I'll be updating the food post with more photos and some narrative on that whole aspect of the trip, which has been an experience all its own.
Last night (Thursday evening) was the closing reception for the conference, starting just after the last session at 6:15pm. In additon to eating dinner well for the first time on the trip, it was also nice to be able to finally talk to some of the leading people in my field on a more casual basis, kind of raise my profile a bit :)
Today Friday morning there are the usual educational sessions which I am typing furiously so as not to be late to, and then the plenaries and the regular sessions. The conf is over at noon though, after which I am mostly free (but also bereft of regular internet access). I am thinking of taking the bullet train to Hiroshima, which is about two hours away, to both come away with something larger on this trip as well as see more of the Japanese countryside. If I have time, I will stop at Himeji to see the White Egret castle on the way back. My plan for tonight is to try and find Rakyusho, a tea cafe suggested by TP, and maybe some tempura (fried vegetables). I hope it doesn't rain, today I did see some actual sunlight and blue sky on the way to the conf at 5am, so let's hope the pattern holds. There appears to be a typhoon in the Asian Sea which could be a real downer over the next 48 hours, pun intended. I'll probably be back at my hotel by 9pm tonight and will do some work on my manuscript.
Tomorrow I will take the train to Tokyo in the morning, drop my bags at my hotel, and try to see a little bit of the city. Sunday my flight is at 3pm from Narita so I will have to leave my hotel by 11am maximum. I hope to at the very least get access via wifi from the airport to update my blog then.