Tag Archives: nanotechnology

Catch Ya Tokyo! – Return to Melbourne

What a fantastic trip! Definitely would do it again if I had the chance. Over the past 10 days, I was able to explore many temples, shopping strips, observatory points, and many other exciting things. For the study tour, it has been amazing and phenomenal to see some of the laboratories, technology and research that Tokyo has. The 1st day of the study tour being a small cultural activity to visiting a booming shopping strip. Day 2 to Day 6 involved so much content, it was hard to keep up, since we visited two campuses of Tokyo University, AIST in Tsukuba, Australian Embassy, Imperial Palace, Tokyo Station and the nanotech 2014 exhibition at Tokyo Big Sight. The tour gave me so much insight into research done in Japan and the expo showed me many potential career avenues in the nanotechnology department.

It was definitely sad to leave Tokyo behind, as it is such a spectacular city, with so much to offer everyone, that it is a city that I will visit again. To any other nanotech students reading this, I recommend this study tour because it is a once in a lifetime trip and show the vast world of nanotechnology out in the world, still yet to be explored. The last blog post of the trip, I’m glad to return to Melbourne but I’ll miss Tokyo.

Till next time Tokyo, Catch Ya!!


The Final Day

Unfortunately, today marked the final day of the study tour. The whole day was spent at the exhibition location, the Tokyo Big Sight. First we wandered around the Nanotech 2014 exhibition again, before heading to the neighbouring hall to explore the Smart Energy Japan 2014 exhibition that was occuring at the same time. It contained a lot of interesting power saving devices, including some flashy electric cars. It was a nice change to look at some different types of technology than the last two days.

At 2, our Victorian representatives at the expo gave a series of presentations, outlining some of their recent research. After the presentations were finished, we returned to the Victorian Government Business Office booth. Richard and I helped out a little by giving away some of the free merchandise and brochures to passing patrons. It was a valuable experience as we got to speak to people with a wide range of professions.

Soon after the expo ended, we along with everyone involved with the Victorian booth attended a reception, along a few special guests. It was a great chance to network and have some lighthearted conversations.

And with the reception finished, the study tour was over. I had an amazing time in Japan with everyone, and I feel like I’ve learnt a lot and gained some vital international business experience.

Day 6: The Last Stand

Well, it is all over. The last day of the 2014 Nanotech tour.

Today was a full day at the exhibition. I went early to a presentation by my new contact at NIMS about his work on nanofibre mesh as a treatment for cancer. His passion was incredible and was happy to sit down and have a brief interview with me in Japanese. I thoroughly enjoyed talking with him about this and can’t wait to do some work with him next year.

The Victorian presentation was a great experience. Most of us were surprised at how good the turnout to the presentation was. Always a pleasant surprise when people are interested in your country. Massive credit to each of the presenters.

I was able to have a good walk through the Smart Energy Expo which was run in conjunction with the Nanotech exhibition. Was certainly a different experience all together. Here is an adorable photo of me with a polar bear


The day finished with a wonderful little reception for all the Victorian representatives and a few special guests. It was a great way to round off the trip with some wonderful food and company. One last chance to network before we concluded for the week.

Now, time to enjoy my next 10 days of holidays 🙂

Day 4: Big Buildings, Big Booths

6am start this morning… That about sums up how I felt about it too. But, it was actually well and truly worth it.

The trip out to Tsukuba was slightly longer that we had done so far on this trip but we knew we had the AIST research facility waiting for us. They were so welcoming. I was very impressed. After a few introductory presentations we were taken past one of their Clean Room facilities contained a vast array of top of the range equipment. We were then lead through an explanatory tour of the Positron Micro Probe lab which was an immensely impressive facility. Sadly I cannot share photos of it because of security reasons.

However I can share a photo of this commemorative tree outside the building.


Following this wonderful tour we headed down to Tokyo Big Sight for the beginnings of the 2014 Nanotechnology Exhibition.

What a wonderful day. The expo was incredibly busy. Lots and lots for use to see over the next few days. Looking forward to seeing a few more seminars and conversing with more researchers about what they are spending their time working on. Will definitely be heading over to the NIMS booth again tomorrow to continue discussions about a potential research project for myself.

Plenty of exciting times ahead

Day 2: Back to Uni

I was looking forward to going to Tokyo University and today was the day I was finally able to. Seeing how other Universities operate, especially one of such a high standard as TU was a very exciting experience.

But first, we had a lovely walk through the Imperial Gardens and then went on to visit BIC Camera… 6 floors of electronic bliss. Definitely a good culture experience.

Anyway, back to Tokyo University. The campus was incredible. Old school architecture, incredibly clean. Just an all round good atmosphere
We had a nice relaxed lunch with some of the Physics students, whose English was quite good which made my effort to speak Japanese rather low. But, I did have a couple of small conversations with them in Japanese.

After lunch we were lucky enough to visit two research labs, one being a photoemission spectroscopy lab and the other centred around scanning tunnelling microscopy. I definitely enjoyed the photoemission work more as it used lots of different crystal lattices and since my main interest is crystallography then this was an easy pick for my favourite part of the day.

Tomorrow will be a nice early trip out to a different TU campus so it will be great to be able to compare the two.

Looking forward to it 🙂

And so it begins… Tomorrow

Tonight is my last night in Hamamatsu 😦

It has been so good that after 5 years I can come back and hhave just as much fun as the first time I was here. The Makino family have been extraordinary. Doing a homestay is still by far the best way to experience a true Japanese culture. Don’t get me wrong, it is hard. Everything is so different. But, I still did my best at trying to speak Japanese every day.

Had some awesome experiences here in Hamamatsu. All finished off today with a trip down to Nagoya Castle. Nowadays it is such a combination of old and new school. The castle grounds are all currently being remade just as they were before the air raids during WW2.

We watched a cool little stage show with the Samurai Generals from 450 years ago.looking great for their age by the way 😉

And also, came across the cutest little dog… I mean… horse.


The “Dog”s name was Nano because of how adorabley little it is. I thought that was a rather good omen for the beginnings of our trip.

But anyway. Tomorrow I hop back on the Shinkansen bound for Tokyo and shall be arriving nice and early to Shiba Park Hotel. Can’t wait to see all the guys and start being all nerdy and sciencey. This tour will be one I don’t think I will soon forget



Tomorrow begins what will be a month of excitement for me. After 5 years I get to return to Japan.

This time will be so much different to what I experienced last time. A more professional approach this time around in comparison to the classic tourist activities on the last trip will make it a completely new challenge.

I think I am definitely fortunate that my approach to this tour will be quite unique compared to my classmates. As I have been studying Japanese for quite some time now, I am very familiar with the culture, language and all round shock that Japan brings to foreigners.

I decided to head into this trip 10 days early so I could return to visit my old host family. This will make interacting with the Japanese over the time of the trip much easier as I will already have 10 days of complete immersion in order to get out some rust in my Japanese speaking proficiency.

Having the chance to undertake an expo like the one we are going to with the ability to communicate (to a certain extent) in the native language hopefully will mean I can learn some things that otherwise may have slipped under the radar.

It will certainly be interesting to see how Japan has changed over the last 5 years. I was just a kid last time I was there so being able to see the country with slightly more mature eyes could certainly shift my perspective on some things. This will be most noticeable over the week of this tour I think. The Japanese business culture is something that will be the hardest thing to deal with. It is more like a religious ceremony that a mere meeting. The level of respect that is shown is completely foreign to us and it will be the most difficult gap to bridge. But this is one of the challenges I am most looking forward to facing.

Hopefully, the difficulties of the professionalism will be overcome. This trip really has an importance to me as I am hoping to set up a place in which I can do my Nano Project with.  This is why the expo will be so exciting.  Hundreds of potential groups I may be able to chat with about this possibility. And knowing it might all come down to how good my formal Japanese is a scary notion. But one I am looking forward to greatly

I can’t wait until I touch down in Japan. It has been too long

See you soon