But first, checking out of the hotel early in the morning, we got on our respective group busses and headed towards Tsukuba City, Ibaraki Perfecture. We were going to Tsukuba Science City to check out the Tsukuba Space Center, homebase of Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA). Basically where legit research and aerospace development happens, and also where Arashi's Sakurai Sho shot a tv commercial hehehe #priorities
Epic throwback huh.
This would be the final activity with all participants together
before we'll be officially split into three groups - Miyagi, Fukushima, Iwate.
Look at 'em glorious clouds, the crisp air really helps make a photograph look so good.
This is where the opening shot of the tvc happened! *tears of joy
After all the initial oooh-aaah snap-snap-snap moments we were ushered to a conference room to be officially welcomed by the authorities from JAXA. They shared some video presentations as well as briefs on the range of research and development, and facilities at the well, facility hahaha I can't remember much (duh, three years) but according to the official website, basically it ranges from:
- Development and operation of satellites
- Analysis of acquired observation data.
- Space environment utilization using the Japanese Experiment Module “Kibo” ISS
- Provides astronaut training
- Promoting manned space activities.
- Development of launch vehicles and other space transportation system
After that, we were given the opportunity to explore the Space Dome Exhibition Hall.
We also went to the souvenir shop and they were selling vacuum-packed food prepared and packaged for spacemen! Couldn't resist the novelty, of course I bought some hahaha space takoyaki, space rice etc to gave to friends as souvenir. Never did saw how it turns out when the package is opened.
Anyway that's it for Tsukuba Space Center (JAXA), indulge me in another shot as I took a final moment to soak up the remnants of Sakurai Sho's presence hahahah creepy much.
Back on the road split in groups as the wheels on the bus go round and round.
Bento lunch on the bus.
It didn't occer to me back then but lately, I realize that I do enjoy taking busses for long journeys in Japan. The views are often spectacular, and the many rest areas along the way have so much to see, eat, and taste. It's a definite must-experience if you're ever visiting Japan. Anyway the journey to Sendai, Miyagi took a while and, a little out-of-character, but I didn't fall asleep right away after lunch hahaha my weakness is moving vehicles but I stayed strong to let my eyes soak up the sights. As the sights whirl by, it started to look a little unusual.
What were those white stuff??
HOLY SHIT ITS SNOWWWWW
Clearly that was my first experience with snow. Life-changing moment, nu kidding. I got suuuuuper excited! Luckily the bus driver decided to stop by an upcoming rest area for a quick break and all the Southeast Asians started going a little cray cray for the snow while the ang mohs just chilled like literally lolol seriously though, snow. Like, pieces of frozen water. Piece of ice. Pieces of ice from the sky. Pieces of ice falling softly from the sky. Pieces of ice falling from the sky on everything. Mind blown. Nature, you rock. We were so lucky to catch snow in March!
We just stood under the falling snow and took a lot of photographs, even next to toilet there was a piece of land that looks so picturesque covered with snow. Snow makes everything look so storybook-ish. Gosh, I don't think I'll ever forget how I felt in those moments. So incredibly touched by the realization that I was blessed with such an opportunity. Thank you, heavens above, thank you. I loved it.
Arrived later and checked-in to Ark Hotel, Sendai.
Again, a room each. This is a little larger than the previous hotel.
Freshened up and got ready for a reception dinner downstairs with important people!
Representatives from the local government and universities warmly received us.
We enjoyed a nice dinner accompanied by performances by local talents.
Needed a walk after a day of sitting on the bus and stuffing our faces at the end of the way.
Went out in a small group to explore what's nearby on foot.
Even construction site can be made cute. Unf, Japan!
Crazy kids couldn't resist getting ice cream on a snowy winter night. Siao.
Went back to rest soon after and managed to catch Sakurai Sho on newscaster duties.
Must have been a Monday since News Zero aired that night.
That's all for the sixth day! Can't wait to share all the other days and get it all done and over with!