NEC Japan


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My trip to Japan for NEC iExpo. This deck is the tourist deck. See blog post at:

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NEC Japan

  1. 1. In November 2013, I attended the NEC iEXPO in Tokyo. I posted about that event at UCStrategies. This deck is less about NEC and more about Japan. Related: By @DaveMichels
  2. 2. The Prince Park Tower Hotel was my primary hotel in Tokyo. Very nice. Excellent views of Tokyo Tower. It is near a nice park and offers excellent facilities. I was on the 12th floor – about half way up. @DaveMichels
  3. 3. Tokyo Tower as seen from the top floor of my hotel. It was my favorite landmark. Inspired by some other tower, but more boldly painted. It is historic, iconic, functional, and beautiful. I did go up it, but the views are better when looking at it. It was built in 1958 and is 1093’ tall. For some period it was the tallest man-made thing in Tokyo. View from my hotel room. @DaveMichels View from below
  4. 4. This was the toilet in my hotel room – an impressive device. The seat opens when you walk in. The wireless controller for the rest of its advanced car wash-like features is on the wall. This is a chair that would make Captain Kirk envious. The Japanese have a very respectable approach to the toilet. @DaveMichels
  5. 5. I was not the only guest from Boulder in my hotel room. Nice to see Celestial Seasonings tea despite being in a country known for its tea. @DaveMichels
  6. 6. This logical contraption was an umbrella locker outside the front of the hotel. Just stick your personal umbrella in an open slot and take the key. Makes sense. @DaveMichels
  7. 7. I walked around nearby parks, and could not help but notice NEC on these signs. LEFT: In Shiba-park, NEC is trying to call Parantica sita (a migratory butterfly), as one of its environmental activities since 2011. Volunteers weed naturalized plants by hand during lunch. RIGHT: This garden is maintained by volunteers from NEC Group, "Biodiversity garden club". Related: @DaveMichels
  8. 8. The spread at the NEC House. It is a company-owned hall used for various receptions and events. It is where I met Mr. Endo, NEC President. Lots of seafood including sushi and freshly fried tempura. At the end ceremonial Matcha tea was served. @DaveMichels
  9. 9. The Imperial Palace is surrounded by a moat and trees (mostly cherry and full-size bonsai trees). The bridge is called Niju-bashi Bridge. @DaveMichels
  10. 10. The Big Blue Bronco at Denver Airport Denver, home of the Broncos, has a big blue one at the airport. I wonder if there is a big green one at the Saitama airport. @DaveMichels
  11. 11. Tokyo is the proud home of the Tokyo Skytree, completed in 2011 and at 2080’ it is currently the tallest structure in the world. Did not make it up this one. @DaveMichels
  12. 12. Asakusa (浅草) district in Tokyo is most famous for the Sensō-ji (浅草寺, Sensōji, also known as Asakusa Kannon Temple) a Buddhist temple that was completed in 645 (NOT SHOWN), making it Tokyo's oldest temple. There are NOT a lot of old buildings in Tokyo due to destruction from bombings in WW2 (and Godzilla). RIGHT: Many come for the healing smoke outside the temple. @DaveMichels
  13. 13. I bought some Kaminari-okoshi. A snack made with sweet rice and peanuts. It is considered lucky. Very tasty, and it is way better than Rice Krispy Treats. Near the temple was a crowded shopping street, called Nakamise. It was full of Japanese souvenirs such as yukata and folding fans. The shopping street has a history that goes back several centuries. The circled item is the bear my tour-guide is holding on a tall stick so that we can follow her. @DaveMichels
  14. 14. I bought a bag of candied ginger from a street vendor ($10). There was no evidence of a ginger shortage in Japan. It is used in all meals and between meals. @DaveMichels
  15. 15. The Asakusa area is known for tempura, which was indeed delicious. It was here that I discovered Chawanmushi. Literally "tea cup steam" or "steamed in a tea bowl" is an egg custard with numerous ingredients such as shiitake mushrooms, kamaboko, yuri-ne (lily root) and boiled shrimp served in a tea-cup-like container. @DaveMichels
  16. 16. Yes, I rode in a Rickshaw. And of course, I kept thinking of Seinfeld and trying to figure out how to get the homeless to pull these in New York. I mistakenly thought that the Rickshaw was Chinese, but it was indeed invented in Japan. The word rickshaw originates from the Japanese word jinrikisha (人力車, 人 jin = human, 力 riki = power or force, 車 sha = vehicle), which literally means "human-powered vehicle.” @DaveMichels
  17. 17. I was very envious of these two-toed shoes of the Rickshaw “driver” @DaveMichels
  18. 18. This is the Akihabara electronics area of Tokyo. The seven story store on the left was a single electronics store surrounded by many more just like it. Not only was it Walmart huge, but it was also full service. Every electronic device and accessory imaginable (including NEC tablets, PCs, and notebooks). Prices weren’t particularly attractive, so it was more of a site to see than fully experience. I think I made it to the 3rd floor before becoming completely overwhelmed. At the entrance to the store was a sushi bar, noteworthy because it had the same name of the place I frequent in Boulder, Sushi Zanmai. @DaveMichels
  19. 19. ATMs are easy to find, and they are all made by NEC. @DaveMichels
  20. 20. Might be a bit hard to see, but I thought this bike rack was interesting. The bikes are parked at different heights to allow more bikes in less space (in theory). Also, I noticed several electric-assist bikes around town too. @DaveMichels
  21. 21. Had to change hotels for the last night in Tokyo due to high hotel demand for the Tokyo Car Show (and NEC iEXPO). The Prince Hotel was a star down from the Prince Park Tower. This photo taken from Tokyo Tower. We often hear how compact everything is in Japan. However, hotel #2 had what was quite possibly the largest bed in the entire world, which I never expected to find in Japan. I wonder what they call it? Emperor size? @DaveMichels
  22. 22. This was my only sushi shot – honestly the sushi looks the same as it does here, but it is different. The ginger is sweeter and the wasabi is fresh (no powder here). Many unfamiliar fish. It certainly felt more authentic. @DaveMichels
  23. 23. This was my favorite dinner – Shabu Shabu. Thinly sliced meats and vegetables cooked in boiling water at the table, lots of sauces. Appropriate attire includes a bib. @DaveMichels
  24. 24. No trip to Japan would be complete without a Ninja. This particular restaurant had several – one even did card tricks. @DaveMichels
  25. 25. Back in Colorado? Nope, but I did find a chairlift! Actually gondola for those in the know. Not for skiing, but for sightseeing in Hakone, a volcanic area. According to Guinness, this is the world’s busiest gondola. @DaveMichels
  26. 26. A very cold and hot place at the same time. Only about 1000 feet high, but the winds were freezing. Had it been a clearer day, we could have easily seen Mt. Fuji. That’s volcanic steam, and as everyone knows, the best thing to do with naturally heated volcanic water is to hard boil eggs. The region is well known for its volcanic black eggs. @DaveMichels
  27. 27. Hotel #3, and my favorite, the Odawara Hilton. Out of the big city, the Odawara Hilton is a high-end resort. However, this was the off-season. The outdoor pools and acres of tennis courts were closed. What was particularly nice about this hotel was the large Japanese baths on the 3rd floor. I’ve never been cleaner. That’s the pacific ocean out there – Get this, the sun rises on the Pacific. @DaveMichels
  28. 28. The great image of Buddha in in the city of Kamakura is designated a National Treasure. The Buddha is a bronze statue 11.3 m high, weighing 121 tons, and was built in the 13th century. Kamakura became the center of rule by the samurai class. In those days many temples were constructed in Kamakura, and many Buddhist statues created in the Chinese Sung style. Initially the statue was housed in a large building, but this was washed away by flood twice (in the 14th and 15th centuries) leaving only the bronze statue. @DaveMichels
  29. 29. Thinking about traveling in Japan on your own? Unlike many other non-English speaking countries, it is pretty hard to decipher things. If you can’t read Japanese, I think that’s Morse code on the right. @DaveMichels
  30. 30. This is a Japanese vending machine. What’s unique about it is it serves hot and cold drinks. Notice the labels are either blue or red. You can buy a can of hot coffee or a bottle of cold water from this machine. @DaveMichels
  31. 31. SLURPEE is the same word in Japanese. @DaveMichels
  32. 32. Most meals have lots of dishes. I’d hate to be a dishwasher in Japan. This particular feast was tempura and Soba (buckwheat) noodles. As everyone knows, the Soba noodles are to be dipped in the tempura sauce. @DaveMichels
  33. 33. East meets West. This is KitKat Matcha. Instead of chocolate, the bar is dipped in sweet matcha green tea. I bought this at the airport and it was a hit at home. @DaveMichels
  34. 34. I had a wonderful time, Japan is a wonderful place. Domo arigato to NEC for hosting an event that made this trip possible. Related: @DaveMichels