Friday, November 28, 2008

First Report from Japan

We have been on the go since arriving in Tokyo on Tuesday, November 25th. We spent a day exploring Toyko, with a visit to the Imperial Palace and Gardens, the Senso-ji Temple and Ueno Park. We enjoyed a quick train ride to Kyoto on Wednesday evening and woke to sunny skies and glorious mountain views. The maples and ginkos are in peak color, and agree "this is the best time of year to visit Kyoto"! We explored many temples in Kyoto on Thursday, and enjoyed a Buddhist's luncheon in one of the temples (lots of tofu!) in the peaceful surroundings of their meticulous gardens.

For Thankgiving dinner we had a traditional Japanese dinner with N0buya Kaneko and his colleagues from AsahiKasei. We are grateful to AsahiKasei, who invited Bruno to deliver the keynote speech at the 5th AFTE meeting, and for the chance to visit Japan. On Friday Bruno gave his lecture, which was translated instantaneously into Japanese. This was very impressive and his talk was very well received!

We have have the good fortune to have Nobuya as kind host and tour guide. We have learned a great deal about Japanese culture, food and the ranking of the temples, and when we should remove our shoes. We have been declared competent with chop sticks and "ok" with Japanese food. Indeed, the Japanese food is excellent, but with all the walking we are hitching up our trousers more every day! Fresh fish and rice is a little easier on the waistline than stuffing and mashed 'taters.

You can see a few photos at the link below, including of Bruno's lecture title in Japanese.

No comments: