Tuesday, 07 February, 2006

To Osaka

Osaka is about 320 miles (512 kilometers) east of Tokyo.  The quickest and easiest way to get there is to take the Shinkansen (bullet train) from Tokyo station.  I don't know if Tokyo station is the largest train station in the world, but it is huge.  It took us about 15 minutes to get from our hotel to Otemachi station, which is connected by walking tunnel to Tokyo station.  It took over 30 minutes to walk from Otemachi station to the platform where we boarded the Shinkansen.

We had some time to kill in Tokyo Station, so I entertained the crowd with my juggling.

Actually, the money on the ground is mine, and the guy throwing the coin is Mr. Shoji--one of our host's employees.  The Japanese are rather more reserved than Americans, and it's quite possible that many didn't even see me juggling there simply because it's so out of the ordinary that their brains wouldn't accept it.  I did get a few looks as the crowds rushed by.  It was great fun.

We rode the "Nozomi Super Express," which made only three or four stops along the way.  Traveling at 200 or 250 kilometers per hour much of the way, the trip to Osaka took a little over two hours.  Once again, due to the weather, I was unable to see Mt. Fuji.  I guess I'll have to keep coming back to Japan until I get a view of the mountain.

We'll be in Osaka for two full days for meetings with the users.  These meetings are interesting because they involve programmers and artists trying to communicate and come to an understanding--a process that is difficult even when both parties speak the same native language.  Things take a little more time, but we are able to reach an understanding.

I have a few pictures to post, but that'll have to wait for another time.  I don't have Internet access here in Osaka except briefly from my client's office.  I'll have to write my updates in the hotel tonight or tomorrow and then upload them before or after our meetings.  I'll be back in Tokyo with high speed access on Thursday evening.