Yokohama 2017 diary, Day 2

Tuesday, 21 February, 2017

This was the first day of the ISO meeting. I set my alarm for 07:30, but got up before then, just a bit after 7. I had a shower and ate my breakfast that I’d bought last night. Then after checking some email and news it was time to get dressed and go downstairs to the conference centre next door and begin the meeting.

It was good to see many of the familiar faces I’ve gotten to know over the past two years of attending these meetings, though Matsuhashi-san was no longer here. I greeted Margaret and Jonathan, and met a new guy named Laurent from DxO labs in France, though he was on the American delegation via DxO’s US company registration. Scott F. later explained to me that companies in France participating in standards work via their national body are expected to pay a substantial sum of money, whereas coming in from the US side costs considerably less, so that’s why DxO doesn’t form an official French delegation. Laurent said his colleague Nicolas (the guy who’d recommended visiting Mercantour National Park to me back in the London meeting) would be joining the meeting tomorrow.

During the lunch break, Margaret led me, Jonathan, and Laurent over to her favourite nearby sushi place, in the MARK IS shopping centre not far from the meeting site. We walked there via the underground passage near Minatomirai station, avoiding the biting cold as much as possible. The weather forecast had been for a maximum of 11°C, and it felt even colder.

We got the last available table for four people and proceeded to grab plates off the sushi conveyor. We mostly ate those, but toward the end Margaret ordered some specific fatty tuna sushi from a waitress, which she and Laurent shared. We paid individually for our stacks of plates and went back to work for the afternoon.

Sweet arrows
Post-lunch desserts from Arrows Palette

But first we stopped off on the way through Queen’s Square when we found a place selling delicious looking desserts. It was a tiny booth in the open between Queen’s Square and Landmark Plaza, called Arrows Palette, which made interesting things with pastry and fruit. The four of us squeezed into the tiny shop, out of the biting cold, and ordered some of the concoctions, which were made by taking a long tube of flaky pastry, splitting it down the length, filling it with cream, and then topping it with fruit, and maybe cocoa. I had one with strawberries and blueberries. It was indeed delicious, but also quite light and not overly filling, so made a good finale to the lunch.

Kampai Yokohama!
A toast to Yokohama

The technical sessions went quickly and we finished early, with a few breaks along the way. CIPA, the Japanese camera industry trade body, was sponsoring an informal buffet dinner reception social function, in one of the function rooms on the 30th floor of the hotel, the same place as last year. It began at 17:45, with drinks. Waiters handed out coupe glasses of sparkling wine for an initial toast, which came after a brief speech by the head of CIPA. Following the toast, there were drinks and salads and hot food, again I think supplied by the Chinese restaurant upstairs. I remembered last year the food ran out fairly quickly, so I made sure to fill up rapidly and go for seconds. I didn’t really want to have to go out in search of more food afterwards.

Standard buffet
Buffet at the reception

Also repeating their performances from last year, Sasaki-san sang a song and played a traditional Japanese plucked string instrument, and then Yoshida-san played a violin piece with Jonathan on the viola, followed by Sasaki-san singing while accompanied by Yoshida-san on a traditional flute. The crowd demanded an encore, and Sasaki-san sang another song, which the Japanese obviously knew as they sang along with the chorus, and then a bit later Yoshida-san and Jonathan did an impromptu performance of Auld Lang Syne together on the strings. I chatted with the, all and suggested I could join in next year as I also played an instrument, only revealing after they said they thought that was a good idea that I’d have to bring a drum kit!

After some more mingling and chatting with various people, it was time to go. The hotel staff were very punctual in herding us out of the room at 19:45. I’d had plenty for dinner, so I said good night to everyone and went to my room just one floor down in the hotel, almost directly underneath the reception room, and turned in for the night.

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