How I Got Here: Johanna Nousiainen

Johanna Nousiainen ProfileI first came to Japan as a study abroad exchange student. That year changed my life, even though at first I didn’t know it would. I was supposed to become a journalist in Finland, since that was what I loved to do – looking for information, interviewing people, writing articles about unique encounters you have. However, after spending a year in Tokyo, I knew that I wanted to stay.

The only problem was that I had to go back to Helsinki to finish my studies. Arriving from +30°C Tokyo to +10°C Finnish autumn was a reverse culture shock, and so were the language and customs. Cabin attendants, bus drivers, cashiers at the cornerstone supermarket – everyone seemed so rude compared to Japan.

In one year, my Japanese had improved to a fluent level, so I started actively looking for a way to return to Tokyo. I found an internship opportunity in Tokyo, returned the next spring, and that year was a blast. Once again, I had to go back to Finland, but after graduating I knew what I would be doing. A job in Japan – that was my next target.

I quit my job to come to Tokyo to job hunt. I was lucky enough to find a job with a local company, where I worked for 3 years. After that, I changed to my current job as a producer of a recipe site. I’m planning content, writing articles and creating recipes – all in Japanese. It’s a job I thought I would never be able to do because of the language barrier.

I also found my new passion through my job: recipe creation and styling. I even attended a school here, and now I’m a certified Food Coordinator. I’m promoting Nordic food through my blog and social media, as well as having cooking lessons and lectures on Finnish food.

With FEW, I’ve found a gathering of very passionate women that inspire and make me try harder with my endeavors – seeing senpais doing their business passionately in Japan is empowering, and hopefully I can share some of that energy with you.


Q&A with Jackie F. Steele and Megumi Ishimoto

Leading up to our upcoming monthly meeting on ‘Celebrating Women as Change Agents in Post-Disaster Tohoku,’ we’re featuring a Q&A with Jackie F. Steele, a political scientist at the University of Tokyo, and Megumi Ishimoto, Executive Director of NPO Women’s Eye. The Q&A is modeled on the Proust Questionnaire, designed to reveal insights into the respondent’s personality. Join us […]

Published on 14th March 2018

March Strategic Partner Member Offers and Other News

Check out the latest member offers and opportunities from our Strategic Partners here! Our Strategic Partners are committed to bringing the best services and products to FEW members. And go to our Strategic Partners page to learn more about all of FEW’s Strategic Partners, who not only support FEW’s activities but also provide professional and personal services […]

Published on 1st March 2018

February Meeting Recap: Survivor – How to Overcome Adversity

You never know where life is going to take you. That was the message from our February guest speaker, Maxine Van-Cliffe Arakawa, who has had a decades-long career as a fashion stylist, make-up artist, and fashion show director in New York and Japan. She shared her personal experiences dealing with bi-polar disorder and gave her candid advice to […]

Published on 1st March 2018

March Community Services Feature: Five Tokyo-Based Organizations That Fight For or Empower Women

In honor of March’s International Women’s Day, we’d like to present to our FEW community a list of five organizations that have established themselves as organizations who fight for or empower women as well as a list of five events that you can attend to show your support for this year’s theme of #PressFor Progress. […]

Published on 28th February 2018