Tuesday, April 25, 2006

More Matsuyama - Ishite-ji

OK, sorry for the delay, I wanted to give Ishite-ji a proper write up.

This temple is the 51st of the 88 temples that make up the Shikoku pilgrimage, an ancient ritual still popular today, in which pilgrims spend a month or so wandering around the circumference of the island of Shikoku. Most Japanese people don't have the time or opportunity to do this, so its mostly the rich and retired who take part nowadays.

The temple grounds were a ramshackle sort of place, not terribly well maintained, which gave it a rather charming atmosphere. But the tunnel through the mountain with movement-activated strobe lighting and the parked space ship out the back made it really special.

The big golden onion nestled in the trees which looked like it might take off at any moment was decked out on the inside like an old fashioned cinema, or some sort of cult headquarters, with red velvet chairs, a video projector and lots of grinning statues. I think it was really part of the selection of Burmese Buddhist buildings which were scattered around the site, they had a very different feel to them, and lent an even more Dadaist edge to the place.

So, on to the photos...

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Science Blogging

Sorry for keeping you waiting. More photos of Matsuyama and beyond coming soon, but I'm busy writing job applications at the moment.

I don't think I can really call myself a science blogger, more occasional nice photo and anecdote for friends and family blogger. On the other hand there are a lot of very good ones out there. Bora has an excellent post with a lot of good links, and asks a great question - should we be publish hypotheses or data on a blog?

Sunday, April 02, 2006

More to come...

I never get bored of taking photos of food.

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Too damn right.

I shall post a sign like this on my doorway. No timewasters! Posted by Picasa

The gate

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Woah, scary!

I'd certainly be put off invading by freaky mind games like that! Posted by Picasa

Cherry blossoms are here!

At Matsuyama castle. Posted by Picasa

Steaming fish soup

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Yum yum

Just the beginning of our amazing meal. I am modelling the tasteful yukata provided by the hotel. Posted by Picasa


Sorry for the bloggin hiatus, here's a little update.

Last week was the Japan Physical Society meeting in Matsuyama, on the island of Shikoku. These meetings are enormous, with more than 1000 physicists from all over Japan converging every six months. Despite most of the presentations being in Japanese, they are actually quite useful, you can generally get the sense of things from the graphs and things, and it gives a good overview of what people are up to. It's pretty useful for networking.

Thanks to the hordes of physicists descending on the area for 4 days, despite booking a hotel more than a month in advance, all that was left was a very posh and expensive hotel in the old spa area of Dogo.

It was very very nice though. And not a total rip off considering that included in the price was a lavish evening meal (photos above, of course). Also the hotel had several different hot spring baths, outdoor and indoor, and free use of massage chairs. Good stuff!
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