Professor Shirota met us at 8.15 at the hotel to take us out to Kansai University in Osaka. He bought us our tickets for the week and then we were on our own for the train. We took the private Hankyu Railway from Umeda out to Kandaimae. We followed the crowds up to the university and managed to register and buy programmes very quickly. All very smooth. We found Harutoshi had already set up the exhibition stand and he helped us translate the programme into English, but this wasn’t really enough and I went to buy the two-volume book of abstracts and CD (£100) so that we could find out what was going on.
Rob and Sarah went to some sessions while I stayed on the stand. The sessions were in Japanese and without a detailed programme it was impossible to plan to meet people to target good talks. We headed back to the hotel for lunch and to work on the programme. We met up with Mark, Alejandra and John Baird for lunch, then spent the rest of the afternoon working through the sessions, translating from Japanese to English from the CD using Google Translate on the web: It did a good job.
In the evening we went to a British Embassy/RSC reception across the road in the Hilton. Many of our Editorial Board members and hosts from our different universities were there, so this was excellent for making contacts. There were various speeches and good food and beer. A group of us wandered out to a karaoke bar close by, that Dr Imae had found for us. It was the room with sofa and TV variety but we spent a good couple of hours with some beer, crooning away to classics from a strange mix of songs, selected from an interface that was largely in Japanese, Excellent fun!