I was called to our Centre Chairman’s room a few months before to help the students finding funds for this project. The project, Knowing ASEAN, is a program where students travel to ASEAN countries to establish network and learn more about the country they visited. This year, they are extending it to Japan, so that is why it is called Knowing ASEAN+3 (+3 is Japan, Korea and Taiwan). And when it comes to Japan, there is none other in the centre but me ;).
This program was realized last week, after rigorous efforts made by the students (and me, lol). Finding fund was so difficult in this time of economic crisis, so besides cutting the itinerary short, I have asked Matsuzaka-san, one of my good friends in Fukuoka, to introduce me to someone in Hatobus (he worked in the company before). So he introduced me to Yoneda-san whom later I realized is one of the managing directors of the company. Yoneda-san really listened to our needs, and even gave us some discounts on the whole charges. Matsuzaka-san told me that Yoneda-san arranged everything on his own-which task he can always handover to his staff.
So, there we were, on a plane to Narita, on 6th Dec, 2009. For many of the students, it was their first trip overseas-and of course, their first flight. For me, it was a homecoming, although I only spent 3 months of my total stay in Japan in Tokyo.
We arrived at about 7.30am in Narita, but the immigration queue was so long we finally got out at about 8.30am. After buying Tokyo Metro Pass which is cheaper for Narita users (Yen710 --> Yen600) and rented Japan sim card for 105yen perday (which is much cheaper compared to roaming), we took off to Tokyo Keizai University(TKU) by Hatobus. We were very fortunate because the weather was very clear we could see Mt Fuji from afar. We finally arrived at TKU at 11:20am due to the traffic jam. Prof. Tajima and his colleagues welcomed us with a speech and a lecture on SUICA-how it helps in retaining customers. Then we went on a campus tour and lunch with the Japanese students. There was an “ikemen” in the group and I saw how interested the girls were on him ;). Finally, we moved on the next destination, ASEAN-Japan Center. Like others, I was so tired but the topic presented during this visit was very interesting to me because it was quite related to my phd research proposal theme. Obviously, most questions during the session came from me. Oh, I just wished I had more time there. The session ended at about 5pm and as we went out of the building we saw Tokyo Tower standing proudly not far from us. Apalagi, keluarlah semua jenis kamera!
Finally (nilah baru final), we arrived at Ginza Capital Hotel for check-in. The room was small, as expected, but for me, ok aje. Sangat letih, but I wanted to wait for SMAPxSMAP at 10pm. Meanwhile, as usual, there was Hey3x and on that day it was ARASHI special. At 9, I could not bear it anymore so I thought of getting a nap for an hour before 10. Bangun-bangun aje dah 1am…Missed SMAPxSMAP..GERAM!!!