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Good by 2006 [Life]

Only a few hours are left in 2006.
2006 was one of the years when many things happened to me, and could be turning point in my life. I think I was able to have good re-start in Kyoto this year. A couple of years have passed somehow since I last polished my shoes, though I liked do it by myself. I thanked them and polished them. Cleaning everything around us is custom at the year end in Japan. Hope 2007 will become truly good year for all!


Diving into the cold seawater [Research]

Mt. Hiei which is located behind our town was covered by snow on last Sunday. Winter season finally started here. It will last at least 3 months.. Uhmm, too long.
Despite such a cold day, we need to dive into Osaka Bay to pick up chamber equipments to monitor groundwater fluxes, and deploy a pyramid-shaped frame to support pipe, which will be inserted into the bottom sediment to monitor porewater nutrients and temperature. Atmospheric temperature is around 10 degrees, but you know, the water temperature could be higher than it.

The frame with 4 m length pipe. The depth of the water is around 3.5 m. So Top of 50 cm will be left on the surface. We adjusted the length of the pipe so that we can identify the place where we deployed our stuff.

Students in Kobe Univ. supported us. Because most of my field areas were warm coral reef areas, I did not have any dry suit with 5 mm skin thickness. Within 30 minutes, the coldness mostly made us spoiled.

The chamber recovered from the sea bottom.

Creepy creatures attached the chamber. Worm-like creature is inside the slime. What’s that?


Home Theater [Life]

My room is so small and I was afraid that if I put television in my room, it makes my room further smaller. So I introduced projector system to see the satellite program.

Although screen size is not so big (about 1.0 m by 0.7m) due to short distance between the wall and the projector, I can enjoy CNN, BBC, Discovery channel and National Geographic channel on the screen. This system is pretty good, but two additional remote controller were added in my room…


Project meeting at Hiroshima [Sightseeing]

We had 3 day meeting with all of project members at Hiroshima. Hiroshima is located in 300 km west from Kyoto. Actually it was my first visit to Hirosima. Intelligent person might have heard of this place as the first place in human history to be attacked by atomic bomb at the end of WWII. So I was exiting to visit this place as a person sincerely hoping the peace of earth. Unfortunately the period when I can stay there was limited in just 3 days. So I woke up very early morning on the first day, and rushed to Hirosima by bullet train, Shinkan-sen.
street car runing around Hiroshima station.

Symbolic monument, Hiroshima Genbaku Dome (World cultural heritage). Genbaku means atomic bomb. And this construction was Hiroshima Prefectural Industrial Promotion Hall. On August 6, 1945, the bomb exploded approximately 600 m above this city, and all of constructions in this area were crushed and burned by tremendous heat and air blast. But accidentally the frame of this building was left, because the bomb exploded just above this building and the blast came from almost directly above. I was so moved facing to this monument, and felt great sorrow seeing the many displays at memorial museum.

Fernando was enthusiastic to take a picture of small birds rather than Genbaku dome.

Senba-duru, a string of one thousand paper cranes. This is often used in praying recovery from sickness. In other aspect, however, it is the symbol of peace, and used in praying victory at sports game.

On the 3rd day after finishing meeting, I had 3 hours until the train leaving. So I rushed again with Fajar, Santos and Akinob, to visit Miyajima, another World’s cultural heritage.

What is this? (The answer is located at bottom)

Itsukushima shrine at Miyajima was constructed on the sea over 1400 years ago. But in these years, this shrine was suffered from flood due to rising sea level.

Ohtorii, the gate leading to shrine. But of course we can not walk.

It’s my bottom! Don’t take it!


Autumn [Sightseeing]


Maple trees aflame with red and yellow leaves. In my home town, the peak, when they show beautiful gradated colors, is from the end of November. Biologically, however, this phenomenon means that they are recycling nitrogen in pigments into the other parts of body, which will be left in winter. In other words, people are very excited seeing old plants just before senescence. Plants are great!

To have welcome lunch party for Prof. Fernando Siringan from University of Philippine, we went to a traditional restaurant, “Shino” located close to Kitayama St. The decollations of the room and lunch box were also arranged to the atmosphere in Autumn.

A part of lunch menu

Jelly with some fruits, loquat or pomegranate


Snake at zoology department in Kyoto Univ. [Creature]

My co-researcher, Hiroki, is working at zoology department in Kyoto Univ, which is located 30 minutes bike from my institute. Because unfortunately my institute does not have permission to access many of electric journals and any on-line paper searching system, I need to visit his lab regularly. Zoology lab is very exciting place for me. This place makes me go back to childhood. This snake is called “Yamakagashi” in Japanese. Imagine that I was so scared, because no detoxicant is available for this snake.


Halloween Party [Culture]


In our institute, many foreign researchers are working, and like me, many researchers were working at US before. So Halloween party was one of big events here.

My lab members, Kobori-san, Karen, Tomo and me.

I did good job in early morning, and brought my new-laid eggs.

Carlos is performing.

And then, go back to work.


Finally finished all field trips in 2006… [Research]

5 month has passed since I moved to Kyoto, but I was in field trips during over 2/3 of this period. I’ve just came back from Taipei, my final study site in 2006. I wanna upload more pics taken during these 5 months after finishing a bunch of paper works and obliged attendance to several symposiums. Coming sooon!

We had free time just one day. So we visited Taipei 101, which is the tallest building in the world (http://www.emporis.com/en/wm/bu/?id=100765 )(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taipei_101).

But actually, this building was constructed by Japanese company, “Kumagai gumi”, and the special elevator, whose speed is also No.1 in the world, was made by Toshiba. I wanna visit here again at New Year's celebration.

Look up the top.

The scene from observatory

Pink ribbon campaign was conducted at night to make awareness for prevention, detection and cure of breast cancer.

This river side is potential our field site to check groundwater discharge into the main river running through Taipei city.

Invasive species, apple shell was everywhere around river side.

The color of their eggs are pink.

Most of dishes at restaurant are available around 1 dollar. Even Japanese, it’s hard to guess what kind of food each menu written in Chinese means. I loved 鮮蝦扁食麺, noodle with shrimp dumplings.

McDonald is everywhere in the world.

I’m not sure about sanitary condition, but there was nothing to eat out at stand outside. But taste was good.


Traditional restaurant in Kyoto [Life]

A secretary at my lab, Kobori-san, is a member of traditional family who has lived in Kyoto for long years, and sells traditional Japanese food. So she is very familiar with the local restaurant. Usually Japanese restaurants in Kyoto have social status. The appearances of entrance occasionally make us hesitate to enter, because we can not imagine what expensive food they are serving.

So I may have not used this restaurant with such a traditional entrance.

But the foods were very reasonable and good taste during lunch time. They are serving vegetable dishes. The round one is egg plant with miso sauce.


More matured, more modest [Culture]

There are many rice-fields around my apartment. When I came here, these were covered by green sprouts. But now, it’s getting like gold carpet. Ears of rice is getting heavier and hanging down gradually. This appearance looks like a person is bowing down. In Japanese well-known haiku poetry, someone compared this appearance to the exemplary behavior of person. That is, we’ll sometimes become arrogant when we got power. But, he suggested that the truly excellent person should be more modest as a status become high. I’ll keep this in mind.


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