The halls of Crimson House rang with laughter and excitement earlier this month as hundreds of children roamed the offices of Rakuten’s Tokyo headquarters. The occasion was Rakuten Family Day, an event that has taken place each year since Rakuten’s move to its new head office in Futakotamagawa.
The event has grown considerably since its inception, this year attracting nearly twice as many visitors as the previous year. Nearly 1,200 employees registered to bring their family and friends with the crowd reaching over 4,000. The office – usually open only to employees and approved visitors – was transformed into a kind of exhibition space, showing off not just the Rakuten lifestyle, but also Rakuten’s many different services and projects.
In the lobby, visitors posed with the giant panda mascot and played AI rock-paper-scissors, before heading up to Rakuten’s event space. There, guests swarmed booths from Rakuten Drone, the Rakuten Institute of Technology (RIT), Rakuten Pet Insurance, FC Barcelona and many more.
For many kids, visiting mom and dad’s office turned into a creative experience. Graffiti on the office’s whiteboard walls was encouraged, and kids were encouraged to join drawing workshops, make-your-own business card sessions and even beginner coding classes.
The tour was filled with instagenic moments, but perhaps none quite as eye-catching as Rakuten CEO Hiroshi “Mickey” Mikitani’s office. The area attracted a long line of visitors eager to take a selfie with a Mickey cutout or pose at his height-adjustable desk.
Guests were invited to tour Rakuten’s gym facilities and even experience the in-house acupuncture, hairdresser and nail-painting services. Visitors were also treated to a complimentary meal at the Rakuten cafeteria, choosing from an extensive menu of dishes from around the world.
But it wasn’t just friends and family enjoying the festivities. One new employee impressed by Rakuten’s open culture was Anthony from the Ecosystems Department, who joined Rakuten in February after moving to Japan from the Philippines.
“This is my first job in Japan. I’ve been told that this isn’t a typical Japanese work culture,” he joked, as he took pictures at Mickey’s desk with his partner. “So far, my stay in Rakuten has been very warm, people are very receptive when you talk to them… it’s very nice that you get to interact with people from multiple countries.”
Even experienced employees attending the event for the first time came away impressed. “I’ve been here for 14 years, but this is my first time coming to Family Day. I’m amazed at how many people are here!” said Yukie from Rakuten Ichiba, while she and her family posed for photos in Mickey’s office. “It’s great to be able to show off my workplace to the family. Normally I don’t get the chance to bring them here.”
Rosa of Rakuten Mobile, who was checking out RIT’s AR display, compared the event with his experience working for other Japanese companies. “Not every company in Japan has events like these,” he said. “This is my first time coming to the family day… It’s great to be able to introduce my family to where I work, to all my colleagues. Thank you everyone for organizing the event!”
For Rakuten, events like these (Yukata day, Halloween, Rakuten Super Nighter) offer an opportunity to show off the company’s unique approach to Japanese working culture. The comfortable, spacious offices, delicious meals and in-house wellness facilities make for a warm and welcoming environment that employees are proud to be a part of.
And by looks of it, so are their families.