Niigata is a relatively small city on the west coast of Japan with some 500,000 inhabitants. We got her by a Shikansen bullet train, which went really fast, I do not know how fast. There was a sign that stated that the maximum speed of the train was 311 km/h, but our hosts claimed that the Niigata train does not go that fast. It went very fast at any rate. The track was, of course, very straight, went through many long tunnels, and the train was not very full at all. We had plenty of space. I spoke a lot with Frau Landau during the trip, for we sat next to each other.

I just continue to be amazed at the splendid hospitality offered by our Japanese hosts. Today we had lunch in one of those classic Japanese buildings, about 100 years old, with paper walls, many exquisite wood carvings and a beautiful Japanese garden outside. We ate at one of those very low tables. The Japanese sat on their knees, while they had provided low chairs for us foreigners. A very good lunch, with sashimi, teryaki, miso soup, and much else that was very tasty. The entire scen was just like a scene of what one images Japan to be like but that one, on more careful thought, realizes probably does not exist anymore. But we experienced it, and will not soon forget.

We have a very pleasant and luxurious hotel. I was very pleasantly surprised by the audience at my talk: many professors and even the dean was there, and many students. They were all paying careful attention and made notes. And everyone stayed the two and half hours we were going on (a lot of translating between Japanese and English/German was going on). I gave my paper, which I liked better today than when I gave it in Tokyo (I had been asked to give the same paper in both places), and Peter Landau made a very thoughtful and positive comment afterwards.

We had many very intelligent questions, and afterwards a cocktail party with as much sushi and sashimi as I ever could hope to eat. Wonderful! I spoke with several Japanese colleagues, who made a very good impression - I made several friends, I think -, and also a little with some students, but they seemed unduly shy. All in all as good an academic experience I have ever had.

The old bridge in Niigata seems to be something of a symbol of the town.

Postat av: h-ej

Vilket äventyr. Ni verkar köra hårt i öst.

2010-11-09 @ 16:23:00
Postat av: Eva Winroth

Vilken fantastisk resa du får göra! Det ska bli kul att höra alla detaljer. Kram

2010-11-10 @ 09:55:08

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