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 Rina Bovrisse, activist and founder of the Chateau School

Leading up to our upcoming monthly meeting – The Accidental Activist : From Chanel to Governor of Tokyo? – we’re featuring a quick Q&A with speaker Rina Bovrisse. The Q&A is modeled on the Proust Questionnaire, designed to reveal insights into the respondent’s personality. Join us for an insightful discussion next Wednesday, September 12, as Rina […]

Published on 9th September 2018

Insider Intel on the Japan Market Expansion Competition

When the opportunity to apply for a Japan Market Expansion Competition (JMEC) scholarship through FEW arose, FEW members Jane Szafraniec (pictured center left) and Nina Cataldo (pictured center) jumped at the opportunity. To understand the full extent of why this was such an amazing space to be in, they’ve shared what JMEC is, their experiences […]

Published on 7th September 2018

Event Recap: TELL & FEW Presents The Feminine Eye

On Saturday, August 8th, a group of 11 people interested in learning more about photography gathered at the National Art Center in Roppongi for a women-led photo walk by Selena Hoy, TELL Outreach Coordinator and FEW Community Services Director Tia Haygood, who also is a professional photographer of TopTia Photography.

Published on 3rd September 2018

September 2018 Strategic Partner Member Offers & Other News

Check out the latest member offers and opportunities from our Strategic Partners and other FEW Community Events 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 […]

Published on 27th August 2018

How I got Here: Kirsten O’Connor

  I decided at age 7, quite resolutely that I wanted to be a teacher. All my decisions thereafter created the path to a teaching qualification, a first teaching post in London, a promotion and then the biggest decision of all – to apply for a teaching job overseas. In Japan no less. Accepting a […]

Published on 27th August 2018

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