Category Archives: japan

Notes from AOTS talk

Good afternoon, I am Mr. Yamamoto. I myself have bought an electronic
dictionary. Before I bought, I asked the shopkeeper what would be
good. He recommended Casio, which is why I bought the one from Casio.
It is my regret, I should’ve listened to your presentation, then I
should’ve made up my mind. I have a plan to change to new mobile, so I
should listen to your recommendations. Your generial orientation
training started from end of August, and very soon, your OJT at host
company will take place. I believe that you are the future bridges to
make the interface between your country into the Japanese companies.
My last word to all of you is that I definitely hope you will have a
fruitful training session. We wish you great success and prosperity as
well as the people from your host companies. Do your best.

Good afternoon, my name is Mr. Usui. I myself already bought an
electronic dictionary. I must comment on your presentations. I’m very
amazed by the amount of improvement you have all made over eight
weeks. Selection of theme was also very good. The kind of electric
dictionary I bought is the Sharp PW9000. However, I didn’t make a
thorough survey like you did, because I bought it on instinct. Despite
the fact I bought it just on instinct, now I know my instinct was
correct. Obviously, your OJT is going to take place, so I must ask all
the people from the host companies to look after the trainees. I have
three things I’d like to mention to all of you trainees. The first
point is your technical training. You are here to receive your
technical training and you will be receiving that from the
specialists. The Japanese way of keeping time. As you know, the people
working in this industry tend to keep long hours, so I’d like you to
get used to it. I encourage you to build personal relationships while
you’re working here. I believe all of you future leaders will try to
make the initiative when you get back to your country. It is a good
opportunity for you to make contacts while you are here in Japan. The
third point is that I hope you have the opportunity to get acquainted
and receive lots of knowledge and information about Japan as well as
the Japanese culture. As you already know, there are many sightseeing
spots near the Tokyo area, including Kamakura as well as Hakone where
you can see Mount Fuji, Nikko. I hope you can visit these spots. I
hope you will learn to understand many good things about Japan and the
Japanese people. When you go back to your country, I hope you will act
like our PR man so that you can promote Japan and its people, and I
hope … (gah, buffer full).

Allow me to make a comment on behalf of all the attendants. So we are
kind of giving AOTS AOTS has been giving us many services to our
companies. I’m very honored to bbe here, invited to this meeting. I
heard your Japanese presentations today. I am amazed and surprised to
hear such good Japanese presentations. If I put myself into your
position just learning Vietnamese language for just eight weeks, I
could not make that fantastic achievement. If I recall when I was your
age, that was maybe about 30 years ago, we Japanese, we didn’t have
the opportunity to study abroad at that time. So looking from my point
of view, you have a great opportunity to study here in Japan, it’s
like a dream. So I must encourage all of you to study and continue to
study our Japanese language lessons which you have received from AOTS
as well as the culture and the technical learnings you will receive
from your company. And I hope that one day you will grow up to be a
person who can make a contribution not only to your country but also
to Japan, other Asian countries, and the world. On the way back home,
I will definitely purchase the dictionary manufactured by Sharp.

Luxury

The onsen had a wine bath. Wine! With that and the different kinds of
saunas, my head feels finda fuzzy… But yeah, today was lots of fun.

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Geek-out weekend

Had a fantastic weekend geeking out. Saturday’s TLUG technical
presentation introduced me to the joys of Squeak, and I stayed as late
as I could for the karaoke and stuff. Sunday was cold, dreary, and
rainy. This turned out to be a very good thing, although it was gloomy
in the beginning. Rain makes street performers scarce, so I decided to
skip Yoyogi. Thought about going to the Edo-Tokyo Museum, but couldn’t
get in touch with Sebastien (a museum buff who mentioned wanting to go
to the falconry exhibition). Decided to put that off instead. Got in
touch with Dave Brown who invited me up to Saitama for DDR. Aaron
Chmielowiec is a wizard at that thing. Asked him about Dance Maniax.
Apparently, there are no more Dance Maniax machines in normal arcades.
Waaah.

Had tons of fun practicing some songs with the two, as they’re both
better than I am. Browsed through Bic Camera afterwards. Lots of
amusing commentary. Had dinner at an izakaya. Learned so many things
about the Japan IT industry from the conversation. <laugh> Their
college stories were also hilarious. They had such characters in their
university! We talked about many other things, but I’m too sleepy to
record them.

Wonderful weekend. =D

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I will be in Kobe this weekend…

… so don’t panic if you don’t see updates from me. =)

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Umeda bus stop

Parking lot across the street from the front entrance of HOTEL HANKYU
INTERNATIONAL. The roof of HOTEL HANKYU INTERNATIONAL looks like a
rectangular plate and is lit up at night. The bus stop is between a
LAWSON convenience store and the PIAS TOWER SQUARE. PIAS TOWER is
easily visible from far away because of its height and greenish glass.
Our staff will be there doing the check in with a table that has a
sign written STAR EXPRESS on it. Please check in with our staff by
telling them your name. They will tell you which bus to take when you
check in. Please find your seat by looking up your name (KATAKANA) on
the seating chart or ask one of our drivers to show you your seat. The
bus is leaving Umeda at 22:50 PM, so please be there no later than
22:30PM. The bus will stop 2-3 times at service areas for break. It
will arrive in Shinjuku Station at around 6:30 AM on January 25, 2005
if there is no heavy traffic.

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A weekend in Kansai

I had a relaxing weekend in Kansai, hopping from Kobe to Kyoto and
then to Osaka. Tita Cora is also fond of creature comforts, so instead
of a set tour, I took her to a 100 yen shop to buy 32 (!) miso soup
bowls and then to a hot spring some 15 minutes away from the train
station. There, on the 7th floor of a building nestled among
apartments, hotels, and curio shops, we indulged in a bewildering
array of baths, including another wine bath.

She left early the next day, so I decided to make the most of my
Sunday by going to Kyoto. I went to the Kyomizudera temple, a
beautiful set of cedar structures set over a cliff. I rented a PDA
audio guide (how could I not patronize such excellent use of
technology?) and made my way around the temple complex listening to
interesting audio snippets and looking at pictures of things not on
public display. Although there were many tourists, the place felt
serene, sublime.

On the way to Kyomizudera and back, I ducked into lots of little curio
shops. I wasn’t looking for anything in particular, but I found all
the different shapes and colors fascinating. There were shops with
folding fans in a multitude of designs, parasols sold side-by-side
with fancy yukata and slippers, pottery in every shape and style. I
wandered until I felt myself no longer distinguishing new and
interesting things, then I headed back to Kyoto station.

I had friends in Osaka, so I decided to go there instead of heading
all the way back to Kobe. I called the night bus service to move my
departure to Osaka instead, and asked them to e-mail me a map of the
bus stop. I tried to get in touch with my friends, but none of them
replied (that’s the problem when you’re such an impulsive person that
you do everything on short notice), so I just wandered around looking
for an Internet cafe. Yahoo! BB (broadband) had a free Internet cafe
in Yodobashi Camera, and I checked my mail for the map before heading
to the 8th floor of the same building for a wonderful tonkatsu dinner.
Then I wandered through the shops some more. Nearly went for a facial
(only 1000 yen!) but it was already too late by the time I found out
about the offer. Got sucked into a toy shop and couldn’t resist buying
a Rubik’s cube-like thing in the shape of a pyramid.

Then I headed back down to the cybercafe for a quick check. So now
it’s back to Tokyo, and work, and and the rest of life. Just one more
month!

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