Saturday, February 3, 2018

My stay in UTokyo (14th Dec~29th Jan)

Hello readers, it is Shelly.

I am Ph.D student (D3) from Yangon Technological University.
This article is about my stay in UTokyo during 14th December to 29th January and my research in REEL lab. My accommodation is at Komaba International Lodge near Komaba Campus of UTokyo. I was invited by the student exchange program of SATREPS project in Myanmar. This is my third time coming to Japan. And I got new friends and many new experiences this times.

In front of Yasuda Auditorium while snow showering


During this training in UTokyo, I had learned Rainfall Runoff Inundation (RRI) model and Python programming. In the very first weeks of my stay, I had prepared replies to reviewers of my submitted paper and finalized my revised paper for International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction (IJDRR). And then, I was submitted my revised paper again and waited for acceptance. During my study of RRI model, we had found many problems of inputting actual cross sections and high-resolution DEM in RRI model, even though my friends, Sam and Yone Shin helped me a lot, I also tried myself many times for overcoming the errors which gave me disgust and the main issue of RRI is very long processing time. Now I am used to the errors and interested in solving the problems of RRI CUI application. I finally completed the model setting up and running RRI model to calibrate with observed discharge and I only need calibration with more events in other year as my ongoing research. Moreover, I had been learning python programming by the help of Moiz to develop the damage estimation model which needs to be coupled with RRI model. It also gave me new experience of how difficult of developing and programming. Besides, I visited to ICHARM and met with Dr. Badri Shrestha for discussion about my research. He gave me many suggestions and comments. I got some new ideas for continuing my research. In the final day of my stay, I got an awesome news from associate editor from IJDRR, and my scientific paper got acceptance for publishing in that journal. I was very happy because my cultivated plant is grown well up eventually. I had completed two-third of my Ph.D research and have to continue my ongoing research to write the next scientific paper which will be included the entire Ph.D research work.

Me and my desk in REEL lab


Throughout my research period in UTokyo, I had already made two presentations at Kawasaki’s Group meeting and one private meeting with Ikeuchi Sensei for my current research progress and future research. And I attended REEL lab hour meeting and Kawasaki Group meeting every week.
At my presentation in Kawasaki's group meeting
 I went to Tsukuba and visited to ICHARM alone to make discussion with Mr. Badri Shrestha for my research. I got a chance to meet with Koike Sensei and Dr. Sawano and could make a brief introduction to my research. I couldn’t take photo with them as they were very busy. But I made an intensive discussion with Mr. Shrestha and he gave me so many suggestions and comments. He is very kind and welling to help. This visit is very good and beneficial for me. I would like to thank Kawasaki Sensei for urging me to visit ICHARM and meet with him.

Intensive Discussion with Mr. Badri Shrestha

Me and Mr. Badri Shrestha at ICHARM 


Through the research exchange program, I got not only many Japanese friends but also many international friends. I was also participated new year party of REEL lab’s members and I got more friendships between my colleagues and friends. Moreover, before I went back to Yangon, Kawasaki Sensei made a farewell party for me with our Kawasaki’s group members at the Indian Restaurant near Hongo Campus. I got a very good friendships with every group members. They helped us a lot for the daily life in Tokyo as well as our study in UTokyo. Chon San was helping me a lot not only before I stepped into Japan but also throughout my staying in Tokyo. She is very smart and I like the way she talks in English especially. My new friends are Liu, Yi-Chia and Nakamura San. Liu is very kind and he helped me doing with ATM for room payment of Komaba Lodge. Yi-Chia is a very friendly guy and Nakamura
Figure 5. My farewell party with Kawasaki’s group members

San is easy to be friend. Sam, Moiz and Yone Shin are very nice and helpful because they helped me in my study even in their busiest time. I am appreciated their help. Actually, my staying in UTokyo is so convenient that I can smoothly do my research work.
My farewell party with Kawasaki's group members

Me and Chon San

Me and some of my friends from REEL lab

New Knowledge and Experiences

I had found that everyone in Japan work hard like investing their mind and body in the job they do that I’ve been ever heard. Most of the students are working until late at night without any command and order. Among them, I also copied their habits. On the other hand, the good environment and facility in the university drives to spend the student’s times in the laboratory and supports them to do more things. I will contribute that kind of experiences to my friends at YTU and I hope from my university to get better environment and facility which is developing gradually.
In this exchange program, I experienced Japanese Christmas and new year celebration. In Christmas time, Christmas illumination is very famous in Roppongi, Omotal Santo, and firework explosion at Odaiba. I was visited Omotal Santo and Roppongi for its famous Christmas illumination.
Christmas Illumination at Omotal Santo

Christmas Illumination at Roppongi
I was lucky that new year time is within my stay periods. In new year holidays, most of the Japanese people used to go trips or back to their home town. I thought I also wanted to go a vacation trip. The place I want to visit the most for this time is Kyoto which is the well-known ancient capital of Japan. So, I planned to go Kyoto. Transportation cost to Kyoto is very expensive for using Shinkensen and by flight and by bus is reasonable but I could not afford. Fortunately, my (Myanmar) friend from Osaka invited me to visit her home and she advised me to use Seishun 18 ticket for transportation. Seishun 18 ticket can be used for riding every JR local train in the whole Japan for five days whoever use in each day. I was travelled to Osaka by riding seven trains from Tokyo and total time consumption is 9 hours. Even though it is not comfortable, I was interested in seeing the wonderful views of every town the train was passed. I saw beautiful sceneries of Mount Fuji as well as awesome coastal line passing by the train. At Osaka, I visited Osaka Castle, Dotonbori at Shindaibashi and Universal Studios which are the most famous attractions in Osaka. Moreover, I visited Kyoto and Nara from Osaka. In Kyoto, I visited Kinkaku-ji Temple, Ginkaku-ji Temple, Arashiyama bamboo forest, and Fushimi Inari-taisha. In Nara, I visited and worshiped the Great Buddha at Todaiji Temple, Kofuku-ji temple, Kasuga-taisha, and walked around the Nara park with deers. Sincerely, I liked Nara rather than Kyoto, and I don’t know why. Whatever, I got unforgettable memories in my life.
My new year vacation trip to Osaka, Kyoto and Nara
 Another new experience in Tokyo is heavy snow for the first time in four years and paralyzing public transportation due to heap of snow. The floods of people could not go home back and I was caught in the long queue of people at the Shibuya station for Keio Inokashira line. Luckily, my accommodation was not so far from Shibuya and I could get back home by walk under snow showering. Vividly, it was the day I visited to Tsukuba ICHARM alone. So, it is also an unforgettable experience for me. But I love the way of snow over Todai and taking photos with friends though.

Long queue of people waiting for train at Shibuya Station
Snowing day experience


I would like to convey my heart-felt thanks to Kawasaki Sensei and Sayarma Win. I am very grateful to everyone concerned with this awesome student exchange program.

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