Tuesday, November 23, 2010

School festival

There are two school festivals in the UT. One is in May, called May Festival. The other one is in Nov, Komaba Festival. These take place in the different places, and the former one is in Hongo campus, which locates in the central district of Tokyo. The latter one is, as the name shows, in Komaba campus near Shibuya.

Entrance to the Komaba Festival

In last three days from Sunday to today, the Labor Thanksgiving Day (national holiday in Japan), we had Komaba festival. Every year, we the music club run the chorus cafeteria named Tutti. We sing and sell cakes, tea, and coffee. The ordinary classroom turns to the small concert stage, and people enjoy our performance. Ah, at least for us you know, it is very tough to sing for several hours for three days in a row. But still, we try hard to give a good performance all the time, haha… Here I uploaded a video of the performance, enjoy :)

In the school festival, there are also other things to see. The people in the swimming club marches in the campus, which looks very cold. Many pop music bands give their performance in classrooms or on the stage outside. There are also some serious exhibitions and booths, like the model UN. Along the Gingko road in the campus, you can enjoy hotdogs, sausages, curry, and whatever… I saw the people selling Korean foods! You know, all the things in the festival are arranged by only students.

After the festival ended, I felt somewhat strange, because this will be the final school festival for me in the UT, as I’m thinking of going out somewhere for my grad school career. Ummm, I now a bit miss the festival mood in our campus.

Sunday, November 21, 2010


Sushi, my lunch today. I bought this at the supermarket near my house. Apparently these all not only for mine, but with my father, haha. We Love Sushi :D


Thursday, November 18, 2010

The day

I go to school by train every day. It takes an hour totally from home to school, but most of the time is actually walking. From my home to the station, changing the train to the train, and from the station to school. And because it's very boring to walk in the same way, time to time, I take a different course on my way home without any thought. Today was also that kind.

I use Tokyo station, which locates at the very center Tokyo obviously. There are so many office buildings (of big and famous companies) and shopping stores (of famous brands imported from overseas). You know what I mean? It's very modern and sophisticated district of Tokyo. Of course I have nothing to do there, and I can't afford to buy anything. But still, just hanging around is very interesting. Especially in November and December, the roads are illuminated beautifully. And you can see Christmas trees at some places.

Marunouchi (丸の内) districtChristmas tree~!

Ah, so today was the 3rd Thursday of November. You know what the day is? It's the day that Beaujolais Nouveau get released on sale. I saw the interesting thing at the convention center near the station.

Looks like a party? There is nothing here usually.

The one night event - the drinking party. It is like the pub outside. Despite I feel a bit cold in the air, people are cheerful in talking. Perhaps they are the people working at the office buildings I saw on the way, and maybe now talking about the day, their work life, or even making fun of their bosses, haha.

Someone singing in a live concert.Yeah, people buying bottles of Beaujolais Nouveau

Did I ought to invite some classmates to enjoy this party, too? mmm... I like to drink wine, but I shouldn't with my classmates :P cuz last time, they drank too much and were almost dying, hahaha. I'll enjoy it at home someday~.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

United Nations MDGs

Have you ever heard about the United Nations Millenium Development Goals (UN MDGs)? They are 8 big objectives that, although all of them are really tough, needs to be accomplished to make the world better. For example, the population suffered from poverty should decrease by half by 2015 compared to 2000. However in the actual situation, still a billion of people all around the world are able to afford to spend only less than $2.5 a day.

Why did I start to talk about this in this blog? In fact, I participated in the meeting yesterday that an UN officer in Tokyo gave a lecture to students. There I learned MDGs are the important goals for the United Nations. He told us, before the MDGs are established, many UN organizations and NPOs worked independently for their own goals. In that situation, big projects were difficult to be arranged since there were no cooperation among them. Therefore, the UN established the common goals as MDGs so that more and more communications and cooperations shall be made.

Originally, that meeting was set by Microsoft, related to Imagine Cup, the competition for students. There are several different track provided such as Game Design and Digital Media, but the main track is Software Design. This track has been open since the very first time of Imagine Cup in 2003. Here, we think of the idea, design the service, construct the business model, and evaluate the whole project, using ICT (Information Communication Technology) that goes with the theme of the year. And this year's theme is:

Imagine a world where technology helps solve the toughest problems.

So? I think the UN MDGs are really good start for me to compete in Imagine Cup. And not only for that, but it's also a good motivation for me to take the world problems seriously into consideration for my future.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Two drinking parties for two days in a row

I'm drinking wine :)

I think most of the readers of this blog can easily guess that what happened to my life during my visit to Seoul last week. There’s nothing to hide for me. As I said before, I got the Chinese girlfriend, who is a senior student at the Peking University (PKU). You know, it is not usual at all in Japan to get either your boyfriend or girlfriend who lives in the different country than you. Yeah, we also think the same way; in the other words, we are kind of special.

In fact, our friends at school celebrated me for that yesterday and today. お好み焼き (Okonomiyaki)The party I had yesterday was with my old classmates, who spent our 1st and 2nd grade together. From very beginning to the end, we totally talked about me and her, even they let me to tell a hundred things that I like her for, I mean her good points. Amazingly, I came up with so much, more than I expected for the first. Now I’m very proud of looking for the good points of the person :D

And about today’s party, even more gathered in one place, mostly my current classmates, but also some of my coworkers at Google Internship in the last summer. Surprisingly, the teacher who is responsible for instructing my graduation thesis was also coming to the party. It was really a big party with eventually 22 people participating. I didn’t expect that much came to the party!! I really felt that I was being celebrated :)

Gathered at our building entrance.Drinking is very fun

One thing very funny today was that who arranged this party asked me which to drink I prefer. Then “wine”, I answered. So in today’s party, only bottles of red and white wine are served. No other drinks like beer, orange juice or any… As a result for that, some of who followed me to drink the same amount of wine went really badly on alcohol, even feeling like throwing up. Then I got to know I am really strong against alcohol as Japanese. I emptied one and a half bottles of wine at last. Later I heard that we as a whole, drank 19 bottles of wine by 22 people…

Anyway, finally I really thought that we were the best wished couple ever… the situation of me is really described as crazy for someone, maybe.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Visiting a funny company

Yesterday I cut the classes at school, and instead I went to visit the office of the company named KAYAC Inc. Before continuing, I should note they are very funny. Yes, funny. I'm very serious that they are FUNNY. I got to know this company in a certain conference when I was working in Google. They were exhibiting their products at the event, and when I saw their booth with the signboard saying 「面白法人カヤック」 (saying “Funny Corporation, KAYAC”), it totally surprised me very much.

They deal with literally ‘everything’, for example, creating the mobile game applications, building social web sites, selling painting artworks and other various services; even they run the Donburi restaurant. Let me show some photos I took at the office today.

There are so many interesting (and even unbelievable) systems in the company. The first one is “Dice Salary” Can you guess what it means? It is the system that each employee throws a dice in front of all employees and you get a certain amount of your monthly pay based on the number you got on the dice. It’s totally random. No cheating – only up to the God. Another one is that for sometimes, people change their seats in the office to encourage the communication among. It sounds not so strange, but when you hear the seats is decided not by which team you are in, but by how tall you are, it's totally crazy, I think.

鶴岡八幡宮 (Tsurugaoka Hachiman-gū)with my best friend

After we visited KAYAC, we also enjoyed the short trip around Kamakura. Since it's very far from my house, around 2 hours by train, it's my second time to see old temples around there. Ummm, it was a nice day even I did nothing on my school stuffs... :P


Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Studying abroad

Last several days, I’m seriously thinking about studying abroad for my graduate school. Actually it’s not so common and not easy to obtain an admission from the grad school overseas, but it’s very exciting for me to try anyway.

Admission Letter for UT Grad School

At this time, as same as other classmates, I’ve been already admitted to the graduate school of the University of Tokyo, but I don’t feel like to advance. One reason is, my professor-in-charge is leaving school soon due to his retirement age, and no longer accepting any students further for his lab. In fact, I want to continue my research on information security theory (especially about declassification mechanism), but besides him, no other professors are studying in those field. The other reason is that I really want to broaden my vision to see the ‘world’. As long as you study only in Japan, you cannot know how competitive the researchers are doing all over the world.

So, the only way out is looking for a laboratory in other country. In fact it’s going to be, I think, a good idea not only for my academic career, but also for my personal experience. In Japan, school year starts in April and ends in March, which is different from the US system. So I’m graduating next March, and there will be 5 months of freedom, until the US school starts in September. What now I’m thinking of is taking part in the Facebook internship for 12 weeks. They offered me taking an interview for the intern, and actually I’m interested in that. So my plan for the next year going to be very busy, I guess LOL

Anyway, to be successful in my plan, I firstly have to complete my graduation thesis for my current degree.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

The food in Japan

No one can stop the time passing by. Now that I get back to the normal school days, I really have to think about the school staff despite I’m still like dreaming in Korea. Anyway, I confess that I took the wrong train heading for the opposite direction in the morning, and I was late for the morning class, making me so reluctant to listen to the lecture. After all I was being on the facebook for an hour…

So, actually I was a bit surprised that a school cafeteria in Seoul National University (SNU) was very similar to ours! You purchase a food ticket first, get the tray, pick up dishes, and go take a seat. The only difference here might be that there were no Kimchi pots on the table.

Cafeteria 鮭親子丼

Today I had 鮭親子丼 (Shake Oyako Don), which has salmon (鮭, Shake) slices and the roe eggs (イクラ, Ikura) on top of the rice in the bowl. We call those style 丼 (Donburi). So you can easily guess I had a seafood dish today.

During the meal, I talked with my classmates about my memory in Seoul. It was much fun to think back to the time in Korea. In addition, they were so interested in that I got the Chinese girlfriend. They asked me so many things :P

Now so far, I’ll write many thanks emails to the guys in Seoul and Beijing. I totally miss my friends and I’m very eager to stay connected with them. It’s really a nice age that we can keep in touch via Facebook, IM or some other things. Don’t you think so? I’m looking forward to their reply :D :D

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Arriving at the airport in Japan

Finally, I got arrived in Japan. The two hours of flight – quite short. So now I’m taking a transportation bus to get back home. In fact, when we say the last farewell to the SNU choir members, I was a little bit crying again, as I was like in the concert. It’s always hard to say see you.

So the visit to Seoul was really short, like a moment of the shooting star twinkles. But anyway, the 5th BESETOHA Choral Festival was really really successful I think. I found there is no border in the music language so we can unite in one atmosphere under the harmony. I remember the words like “In order to make a harmony, no matter what your cultural background is, you firstly have to listen to others.” said some VIP (actually I didn’t remember whose words was that. Might be a conductor or an OB of SNU Choir), and I strongly agree to that. In that meaning, I’m always respectful to the people with different sense of things than me. This time of BESETOHA, not only as a concert, but also as a place to exchange ideas among SNU, PKU and UT, went over with a great success.

Also as a personal success (?) during the event, I got two best chingu (meaning friends in Korean) and the yeoja chingu (haha, a girlfriend!), who I’ve met in the previous BESETOHA! So yesterday we all the chorus members had a big farewell party, and all of us drank too much beer until very late night, even barrels of beer. We chingu shared a lot of talks and our contacts so that even after the event we can keep in touch. I felt like there be no border among us because we’re totally one at that time! Also during that party, she and me were like in a mood to talk about the feeling we share. That is the moment we’ve found we fell in love. I won’t talk anymore about it here, but we talked a lot about many things. Very sweet memory, hehehe… Oh, also many guys of PKU sent many congratulations to us, and that I feel so happy (although a little bit embarrassing for me LOL).

Anyway, now that I get back to Japan, I’ll wrap things up and upload the photos I took.

The final minutes in Korea

I'm now at the Incheon airport now, and I'll soon be leaving Korea. It's funny though that the next post of the kick off is actually the leaving post. I didn't have any free time to post on my blogs here. To confess the truth, not only I exchanged with the students in Seoul and Beijing, but also I did make a girlfriend of Chinese. So sweet and I love her~, hehehe

Okay, now I have to leave. The boarding process started, see you bye~