In part two of my crazy travel (Champaign -> Zurich -> Lugano -> Zurich -> Tsukuba, Japan -> Zurich -> Champaign), I arrived in Japan. The flight was great, I love Turkish airlines! The bus was not so great (especially the very suboptimal schedule).
I am staying in Hotel Shinonome, where I stayed before (last time in 2008) and I like it very much. It’s somewhat hard to communicate with the staff (hand-wavy sign language helps a lot, but the biggest challenge was to ask for the wireless password — anyone knows sign language for that?? :-)).
During my first night, Tsukuba was hit by a 5.3 earthquake, which is not too bad but it was enough to wake me up and make my lamp fall from the table. When I first woke up I thought I was in the plane and turbulence started (I spent the night before in a rather turbulent flight :-)). Was an interesting experience, especially on the 9th floor!
I’m now awaiting the last day of the MPI Forum and will then present my talk at Tokyotech and finally go on my way home on Friday! Hope the bus at 7:00am actually comes (they have a strange reservation system).