Sandy: Baseball, Bullet Trains and Buddhas

I spent ten days in September in the “Science City” of Tsukuba, an hour northeast of Tokyo. My visit was the start of a collaborative research project with the University of Tsukuba that is looking at the biomechanics of baseball hitting.

 22339398_10110065557334279_4197410635389386395_o  22291381_10110065558726489_1701662077632400989_o
 With current and former biomechanists at the University of Tsukuba   Setting up for baseball batting research

 

Before the work component of my trip I was able to spend some time travelling in Nagano Prefecture – famous for its fruit, onsen (natural hot springs), and as a gateway to the Japanese Alps – and to the city of Sendai in Miyagi Prefecture. Sendai was a base for trips to Matsushima Bay – one of three must-see views in Japan (although I thought the Zuigan-ji temple there was more spectacular than the bay!) – and the World Heritage Site of Hiraizumi.

 22256722_10110054881763209_7361824049300498700_o 22382444_10110059989766729_4034105343667778396_o
 Matsumoto-jō – the Crow Castle (Matsumoto, Nagano)  The Hayabusa – Peregrine Falcon – Shinkansen to Tohoku

 

As always, Japan offered some culinary adventures: from the delightfully-presented oyakodon in Nagano City (as recommended by Watanabe-sensei’s mother) to Sendai’s speciality – gyutan (grilled cow’s tongue).

 22256551_10110054878010729_22770250512985665_o  22289616_10110060004746709_5031025079791636491_o

Oyakodon with Watanabe-sensei in Nagano (left),

and Gyutan in Sendai (above)

 

I was also able to catch up with Ishikawa-sensei and Ochi-sensei, who are now both back living and working in Tokyo.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.