* Information concerning affiliation/profile of the awardee is current at the time he/she received the award.
Host institution/organization in Japan:
National Institute of Genetics
Model Fish Genomics Resource Laboratory
Associate Prof. Noriyoshi Sakai
Japan has been my Mecca. It was the second time I went to Japan, and it came as an absolute bliss all over again.
Despite language being an obstacle, communication wasn’t actually a problem- thanks to Google Translate and scores of locals who were very kind enough to offer help voluntarily. People here are an outlier in the global population owing to their strong sense of punctuality and social ethics. An unfortunate event when I missed a coach (bus) that I’d pre-booked gave me one of the most hard-learnt lessons ever. I’m on time in all my university lessons now (*laughs*).
Climbing Fuji was one memorable experience for me. I was a solo traveler hoping to get on to the eight station as early as possible (my friends had already reached the station and were probably asleep). Sunset was approaching, and that being the first day of the Yoshida trail opening, there were very few climbers apparently. Midway, I was lost and could see nothing but the clouds beneath and above me. With (very) strong winds blowing, and the road ahead hidden behind a difficult cliff, I was all alone. Despite the same, I made it to my destination.
I’m in love with the culture and food! Trying both sushi and sashimi was sort of a challenge for me. I loved the presentation of the sashimi that my lab members made me try in Fukuoka. The squid was beautiful and delicious.
I could not explore Tokyo really well, unlike my UoTokyo friends. I certainly wish to come back and travel extensively all over again.
The overall experience was very resourceful. Accomplishing all my deliverables within specified deadlines, and the two amazingly enlightening symposiums made it a success.