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Dr. Kieren Brigatti (MRSC)

B.Sc. (Hons.), D.Phil. (Chemistry), (University of Sussex)

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My visit to Japan

My Experience in Japan

I was fortunate enough to be offered the chance to spend a short amount of time living and working in Japan as part of the on-going collaboration between the Sussex Nanoscience and Nanotechnology Centre at Sussex University and the Bio Nano Electronics Research Centre based in Toyo University, located in Kawagoe City, Saitama Prefecture.

This was a wonderful experience for me and allowed me experience the truly spectacular culture of Japan. Below is an summary of my experience.


Arrival into Tokyo's Narita International Airport

After a 12 hour flight via Copenhagen (CPH), I arrived exhausted into Narita airport.  The flight was an interesting experience to say least because it remained light throughout the journey, even though it was supposedly a "night" flight!  I left CPH at 1535 and arrived into NRT at 0910 the following day.  However, due to the direction of travel, it never became dark.  This confused me for a bit as I looked out the window at 37000 feet to see the sun setting and looking out again later only to see it rising!  Quite spectacular.  However, I did manage to get some sleep as of course anyone who has travelled long haul before will know there isn't much else to do! 

Going through immigration was a breeze, the immigration staff very friendly and efficient.  Although there was a queue this seemed to move fairly quickly.  By the time I got to baggage reclaim, the bags were already out and organised.  The airport employs people to stand the bags upright as to maximise the space on the belt and to enable one to quickly pick out ones bag at ease.  Then through customs, and after a couple of quick questions, I was out in the terminal building.

Next, buying a ticket for the train which would take me to the city where my University would be and where I would be living: Tsursaguisima.  The train I took was the Narita Express, although I subsequently found out that there was an alternative private service called the Keise Skyliner.  I found the train to be clean and very efficient and spacious. 

Accommodation

During my stay in Japan, I was to live in an apartment which was rented out by my host University.  The apartment was one of several in a block known as Cocos International Halls.  Although I thought the room was pretty small, it was in fact perfectly adequate.  However, the area for cooking consisted of one small electric stove and a sink!  This proved to be a bit of a challenge when trying to cook food - I found that an "all in one pot" concept proved to be the easiest way to over come this problem.  Moreover, the Japanese are the inventor of convenience food, i.e. boil in the bag type of food so this, along with some rice (the staple source of carbohydrates for most Asian countries), was the ideal solution.

[insert pics of room].

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University of Sussex

Kip McGrath (Sussex)












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