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In 4th grade I spent a day with my dad at the Caterpillar Tech Center for ‘Take your kids to work day’. It was a memorable experience including the 20 minutes it took for 5 engineers to get the VHS player working.

Last week I was invited by Mr. Cakes to meet him at work for ‘Take your family to work and leave early day’. I arrived at Otemachi eki around noon and spent the day at SMBC Head Office. From noon until 5pm SMBC organized a day to show the wives and children where their husband or father spends his day.

View from the 19th floor of head office overlooking the Imperial Palace Grounds.

Our group consisted of all the expats who are in the same 1 year exchange program as Mr. Cakes. I had not seen many of them since orientation 8 months ago. Time has really flown by!

One highlight of the day was the activity ‘What does it feel like to hold 100 million yen’ (about 1.2 million US dollars), in which stacks of yen were tightly bound and prepared for visitors to actually hold. We had no problem imaging what that would buy. Maybe a few more handbags and some new shoes? Mr. Cakes was more interested in a car.

After pretending we were wealthy our group was then ushered into a large auditorium to hear the president of the bank speak.

The rest of the day included lunch, a tour of the vault and then meeting the team in Mr. Cakes current department. I was able to see where all the blood, sweat and tears get poured. 

Above, Mr. Cakes and Burke looking pleased to be away from their desks. Below you can see how thick the vault door is.

Our next trip to the beach we will be thinking of family day at SMBC, or the next time we slip on these! Our take home gift from the day, his & hers.

The day at SMBC Head Office was fun and interesting. I’m sure the kids visiting enjoyed the day, but hopefully the company employees did as well, especially the ‘leaving work early’ part.