A Man With a Plan: Vishal’s First Business Trip to Japan

On 4th December, Vishal Chudasama, Senior Research Engineer at Sony Research India visited Tokyo, Japan, which he belives to be a beautiful land of contrasts. From the bustling Shibuya crossing and the energetic business district of Shinagawa, to the calmness and serenity of the temples of Taito-ku, and the sublime beauty of Mount Fuji, he saw it all. Vishal takes you through his personal and professional experiences during his brief, but memorable business trip to Tokyo where he planned to check a few items off his bucket list.

What brought you to Japan?

In December 2022, I had the pleasure of visiting the Sony Headquarters at Tokyo, Japan for the Sony Technology Exchange Fair(STEF), 2022 i.e., an annual technology exchange meeting held within the Sony Group. This year, to commemorate its 50th anniversary, STEF welcomed the public for the first time.

STEF aims to share diverse technologies developed by Sony’s R&D organizations, and to exchange ideas and opinions with each other, leading to the creation of new value. With unparalleled opportunities to network with members from the global Sony R&D labs, I planned my day in a way to make the most of STEF 2022, which opened avenues of future collaboration for me.

My view of Mount Fuji from my hotel

On my way to Sony Headquarters, Shinagawa City

My colleagues and I at the Sony Headquarters,Tokyo

Did you visit any tourist attractions during your time off? What were the highlights of your trip?

I have always known Japan for its advanced technology, culture, tall commercial buildings and its beauty, but witnessing it in person was a whole new experience all together.

I recall on our first day in Tokyo, I was blown away with the train system’s punctuality, cleanliness, and efficiency. During our stay of 7 days, we walked about 12000-15000 steps daily without feeling worn out, owing to the pleasant, cool climate which is quite contrary to weather I experience in my hometown. The first two days had mild rain, which made the air a little chilly, which enhanced the beauty of the city.

While I had an extremely tight schedule with my work commitments, I planned to visit a few places I had added to my bucket list.

While we were staying at a hotel in Shinagawa, during my time off from work, I paid a visit to the local markets where I purchased kimmidolls i.e., Japanese wooden dolls and fridge magnets as mementos for my friends and family.  I also visited the Shibuya crossing, the world’s busiest pedestrian crossing and was amazed to know that as many as 3000 people can be crossing at a time. Lastly, I visited the Shinjuku market, one of three major shopping areas in Tokyo, bustling with underground markets, shopping complexes and department stores. One store that especially stood out for me was ‘Bic Camera’, a massive electronics store spread across seven floors. Being an electronics enthusiast, I would be happy to spend an entire day there. Lastly, my trip to Shinjuku wouldn’t be complete without stopping by at Disney’s flagship store where I picked up merchandise for both my daughters.

At the Shibuya Crossing

Disney Flagship Tokyo, Shinjuku

What would be your takeaway from this trip, personally and professionally?

My visit to Japan was professionally and personally fulfilling. Having to travel overseas for the first time, I was both excited and nervous. However, my manager who is originally a resident of Japan, advised me on how to pack appropriately for the weather conditions. I am grateful to my colleagues for throughout my journey. What better opportunity than a weeklong trip to get to know your colleagues at a deeper level.

Professionally, STEF was a great experience to learn and collaborate within the Sony Group. Our team demonstrated three research projects that we have worked on and engaged in productive dialogue with other R&D researchers, while exchanging our views and suggestions on each other’s research ideas. I also had the opportunity to visit the other booths relevant to my area of work and to learn from them. Overall, it was truly an unforgettable experience to be a part of STEF 2022.

To know more about the Sony Technology Exchange Fair(STEF) 2022, visit: Sony Technology Exchange Fair(STEF) 2022

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