Dear all ^^
Sorry that I haven’t updated the blog recently
Now, I want to share some experience when I join special class for international students in Tokyo Tech called Study on Japanese Companies and Industries (SJCI). As you can guess from the title of the class, that class provides us, international students, information about some Japanese companies and Industries. We are taken right to the companies to learn about their works. We’d gone to Life Safety Learning Center and Fujitsu. There will be some other companies to visit after this, but last trip was special. Instead of going to factory, we went to Atami, a city near Tokyo. What we’ve done there? I will share to you here. Not only things I’d done with my friends, but also some information about Atami
General Introduction of Atami
Atami 「熱海」is Japanese word contains two kanjis：atsu (hot)「熱」and umi (sea)「海」. So, Atami means “Hot Sea”. Why hot sea? It’s because Atami is located at east sea of Japan (Sagami-nada Sea, which is connected to Pacific Ocean) and it is famous of its hot spas「温泉」since long time ago. Many people believe that hot spas in Atami have curing ability. So even The Emperor asked to brin g hot water from Atami to Edo (old name of Tokyo). The exact location of City of Atami can be found here. The hot spas are spread around the city. Further information about spas in Atami can be found in this website.
You can access Atami from Tokyo by using Shinkansen (bullet train).
Visit to Creare
Now, back to my tour. First place we visited was CREARE, a studio for the public arts in Yugawara. Public arts are, in my opinion, arts that built for enhancing view and feel of public facilities, for example wall art inside station, art glasses in church, etc. When I came to this studio, the workers were doing project of making wall art for a station in Japan. They made the wall art from ceramics. They had unique method to color their wall art. The colour of their wall art doesn’t come from poster colouring but from special paint that mixed with the ceramics then rise the colour after they were burnt. This studio also makes public art from glass. The glass workers used was abandoned glass collected by the workers. But even the glass was unwanted one, the workers of CREARE could transform them to be piece of art. Some of the glasses were made to beautiful neclace for sale.
In this public art studio, we met alumnus of Tokyo Tech from Department of Chemistry. She was graduated at 2010 and chose to do job in CREARE as a manager. She said that even she’d never studied managerial and finance in her university, she still could make herself comopetent for her job because she always learn by doing.
This is the name of the hotel where I stayed in Atami. The hotel was good and provide Japanese-style room with tatami (Japanese bamboo carpet) and futon (Japanese style bed). I stayed with 4 other friends in one room and it was still comfortable. So you can imagine how big the room was. Same as other hotels in Atami, this hotel have hot spa. The hot spa opens from 5 in the morning until midnight. It was enjoyable and clean. There were four kinds of bathub inside the hot spa area : normal pond (about 40 degree), hot pond (about 50 degree), bubble pond (also about 40 but with bubble from the bottom), and outside pond (it was hot.. maybe around 50). It also has a sauna room but I didn’t try it. I like the bubble pond best. It was very comfortable to get massage-like bubble at your back. The outside pond was also comfortable. It was so hot so that even I went there in the begining of the winter (about 2 degree) and the sea wind was strong , the hot spa still felt very hot and comfortable. Hot spa is enjoyable way to refresh your body and release inner stress. Don’t forget, the hot spa service will always free as long as you stay in the hotel.
In the night, there was a dinner from the hotel. The menu was good. I was provided by vegetable-and-fish-only menu because I can’t eat pork. But still, it was so delicious. They prepared shabu-shabu (vegetables, noodle, or seafood cooked inside hot water), fried fish, Japanese-style salad, and sashimi (raw fish). The rice was unlimited (I ate 5 bowl of it) and the dessert was very good (cake, and fruit). After dinner, we have sharing and discussion session with Farid-san, alumnus of Tokyo Tech from Indonesia who is working for Torishima Pump right now. He explained about the condition of Japanese industry and opportunities for foreigner to work in Japan.
One thing that impressed me most was the view from the hotel.
Speech from Mayor of Atami and Atami Touring
After having comfortable night and hot spa, we went to Atami City Hall to hear some speech from the Mayor of Atami. Again, he is alumnus of Tokyo Tech. He explained some of the beauty of Atami, its legend, and recent condition. After that, we went around Atami City to see jinja (Shinto Shrine) and beach. There was a very old and big tree near the shrine which is believed by people can give you one year long life if you go around it. The beach was beautiful. There were some ships with birds on their top, like a painting.
Asahi Company Visit
Last stop of our tour was Asahi Company. It is beer company, so we visited the brewery. The customer service woman guided us to see the factory. It was nearly-all automatic. In short, the process of making beer in this factory was : malt plus some kind of yeast were incubated for some time to do fermentation, then the fermentation product was filtered and packed to be a can of beer. After having a tour (looking the machines worked), we were provided by the product of the company : beer. But I didn’t taste it. Of course. But fortunately, they provide juice and softdrink for people who don’t drink beer.
That’s all the story
Hope it will attract you to come to Japan, and feel the comfortable hot spa ^^