Foodie Tours

“I had difficulties finding a job in the beginning and I knew it would be tough for me to fit in a Japanese working environment. One problem being my nose piercing. At my first job, my superiors didn’t appreciate me working in customer service with a nose piercing. So I had to go through ridiculous lengths to cover it, like putting a band-aid on my nose every morning. It was horrible. It felt like I was being looked down upon and bossed around. Luckily, there were lots of positive things, like my colleagues. And I could learn snowboarding during my free time. Then my second job was a whole lot better. The company was super liberal with a flat hierarchy. People listened to music during work and you could wear whatever you wanted. You could even have your hair any color you wanted. So that proved me wrong about Japan being a terrible place for work.

But I guess the thought of working a 9 to 8 job pushed me to become self-employed.

“Although growing up, I never really had any ambition to be my own boss. I always felt safer working for someone. Plus, I was bad at math and you need to be good with numbers to do accounting and run a business. However, my parents did own their business, so it encouraged me. I started in hospitality then branched out to offering tours to my guests. It wasn’t easy in the beginning and I had these bouts of insecurities with myself. I was afraid of what other people might think of me. What if people laughed at the idea of a foreigner who’s only been in Japan for a year and half, give tours? What does she know? Well at least I knew more than the tourist travelling for a week. So I got over my fears and finally pulled it off. Now I can say: Don’t let what other people might think of you ever hold you back.”

Gizem is a female entrepreneur who aims to help fellow women succeed in business. She also offers food tours to people who wish to eat like a local and travel like a local: Foodie Tours Japan

Published by


Finding diversity and inclusion. Breaking down barriers one post at a time. Stories and snapshots of foreigners making their way in Japan.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s