14 November 2006

Trip to 奥多摩 (Okutama, Japan) on 14 November 2006

Source and photos: http://horizons.free.fr/seikatsu/eng/memories/2006-11_jp-okutama.htm

Chain of mountains before dawn in 奥多摩 (Okutama) I relaxed and enjoyed 紅葉 (autumn colours) in 奥多摩 (Okutama, Japan) on 14 November 2006 with eight Japanese friends. We quietly walked to 武蔵御嶽神社 (Musashi-ontake shrine) then strolled near a lake surrounded by mountains, appreciating the warmth and the calmness of the area.

12 November 2006

Trip to 제주도 (Jeju island, South Korea) on 08-12 November 2006

Source and photos: http://horizons.free.fr/seikatsu/eng/memories/2006-11_kr-jeju.htm

Peter and me at the top of 한라산 (Hallasan) volcano I visited 제주도 (Jeju island, South Korea) for the first time on 08-12 November 2006 to attend the 2006 International Conference on Hybrid Information Technology (aka ICHIT2006), where I gave a talk. I had a great moment discussing while hiking 한라산 (Hallasan volcano) with Peter, one of the general chairs of the conference, though it was very cold. Besides, I had exceptional views from the plane during my flights between Japan and South Korea.

06 August 2006

Trip to 白川郷 (Shirakawa-go, Japan) on 04-06 August 2006

Source and photos: http://horizons.free.fr/seikatsu/eng/memories/2006-08_jp-shirakawago.htm

Village from above at 白川郷 (Shirakawa-go) I visited 白川郷 (Shirakawa-go, Japan) for the first time on 04-06 August 2006 in company of 明日香 (Asuka) to discover this UNESCO world heritage famous for its unique houses built in 合掌造り (Gassho-zukuri) style. We relaxed two days in the village, including an excellent dinner and a refreshing night in a traditional house. The weather was extraordinary all along and, far from the big cities, we appreciated the whispers of the wind and the songs of the insects.

02 July 2006

Hike at 富士山 (Mount Fuji, Japan) on 01-02 July 2006

Source and photos: http://horizons.free.fr/seikatsu/eng/memories/2006-07_jp-fuji.htm

View over the mountains from 富士山 (Mount Fuji) I hiked 富士山 (Mount Fuji, Japan) for the first time on 01-02 July 2006 with twelve friends to enjoy a sunrise from the top of this most famous Japanese mountain. We climbed from 五合目 (the fifth station) until we reached a shelter, where we dined and slept a few hours. When we resumed our hike after midnight, we were subjected to rain, wind and falling rocks. One of us actually got hurt by a fist-size rock a few minutes before reaching the summit; fortunately he just ended up with a big bump on the back of his head. Without surprise, we missed the sunrise and just got wrapped in a brighter and brighter diffuse grey light... In this condition, we all appreciated hot drinks provided at the summit but wondered whether we would try again, maybe in 2007. At least, we enjoyed the scenery on our way down, as well as a luxurious nearby 温泉 (hot spring).

[Update 06-Aug-2007] I enjoyed the sunrise from the top of 富士山 (Mount Fuji) during my second hike there, on 05-06 August 2007 (see Post 06 August 2007).

17 April 2006

Exhibition at the zoo of Doué (France) on 17 April 2006

Source and photos: http://horizons.free.fr/seikatsu/eng/memories/2006-04_fr-doue.htm

Lion-tailed macaque sitting near a river at Zoo de Doué (Zoo of Doué) I visited the splendid Zoo de Doué (zoo of Doué, France) on 17 April 2006 to discover with François-Xavier this place he loves. I greatly enjoyed the zoo because the animals are beautiful and placed in environments apparently appropriate and well-thought for both the hosted species and visitors.

28 March 2006

Ph.D. graduation in Japan on 24-28 March 2006

Source and photos: http://horizons.free.fr/seikatsu/eng/memories/2006-03_jp-tokyo_phd-graduation.htm

Professors and graduates at 総合研究大学院大学キャンパス (campus of Sokendai) I graduated from the doctoral course of 総合研究大学院大学 (Sokendai) at the university campus in 葉山 (Hayama, Japan) on 24 March 2008, and attended a related ceremony at 国立情報学研究所 (National Institute of Informatics) in 東京 (Tokyo) on 28 March during which I received a commemorative medal. The first ceremony gathered graduates of that semester from partner research institutes all over Japan, whatever their field; the second gathered only information technology graduates from my institute. These events ended my studies in computer science after three years of study and research in Japan under the supervision of 橋爪宏達 (HASHIZUME Hiromichi).

I received my diploma after the redaction of my thesis in English, a final presentation in front of all my thesis committee members, and the publication of my research in a scientific journal and at several international conferences. I am satisfied with the topic of my research (human fundamental needs in wearable computing) and with my achievements at 総合研究大学院大学 (Sokendai) and 国立情報学研究所 (National Institute of Informatics) considering that I spoke no Japanese when I came.

These three years were a great experience: it was my first long-term stay abroad, I learnt much, and I pondered about life; however I was socially unsatisfied. I visited famous places, attended festivals, and learnt Japanese; I can now discuss everyday topics without much trouble. As a novice scientist, I spent numerous weekdays reading about computers, people and the environment, using the excellent digital library of the institute. This new life gave me time and materials to think about what I want to accomplish in the long-term, what I want to do on a daily basis, what I want to experience, and where I want to live; answers still elude me but I fortunately clarified what I do not want. I just regret that the institute had so few students (60?) on site and that it was difficult to make friends with the Japanese, get to know them, and spend time together, which contrasts much with my stay in Seattle (United States of America) from July to September 2005.

Now, I hope to get a motivating and enriching job in Japan, properly learn the language, experience the culture in depth, and visit the country.

22 February 2006

Trip to 那須 (Nasu, Japan) on 21-22 February 2006

Source and photos: http://horizons.free.fr/seikatsu/eng/memories/2006-02_jp-nasu.htm

Statues of 地蔵 (Jizo) at 那須 (Nasu) I visited 那須 (Nasu, Japan) for the first time on 21-22 February 2006 to relax in the mountains with めぐみ (Megumi). The omnipresent snow created a special atmosphere, both calming and providing a feeling of remote exploration. I was very surprised and moved by an endless field of statues of 地蔵 (Jizo) because I had never seen such a thing and because these statues were each provided to pray for the death of a young child.