Another day of company visits, another day of sore feet and knees. Luckily for me they walking pace was not too high and we didn’t cross too many stairs. We had a presentation about IBM’s background and vision of the future (the standard layout for almost all our visits) and after the standard introduction we finally got to see some technology.
Today is my day off. Well not really but I’m sick with a combination of flu and a serious cold. Yesterday I skipped the diner at the cruise ship to prevent throwing up all the way and before that I managed to survive the NHK visit while walking around with a fever.
Today (Sunday) we went to Hiroshima on a culture day. We jumped on the Shinkansen (Nozomi number 5) to Hiroshima from Kyoto. One of the group had a GPS system for cycling which can show the current speed and other statistics and we clocked the train at a top speed of 303 km/h. At that speed we found a smoking booth between two trains. So after we bought some coffee from a nice young lady on board, we checked out the smoking booth. After some hilarious situations in a small booth with 2 cups of coffee and cigarettes (taking sudden corners at 300km/h is dangerous for people in the vicinity with open mugs) we arrived after 1,5 hours at Hiroshima.
Today we visited Nara again. Last time the weather was crap (rain) and other things were a bit off. This time however, the weather was brilliant: sunny, 12 degrees and we even got a station guard to walk us half-way to NEC. NEC has an awesome building but we weren’t allowed to make pictures. So I didn’t. Only when nobody looked.
Anyway, we had some cool tech demos about robots which interact with humans (think Aibo, think small toy-like gremlin, think way expensive), a door with lcd’s in them (I want one of those) and telecommunication walls with HD video links between different buildings. The lunch was decent, although pretty cold but that is probably because the kitchen chef never made a western meal like that. After the visit, we were greeted by a fleet of taxis out side NEC. Apparently someone noticed we were running late and they had called every cab in Nara to the NEC building. After the drivers had their fun with the fact that we probably are twice their length they brought us to NTT Communications Lab.