Kali Wong

Kali Wong

Hong Kong 

Intern #170

Instagram: @wkl.life

Before Obubu

Before joining Obubu, I had been working in the marketing field for several years. The onset of the Covid-19 pandemic prompted me to reflect on my career path and future plans, realizing how fleeting life can be. 

As I learned about Japanese language and culture, I discovered my love for Matcha. Although I had studied Japanese for a number of years and had visited Japan multiple times, I had never experienced living in a Japanese environment. As soon as the borders reopened, I seized the opportunity and applied for a one-year working holiday in Japan.

I started thinking if I could work in a place where I could use my marketing skills and contribute to the tea industry. It occurred to me that exploring more about Japanese tea, not just Matcha, would be a fantastic opportunity. That’s why I began researching and learning about the diverse world of Japanese tea. 

Why Obubu 

My ultimate dream is to open my own tea shop in the future. However, I faced challenges in approaching and building relationships with Japanese companies. This is where Obubu comes in. They offer a unique opportunity for people from around the world to learn about Japanese tea in a short period of time. After a 3-month internship program, we can become an ambassador for Obubu. By establishing connections with Obubu, laying the foundation for achieving my future goals.

During Obubu

To be honest, the initial three weeks at Obubu were quite challenging. The language barrier and the vast amount of new knowledge to absorb left me feeling exhausted. However, I found a warm and supportive environment created by everyone here. The team members are incredibly kind and always willing to teach and share their knowledge, which has helped me feel more at ease. It has been a long time since I’ve met new people from different parts of the world, and their presence has left a lasting impression on me, reminding me that life can be more than just work.

During my time at Obubu, I have had the opportunity to engage in various tasks I had never experienced before, such as harvesting, farming, tea tours, and tea processing, etc. At the same time, I have been able to contribute my skills, such as video and photo editing to Obubu. Additionally, I participated in the Wagashi and mochi workshops, which were incredibly enjoyable.

Outside of work, spending time with interns during weekends and after work has further enhanced my enjoyment of this experience. Having lived in Japan for a year now, I have already adopted many aspects of the Japanese way of life. However, traveling with these interns has given me a fresh perspective on Japan, allowing me to see the country through new eyes.

After Obubu

Leaving Obubu marks a new chapter in my journey. I don’t want to just share Japanese tea with my hometown; I also dream of introducing it to the people of Japan. I will continue my marketing job in Kyoto, although it may not be directly related to tea. This will enable me to stay connected to the world of Japanese tea and maintain my ties with Obubu, and to see what happen next.