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Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Day 16: Trip to Japan (19 April 2010)

The weather was beautiful today. The sun was out. The temperature was mild. This was perhaps the best condition I have had throughout my trip to Japan thus far.

Two university visits were on the cards for today. Yayasan Ilmuwan's executive chairman, Dr Khairul 'Azmi Mohamad led a five-man delegation to Saitama University and Takushoku University. The others in the delegation were Encik Mazilan Musa (executive director and project director of the Japanese project), Encik Zahari Mohamad (head of the education development unit), Encik Ahmad Zaki Udah (head of the research and development unit), and myself.

To get to Saitama University, we opted to take the shinkansen from Tokyo to Omiya with a brief stop at Ueno. The shinkansen that we took was the ASAMA Superexpress. The journey was also brief as it took only 25 minutes on the bullet train. After arriving at Omiya eki, we took a taxi to Saitama University where we were met by Dr Tachibana Masahiko who is vice chairman of the Malaysia Project Committee, and Dr Akira Nagasawa, a professor of chemistry at the university. We were taken on a tour to a number of laboratories in the university and were briefed on a number of on-going research projects being carried out there.

After Saitama University, our next destination was Takushoku University. Again we boarded a shinkansen, this time the MAX Toki Express from Omiya and we alighted at Ueno. The journey was only 19 minutes. From Ueno eki, we took a taxi to Takushoku University to pay a courtesy visit to Mr Fukuda Katsuyuki, the managing director of the university.

It was already nearly 2 p.m. when we were done at the university. It was decided that we head for Ginza for lunch. After lunch, I left for the hotel to do some work that needed to be done. The rest of the afternoon was quite free. Later that evening, I went again to Zauo to have dinner. Somehow, I seem to enjoy the atmosphere at this restaurant. Otherwise, I wouldn't have gone there again and again.

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