All posts by b2roda

Japan, its been swell!

Sitting here in the airport, after 9 days in Tokyo, and i don’t want to leave. The trip and been so much fun, exciting and interesting. Getting to travel around Tokyo, and see all it has to offer blew me away, the city is just so big, and so diverse.

The study tour offered an insight into both study and work overseas, had has been interesting nearly every step of the way. Visiting the facilities at Tokyo Uni and AIST was an amazing opportunity, and taught me so much, and hopefully showing a glimpse of what universities in Australia can became.

The nanoTech expo was another highlight, providing a wealth of information into the business and research side of the nano-tech industry as a whole.

I highly recommend the tour to any future students, and hope the current group had as much fun as me, and if they take anything away i hope its the difference between timber and wood.

Looking forward to getting home, and looking forward even more to coming back and exploring this country even more in the future.

See you all in Melbourne

PS: Last shout out TEFT, cant believe you can read minds. Stay away from level 4 and above.


Day 6: “Mitsubishi Booth Babes”

Today saw as spending a whole day at the nano tech expo, after the first couple of days we had pretty much seen it all, and it was good to go back and spend a bit more time at the booths we were most interested in and find out a little bit more of what they had to offer.

We also realised we had access to the other two expos at the convention centre, the Energy expo and the Heating, Cooling and Vacuum expo. As it was my first experience with a trade fair it was an interesting experience, and we quickly realised that, just like at the nano tech expo, every booth was trying to sell us something. It was very different however to what was on offer at the nanotech expo, and some of the research going on at the Energy Expo was very interesting.

The Victorian Government also had lecture series today, and it was interesting to hear about what some of the representatives from Deakin Uni and the Synchrotron had to say about there current research directions.

The day ended with a small dinner and drinks gathering organised by the Victorian government, this also signified the end of the nanotour, it was overall a very fun and insightful experience that i would recommend to any future students, and offered alot of insight and information to what is available and out there for current students outside of Melbourne.

With a couple of days left in Tokyo it will be fun to explore and do some touristy stuff.

Catch you on the flip side

PS: TEFT you pulled it off amazingly, show us more!

Day 5: “DTF Industries, something i could get involved with”

Today started with a visit to the Australian Embassy, here we learnt about the relationship between Japan and Australia, and other useful information about the relationship our two counties.

By midday we were back at the Nanotech expo, once here we interviewed some companies, research clusters and independent research facilities in Switzerland, so as to better understand nano tech in other countries.

As the expo is an industry expo, it was of no surprise that a lot of the companies and research clusters were here ot expand there business connections and collaborations. It was good to have more time to explore and learn about other new research presented by some of the other companies, but it didn’t take long to realise that a lot of the booths were there to expand there businesses.

We also sat thru a series of lectures presented by the Saxony, Germany, it was interesting to learn about what foreign companies were interested in and researching, and it was no surprise that in the middle of these lectures they were selling there businesses/institutes.

At the end of the expo we were invited to the Nanotech networking seminar, a set time and location for attendees to eat, drink and network.

Overall it was a fun and interesting day, and im looking forward to explore and talk to other booths about there research areas.

Catch you on the flip side

PS shout out to TEFT, sif nothing new happened!

Day 4: “RIST and JST”

So apparently no matter in which country you wake up, at 6 am it will still be dark.

We were up that early to catch the train out to Tsukuba, to the north of Tokyo , to visit the AIST, the National Institute fof Advanced Industrial Science and Technology, the Japanese equivalent to Australia’s CSIRO.

As we have come to expect from Japan, this facility was huge, spread out over a number of campuses in the area. After a quick introduction to the AIST and what it does, we were shown a couple of their labs, including there clean room Nano-Processing Facility, and their Positron Beam facility, which housed there Positron beam analyser (

After the morning visit to AIST it was back to Tokyo for the Nanotech expo, which as extremely busy and even more interesting, with a number of demonstrations going on across a number of booths, the latest in research from the some of the bigger companies and institutes and an extremely large amount of free pens.

Excited to go back again tomorrow and explore the booths more in more depth.

Catch ya on the flip side. (gonna have to learn how to say that in Japanese)

PS: shout out to TEFT, that tension is real.

Day 3: “The sushi restaurant out the front of the ocean research institute”

Day 3 saw us visit Tokyo Universities other Kashiwa Campus. Located outside of the Tokyo, this campus is more directed to post graduates and research students, and its easy to see why.

Compared to the nice, pleasant and university looking building of TU’s Hongo campus, the one in Tokyo, this campus was all business with 5 nearly identical buildings lined up along a strand. Each building housed a different faculty, and we visited 4 of the schools located on the campus.

First off was a visit to the Transdisciplinary Science Lab, in the School of Frontier Sciences. Here we were shown the Ono Lab, which works with Plasma physics. It was amazing to see a whole room filled with capacitors and plasma generator. Next off we visited the Itatni lab in the Institute for Solid State Physics, in this lab they worked with High Harmonic Laser Generation, this lab was the size of a warehouse and housed a number of smaller rooms filled with the latest in lasers and vacuums.

Next we visited the Institute for Cosmic Ray research and the Kavli Institute for Physics and Mathematics, all the labs for the Cosmic Ray institute were located off campus because they are very big, as expected, but we learnt about they experiments that are doing with neutrinos, gamma rays and gravity waves, and even had a nice hands on demonstration showing how they detect gravity waves using Michellson interferometry, using sounds waves instead of gravity waves. The Kavli Institute was all theoretical and brought together physicist and mathematicians in an environment that was open and ready for collaboration. here we stayed for tea time, a set time in the week where everyone gathers for coffee and cakes and shares ideas and problems, in a room surrounded by blackboards. This was an interesting experience and can see how it opens up collaboration between multiple fields.

Tomorrow will be another busy day

Catch ya on the flip side

P.S Shout out to TEFT, what a sick SC

Day 2: “We are all here, lets go get lunch”

Today started at 9 am, after getting my typical Starbucks coffee, one of the few places that doesn’t use instant or drip coffee, we met the group in the lobby and started the day by heading to the imperial palace and walking around the area surrounding Tokyo station. It still amazes me that such a rich cultural area can be so close to the centre of business.

Unfortunately the royal family sill lives in the imperial palace so it is off limits to tourists but we still managed to get some good photos. The area around Tokyo station reminded me of downtown New York with its business buildings and high rises and was nice to walk around and visit.

After this we jumped on a train headed for Tokyo University, located just outside the main tourist area of Tokyo. Tokyo University is one of the most prestigious universities in Japan and it showed, the campus reminded me of a much larger Melbourne university.

After a nice lunch meeting with some local physics students, we visited two research labs and got an understanding of what went down at the university. It was easy to see why this university is one of the most prestigious with both labs being decked out with up to two or three of the latest pieces of equipment.

Ended the day having a nice dinner and drinks with the study group..

Todays visit has me excited to visit the AIST facilities and start the nanotech exhibition.

Peace Out till tomorrow.

Day 1: thats a nice Temple you have there

Today was the start of the study tour, it didn’t officially start till 12, so me and the roomie went for a nice stroll around the Shiba area. This included a visit to the Zojiji temple, which is about 200 meters up the road from the hotel and a walk around the Shimbashi area.

The Shimbashi area had a much more local feeling to the areas previously visited, and had a different vibe to the whole place. It was good to see how the locals like to do things.

At 12 we met up with the study group and jumped on a train to Harajuku, here we visited Meiji Temple, Takashita street and Omotesando street.

Visiting so many temples kind of reminds you that this city is old, something you forget quite easily when you think of Japan being ultra modern and full of the most up-to-date technology.

Takashita and Omotesando were bustling with people, some of the busiest areas i have been to this trip. Takashita is popular with local teenagers, and was good to not see the place packed full of one direction merchandise. Walking around the side streets we managed to find some pretty entertaining shops containing Anime figurines, but for an area supposedly full of “cosplayers” on a sunday, it was very bare, to my disappointment.

Still it was a good day, finally got the official study tour underway, and ready for a jam packed week next week!


What Up Tokyo

First day in Tokyo, and i cannot believe how easy it to get around using public transport! Managed to get from the airport to the hotel soo easily, which surprised me, with the only hiccup being finding out if i needed a ticket to get on the JR Yamanato line train or not. Totally forgot to get a PASMO card at the airport!

This city is spotless, not a piece of trash anywhere, even before they let us onto the NEX train it was cleaned and it still managed to leave right on time. Something that would never happen in Melbourne.

The trains arrive at the stations at the times they say they will, and so often you don’t even have to worry about planning much, except for the stations you get off at and transfer too, especially if you don’t have a time schedule, and its so easy to navigate and get around!

After refreshing at the hotel, went to the temple and market district of Asakusa with the room mate (good bloke), after our plans to visit the Tokyo Sky Tower failed due to a long wait time. It was a good district to visit for our first taste of Japan i think, showing a lil bit of everything, and really got me excited to visit some of the other districts. Walking around is also great fun, especially if you manage to navigate thru some of the side street.

Tomorrow starts the study tour, which will defiantly be different experience to being a tourist, and we will get to see somethings you usually wouldn’t get to visit. Today however gets me excited to the 2 days after the tour i get to myself to explore the city!

Catch ya on the flipside


Nearly There

So close, cant come quick enough.

In just over 3 days I land in Japan and i couldn’t be more excited, and just a little bit scared, never travelled by myself.

I have never been to Japan, but have heard only good things, and it has always been right up there with one of the places i want to visit. I’m already getting the feeling that it will be amazing and already planning my trip back in the back of my mind, as i get the feeling i want have stayed long enough.

This study tour will defiantly be eye opening, usually when people travel they only get to see the culture on the surface (the clothing, the buildings, the people), this study tour however will give us an insight into the business and study culture of another country, something very few people get to see. Japanese business culture is much more formal then other places, and although we have heard so much about it, will most likely come as a surprise to us.

Starting the packing soon, the thought of packing a suit and shirt is very strange to me, never had to travel with a suit before, hopefully the first and not last new experience this trip has in offer for me.

Japan Bound