My TEDxUTokyoSalon Experience

Hello everyone! こんにちは!Yay~ a proper blog post!

Last weekend, I attended my first “TEDx talk”. I love watching TEDx talks and reading books that are all about self-improvement, success stories of entrepreneurs & visionaries and everything about passion / dreams. Gone are the days when I would spend countless of hours watching Japanese / Korean dramas and the like. I have lost interest in going to events where you can just socialize for the sake of having company / “social life” (I find it hard to accept invites for random meet-up parties without any purpose lol #Grandma #ObaachanKaila). Now, I’d love to connect with people who have the same drive and wavelength as I do. And just a personal realization…  I feel that I’ve changed so much during all these years because I’d always look forward to my usual morning feed from Entrepreneur, 99U, Mark MansonTiny Buddha, Marc and Angel…  etcetera (I find it hard to buy magazines about style / fashion only.. whaat has happened to me haha). Right now,  I just really value self-education a lot because whenever I learn something new, I become more open-minded. And an open mind with a fueled drive combination is something that I really work on. ^^

When I applied to become a participant in TEDxUTokyoSalon2 (U Tokyo = University of Tokyo = Todai = Harvard of Japan ;_;), I really thought I wouldn’t be accepted because my answers for their mini interview were quite unconventional . I wrote about kawaii, spring, and the like and I’m pretty sure they found my answers weird haha (*used to that feeling*). But anyway, I’m just so grateful because they accepted a non-Japanese speaking Filipina like me. We were only 2 gaijins (foreigners) there and most of the TedxUTokyoSalon people were males. I would like to congratulate my real introvert self for hiding for sometime. : ))


Also.. I think I’ve mentioned this before, one of my crazy dreams is to become a presenter / speaker for a TEDx talk someday too. But I need to brush up my skills before that day happens (*if*). I actually applied for a TEDx talk before because I wanted to share how “kawaii” can empower women / girls (since in the Philippines, people who love Japan and at the same time, express it through their fashion / etc. still have this “stereotype” as “weird” when they are just being true to themselves. I wonder if this is the same case in other countries?). Of course, such idea was probably too *wtf* that time… (rejections / denied ideas are not a new thing for me.. hence, rejection builds character blog entry haha)  but I realized that with or without TEDx speaker invitation / acceptance, I/we can still spread the idea we have behind the Kawaii Empowerment movement. <3 You can always make your own platform / opportunities / events. And this is one of the reasons why my blog exists, haha. This is my self-made stage. : )

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TEDxUTokyo is a collaboration with TED that gave birth to Japan’s first TEDxUniversity. The framework of TEDx is to help fulfil the role that a university is to play in society, which is to be an embodiment of knowledge, and since 2012, TEDxUTokyo has been hosting talks with the traction that TEDx provides. TEDxUTokyo is the largest TEDxUniversity that invites as many as 15 speakers to talk about Japan’s future through organized talk sessions with 400 audience members. Since 2014, we have begun to deepen our community through hosting full TED content packed small-scale events like TEDxSalon, TED video live streaming sessions, and idea sharing event TEDxLive. In business, the arts, and the fusion of academic fields, from our community, we strongly believe that we will give birth to innovators who will form the spine of Japan’s future. (source:

When I applied (using a google form) from their website, I remember that the list of speakers weren’t announced yet. I applied because I thought that their theme was interesting (“Spring!”) and this season is actually very meaningful to me. Spring means “starting over”, “chances” and “new opportunities” for me. Spring reminds me of the first day I arrived here almost 4 years ago. : ) And I felt that my “social life” has to step up a bit and I need to practice more in introducing myself to strangers. Yay challenge~

Even if the all the talks were delivered in Japanese, the TEDxUTokyo team prepared English transcript for the foreigners. And I really appreciated that effort. ^^


My #OOTD was very Spring-themed too haha. It felt like I was representing the whole Kawaii PH / Philippines so I thought I should be in my best element lololol.


[photo from their facebook page]

There were three speakers and they were very interesting in my opinion.

Hiroyuki Shinoda-san demonstrated (through a video) a very “Japanese” technology where you can touch or move things without actually touching those (it’s like screen-less touch screen.. how can I explain? lolol). That kind of technology would be best for the medical field.

Ryohei Suzuki-san shared with us how you can gather people (using a “tana car” and have a “sense of community” even if the population of Japan is decreasing. (check: balloon urban design partners)

I left my notes / transcript at home but I will share those later. It’s a nice way on how to cope with the aging population here in the Japanese society. It’s another way to address a problem in a (+) manner by thinking “how to shrink positively”. ^^

And lastly, Tatsuzo Akase-san (a design director) talked about a brief history of train signs in Japan and how they designed it to be visually effective / easily understood by the train users.


TEDX Tokyo

Overall, I had a great experience and I think that I’ll be joining more of these events in the future. It wasn’t for free and as an outsider / non-student, I was required to pay 3,000 JPY . They also had a workshop + reception party afterwards. They also toured us around KOIL (Kashiwa-no-ha Open Innovation Lab). They also had a sushi restaurant sponsor and I felt bad for myself because why in the world I find it difficult to enjoy raw food.. haha.. why ?? :))

There was an awkward moment too because I didn’t know how to drink sake from the wooden cup and I had to ask someone how to drink sake lol. I don’t drink in Japan unless it’s part of socializing in events, haha. But still, I enjoyed everything even if Kaila was in her awkward turtle nature.

I had to leave earlier before it ended because a proposal that needed to be drafted was waiting for me at home. ;_; I was so tired after (socializing = energy sapping haha) that I slept all the time in the train.  ~

Again, thank you to everyone who made this event possible. *kampai*! Many thanks to Yuriya-san who responded to my inquiries through email. <3

I’ll share my favorite / top 10 TEDx talks next time. ^^

Hope to see you folks again in the future!



4 thoughts on “My TEDxUTokyoSalon Experience

  1. What a wonderful experience that must’ve been. I’ve been to various conferences before and it’s overwhelming and exciting to be around people that are so full of ideas and inspirational thoughts, and it looks like your TEDx experience was somewhat like that too.
    I almost certain that i’ll see you lead your own TED talk one day, you’ve got very strong ideals and you’re already giving so much to your community through this blog and Kawaii PH 🙂

  2. @Sam Turner: Hello Sam! Thank you for your comment. Yes, it is indeed overwhelming and exciting to be around people who are so inspirational! And wow, thank you for thinking so ;_; Your comment gave me strength today, hehe. Arigatou!! ^^

  3. I have always believed that you will eventually become a Tedx speaker. I truly believe that your ideas are worth sharing to encorage people in their lifestyles. Some day you will make it as a presenter, I know it. Hugs and Kisses from Puerto Rico ♥

  4. Hey, I just found this article by chance!
    Thank you so much for sharing your thought about the event and even mentioning my name at the last. I am so happy to read this.
    Please come and visit us again someday, so that we can discuss kawaii things then!:D


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