Mark Tofflemire

Nationality:  Canadian
Time Living in Japan: 32 years
Employer:  TAILOR MADE, Inc.
Current Job Title:  Managing Director
Areas of Expertise:  Education, Language Training
Education:  Honours Degree in Economics/ Business Administration
Language Ability:  English – Native, Japanese – Intermediate

Mark came to Japan on a 1-year working holiday to satisfy his desire to travel and live abroad. That one-year plan was extended to two years and then indefinitely after experiencing the greatness that Japan had to offer. Starting his teaching career at one of Japan’s leading language schools, he then went on to work at The University of Tokyo’s Graduate School of Medicine, where he supported professors and Ph.D. students to submit publications to journals and develop presentation materials for international conferences. In 2010, he established Tailor Made Inc., a company dedicated to providing English services tailored to clients’ needs.

Favorite Thing About Living in Japan:
Generally speaking, Japan is a place where people still have a healthy respect for each other, for public and private property, and where schedules and promises are kept.

Favorite Place to Visit in Japan:
I love life in Tokyo, but when I need a break from the city, I enjoy Nagano for its nature-rich activities like hiking, skiing, and golfing, all fueled with great local foods cooked over an open fire or barbecue.

What has kept you in Japan?
It’s hard to say one thing, so let me say everything! Because I have lived in only two countries in my lifetime, I cannot say Japan is the best country in the world to live in, but I will say that I cannot imagine a better place to live.

What you have noticed has changed throughout your time living in Japan?
Roughly 3.5 million tourists came to Japan the year I arrived here. Now, that number is nearly 10 times higher, and growing. Japan is attracting people from all over the world for its history, beautiful nature, architecture, and, of course, its food. Japan is a place for foodies and tourists are now flocking to Japan to get a “taste” of all Japan has to offer. This, along with the fact that Japanese companies are rapidly expanding into global markets means that the need for English skills has never been greater. In short, there is still much work to be done!