SEGA World – relaxing after the conference :-)

On the way back from the PC-dinner we needed to get an update on another aspect of Japanese technologies and so we went into SEGA World in Nara.

Many of the games are very similar to other toys around the world – shooter, sports games and racing games. Each time you use games in such a setting one is reminded of the power a physical controls and the concept of tangible interaction…

The photo maker however was very different from what I have seen before. Technically it is interesting and well engineered: you make photos in a well lit area, it removes the background, and then you can choose background, borders, frames etc. Marc’s Japanese helped us to get our pictures out of the machine – with more time an more Japanese reading skill we could have manipulated our pictures some more. It was interesting that the machine offered two options for output: paper and transfer to your mobile phone.

PS: remember not to play basketball against James and not to race against Antonio 😉

Japan – sightseeing (an less phone usage than expected)

To get cheaper flights we took a flight on Thursday/Friday to fly from Europe to Japan (never really understood the pricing model of flights). So we had two days off before the actual conference and many colleagues (who also took cheap flights) were also there. We went to do some sightseeing in Nara and Kyoto – which was great.

In Kyoto we got personal guides – students from a University in Kyoto – who offered to show us run and use this to practice their English. It was great for us as we got many insights we would have missed by ourselves and it was great to talk to some locals. Hopefully they enjoyed their time with us, too. In the evening we learned once more that the Japanese people are very social; we met the Nara Air Rescue team in a restaurant – and this was proof :-).

One thing that surprised me greatly was that very few people in Nara and Kyoto used their phone in public. On the train nearly nobody spoke on the phone, watch mobile TV or browsed the web. This is obviously very different from Tokyo. Overall Nara and Kyoto are very enjoyable and calming places. I hope to have at some point the time to spend more time in Japan (… when is my next sabbatical? 😉

For more photos see:

PS: an some people find a disco in the street…