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Monday, April 10, 2017

PaGA: Day 15 Will There Be a World Cruise?

I've been thinking about a world cruise for a long time, but never seriously, until late in 2015 when I brought this subject up at dinner with Tadashi Matsunage and his wife (Mayumi, here with  Brandon, who got his PhD under Matsunaga, now works at the Hawaii Natural Energy Institute, plus his wife Nicki, who also works at the University of Hawaii), and they expressed interest, but more so, possibly finding a cabin mate for me, as you need to pay for two people in each room.  Since then, this has become somewhat like a survival series for me, as I built a small list of potential candidates possibly interested in such an adventure.  An important criterion is that she needs to pay her own way.

At the beginning, we thought January 2018 was a target date for embarkation, as Tadashi was ending his presidency of the Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology in 2017.  In August of 2016, that date was moved to January 2020, for he had so many offers awaiting his availability.

With that as a backdrop, my day today in Tokyo was mostly getting together with Professor Matsunaga, who showed me his new office at Waseda University.


Cherry blossoms outside his office.  


We discussed my returning for a one-month visiting professorship here this coming Fall.  Or maybe back at Nokodai, for he has a second office there with his laboratory.

He said Waseda has 50,000 students.  I couldn't believe this, so I checked, and the number is 52,078.  Nihon University has 73,266 students.  The University of Hawaii at Manoa?  18,865.  Stanford 16,336.  Ohio State does have 66,046 and Arizona State University, 71,946.  The University of Central Florida has the largest undergraduate enrollment in the USA with 51,269.  I recall at the beginning when I met David Block of the Florida Solar Energy Center, which belongs to UCF, this is more than a third of century ago, that campus only had around 10,000 students.  At that time the UH Manoa had close to 20,000 students.  We dropped while they increased by a factor larger than 6 (with graduate students, they have 64,318).

So, anyway, we then went to Kuroneko (means black cat) in Kichijoji for dinner.  


The chef and owner is Yuichi Oikawa.  Tadashi has been coming here for 20 years, mostly because the food is good, but also because the offerings are healthy.  Alcohol is good for your longevity, and we finished this giant bottle of sochu.  Actually, there was only a little bit left, for he drunk most of this on February 14 with other friends.


So we went on to a red wine from Italy:


The healthier part of the meal was the cuisine:


That's wagyu beef.

The chef, gave former President Matsunaga a new bottle of that same sochu as a presidential retirement gift, and after the meal, we moved into the sakura room for tea:


If you had clicked on that August 2016 posting, we ended the evening at Azumi's.  Yes, we went there again for a nightcap.  We discussed with Azumi and Kaori about a possible Hawaii cruise in September.  Unfortunately, Tadashi will room with his wife, so will Azumi and Kaori, meaning I still need to find a roommate to share the cost of our cabin.  I was able to get a unbelievable price of $1200 for only a single back in December.


So will there be a world cruise?  Maybe around 2025.

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