Hiroshi Yoshimura, chief representative of Japan’s Naigai Travel Inc., who calls Vietnam his home, talks about how to live happily and peacefully in the country
By Jasmin Yiu
Hiroshi Yoshimura, chief representative of Japan's Naigai Travel Inc. Hiroshi Yoshimura, chief representative of Japan’s Naigai Travel Inc., who calls Vietnam his home, talks about how to live happily and peacefully in the country
Yoshimura went to Vietnam after his retirement from the post of general director of a Japanese trading company 14 years ago. Arriving here, he brought with him his consulting business. Yoshimura says his curiosity for the Vietnamese culture has driven him to a deep interaction with and understanding of the local land and people.
Yoshimura’s love for this country dates back to his university years when traveling abroad remained too expensive for a normal Japanese student. “I traveled to this country, due to low living costs at that time,” he recalls. Yoshimura’s feelings about Vietnam have lasted ever since. In 1997, he was back to Vietnam again on an assignment by his company.
Yoshimura then began to discover a lot of similarities in mentality, lifestyle, religion and humanities among Vietnamese and Japanese.
“Time is the biggest investment in Vietnam,” says Yoshimura, recalling the time when he first did planning and gave training to the local staff. It took him longer than he expected to understand the local way of work and play. When Yoshimura later started his own consulting business in Hong Kong, Vietnam’s natural and human resources prompted him to expand it to Vietnam. Yoshimura went back to Vietnam yet again, packed and more determined than ever. “There’s a lot of potential here,” says Yoshimura. He believes however that it will take 10 more years for this country to reach the next level of development.
Yoshimura loves the Vietnamese cuisine and his local friends. “Specialties here have their own meanings,” he says. Moreover, in his opinion, Vietnamese noodles are not only served as garnishes for the bowl of delicacy, but they carry medical meaning visitors seldom know. “To be able to understand and live in a culture, the ability to listen proactively, be patient and observe carefully is the keys,” he explains.
Reading books is one of Yoshimura’s ways to understand Vietnam’s history. He believes that this serve best for him to explain and have a deep understanding of the local culture from a historical perspective.
A peaceful life
Every day, Yoshimura does his physical exercises and spends time with his wife. “Walking in the park to enjoy the beautiful nature is one of my hobbies,” he says. It was in Vietnam that Yoshimura could afford time to develop his love for music. “My dream is to have my own orchestra,” he laughs with satisfaction. Yoshimura often plays his cello while his wife plays the piano. Sometimes Mrs. Yoshimura spends time teaching piano voluntarily. “It’s great to play music here,” Yoshimura says. The couple appreciates the beautiful opera house in the downtown which they believe has promoted music in the city.
Yoshimura will also use his free time to travel around the city by bus to observe the local life. Every three months, he appears in a live Japanese radio show to share some survival tips in this country.
To Yoshimura, retirement is the beginning of something new in a place he loves much. “I will continue to enjoy things in this country and live among the locals. At the same time, I will express my love for Vietnam, as passionately as ever.”