On the first day of the 65th World Science Fiction Convention, Worldcon, the first Worldcon held in Asia, I went to register with my friends John and Sonia. Sonia had been living as a student in Osaka for a year, and was getting ready to head back to the US, and was quite unhappy about it, she had fallen in love with Japan. In a strange coincidence (not the first on the trip), the man in the yellow shirt in line was someone who works at the same company I do, on the same contract, in the same building, but one floor up from my cubicle! It was definitely the last thing I expected to do, to run into someone from work half a world away!
The Worldcon was small, in comparison to other Worldcons in the past, and the Dealer’s room was still being set up after we registered. There were dealers with some interesting things, like the dancing humanoid toy robots. There was a group of engineers and artists who are trying to recreate a working personal flying wing, modeled after one from the movie “Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind“. They displayed the actual unpowered glider that they have been using for aerodynamic testing. They will eventually build a version powered by a small jet engine, like the device in “Nausicaa”.
After the con was over for the day, we went back to the hotel, passing “Cosmo World”, an amusement park near the convention center. The park is dominated by a huge ferris wheel surrounded by a roller coaster. Near the park is the Nautical Museum, which has a sailing ship “docked” in a pond nearby. The ship is called the “Nippon Maru” and was used for years as a training ship.