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.


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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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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