting me in a box that tells me how I should act and the extent at which I can do things (well, they probably are).

We then proceeded to the university where I the value of the small piece of paper from Guagua (???) School of Management was evident. People were lining up to get into the school, and I’m talking hundreds of meters worth of line. Our bus skipped the line (and in the next couple of days), we sometimes are dropped off outside the school and we have to show that piece of paper to get in).

For the next week, we had classes in the school, company visits and a cancelled visit to the Great Wall of China. Why? Because it. just. won’t. stop. raining. on our free day.

Leaving Beijing, we were a couple of hours early, but with the extremely long and convoluted lines, we made it to the boarding gate 10 minutes after boarding time. Was it the scariest time in my flying life? No (see offloaded). But darn it’s a close second. Good thing the plane was late for half an hour, which we were told when we got into the boarding gate.

Fun in Seoul

Hello, internet! Plenty of notifications the moment we got into Incheon airport.

Same drill as the one in Peking – get into the bus, check in to the hotel, sleep, go to school and go to company trips.

For our free time, the students brought us to Lotte World, where other people went shopping and my group got lost walking looking for seats. We also went to plenty of restaurants, and a kitchen play (which was hilarious but whose title I no longer remember).  We also had an activity where we make Korean alcohol from rice. Unfortunately, we were flying the next day and the concoction is not allowed for flying (coz it’s alcohol and it’ll explode on air. No thanks) so we had to leave it.

Home, sweet home, Tokyo.

Finally! We’re back to Tokyo!!!

Same drill  – except the Tokyo people went their own way the moment we landed at Haneda.

For our free time, there’s no organized activity (yeah, Tokyo didn’t care). But we did tour our own groups! 😀 My group did the Omotesando – Meiji Shrine – Shibuya – Akihabara tour.

 

 

Well, this is just an overview, and if I do get the time (and can still remember it), I’ll probably write more.  Or not.

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Korean Visa in Tokyo

May 22, 2017

My first trip to Korea was through the visa free transit to US (AU, JP and some other countries qualify too, I think). My next one is a week long stay, and not for transit. So I had to apply for a visa. (I’m from the Philippines. I almost always have to get a visa everywhere. *what-can-I-do-countries-are-afraid-of-us sigh*)

Unfortunately, there’s not much information about Korean  Visa application in Japan. (the Japanese don’t need a visa. can i be Japanese, pls?) Even the Korean Embassy’s website is not really useful considering it’s either in Japanese or Korean. Thanks to google translate, I managed!

How to Prepare

  1. Online application – your picture will be uploaded there. I think it functions as a manually written application that is legible and saved them typing time.
  2. Resident’s ID copy
  3. Bank account copy (I’m a student so I don’t have a tax return)
  4. Original certificate of enrolment
  5. Student ID copy
  6. Invitation letter
  7. Passport, of course
  8. Photocopy of valid visa for OECD countries visited. I think you should give  copy even for those invalid visas, if they are on a different passport.
  9. Copy of birth certificate

 

How to get there

1. Go to Azabujuban station, Oedo line. Take exit 2.

2. There is a separate office for the visa application. So with google maps, I suggest you just search for Olympic Inn in Azabu. The Korean Embassy’s consular office is right there.

Since nobody told me that piece of information, I went to google map’s Korean Embassy and they gave me this. Really, just go to Olympic Inn.

In the Embassy

It’s in the third floor. Once you get in, go to the reception guy and take a number by pressing the icon with visa written on it . He will ask you if you have filled up an application form – just show him all your papers (even before he says anything) and that should settle the language issue. If you speak Korean or Japanese, go ahead and chat him up.

In case you need the services of a photocopying machine, they have one inside for JPY10 a page. (I had to photocopy my resident’s ID. Given the lack of information, I used the Korean Embassy’s requirements in the Philippines, and of course a resident ID is not on the list)

Once they called my number, I just submitted my papers. She simply asked where I’m staying (the address in my application form), and I showed her the invitation letter.

They then gave me a slip of paper saying I can pick up my passport in two days. I didn’t pay anything. Hmm. Is it because I’m a student (with an invitation letter) or is it because it’s single entry that it is gratis?

Application time is from 9 to 11:30am. Claiming is from 2 to 4pm (you’ll have it in your slip). Unfortunately, they will not mail your passport so you actually have to go back and claim it.

DBIA:China, Japan and South Korea

July 7, 2017

As part of the Doing Business in Asia program, MBA students from Hitotsubashi University (Japan), Seoul National Univeristy (South Korea), and Peking University (China) spend one week on each school during the month of August.

Only ten students are selected from each school, and as of now I don’t know how the other schools selected theirs. Heck, I don’t even know how ours are selected.

Either way, I got in! So what does that mean?

That means I pay my own share – no final amount yet.

That also means I apply for my own visa for South Korea and China. The fun part? Since we get invitation letters from basically their top schools, the visa process is easy. I know others don’t have this problem, but I’m a Filipina. Come on.

That means I get to bond with students from SNU and Peking University.

And that’s all I have to write… for now. :p