It was certainly a strange trip.
Saturday started out a bit crazy as the alarm clock didn’t wake us up at 6:30 as planned. We were planning on leaving our place at around 7:15, and luckily I woke up by myself at 7 (after maybe 3-4 hours of sleep). We rushed out the door to still try to catch our Shinkansen train wich was leaving from Omiya station at 8:14. But the way there was a also screwed as the rapid train we though we could catch from Akabane wasn’t in service that early on a Saturday, which means that we got to Omiya at 8:15. Since our tickets were non-reserved seats, it meant that we could easily catch the next one, which came at 8:50 (with non-reserved seat tickets, you can use them anytime on any train for 3 days, for a one-way ride of course). The way to Niigata was also a huge letdown. On top of being overcast, most of the trip was spend in dark as the train goes through all the mountains. Niigata itself was, well, boring as hell. I’ll admit that we didn’t really have time to do anything as Yuko was busy at the university pretty much the whole day. When we got back to the station at night, at around 8-9, we found that the bus terminal was already closed. Luckily, some people told us about a night train that left at 11:30, which is what we took to come back. I barely slept all night, and we arrived in Ikebukuro at 5 the next morning. What a long day it was.
But things went very well for Yuko at the symposium. She was pretty much a hit with her lecture, and got to meet a lot of very important people in the field, who were all very intrigued by her subject matter. This is certainly going to give her a good boost in her academic career.
To finish off, let me say that I never want to go to Niigata again (well, not the city at least, I here the prefecture is supposed to be nice).