A running-notes documentation of my trip to Japan in 2002. Tip: Scroll all the way to the bottom and read the postings from the bottom up! (New posts appear at the top.) Times will be US Central so I'll try to reference local times in my record. The time in Japan is 13 hours later than in Nashville, FYI.
Scott's Japan Trip Diary

Saturday, March 23
Had a great walk early this morning with Darrick and Meg, and Chigo, the pupster, along the greenbelt to the bay.

Then Atsuko cooked us a lovely breakfast of french toast, bacon and the sweetest strawberries I think I've ever had: One doesn't even have to core the white out, just wash and eat 'em. Atsuko had a squeeze tube of condensed milk she drizzled onto the berries for the kids, and I just had to try it. Yummmmmmy.

Now I'm over at the relatively deserted Canadian Academy, trying to make sense out of this Mac keyboard. We plan to visit Harborland today, a shopping and eating district of the island, then to mosey back home to lay about b4 a grilling out party with family friends. Darrick will drive me up to HUTE tomorrow by 2, where I'll tour the campus then move into my home for 2 nights.

So, when you see the new link in the navbar, right by the "Flights" link, that'll be the place to see new photos. I'll name 'em for ease of viewing.

Happy day to you wherever you are!

Friday, March 22 1:11 USA Central Time--
Traveling through Time

To put this all in context, let's remember that our major home remodel is avalanching toward completion: Much of yesterday was spent preparing the two old rooms of the house (family room and kitchen) that will be rebuffed and re-polyed in concert with the whole new expanse of upstairs hardwood floor. That's going on now, this moment, as I hurtle off toward Osaka, and my family camps out in style at Lee Ann's mom's house/manse. I slept not very well last night, having fallen asleep with Colin in our large guest bed, only to awaken at 12:40 with a list of as yet unfinished tasks: update the online ppt/htm Web version of my planned presentation, send three important emails, set up AOL on the laptop, make sure my sync cables for the three peripherals I'm hauling around (eBookman for audio books, Palm for many things--writing, news, and contact information; and RaveMP3 player for music and voice dictation) were in my carry-on luggage. I also had the nagging sensation that I had squirreled away my tiny penknife in my briefcase, a situation I wanted to avoid. In the long-run, one supposes, being up for three hours in the middle of the night should serve me well, since I've already slept 30 minutes on this big ol' 747, and I anticipate that the Sapporo I'm drinking at the moment will help me get a little more shut-eye after the meal is served.

The lines at the airport were not impossible, but long. It took about 30 minutes to get through check-in, then 45 or so to get through the snails-pace security line. I was surprised not to be stopped, with all my little electronics, but there were sufficient body searches going for me to be satisfied. The line wait at check-in gave me time to locate the penknife, too: I'd have hated to lose that, since it was a gift from my father-in-law, Gerry. (Still have it, Gerr!)

The flight to Detroit was on a little DC-9, which made me a bit apprehensive for the long flight. Legroom was at a premium, despite my having arranged for an aisle seat. I sat next to a very nice guy from Nashville, on is way to Osaka to inspect/oversee progress on some custom designed machining equipment for Nissan. I never got his name, but we had good discussion. Seems his 3 month trip is toward Nissan’s acquisition of the equipment necessary to do the whole thing right here in Nashville, which should be good for Nashville Nissan and for USA manufacturing. Cool! On this flight, I sit next to a quiet young Asian fellow to whom I have yet to exchange words: I think that there probably aren't any mutual ones for us, which promises a quiet long flight--exactly what I was hoping for.

I've already drunk two bottles of water and several glasses. Don't intend to have beer (even though those glasses of Sapporo look pretty darned good, just much more water, and I'm hoping I can find that sleep place again.

More later!

Later! Got into Osaka
right on time, made it nicely through immigration and custom with minimal lines, exchanged some money, and found Darrick. What a joy to finally shake Darrick’s hand, after 5 years of working together with our 3rd and his 4th grade classrooms, a long-running and many faceted running collaboration. While waiting for me, he had run into a former student of his, Mark, and so Mark rode with us back to Rokko Island to the Sheraton, where he was to meet a friend. Even though Darrick was in a hurry to get back home and out to dinner (children’s bedtime schedules can do that to a feller), Darrick still went that extra bit out of his way to give a former student (visiting friends over his NJ spring break) a ride: That’s just the kind of guy he is. After driving for about 45 minutes,

we arrived at the Mosser’s cozy condominium and I met Chogi their 12 year-old “puppy,” and Atsuko, Meg and Masato (Darrick’s lovely wife and children—Meg is 5 and Masato 2!), as well as some neighbors, Becca and Dave, and drove back out to the yakitori for marvelous food. Yakitori means “grilled chicken,” and this place was fabulous! Darrick tells me that traditional yakitori tend to be dark and often greasy, but this cozy little eatery was designed by its owner, also an architect, in rough hewn logs (reminded me of a cabin in Alaska) and very bright ship-style lights (sort of looked like hanging cage work lights) with picnic-table-like tables of the same log. Atsuko deftly ordered, filling out a sushi-bar style slip with a pencil and the grown-ups partook of delicious lime-soda and “chu-hi,” a kind of potato liquor like vodka--highballs, mixed fresh at the bar.


The delicious food came in rounds as it was ready: many skewered concoctions, one I particularly liked—finely minced chicken rolled in quarter-sized spheres and deep fried on skewers. Though I had a few waves of “whew, am I gonna make it?” sensation related to jetlag, and I got full quickly, I tasted everything, and loved it all. What a great choice for a dinner spot. The pics here of the staff at the yakitori bar say it all

More later more later more later…

I love you LeeAnnMirandaColin! Going to sleep now, after talking to you on the phone and spending a half hour syncing (some of this was rewritten in the wee hours of the morning when I awoke—I’m going to try to go back to sleep for a while, formatting and uploading this stuff so tomorrow I can concentrate on other stuff tomorrow. We explore Kobe…


Thursday, March 21
Here's a low resolution picture taken with the pencam:

A pic of the entrance to Hyogo University of Teacher Education:

Working with templates to choose the best one for display and archive. Bear with me...

Wednesday, March 20
Contact Info:
Contact numbers for Scott while traveling in Japan:

March 23, and 24th:
Darrick Mosser's home:
078-857-3929 (81 is the country code)
His address is 4-1 Koyo cho Naka Higashinadaku, Kobe 658-0032


March 25 and 26: Kamogawa-no-sato
(Tel: +81-795-45-0111, FAX�F795-45-0116)
March 27: Kyoto Garden Hotel
(Tel: +81-75-255-2000, Fax: 75-255-2389)
(You can use Internet at this hotel)
March 28: Hotel Green Plaza Tojo-ko
(Tel: +81-795-44-1300)

Professor Kogawa's phone numbers:
Office: Tel: +81-795-40-2212, Fax: 795-40-2203
Home: Tel & Fax 795-42-6036

Flight Information is available at: Virtually There Web site

Here is the itinerary while in Japan!

March 23 4:30 pm Arrive at Osaka/Kansai Airport
(Mr. Mosser cometo see at the airport)
(Lodge at Mosser's house)
March 24 (Lodge at Mosser's house?)
March 25 2 pm Arrive at Hyogo University of Teacher Education (HUTE)
3 pm Campus tour
6 pm Arrive at Kamogawa-no-sato and have dinner
March 26 Morning Visit to Attached Elementary School of HUTE and
of your presentation
Afternoon Colloquium: Your presentation: SCOPE and USN:
Student Focus and Teacher Creativity through VTC
March 27 9 am Sightseeing : Himeji Castle
Afternoon Move toKyoto
(Kyoto GardenHotel)
March 28 Sightseeing in Kyoto
9 pm Arrive at Hotel Green Plaza Tojo-ko
(Hotel Green Plaza Tojo-ko)
March 29 11:30am accounting settlement
11:45 am Leave HUTE via Osaka to Osaka/Kansai Airport
Professor Jimmy Suzuki will take you to Shin-Osaka Station
You can go to Osaka/Kansai Airport by train.
5:15 pm Leave Japan for the U.S.A.

And here's a pic test post:

Just me in the lab. More to come if this works!

Here's a link version of that URL I typed in the first post: Scott's HUTE presentation.

And here's a copy of the original letter of invitation:

Dear Mr. Scott Merrick

I am pleased to say that Hyogo University of Teacher Education
would like to invite you as a lecturer of a special lecture or
colloquium in March, 2002. Could you give a lecture for us about
SCOPE or others. We are interesting how you try to solve
problems in schools and to improve education in schools.
Professor Jim Hogge said you are the best person. (He said he
cannot come to Japan because he is very busy and AERA meeting
will be held in the first week of April.)

Could you come to Japan? I would be grateful if you come to our
university. Our university will pay for your round fright tickets
and for your stay in Japan for 6 days. (Please bring the receipts
for your fright tickets, because they will pay for the amount of
the receipts by yen while you stay in Japan.)

I made a tentative rough schedule of your trip to Japan as below.
If you have some ideas about the schedule and the lecture, please
let me know. We will possibly comply with your wishes.

March 23 Leave Nashville
March 24 Arrive at Kansai International Airport
March 25 Sightseeing around Hyogo University of Teacher
Education (HUTE), observe graduation ceremony, and
preparation for lecture.
March 26 Visitation to University President
Lecture or colloquium in HUTE
March 27 Sight seeing at Kyoto
March 28 Sight seeing at Kyoto or Himeji
March 29 Leave Kansai International Airport
Arrive at Nashville

I hope I will see you in this March in Japan.

Sincerely yours,

Cc: Shibo, Jim

Masafumi Kogawa
Associate Professor
Center for School Education Research
Hyogo University of Teacher Education
2007-109 Yamakuni, Yashiro
Kato-Gun, Hyogo, 673-#### JAPAN
TEL: +81-795-##-####-2212; FAX: 795-###-####

Welcome. I am (perhaps not unexpectedly) drawn to this "read-me-backwards" diary entry format. Today I begin. I will add to this as I get Internet access and time to post, and I hope that between my little Aiptek digi-cam and my laptop there will be something to read as we go. I'm hoping that this will be a good repository for later reworking of my thoughts, too. Time will tell.

My presentation, or a draft form of what I plan to deliver in the "best-of-all-worlds-enough-time-and-everything-works" scenario, is posted at www.usn.org/scott/curriculum/vtc/merrick_hute.htm . And I'll go out and snatch a copy of my itinerary from my email next. This might be fun, ya'll...

I'll need to see how I can get pics posted. Probly I'll ftp 'em to USN or to my scottmerrick.net site and link to them from my blog.

CU on the 'net...