Yokohama 2018 travel diary: day 2

Tuesday, 27 February, 2018

We woke a bit before the alarm, but snoozed and rested until it actually went off. We headed out to get breakfast, hoping the Pompadour bakery would be open, but it wasn’t. We checked another cafe we’d seen yesterday in Queen’s Square, which was open, but had a poor selection of food. So we ended up at Starbucks, where M. got a chocolate scone and I had a slice of bacon quiche which they warmed up. We had to sit outside as the seats inside were full, but today was warmer than yesterday and not windy, so it was chilly but bearable.

We had a quick look in a convenience store on the way back to the hotel, where M. thought she might buy some sushi to eat later, but decided not to get anything. After returning, I had to quickly get my things together and head to the ISO meeting in the conference centre next door, wishing M. a good day exploring Yokohama on her own as I left.

I arrived at the meeting room a good ten minutes early, but it was already full, with every seat at a table taken! They had reserved a room that was rather too small for the number of attendees. I took a seat against the windows with no table, wondering how to plug my laptop in, but then they brought in an extra table and some Japanese representatives moved, leaving a couple of spots free. I grabbed one and Ari ended up next to me. I greeted the familiar faces, and also exchanged business cards with a group of three men from Canon who I hadn’t met before, including Suzuki-san, who has taken over Toru’s position as my project contact, and who I have a separate meeting with on Thursday morning.

The morning session was very administrative as usual. I confirmed with Sasaki-san that M. could come to the social dinner function this evening. We finished the morning agenda items half an hour early and broke for lunch at 11:30.

Neelam said she had sushi at a great place yesterday, so led me and Jonathan and Elaine there, although she almost got lost trying to find it again. It was in the ground floor level of Queen’s Square, near the Landmark Tower end. It was a tiny place, with stand up places around a sushi bar where the chefs made your orders. We managed to get enough bar space for the four of us, in the tiny rear room with just two other diners. Elaine and I ordered a lunch special set, while Neelam and Jonathan ordered specific items off the menu. Our set came with miso soup and about ten different pieces of sushi. One item seemed to be raw prawn, which was chewy and slimy, and neither Elaine nor I liked it much, but the rest was very good.

Stand-up sushi
Stand-up sushi bar at lunch

After paying our bills, I suggested dessert, which the others thought sounded good, and I mentioned the melon-pan ice cream place over in World Porters, where they serve ice cream in a hot bun. Everyone was keen so we walked over. I had a chocolate one, Elaine chose vanilla ice cream plus custard, and Jonathan got pumpkin ice cream with what looked like chocolate sauce, but Neelam decided to skip it and look around the shops while we ate, saying she’d come back so we could return to the meeting together. Jonathan took off to prepare his presentation for the next meeting session, so Elaine and I waited, but Neelam never returned and it was getting close to the restart of the meeting, so we left and hoped she would find her way back okay. Thankfully she did, appearing not long after we returned.

Melon-pan ice cream
Melon-pan ice cream!

The afternoon session covered various image stabilisation standards, and Ari from Apple presented some interesting data about synthetic hand shake waveforms and poor quality robotic shaking devices that generate high frequency vibrations, which set up physical vibration resonances in the lens mounts of small camera modules like on phones, and so end up severely affecting the accuracy of image stabilisation measurements.

The session ended a bit early, and we left to return gear to our hotel rooms before the reception later in the evening. I went to the hotel bar to sit and type up this diary and have a drink while waiting. After getting my drink I looked around and noticed I was virtually the only male in the bar, with all the other tables occupied by groups of women. I’m not sure why.

A bit before 18:00 I returned my iPad to the room and went upstairs to level 30 for the function room where the reception was being held. Most of the Japanese delegates were already there. I grabbed a glass of white wine, but it was a bit sweet and not to my liking, so I didn’t finish it. The view from up there was amazing, over the evening dusk and lights of Yokohama, and all the way to Mount Fuji looming in the distance on the horizon.

Yokohama dusk
View over Yokohama from the reception room

After some chatting with people and an opening speech and toast by our local host, we ate from the buffet dinner provided. At least half the dishes were vegetarian, which would have pleased M., but she had messaged me earlier saying she had more things she wanted to do out exploring and would return to the hotel after dinner. I chatted to various people throughout the evening. For dessert there were little glasses of jelly, in Earl Grey tea and grapefruit flavours. Sasaki-san and Yoshida-san again provided musical entertainment again, similar to the last few years of meetings in Japan.

A toast!
Reception toast

At the end of the reception, I returned to our room in the hotel, where M. was waiting, having had a vege burger at Hard Rock Cafe for dinner. She’d spent the day going through the various shopping centres around the area, including having some apple pie at Granny Smith Apple Pie & Coffee in the Red Brick Warehouse – a place I haven’t managed to eat at yet!

Then it was showers and resting for the evening before bed time.

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