Everyday life and work

Kyoto Prefectural University of Medicine (KPUM)

Inamori Memorial Hall Building

Dedicated to the late entrepreneur and Kyocera founder Inamori Kazuo The Inamori Memorial Hall Building was built in 2014. It houses administrative office space, seminar/lecture rooms, a cafeteria, research laboratories, and of course the Inamori Memorial exhibition room. My workplace was located on the third floor, the last room on the left if you go along the hallway. Since my departure from Japan in 2019, the campus has got a few upgrades: koban (neighborhood police station), expansion of the library, and cobblestone paving.

Kyoto Prefectural University main campus (KPU)

Although similar in name and located on the same campus - Shimogamo campus - KPU and KPUM are separate institutions. KPUM has another campus - Kawaramachi campus - which is located in between the Kyoto Imperial Palace and the Kamo river. Since I work right on campus on KPU I joined a table tennis circle where I trained twice a week - seemingly like a ryugakusei (foreign exchange student).

Student cafeteria

The student cafeteria is located in the basement of the KPU administration building. Although mostly catered to students, others can dine here as well, of course still at student prices (yayyy!!! :P). You can get a full-fledged customized set meal for only around 500 Yen and you're full after eating that. It was nostalgic to go back in time and feel like a student again. An experience like this is priceless!!! Besides the canteen, there are ice cream vending machines which are super popular and tend to sell out by the end of the day. 

My dormitory

Although not affiliated KPUM, I was allowed to live in the College House Matsugasaki (松ヶ崎学生館) which belongs to the neighboring Kyoto Institute of Technology (京都工芸繊維大学). It was constructed in 2013, at the time fairly new, clean and very quiet due to its thick walls. It had a desk, washing machine, bidet toilet, typical Japanese-style apartment bathroom, and kitchenette. At  円4.5万 ~$400 per month (20 sqm ~ 200 sqft) it was quite affordable. However, Internet was 3000 ~27 per month extra. I did not have to buy most of the household items, since they were left in the lobby by outgoing residents for others to reuse. The only major purchase I made was a mattress and bed accessories which I bought at Nitori (ニトリ), a well-known furnishings and home goods retail store.

Laboratory social events

Although at first glance, this section should usually be on the "Leisure activities" page, it is an integral part of work life in Japan. Social events are essential and should ensure a smooth integration of a new co-worker into the team, strengthen the bond of each team member and maintain an amicable relationship after departure from the company or lab. During my short stay of only 1.5 years in the lab, I was able to form new professional relationships and friendships that last until even today. It is not an overstatement that I am very grateful to be able to stay in my Japanese lab.

My Welcome Party (歓迎会, kangeikai)

Cherry Blossom Viewing (花見、hanami)

My Farewell Party (送別会、soubetsukai)