Japan-ASEAN Student Conference 2009: Day 4-5

DAY 4

When I woke up the next day, when I looked out the window I realised how absolutely beautiful Zao is! Everything was washed with gold and awesomeness! There was even a rainbow to greet us a good morning. The night before it was so cold that apparently at about 3-4am, it was actually snowing! But I wasn’t up yet at that ungodly hour so I missed it. Hehe.

Had a really yummy breakfast! I’m really not a breakfast person but when I was in Japan I was peer pressured into breakfast! So I usually have eggs and potato.

Zao as it turns out looks like an oversized farmhouse. πŸ˜€ So quaint! With a little chimney on the side. I find it really cute. Hehehe. It’s a nice place for a weekend getaway from the hustles and bustles of city life.

Took many photos outside till it became soooooooo cold!!! Apparently it was 9 degrees as the sun was sheltered by the clouds and the wind never stopped blowing.

Then we had some work done. After the briefing those under the Environment theme were broken up into the 4 subgroups. Ours was “Improvement of Living Environment” and this is me giving the country presentation. We were required to prepare a 15 minute presentation from home about a prevalent environmental problem in our country based on our subgroup theme. I chose the most obvious, the rubbish problem in Kampong Ayer. I used some photos from my visit in Kampung Pudak. Hehehe. Actually Pudak is pretty clean, the rubbish problem is more concentrated around the more urban parts of Kampong Ayer like in Kg Sungai Kedayan.

Then it was lunchtime! The Japanese have light lunches. Hehe. I guess it’s so that they don’t feel sleepy in the afternoons and thus still maintain productivity then. They have heavy dinners though. So I guess that’s how they stay so slim. πŸ™‚

I had ice cream after. πŸ˜€ Not just any icecream but icecream from Zao Island okay! Hahaha. Was very nice as it wasn’t creamy. Had the texture of frozen yoghurt. I approve!

Kong from Laos looking to the back. After a grueling session of condensing our presentations in an output matrix, we set off that day back to Sendai City. Very tiring, played some bus games for a short while then everyone slept!

My dinner that night was fish and chips. That’s seabass and was absolutely awesome! Flaked so well and it just floofed underneath my fork. So delicious! Didn’t even need the lemon.

Checked into our third hotel in 4 days: Sendai Excel Tokyu. This time I had a new room mate, Dian from Indonesia. πŸ˜€

I’ve come to find out that Tokyu is actually a brand of hotels and is part of the Toptours Corporation, the travel agency that organises all our accommodation and transport not only during this particular visit but also during SSEAYP. I imagine billions of dollars must be coming out of their ears with a business this big and exciting. Maybe I should open up a tour agency. πŸ™‚ In Brunei, Toptours partners with Freme Travel.

That night we alllll went out to explore the Sendai City. So cold okay! Everyday was colder than the day before. Hahaha. Took some time to visit shopping areas and just I dunno, walk around. πŸ˜€

The Disney Store! Hehe, one of the few shops that were still open. A lot of shops were already closed by this hour, because most shops only open up to 8pm.

There were some gaming sites like this one. Always full!!!

Ouhhh I bought a set of nice makeup brushes here. I should look for it. πŸ˜› Cheap umbrellas too.

The Apple Store! I always get excited when I spot an Apple Store. LOL.

Everything else was closed. Hahaha. Here is me modeling. I’m supposed to be “lonely Japanese girl in need of handsome and warm Japanese boyfriend”.

Girls of the Environment Group! πŸ˜€ Well some of us anyway. Hehe. After that we went back to the hotel.

DAY 5

After breakfast we went by bus to this place called the Forest Sendai, which is actually their version of our International Convention Centre. It has rooms upstairs where we could do our presentations and stuff.

Derek from Singapore gave the presentation on behalf of our subgroup, based on the output matrix we worked on the day before in Zao.

Then came our bento lunch! πŸ˜€Β Yummy rice balls and also some stir fried noodles and vegetables. Was very very yummy!

Then we went to the Matsumori Incineration Plant for an institutional visit. Was very interesting! We were given a tour of the facility.

There were toys for students to play with. Hehe.

Just to show how much rubbish they are producing and thus why it is important to recycle.

Exhibits to demonstarate rubbish separation and why it’s important.

Actual garbage dumping taking place. We watched behind a glass window obviously. Not that we can tell but apparently it’s very smelly. So clean right! I bet they’ll faint if they saw what’s happening in Sungai Akar.

The rubbish are stored here before being sent to the incinerators. It’s almost one km down and if you get stuck in there, you’d never be able to get out!!!

View from the plant outside. Beautiful right? The rain clouds looming in the distance. It’s gonna rain tonight.

The control rooms. A large amount of work in the large sized facility is automated. The only people working there now are in charge of maintaining the machines and looking for abnormalities in daily protocols.

The residual heat energy from the incineration plant is not wasted. Instead it is used to operate this so called “spo-park”. It’s a free facility with heated swimming pools, Β fulsal ground, tennis and badminton courts, gym and so on. πŸ˜€ This is how the plant is beneficial to the community.

Waste that has been incinerated are deposited in this area. This small area will be able to sustain the Japanese for another 60 years. As you can imagine space is a very sensitive issue in Japan so the smaller the better. 60 years is a lot of rubbish. So organised! The landfill is also lined with plastic to prevent from leachate contaminating the water table.

Just wondering if this is probable in Brunei. We do have a rubbish disposal problem.

That night we had a friendship party with ASEAN students studying in Sendai. I delivered a speech on behalf of group Environment. I volunteered too! πŸ˜› No big deal obviously cause was pretty short 2 minutes I think plus no one was listening.

Good thing cause we wanna enjoy our BUTTER CHIKEN! Hahaha. Indian food in Japan is a riot.

All the country representatives also performed! Hehehe. They sang “If You’re Happy & You Know It” in 11 languages!

After that we enjoyed the suzume odori or more popularly known as theΒ Sendai Sparrow Dance! History of teh dance goes way back 400 years ago.

Group photo with the flag and the complete Brunei contingent! Hahaha. Yumeka also joined because she used to work in Brunei for a very long time! And of course how could we not have the former Ambassador to Japan in Brunei, HE Hashimoto with us! πŸ˜€ Apparently he’s now a Professor in a Sendai University.

After that a group of us made friends with some students in Sendai and lamented how everything is closed so early. So they brought us to this place called the Dongkeyhote! It sells like EVERYTHING and I think actually it comes from the word Don Quixote but well I don’t know. Haha. However you spell it, Β I love this place!

Contact lenses for you? Sold like stationery. Haha

Hemp air freshener?

Some slot machines too!

Febreeze with nice packaging!

And of course the what kind of random shop would this be without the sex toys? Hahaha!

So cold okay!!! The night ended with this group photo and we all left and went back to the hotel. πŸ˜€

Next post: DELICIOUS TAKOYAKI BALLS and back to Akihabara!!!

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