Archive for February, 2011

Zakenreis naar Japan

Thursday, February 17th, 2011

Voor Raph iig, ik was mee als bagage.

De weers-situatie was iig zo dat we vrij blij waren naar japan te gaan.

Dit was wat we achter lieten (Seoul, -5 graden)

En dit is waar we heengingen (Osaka, 10 graden)

Helaas was het snel genoeg meer van dit (Tokyo, -2 graden)

En daar werden we een beetje zo van

Maar, de reis.

We mochten maandag om 05:iets wakkerworden om op tijd op t vliegveld te zijn en al die onzin. Als je even terugkijkt naar de eerste foto en dit combineert met basiskennis van vliegtuig operation zul je snel genoeg kunnen concluderen dat 05:iets makkelijk 06:iets of zelfs ergens in de 7 had kunnen zijn en we makkelijk onze vlucht hadden gehaald.

Gezien de vertraging in vertrek waren we redelijk blij dat we diner plannen hadden gemaakt met m’n oude baas ipv lunch plannen. Het leven gaat door bij Mitsubishi Electric blijkt, er is iemand met pensioen die daad werkelijk niet meer naar werk komt nu en de rest is nog voornamelijk met dezelfde dingen bezig. Misschien wat meer geld, betere positie, maar weinig veranderd. Wel leuk om allemaal te horen

Minagawa-san, die het begin van m’;n vegetarisch zijn meegemaakt heeft, wist een resevering te maken bij een gespecialiseerd tofu restaurant.


Voor het adres hiervan moet je hier kijken.

De volgende dag had Raphaëlle een nogal lange serie aan vergaderingen bij een client. 8 uur achtereen lullen.
En gedurende al die tijd heeft ze nooit haar dietaire voorkeur te horen gebracht. Dus na die 8 uur werden we geëscorteerd naar dit restaurant.



Oops
Maart/April gaat Raph terug. Vraag me af hoe ze dit gaat communiceren. Maar toch, Kobe beef stond altijd wel op m’n lijstje. Er niet voor te hoeven betalen is een leuke bonus.

Gezien deze post duidelijk geen chronologische volgorde aanhoud, eerst even terug naar eerder op de dag toen ik leuk rond Kobe kon lopen toen Raph aant lullen was.

Eerst de earthquake memorial quay, de niet gerepareerde havenkant om de schade van de 1995 Aardbevingweer te geven.

Nog wat meer random haven wandelingen

China Town

And Kitano, de sectie voor buitenlanders.

Yup, dat is voor het Oranda (Holland met een Japanes accent) house.

Na Kobe namen we de shinkansen naar Tokyo. Raph had de volgende dag een afspraak in Hitachi, en om niet nogmaals om 5:nogwattus wakker te worden de stopover in Tokyo.


Yoshinoya, schijnt niet de enige met die naam te zijn.

Hitachi stad is . . . nouja, hoe kan ik het zeggen. Hier wonen zorgde ervoor dat ik nu een vriendin heb die absoluut in een grote, levendige stad wil wonen. De 2 vulcanus-jin die er dit jaar zitten waren de grootste feestbeesten gedurende hun Tokyo tijd. Ouch.


Het is wel een mooie stad. Dit doet het overigens beter in de lente als de kersenbloesem er is. 1.2km aan kersen bomen. Kan me eigenlijk niet voorstellen je auto er in zomer onder te willen zetten als de overrijpe kersen uit zichzelf naar beneden komen.

Je zult misschien wel wat moeite moeten doen de schoonheid te vinden.

Donderdag zag ons weer in Tokyo, dit is wat Raph’s facebook daarover te zeggen had:

in Tokyo. Love Tokyo. Love it love it love it.

Raph mag Tokyo leuk vinden, het gevoel is misschien niet helemaal wederzijds.


Dus . . . . binnenactiviteiten.
Eigenlijk, nu dat we de tijd ervoor hadden werd wel duidelijk hoe jaded we waren met Tokyo. Ik had alles al gezien, en de dingen die ik wou zien, waren er niet meer. Dit, bijvoorbeeld, stond er vorige zomer maar is al weer weg 🙁

Er zijn nog wel een of twee dingen die ik wou zien. De anime museum, Hello Kitty museum en het Ghibli museum. Maar dit is Tokyo, zou het niet chock-vol moeten zijn met spannende dingen?

Als we het toch over Ghibli hebben . . .

Die op enkele momenten van de dag dit doet:

Wat we wel hadden in Tokyo was een reunie met enkele oude vulcanus-jin. Tenminste, dat hoopte we. Er zijn, dat we weten, 6 vulcanus-jin in “Tokyo”. Maar “Tokyo” is helaas wat groter dan Tokyo, en er waren er 4 verder weg dan wat makkelijk was.

Jorge, daarentegen, wwont in de  Roppongi hills was beschikbaar voor wat Izakaya actie.
En op Zaterdag hadden we zowel Jorge als Sato-san.


OK, als je dit int nederlands leest heb je geen idee wie Sato san is, maar dit is geweldig.

En daarmee zat ons bezoek aan Japan er op. Laatste dat we zagen was:

Kan duidelijk erger.

Voor meer fotos clik here.

===============================================================================

Quote of the Day:

Memories are what warm you up from the inside. But they’re also what tear you apart.

– Haruki Murakami

Japanese businesstrip

Tuesday, February 15th, 2011

For Raph that is, I was merely along for the ride.

The initial circumstances made that we were rather happy going to Japan.

We were leaving this (Seoul, -5 degrees)

going to this (Osaka, 10 degrees)

Unfortunately, it soon deteriorated into (Tokyo, -2 degrees)

which made us pretty much like

Anyway, the trip.

We popped over on monday. We woke up at 5:something (eugh) to get to the airport. If you connected what you saw in the first picture with the reality of airport management you’ll be able to postulate that 5:something could easily have been 6:something or even 7.

Arrival in Osaka followed eventually and I was certainly happy I had made dinner plans, not lunch plans as we’d never have made that.
I made dinner plans with my old 部長(I think I got that right, department head) from my time at Mitsubishi Electric and it was very nice catching up what has been going on in the lives of those people I shared 8 months with.

Minagawa-san, well aware of our dietary restriction, managed to snag a reservation at a specialized Tofu restaurant.


All of which was very tasty. There’s pictures of the façade of the restaurant here. I do not, however know exactly where it is. From my memory, honmachi subway station, exit 21, after 20 metres or so go right and follow the main road until you pass a temple on the right, right after go right and it should be on the corner. If not, ask the 7/11, you should be close enough.

The next day Raphaëlle spent 8 hours talking to clients. Actually talking, 2 meetings both with 3 presentations each she was quite hoarse when we met up for dinner. In all that time though she hadn’t gotten around to specifying the whole vegetarian thing.

So



If you walk away from laying the foundations for many 10s of thousands worth of business deals (and this one has great potential) and are led into a place were meals start at €100. Well, if you’re going to eat meat, why not eat Kobe beef.
I am very curious how raph will communicate this for the next trip in March/April.

Back to the non-chronological order that is this post. Before dinner I had some time to wander around Kobe while Raph talked.

So I got to see the earthquake memorial quay, specially not repaired to reflect the damage caused by the 1995 Earthquake.

Some random harbour wandering

China Town

And Kitano, the foreign section.

Yes, that’s in front of Oranda (Holland with Japanese accent) house.

After Kobe we took the late night shinkansen to Tokyo so we could take the early morning train to Hitachi which wouldn’t require another 5:something alarm clock.

The hotel in Ginza made for some nice midnight photography opportunities.

And I was able to learn something of the roots of a famous Japanese institution, yoshinoya.

Hitachi city is . . . well, living there made raph more adamant about living in a larger city. This year’s vulcanus-jin to Hitachi were this year’s biggest party animals. We mourn for you.


It is a pretty city though, it would be better if I’d taken this in Sakura season though. A 1.2 km long road lined with sakura trees.

Admittedly you do have to go and look for it.

The next day we were back in Tokyo. As Raph’s facebook said:

in Tokyo. Love Tokyo. Love it love it love it.

Where we learn that Raph really likes . . . Tokyo? However, Tokyo might have been sending negative messages regarding our visit.


So we were forced to stick to indoor activities. It actually brought to our attention how jaded we were with Tokyo. There was nothing so see. I’ve been to all of it. Especially indoor stuff. There’s a now Tokyo tower being built and I missed the gundam in Odaiba

which has already been decommissioned. While it is currently somewhere, I don’t know where. If it’s lucky, the gundam is touring the world.

But indoor things? Hadn’t been to the anime museum, the Helloo Kitty museum, the Ghibli museum I do still all have to see, but considering all that is Tokyo, that’s not a lot.

Speaking of Ghibli. After the daytime Yurikamome trip we saw this:

which, at set times of the day does this:

Being back in Tokyo, we had aimed to meet up with some of our old Vulcanus-jin. Unfortunately, what we’d not realized is that while there’s a fair few in Tokyo, they actually live in “Tokyo”. And “Tokyo” is kind of big.

Jorge, though, lives in the Roppongi hills and was available for some Izakaya visits. On friday together with a trainee at the Vulcanus EU-Japan coop center and on Saturday with Sato-san herself.

And on that fateful day we got this shot:


If you’re not a Vulcanus-jin, this probably doesn’t mean much to you. But that’s Sato-san in Purikura!!!!!!!!

Sunday, we headed back to Seoul. Just in time to see this:

And wasn’t that a nice sight to leave Japan with.

For any additional pictures of the trip click here.

===============================================================================

Quote of the Day:

Memories are what warm you up from the inside. But they’re also what tear you apart.

– Haruki Murakami

Yeosu

Wednesday, February 9th, 2011

Two weeks ago I could be found on the south coast of South Korea.

The south coast is dotted with nice little seaside towns and beach colonies.
In January these towns are not as vibrant as they would be in summer.

Yeosu can’t really be called either though. It’s an industrial harbor, a great focus of Korea’s Chemical production capabilities. Not really a place where you’d go for a weekend getaway.

Yeosu itself is trying to change it’s image though with the 2012 world expo being hosted there. It’s got a few tourist attractions already, but the work for all the expo buildings and infra structure is still underway.

Raphaelle was in Yeosu for business reasons, all those chemical companies and needing valves and stuff. I wasn’t there for the world expo, so I spend my days walking Orion all over this town.

It’s pretty, certainly less ugly than some of the places I’ve been. I wouldn’t mind coming back here when it’s not freezing. Orion had a good time too. Better than me I’d say, though he did object to how we transported him over longer distances.

There were many pretty sea vistas to enjoy.



Cultural stuff


Look, there's culture behind my dog

And luckily, this far from Seoul the Architecture is completely new and exciting.


Orion may have been slightly humiliated being carted around as such, but he held his shit together seeing all this all week. Whereas my shit was runny and very, very frequent by the end of the week.

I enjoyed Yeosu, and I don’t think it’s anything to do with the place that I spent 6 days in bed afterwards. But maybe, next time, I’ll go to Busan instead.

The entire album is visible here.

=================================================================================

Quote of the day:

Look, there’s culture behind my doggy

– aelle