Ms.Paola Marazzina(Italy, 33, Hospitality)

  • English (United States)
  • 日本語
  • 한국어

Originally hired by THE APOLLO as Restaurant staff,  Paola is now working as International Operations Consultant at Transit Head Office.  She is in charge of foreign staff recruitment, management and training, wine importers and producers relations and new restaurants opening’s operations and language support. (JIKOPY)

Name Ms. Paola Marazzina
Country Italy
Company Transit General Office Inc.
Industry Hospitality
Corporate position Skilled Labor
Location Omotesando, Tokyo
Japanese skills Before Japan:JLPT-N4
Currently:JLPT-N1
Study abroad experience (Japan) Yes
Latest education history Sommelier School
Any working experience (before Japan) Less than 3 years


Why did you want to work in Japan ?

How old were you when you developed an interest in Japan?

Around 20 years old.

Tell us about your interests and motives of coming to Japan.

I was working as cabin crew for ANA, when i was living in Tokyo.  During my several flights to Japan. I fell in love with Japanese culture.

After few years, I quit flying and decided to live and study Japanese in Tokyo.

When did you decide that you want to work in Japan?

When I was about 26 years old.

When did you decide that you want to work in Japan?

Same time when I decided to, 26 years old.

Why do you want to work in Japan?

I love Japan, and I thought that I can make use of my international experience.


Tell us about your job search for work in Japan.

What was your method of job searching?

I looked it up on the Internet by myself.

What do you look for when choosing a company?
  1. A company where I can learn and further my career for the future.
  2. A company that will allow me to do various jobs.
  3. A company with good salary/welfare.
When attempting to get a job in Japan, what was your biggest challenge?
  • Inadequate amount of companies offering positions which make use of the skills and abilities of foreigners.


Tell us about your current employment.

What was the reason that you chose to work here?

I found the Job posting for THE APOLLO and after visiting the website of the restaurant in Sydney, I was fascinated by the restaurant’s concept and attention on details. The food, interior design and the wine made me apply for the position. Being a Sommelier, I was struck by the wine list and I thought it could be challenging to work with such amazing wines. Then I visited Transit’s website and I found out that they work with several overseas Companies and I imagined that it could be an international environment.

Do you have any main concerns about work currently?

There are very few companies like TRANSIT that are willing to understand and try to work together with foreigners. Japanese employers often do not pay attention to newly recruited foreigners and their needs and as a consequence, foreigners are unable to navigate effectively in the Japanese work culture. The Western way of working differs from the Japanese one and both parties have to be flexible and open to be able to understand each other.

What is an appealing factor of your current workplace?

I get to learn a lot while working here.

TRANSIT operates several different outlets, and there is so much to learn. I can work with interior designers, chefs, sommeliers, PR all together for the same project.

TRANSIT gives us the opportunity to work with various people, making every single store successful – is a truly attractive company and I felt this even before joining!

I have worked in several different Countries in the world and in different industries: from Fashion to Hospitality and Transit can strongly benefit of all my cultural background.

I think it is wonderful to be able to work as a bridge between Japan and overseas. TRANSIT is the perfect “playground” in which you can do that!


Tell us about working in Japan.

What attracted you to work in Japan?

Japan has an excellent hospitality industry and growing interest in wine.
After working as Sommelier overseas, I was looking for a challenge and I thought I could share my knowledge and strong passion for wine in this beautiful country.

In terms of working in Japan, are there any struggles or challenges that you have experienced? If yes, how do you deal with it?

The way Westerners work is very different compared to the Japanese.

The Japanese way isn’t the most flexible to begin with, and there are a lot of stages and obstacles that they usually consider before a final decision is made.

There is the language barrier, but also the adaptation of the job is very challenging.

To me, the Japanese people are friendly and kind, but they don’t show their emotions due to their shy personality. I like teasing them though, with jokes and funny conversations.

If there were more foreigners in the workplace, I think it would probably be more fun!

What are your future job aspirations (career development)?

Since TRANSIT is still a new company, there are still many areas that are developing.

In the future, I have confidence that TRANSIT will continue to improve and grow.

I am very proud to be part of the growth and success of this Company!

Tell us what you do in your everyday life in Japan.

Type of accommodation.

Rented property.

Any words of advice for those who would like to work in Japan?

There are plenty of chances to work in Japan. There is a good chance for foreigners if they want to work in the hospitality industry.

The Japanese service and food are impeccable, and it is of high quality and standards.

If you want to work in Japan, I would recommend to learn some basic Japanese before coming here.

After that, leave the Western mind’s “filter” back at your own country to embrace and enjoy the Japanese culture with a very open mind. Japan has a lot to offer and you could improve significantly your working experience.