Day 1: How to fight against jetlag

Trip Start Apr 08, 2010
Trip End May 06, 2010

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Flag of Japan  , Ibaraki,
Friday, April 9, 2010

It was a great pleasure for both of us to find N. waiting for us at the airport with a huge smile on her face !
After the kissing comes the first interaction with japanese people : exchange of our JR coupons. Everything went smoothly and our JR passes are now ready for use strating on Tuesday 13th.

For the record, the JR ticket office is at -1 floor when you arrive, on your right.

But for now, the main objective of the day is to fight jetlag and to stay awake as long as possible. Natha suggested that we hike Tsukuba-san, one of the 100 sacred mountains in Japan, which is close to her place.

After a quick stop at her appartment in Tsukuba, we thus climbed the "holly mountain". We first took a moment to visit a nice shrine at the bottom of the mountain. We the followed the (quite steep) trail to the top. It was a bit muddy, but the forest was beautiful. We reached the top an hour and a half later, and could admire the landscape. We ate a nice Oden, which is a popular Japanese hot pot, which includes daikon radish, hanpen (fish cakes), chikuwa (fish cakes), boiled eggs, konnyaku (yam cake), and more. These ingredients are simmered in kelp-based soup stock for hours.

The way back down the mountain was a bit slippery but no harm done!

After a relaxing shower and hot bath, we decided to continue our fight aainst jetlag by joining N. to friends of her celebrating their new japanese-style house in Tsukuba. We met there many french postdocs and their japanese colleagues. The atmosphere was really friendly there and chating with people made us forget we arrived the very morning in Japan ! We eventually went to bed at 2am, and made a good night sleep.

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