Berkeley Lab

Wednesday, 9/2/15

Kinya Sakanishi took us to the institute where he works, the Fukushima Renewable Energy Institute, which is part of the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology. We met the director, Mr. Owadano, and were shown around the facility, which includes many different kinds of solar power panels, as well as a wind turbine.

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For lunch, we went to the local lake, which is the fourth biggest lake in Japan. Inawashiro Lake is surrounded by green mountains, with only two or three beaches. You could see the ski slopes that you can ski down during the winter. For lunch, we again had soba noodles with tempura, but it was served slightly differently, and the tempura was different, but still delicious. Outside the restaurant, you could see the soba fields that the restaurant owns.

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We then had to go back to the Institute to collect our things and then we headed back to Koriyama City Hall to change cars and drive to the Fukushima super science high school, in Fukushima City, the capital of Fukushima Prefecture. There, we met a couple of students that were involved in the Shuttle project, a project across several countries designed to make students more aware of the radiation around us and also understand what it means. They were all very friendly and welcoming, and I enjoyed learning about the differences between high schools in the USA and Japan.

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We were then taken to our hotel and given about one hour to ourselves, before being taken to a small reception hosted by the Fukushima University. There, we met several professors of the University, as well as the Vice President. Again, the meal consisted of several delicious traditional Japanese delicacies. During the meal, one of the professors and his daughter came to provide entertainment. She was 9 years old, and had just won a singing competition in Fukushima Prefecture. After her performance, she invited me to try her drums and the Shamisen that he played. The Shamisen is a traditional Japanese instrument similar to a banjo.

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