The four SSIP Interns and Fukai-san met the international students at the Olympic Center early in the morning to head over to Ajinomoto, Inc, a famous household brand (literally!) that specializes in the production of umami seasoning and other sauces. We arrived at the Ajinomoto Research and Training Center where we were met by staff members of the company and were given a nice tour around its museum.
During the tour, students learned about the history of Ajinomoto, Inc (est. 1908) and how they came into prominence as one of the most well-known food brands in Japan. We also watched a short film about the company and were surprised to hear that when Aijinomoto first started to sell umami seasoning, many people were unsure about how to use to use it. Some used it to wash their hair, while some dumped the entire box into their pot of noodles and complained that it made the food taste weird! The Ajinomoto training center had an outdoor pond and a man-made waterfall, providing a scenic view from its large window.
Following the company visit, the students went out to different parts of Tokyo for lunch followed by an hour of free time to explore on their own. They met back at Showa’s computer lounge with their Cross-Cultural Workshop group to begin making their presentation on advertisement design. By the end of session nine of the Cross-Cultural Workshop, it seemed that most groups had made considerable progress on their projects. What a day!