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MIC2010

Facilities



Facilities

Most aspects of the hotel's facilities should be self explanatory but we provide here a few notes on facilities that are unique to Japan or whose usage is not directly apparent.

Japanese Hot Springs and Public Bathing

Japan is a volcanic country and public bathing in the many resulting hot springs is an age old Japanese tradition. Besides being a place to relax and socialize, many people belief in the therapeutic benefits of the hot, mineral rich water. Taking a Japanese hot spring bath or gonsenh is something you should definitely try during your stay.
building (the gmoon view bathh), which is open daily from 12pm - 9am, and on the seventh floor of the second building (the gperspective bathh), open from 3pm to 12pm. Both onsen include indoor baths and the 2nd floor onsen also includes an outdoor pool - a grotenburoh - it is from here at night that you can lie in the steaming waters and admire the stars above. Although both baths are open through the night, the accompanying sauna may only be used until midnight.
There is a procedure and etiquette to Japanese bathing which you need to know before you try. The principle is very simple - the bath is not for washing - you only enter the bath once you are clean. This way the bath remains clean for all users and it also means that you should take care to avoid getting any soap or other such product into the water by accident.
A nice way to take an onsen is to head to the bathroom already wearing a yukata (a kind of Japanese dressing gown) and slippers (these items should be in your room, but please do not wear them to the restaurant or other conference activities!), although you can go in your regular clothes if you prefer. The next step is to establish the correct bathroom. Bathing in onsen is performed naked and is almost never mixed these days.
The Japanese characters for man and woman are indicated below
Man / Woman
The entrance to bathrooms almost always has a kind of curtain (called a gnorenh), which is marked with the relevant character and usually red or pink for women and blue for men. Once you have established the correct bathroom, make sure to take off your shoes or slippers at the entrance and leave them in the lockers / on the shelves.
Once in the bathroom, make sure to collect a large and a small towel which should be available there. Next you should undress and leave your clothes in a locker or basket.
Leave your large towel in the locker / basket and keep your small towel with you - you will have this with you at all times. As you move toward the bathroom, it is common, but not necessary, to use this towel to cover your most private of areas. Either inside the bathroom or before you reach the bath, you will find a series of taps / showers along with stools and bowls. This is where you wash yourself before entering the bath. Find a tap / shower and sit on the stool. You can then wash yourself thoroughly (usually shampoo, conditioner and body soap will be provided), including your hair. Once you are completely clean, you are now free to enter the bath, but rinse down the stool and bucket first and put them away tidily for the next person.
Typically onsen are quite hot - 40 to 440C, which can be a surprise if you are not used to it. Start by sitting at the edge of the pool and immersing your legs. As you get used to the heat, you can slowly lower yourself into the water. It is recommended that you only stay in for only a few minutes at a time - but you may find it difficult to stay in even that long.
Feel free to get out of the bath and take another shower at any point or move between the outdoor and indoor pool. The only things you need to do are make sure not to get soap into the bath and also to keep your towel with you, but not to put it in the water.
Once you have finished, use your towel to basically dry yourself before returning to the changing room. There, you can return to your locker and use your main towel to get dry properly. The changing room will also contain sinks and other facilities, like hair dryers and weighing scales, which you can use.
You will find yourself very relaxed and possibly quite sleepy after your hot spring bath, so it may not be advisable to take one directly before a scientific session!
If you are staying at the conference with your family and you are keen to experience a hot spring bath together, the hotel has a private bath available at the 7th floor spa, that can be rented out for private use. The cost to rent the bath is \2100 and you can make the booking at the main reception.

Washing Machines

If you would like to wash any clothes during your stay, washing machines and dryers are available and are located on the 2nd floor. Use of the washing machines and dryers is free but you will need to purchase washing powder which is available at the gift shop on the third floor for 50 yen.

Iron and Dry Cleaning

Irons are available to borrow from the hotel reception
A dry cleaning service is available. You will find a laundry bag and English instructions on using the service in your room.

Gift shop

A gift shop selling a range of local presents (known as gomiyageh in Japanese) is located on the third floor lobby of the hotel. Gifts include a wide range of local food and drink.

Snack shop

There is snack food available (not included in the conference fee) from the shop on the 2nd floor of the hotel.

Internet access

Wireless internet access is available in all guest rooms, in the poster session area and in the hotel lobby.

Activities



Activities

There are a wide range of ways for you to spend your afternoons during the conference. This sheet details the various trips available along with the activities you can do within the grounds of the hotel.

Activity Passes

The Belnatio has a wide range of facilities and activities that you can make use of during your stay. As part of the conference, we have arranged for 30 leisure passes to be available to participants. The passes allow free access to the following activities from Sunday until Thursday
Swimming pool (located in the Forum Center, where the poster session is held).
Spa (next to the pool)
Putter golf course
Rental bicycle (2 hours).
To obtain a leisure pass, please visit the conference office, which is located in the Arena at the Forum Center. Once you have completed your activity, please return the pass as soon as possible to make it available for other participants.

Tennis

Three tennis courts have been reserved for use by conference participants every afternoon. If accompanying persons would like to use the courts in the morning, please talk to Prof. Fujii who will make the necessary arrangements.
Prof. Taka Ebata is in charge of tennis at the conference, so please talk to him if you have any questions, for example if you need to find an opponent or opponents. In the conference office will be a tennis sign up sheet - we hope to be able to run a small tournament, so please get involved - the more the merrier!

Golf

The Belnatio boasts an impressive golf course. If you would like to play one afternoon, we have access to two free sets of golf clubs, so realistically up to 4 people can play at the same time. A round of 9 holes should take about 3-4 hours and costs 4500. Please contact Prof. Naohiko Mikami if you would like to play golf.

Excursions

We have arranged excursions for each afternoon of the conference from Monday to Thursday and an additional one on friday morning, available to those participants waiting for the bus to Shinjuku. In each case, the total numbers are limited by our free bus, which can carry around 30 passengers. Sign up sheets for the excursions will be available at hotel reception, so make sure you sign up in plenty of time if there is an excursion you are particularly interested in, in order to avoid disappointment. We will run the trip to the Sake brewery and museum on both wednesday and thursday to ensure that all those interested can visit.
Trip to Echigo Winery with guided tour
Monday 7th September (14:00 - 17:00)
This excursion is a must for those with an interest in wine. This organic winery is unusual in that it employs the huge snowfall from winter to cool the wine maturation tanks all year round, to deal with the hot Japanese summer.
The cost of the visit is covered by the conference, so there is no charge for the tour.
Winery webpage (Japanese) http://www3.ocn.ne.jp/~ewine75/index.html
Visit to the Echigo-Tsumari Art Field
Tuesday 7th September (14:00 - 17:00)
The worlds largest International art festival, the Echigo-Tsumari Art Triennial is held every three years in the Echigo-Tsumari region. A wide range of art works produced for the festival are scattered across the landscape of the region and can be viewed at any time. The english website below has pictures and information for the many exhibits. On this tour we will move around the region to visit a range of different installations. This should be an unusual and fascinating excursion, blending art and nature.
Old trade route, museum and sake brewery tour
Wednesday 8th September (14:00 - 17:00)
Thursday 9th September (14:00 - 17:00)
On this trip, we will visit the town of Shiozawa and split into two groups. While one group undertakes a guided tour of the Aokishuzo brewery, famous for its Kakurei sake, the other group will look around the picturesque bokushi doori street, part of the trade route from the old capital of Kyoto to the East, with the chance to visit the Bokushi Suzuki museum. Once the tour is complete, the groups will swap.
The brewery tour is free, but if you would like to drink some of the sake, a tasting set costs \500. Entrance to the museum is also \500
Aokishuzo webpage (Japanese) http://www.kakurei.co.jp/index.shtml
Natural Niigata sightseeing tour
Friday 10th September (9:30 - 12:00)
On the final morning we will visit a famous beech forest called bijinbayashi along with a beautiful and unusual rice field terraced into the mountainside (tanada). We will also go to Matsunoyama onsen, where you can try the hot spring foot spa.
Beech forest webpage (Japanese) http://bijinbayashi.daizinger.jp/?p=90

AN INTRODUCTION TO NIIGATA SAKE



AN INTRODUCTION TO NIIGATA SAKE