Japan & Me

Héctor García

Name: Héctor García
Occupation: Author

Can you tell us about a place you like in Japan?

Tokyo for living - I just love this city so much. The possibilities of Tokyo are endless, but what I like the most is that I live in an area that feels "countryside", even though I'm only 10 minutes away from Shinjuku or Shibuya (Tokyo's most city-like areas).

What are you currently doing in Japan?

I write books about Japanese culture. I wrote the first book about the concept of 'Ikigai' ('Ikigai: The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life'), developing it into a philosophy for life and popularising it globally. Incidentally, it has been translated into 58 languages, having the strange honour of being the most translated book ever originally written in Spanish.

What interests you about Japan?

Almost everything about Japan catches my attention. I have been here 16 years and I'm still learning new things on a daily basis about this fascinating culture. The amount of things and wisdom I can learn from Japan are endless.

How is life in Japan different to life in your home country?

I would say that my life here in Tokyo is much more "convenient" than in my home country of Spain. I have actually gathered some ideas of the details that make my life easier and smoother in Tokyo than in Spain on my blog (http://hectorgarcia.org/the-little-details-that-make-my-life-in-japan-easier/). In general, the Japanese are very good at eliminating things that create friction in your daily life. Sometimes these details are almost unnoticeable on the surface, and you will only miss them when you go back to your home country.

How do you imagine your future in relation to Japan?

It's difficult to say, but certainly it will always be part of my heart. I'm near to having spent half of my life here in Tokyo. It is almost as big in my heart and soul as the place where I was raised next to the Mediterranean Sea.

Can you tell us something memorable about your time in Japan?

Everything! It is such a beautiful place that I will never get tired of exploring these islands! But probably the most important and memorable thing is how it has changed me as a person - I like to believe for the better!

Héctor García was born in Spain and worked at CERN in Switzerland before moving to Japan, his home for 16 years and counting. In 2008, his popular blog led him to write the international bestseller, 'A Geek in Japan'. He has now published seven books, most recently 'The Book of Ichigo Ichie' and 'The Ikigai Journey'. When he is not writing his next book, he loves to explore Japan and keep learning about its culture.

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