Food Heaven

Sushi!

 

My bento for a picnic in Kyoto
My bento for a picnic in Kyoto

 

A local specialty in Shibayama
A local specialty in Shibayama

 

“Kobe Sweets”

 

A decadent meal at an Indian-Nepalese restaurant where I got asked whether I was Nepalese
A meal at one of the many Indian-Nepalese restaurants where the staff asked me if I was Nepalese

 

Dinner at a little french restaurant
Dinner at a charming little French place

 

Those little doughnuts sold at every Japanese festival I've ever been to
Those little doughnuts sold at every Japanese festival I’ve ever been to

 

Taiyaki

 

My very first okonomiyaki
My very first okonomiyaki

 

Edible art created by the incredible man at my local patisserie
Edible art created by the incredible man at my local patisserie

 

A sushi maestro I met at TEDxKyoto - his talk was about tradition and innovation
A sushi maestro I met at TEDxKyoto – his TEDtalk was brilliant!

 

A Thai restaurant recommended by someone who'd lived in Thailand for a year
A Thai restaurant recommended by a guy who’d lived in Thailand for a year

 

Special Setsubun udon noodles served at the Nagata shrine
Special Setsubun udon noodles served at the Nagata shrine

 

Dessert at an Izakaya in Akashi
Dessert at an Izakaya in Akashi

 

Sushi I bought from a shop on my way to work
Sushi I bought from a shop on my way to work

 

A serving of the world-famous Kobe beef
A serving of the world-famous Kobe beef

A Visit to the Supercomputer

A friend informed me of a great opportunity. She mentioned that the RIKEN Advanced Institute for Computational Science would be hosting an open day for its K Computer. It was the world’s fastest computer not too long ago and is still among the top four. I couldn’t wait to see it.

When we arrived on Port Island, a man-made island just a quick train ride from the centre of Kobe, there weren’t too many people around. It got busier as we got closer. There were brochures and freebies galore as we searched for information about the presentation I wanted to see.

Eventually we found the presentation about the heart and a simulation of its functioning. Of course, it was presented in Japanese, but I was lucky to be with a very multilingual friend, who translated the key points for me. Also, the K computer itself was quite a sight. It was an interesting experience, which I’ll never forget.

Surrounded By Beauty

I had the opportunity for a brief visit to Kinosaki Onsen. It’s an ideal place for anyone who loves hot springs, but it’s also a good place to enjoy Japanese aesthetics and architecture. As if that weren’t enough, the hospitality I experienced was exceptional, even by Japanese standards.

With a map, a list of recommendations and plans to meet up with friends later that evening, I was ready for a bit of exploring. A minimalist beauty was present throughout the town, from the designs of the buildings and bridges to the interiors of the hot springs. The way in which Japanese architecture embraces nature and natural materials is quite special.

The cave and waterfall features inside the hot springs and the river which runs through the town were some of the highlights. The interesting Brazilian lady and Italian guys I met, and great conversations with the owner of the ryokan I stayed at, made it even more memorable. I was excited to have the opportunity to catch up with some really great friends, while checking out the local festival. The fireworks display was the perfect end to a wonderful day.