SSI-19 Dinner Event, with musical performances and performances by Geisha and Maiko
Kyoto, Japan: June 5, 2013

The big conference event was scheduled for that night, but we had some time off in the afternoon. So, we (Mike, Jason, Dan, Stefan, and I) decided to
go to the Yamazaki Distillery. Or not. We started heading that way, but had to change trains. Unfortunately, we had gotten
far enough out of town that the signs no longer had English translations on them. Sadly, we picked the express train instead of
the one we wanted, and went right past the distillery. We didn't have time to try it again, so we wanted to get back to Kyoto to get ready
for the formal conference dinner event. Unfortunately, the Japanese train tickets are very smart. You have to put them into the turnstile as
you exit the station, and it won't open unless the fare and location are correct. We needed to get through the turnstile to another platform to
get back to was looking like we might need to buy more tickets to match where we currently were instead of Yamazaki. I saw there was a
gate we could get through instead - well, assuming the guard would let us through it. I showed him that we had purchased tickets - right fare level,
wrong city. He very politely explained which track I could go to in order to reach Yamazaki. No, I want to go to Kyoto. He seemed to think we were
having a communication breakdown, so he clarified that I had come from Kyoto and the ticket says I am going to Yamazaki,
which I can do by going to track 6, over there. Equally frustrated, "But I don't want to go there anymore!" He gave me this look that I believe is
the international look for "I don't get paid enough to deal with this.", and he opened the gate for us. Soon, we were on our way back to Kyoto.

That was the experience the motivated me to learn the Japanese characters for places we were going to and coming from. It paid off later.


The dinner was amazing! No pressure on Ryan's team for the 2015 version of the conference event....
As we walked into the ballroom, there were musicians playing:



Live Musical Performance!. AVI file, 9.7 Mb


Given the troubles we had earlier in the day, we made sure we arrived at the dinner with plenty of time to spare. Here's Mike and Dan
at our table.

Mike and I at the table

Jianhua Tong, Jason Fish, Dan Clark, Mike (I like the grin Mike has in this picture):

Jianhua Tong, Jason Fish, Dan Clark, Michael Sanders
Now with Ryan next to Jianhua:

The event begins! Here's our MC for the night:

The conference chair:

Time to open the sake barrel!



Opening the Sake Barrel. AVI file, 6.1 Mb


We all got sake boxes...many in our party didn't want to keep them, which is why Mike and I have a collection of them
in our scotch cabinet.

Fancy plates:

Time for music and dancing - we saw performances by Geisha and Maiko.

First, the Geisha:



Performance by the Geisha. AVI file, 30.6 Mb


Then, the Maiko:



Performance by the Maiko. AVI file, 56.7 Mb


The End!

Afterward, the Maiko came to visit the tables

Ann, Jason, Dan, one of the Maiko, Sandrine, Mike, Ryan, and Jianhua

Ann had a question for our hostess about how here outfit was held together.

She had guessed right!

Time for awards:

Music and food! The dinner was fantastic, and we had a wonderful time. I got one more video of the musicians.



More great music!. AVI file, 14.2 Mb


Since this was nearly our last night in Kyoto, the group went for a walk after dinner. The city is so lovely! Here are some pictures Jason
took at a little bar we stopped to see.
This is a terrible picture, but it really captures the moment. We were hot, tired, and the humidity was making life tough for
dwellers of a high plains desert. Enjoy a laugh. *grin*

Our walking woes were nothing a refreshing drink and a few fans couldn't alleviate

Mike is a little big for Japan....

Return to the 2013 Japan Overview Page

Last updated 17Jan2015