Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Early Spring

During the month of February, not much happened. I think it really is too cold to do much traveling, and usually the laboratory is particularly busy since graduation in Japan is usually in March. Many students have to prepare to graduate, and the students remaining have to prepare for the new incoming students in April.

March, however, is spring break and also my birthday! I had a much more eventful month during March. Unfortunately, since my birthday was in the middle of the week, I couldn't do much on the actual date, but my friends were so kind enough to take me on a day-trip around the Itoshima-Karatsu area.

First we had lunch at a historical restaurant, which is famous for its traditional Japanese cuisine, made from only natural ingredients. This is appealing to people who do not want to eat artificial preservatives, and whom enjoy eating only local produce.

 After eating that much food, my friends drove me out to a great sight-seeing area, where we could walk off our heavy lunch. It is famous for its unique igneous rock formations. The unusual shapes are caused by lava suddenly cooling in the ocean, causing the resulting rock to form the geometric shapes.

We also went to another sight-seeing spot on the beach, which has a local land mark. The rocks were called 'The Standing God Rocks' but no one really knows why. They looked like a normal pile of rocks to me. However, there was a friendly beach cat, that came to say hello.

In late March I attended a conference in Tokyo where I presented a poster. This had been my first time to go to Tokyo without family, so it was a little nerve-wracking since the public transportation and cityscape is extremely complex. Luckily, the other students who attended the conference had a little more experience getting around than me so we were able to enjoy our time inside and outside the conference.

 One of my lab members even received an award. However, perhaps the most entertaining part was meeting the graduated seniors of my laboratory, who were now living in the Tokyo area. Some of them I know, but some of them were new faces. It was a great time, as usual, except afterwards we had to get up early to attend the last day of the science conference!

Next, I will post about my early April trip to Korea! Until then~