Unofficial Local Guide of ICPR2012, Ex.

2012/11/14 16:00 JST


This page is set here to have my personal backup of local arrangement information of ICPR2012 that are provided by (mainly) Yoshi Kameda, a member of the ICPR2012 local arrangement committee.

To obtain official information of ICPR2012 local arrangement, please goto ICPR2012 OFFICIAL SITE and check them.

On-Site Social Events

ICPR2012 will have some on-site social events. I hope you enjoy them ...
For more information, please visit the official web site.

Half day excursions of ICPR2012

Though the official announcement is provided, I put some more detailed information here.
These will be also useful for possible future visitors to Tsukuba after ICPR2012 :-).

Full day excursions of ICPR2012

I put updated (and detailed) info of the technical tour and social excursion of ICPR2012.

Tsukuba "Science" City

ICPR2012 is placed at Tsukuba Science city ("Tsukuba Kenkyu Gakuen Toshi" in Japanese), which is about 60km north east away from Tokyo.
Officially speaking, there is no "Tsukuba Science City", it's just a nickname.
About 30 years ago, the Japanese government decided to move naitional research institutes in Tokyo area to some place to promote research progress (of course, and avoid too much congestion in Tokyo; researchers have no need to do research in such a crowded and expensive areas).

And then, Tsukuba area was selected to be the arcadia of researchers.
That means, there was nothing 30 years ago :-).
So the central part of the Tsukuba was degined fully artificial. If you go out from the Tsukuba Science City District for just 100m, you may still see vast rice and farmer field. In a sense, it is placed in a very good nature setting.

Among the research institutes that were forced to be moved into Tsukuba, University of Tsukuba and Advanced Institute of Science and Technology are of the largest institutes (both are the national instutites).
The technical tour of ICPR2012 (on 2012/11/16) will visit these two institutes, so it is a good oppotunity to have a look of not only their advanced research results but also the city design and the intention of the Japanese government for reasearch promotion.

Well, before you go out ...

Basically, you can go out by yourself from the conference site; Epocal Tsukuba (Tsukuba Convention Center).
Don't worry, you may get lost for a couple of hours :-), you may have troubles, but I bet you won't face serious (hazardrous) situations in Tsukuba.
No robbery (well, a very few, but only when you leave your bag somewhere ... even for that case you may have them back to you for the most cases (I had such experices, including my wallet :-)... I never heard of pick-a-pocket here), no cheating (if you might encounter unreasonable prices, that always comes from (English) communicaiton problems by my experiences...), no scary situations (e.g. no riots).

In case of Facing Disaster
One thing you might need to take care of is natural disaster (e.g. earthquakes).
Once it happens, the responsible department will help and support you. Don't worry, Tsukuba is famous for large number of international habitants (and most of them are very intelligent ... because they have potitions at some research institutes ...).
In case you unfortunately face very hard natual disaster (earthquakes, heavy rain, ...), my advice is :
"DO NOT RUSH TO MOVE, CALM DOWN and STAY THERE until everything comes clear."
Japan is a well-orgnized society, so you will soon have a help if you are there.

Communication, well, body language is the best ...
Biggest problem for the international visitors is probably language, say, English.
All the Japanese people learn English in their juniro high school days (and senior high too, nowadays more than 90% population ratio), however, they are not so good at speaking and listening ...
Yes, they can relatively good at reading and writing English words, so if you point out on some English guidebook, or write down English words, you may have much better communicaiton with Japanese people.

Taxi, very expensive, but no cheating
Some taxi drivers can't speak English, but do not worry, once you show the map / address, they will surely bring you there. (It is expensive, but the fare is determined by the law, and I bet they never cheat you, for example, they will return changes exactly because we don't have tipping custom here in Japan.)
In Tokyo, I won't recommend you to take a taxi, but not by the reason of cheating by drivers, but by the really heavy traffice jam. (There are many one-ways in Tokyo, so even if the destination is almost there, your taxi may have to go around to get there.)

A magic Japanese word of my choice
"Konnichiwa"? "Ohayo-gozaimasu"? "Arigato"(Thank you) or "Arigato-gozaimasu"(Thank you very much) will be a good choice, but if you are frank and shy guy, my choice to you is different.
"Do-mo" / "ǂ" in Japanese notation is the word.
It is Japanese word. Well, I bet you it is not easy to find this word on the web.
The pronounciation should be something like Itallian word of "duomo" (cathedral). (Well, if you are Italian, you are lucky).
Actually, "Do-mo" is a casual pre-phrase that could be attached to any greeding words (and some short common sentenses on convesation), such as
- "Do-mo, Konnnichiwa" (Good afternoon, or a greeting at day-time )
- "Do-mo, Ohayo-gozaimasu" (Good morning)
- "Do-mo, Konbanwa" (Good evening)
- "Do-mo Arigatou" (Thank you)
- "Do-mo Arigatou-gozaimasita" (Thank you very much)
- "Do-mo Sumimasen" (Sumimasen = sorry or excuse me)
It means, well, if you start saying "Do-mo," and pose silent, Japanese will estimate and understand the appropriate right words in their mind automatically :-), so actually you do not need to say the next word! (If you know the right next word, it is better to say that, but it is not needed).
- "Do-mo!"
Remember, it is OK only when you speaks frankly. On official occations (like making a speech), you can use "Do-mo" but you also need to say the right next words.