Woke to a winter wonderland surprise. Snow everywhere and lots of it. Apparently this is very very unusual for this area which seems right looking at the vegetation subtropical (sealevel) stands of bamboo somehow don’t quite look like they ought to have snow all over them. But what do I know…. Tetsuya (resident Japanese vegetation scientist) was even more surprised then me.. But breakfast with a snow covered backdrop around the carp ornamental pond was a sight to see….ohh and what a breakfast it was!! Every imaginable thing you could think of (aside from proper coffee – but you can’t even complain of that because everyone is so friendly and obliging and sorry for the snow and the disruption and he passport checks and everything else. But back back the breakfast every crazy thing you could think of available in one room. You could have a different breakfast every day for a month and not eat the same thing twice. Even the rice was a delight – white sticky rice with speckles of pink (some sort of flavoured salt) and green (flecks of wakame/Undaria/seaweed). Beautifully grilled strips of something that looked like mackerel, many types of mixed seaweed and boiled/pickled vegetables and a whole other table that I meant to go back to but didn’t manage it. Followed by miso soup!! Ahh the joy of being in Japan!! But there was also pancakes and bacon and maple syrup and all the normal continental stuff in abundance.
Delays in clearing the road so we could get to the airport to catch a bus or train to the office where Tetsuya works (2hrs away) whilst a huge annoyance for those with urgent flights meant I had time to take a couple of photos and then finish my talk!!! Yeah!! Hope it goes ok as I haven’t practiced it at all. Will have to remember to speak slowly and clearly (which is obviously a trail). But at least all the slides are there and sort of in order with some minimal prompting text. Well wish me luck in any case because it doesn’t seem as though there will be time for practicing.
Can’t wait to get to the hotel/office and not have to carry all this gear around with me.