These 11 weeks in Japan, in particular, Kyoto, were absolutely mesmerizing. The very first impression of Japan was the extreme hospitality of people, who would even walk along to your destination. From the way people speak, to the way they dress, to the things they build, everything in Japan is Kawaii(cute)!
The technology is so mind-blowing and there is automation in pretty much everything. It feels amazing to walk past the corridors and see the lights turn on and off when required to conserve the energy, in the Informatics Department at Kyoto University. The futuristic bathrooms in Japan can have more buttons on the washlet than on a TV remote. And, there are Vending Machines at almost every nook and corner, and containing things such as Instant Noodles, Beverages, Biscuits, Ice creams, Manga etc.
The academic and research atmosphere in the Yamamoto-Cuturi lab was brilliant. Besides, the formal Lunch seminars, Department seminars and Informal lunch, anyone could discuss various ideas and seek help, at any point in time. I had a great interaction with my advisor, who despite his extremely busy schedule, guided me on research, answered my questions (even if vague or stupid) aptly, and explained concepts which I was unaware of. My labmates were extremely supportive and helpful. I really cherish the fun we had during the Thursday night Izakayas, weekly informal lunch, and the Karaoke parties!
Kyoto referred to as the cultural capital of Japan, offers out of the world experiences like Kinkakuji Temple, Kiyomizu Temple, Fushimi Inari shrine, and more. The food that I had in Japan was incredible and I relished every bit of Yakitori, Gyoza, Ramen, Tempura, Okonomiyaki.
I developed some life-long bonds and relationships with people. I really crave to visit Japan again. Thank you so much, Honda Foundation for making it possible!