12 June 2005

Tsukuba! (JUN-10)

We went today to Tsukuba to visit two research institutes: the BRI (for buildings) and the PWRI (for Public Works).

We met at the Hon-Atsugi station at around 9:30, we got to Tsukuba at around 12:45! We bought lunch at Tokyo station, and ate it (cold) on the bus from Tokyo to Tsukuba.

Tsukuba is quite a nice city, it's north of Tokyo, and farther north from Chiba prefecture (where Narita airport is). Lots of trees, large roads... It is I think a relatively young city, and I think being a location of (government) research institutes is its main industry. Anyway, if you like the "city life," you won't like it here because it's far from Tokyo, but anyway, I like suburban places and this is one of those kinds of cities, much like Atsugi.

Our first meeting started at 13:30 (1:30pm--did I mention already that Japanese are more used to the 24-hour format?), and we saw this really big wind tunnel at PWRI - 40 meters wide! There was a scale model of a 5-kilometer long bridge inside. Very interesting.

Palatastas: in making a scale model of one busy city center in Tokyo--the Shinjuku area--it cost one wind research facility around 8 million Yen. That's 4 million pesos. That is 80 houses for the poor. Hmmmmmm.....

We next went to the BRI and they had quite a lot of interesting facilities there. Our meeting ended at almost 5pm or so. We then took a taxi back to the bus center. The taxi cost around 2,020 Yen by the way. Maybe it was around 4 to 5 kilometers lang... Anyway, so we got on a bus back to Tokyo.

Actually, today was also the first time I experienced Tokyo traffic on the way back to Tokyo. It was rush hour din kasi.

We got back to Hon-Atsugi station at around 8:30pm already! Man, we were so tired! Giang-san and I had dinner again at this ramen restaurant beside the bus center in Atsugi. Got home after 10pm na I think. I did some more things at home, and was able to sleep na at around 1am.......

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