University of Nagoya

I woke up at 4:30am and could not go back to sleep…  So, I got up, did some work until 6:00am or so, started getting sleepy so made up a couple cups of tea in the room, decided it was not enough caffeine, had a Coke and then an interestingly named Pocari Sweat, then finally met Robert for breakfast.

After breakfast, we met Mineo who took us in a taxi to the university for the experiments.  I have to say that the taxis in Japan are pretty impressive. I noticed that they tend to run on natural gas to ensure less pollution and they are impeccably clean from the roof to the carpet underneath your feet. I also have to say that the automatically opening/closing doors are a bit surprising and the technologies inside them really make other taxis around the world pale in comparison. Certainly part of this is made possible by the wireless network in Japan, but it is impressive nonetheless.

Robert, Mineo, Mineo’s graduate student and I spent a marathon day in surgery, but managed to complete everything that we came to do in one day rather than the two we were expecting to have to take. My feet were killing me as they did not fit into even the largest of the surgery clogs, but I soldiered on and we are tremendously excited for the possibilities and future collaborations with Mineo. I cannot wait to get into the lab and start digging through the data.

Mineo took the picture above which inspired us to get photos of everyone in the Nagoya Hospital surgery smocks.

At any rate, because we got our work done early it opened up tomorrow for work in the hotel room and a little excursion out onto the town. But first, after work, we did the Japanese thing and went for a sushi dinner to solidify our future collaboration and celebrate with bieru and four kinds of sake after exchanging gifts. A good time was had by all and I saw something very cool when we were paying to leave. All the sushi items came on plates of various colors that indicate the value of the item you ordered. When it comes time to pay, they wave a wand over your table that automagically tabulates all of the prices through embedded RFID and gives you a total. Very cool.

I hope to be able to get some work done tomorrow, but also get out and walk through Nagoya to get a feel for what the town is like. The Toyota car museum is a one to two hour train ride, so I am afraid that is out for this trip but perhaps I can get up to Nagoya Castle or even over to the Toyota Museum of Industry.

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