October 2007

Mid October we went to Kairakuen, which is one of the 3 most famous landscape gardens of Japan. It is free to enter and mostly famous for ume (plum) blossoms in late february when the park is said to be overcrowded. As all plum trees are without any flowers or leafs now, that part of the park was very boring, but the rest was quite nice still. Especially the house.

After Kairakuen, we went further to Fukuroda-no-taki, also very famous in Japan.

A little further there is this suspension bridge. Only created to boost local tourism I think (it doesn't really lead anywhere but offers a nice view).

October 18th we went to JAXA, the japanese aerospace exploration agency, to get landing data for our research using their simulator. 2 pilots made some 25 simulated landing approaches each under various conditions (short, long, wind, no wind,...).

Oct 28th we went to the Shinrin-koen because Mae Rose wanted to see the cosmos flowers (these pink/purple flowers). There are many places around where they have large flower fields that open only in the season. Actually, the cosmos flower site of our first choice appeared to have flooded with the last typhoon, so the field had been destroyed... However, this park is huge (the cosmos flower field is only a small part) and we walked around all day and got really tired.

As I have to take some classes to get credits, but most of the classes are in Japanese, I follow a course in Architecture. It's quite interesting to learn something about japanese city planning, earthquake-proofness / testing of buildings, japanese history and modern architecture. This time we visited the yutenji temple in the south-west of Tokyo, which was under reconstruction. The guiding professor had lead a study to determine which of the buildings of the complex should be reconstructed in what way. Now we could all enter between the foundation and the (lifted) building and see the structure and method they used to make the foundation earthquake-proof.