After the first 2-month tour to India, New Zealand, and Australia, I am now on my second tour of the GSA international lectureship which will last the month of May and is taking me to Japan and China.
Tokyo lived up to its reputation of combining old and new traditions in a large, bustling city. Everything seems clean, orderly, and efficient.
But our visit wasn’t quite complete until we woke up early and got a glimpse of Mt Fuji, beautiful and majestic looking against the city skyline.
The Tokyo subway system can be dizzying, and makes the Paris and New York metros look simple.
In the densely packed city, many skyscrapers have interesting architecture.
I gave 2 talks hosted at ELSI (Earth and Life Science Institute) at Tokyo Institute of Technology. ELSI is a new interdisciplinary collaboration between Earth and life sciences, with a special emphasis on the origins of life and early Earth. These talks were co-sponsored by the Sedimentological Society of Japan, the Geological Society of Japan, and the Exploration Technology Committee of the Japanese Association for Petroleum Technology. At every place I visit, my kind and gracious hosts have always made me feel welcome, and I come away feeling that is has been an enriching and educational experience.
A highlight was a visit to the Sensoji Temple (Tokyo’s oldest temple) with the Kaminarimon Gate in the Asakusa region of Tokyo. Visitors come and leave with blessings. The promenade from the Gate to the Temple is lined with many shops, and eatery delights. Some “firsts” for us were the samplings of frozen fruit shavings (tastes a lot like sorbet, but even better) and deep-fried crispy bread balls filled inside with curry paste.
On to Kyoto via the Shinkansen bullet train…
The bullet trains only make brief stops and when they say brief, that’s exactly what they mean. From the opening to the closing of the doors is only about a minute as passengers quickly maneuver off and on with their baggage.