Harshit Prasad bio photo

Harshit Prasad

Software Engineer - @blinkit, all about search systems - data and infrastructure stuff. Loves to talk about distributed systems and open source.

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This is my very first try to write a travel blog. I attended an open source conference in Tokyo, Japan and visited many other famous places in Tokyo. This blog mostly covers my experience.


So, I finally got time to write a travel blog. I recently travelled to Tokyo, Japan for conference purpose. Yes, I got a scholarship to attend the conference hosted by Linux Foundation and it was amazing! This is one of the leading conferences for open source industry leaders and for professionals who are building and encouraging open-source culture. I’ll divide this blog into subsections like the First day in Japan, conference day and places I visited!

Before starting with the blog, I would like to thank the Linux Foundation Team for providing me such a great opportunity and scholarship to travel to Japan to attend Open Source Summit 2019.

First Day in Japan

The first day when I landed at Narita International Airport (Tokyo, Japan) it was raining heavily. The weather was very bad. Thanks to Japan Airlines for providing amazing services! Even in bad weather condition, no turbulence was felt at all. Below is a picture which tells more about the weather:

japan_airport 7:30 am at Narita International Airport — Tokyo, Japan

Fast forward, after immigration and customs check — it was a whole new place for me! Very few Japanese people knew English. So, I was at my own to figure out the route to the hostel using Google Maps. It took me almost 1.5 hours to reach Tokyo City Centre from the airport due to heavy traffic and rain. From there, my hostel was near around 15 min walk. I felt so good after reaching the hostel. It was in the Nihombashi area, “Oak Hostel Cabin”. It was amazing and the staff was helpful and were familiar with the English language. I checked-in and kept my luggage and got to know more about the rules followed in Tokyo like on the first day I came to know that Tokyo is very quiet placed. Everywhere on the streets, you’ll find peace. People minding their own work and follow the discipline strictly. Most of the shops (except Seven-Eleven stores) get closed by 9 pm. Streets in Tokyo starts to feel like an empty place from 8 pm onwards. But it’s their culture and I would say I really liked the peace I got here, I would not get it anywhere else in the world.

japan_oak_hostel Oak Hostel Cabin — Lounge Area: — 1

japan_oak_hostel_2 Oak Hostel Cabin — Lounge Area: — 2

The conference was on the next day. So with my Indian friends, we’ve already planned for Disneyland for the first day! We took the subway metro from Nihombashi station to Maihama station. It was difficult to get to the destination since I was not familiar with their subway metro culture and everything was in Japanese. Even the help counter guy was not familiar with the English language but he was so polite and helpful, he used a translator app and helped me how should I get to my destination. After reaching my destination station from there, it was a 10 min walk and we reached Disneyland! It was an amazing experience! Rides were fun, it was raining during the visit but everyone was enjoying the weather! At the end of the day, before leaving Disneyland — I was lucky as I got a chance to see the Disney Parade! It was fun :)

fossasia People preparing themselves for the Disney Parade!

Back to the hostel, brought some food items from the Seven-Eleven store (life-saviour!) and checked the event schedule of the conference which was going to happen on the next day!

Conference Day: Open Source Summit 2019

Fast forward, the day is here finally! Packed our bags for the conference venue at Toranomon Hills Forum where Open Source Summit 2019 has to be held by the Linux Foundation. The event started off with a welcome note by Jim Zemlin, Executive Director, The Linux Foundation, briefing on both the conferences, Open Source Summit and Automotive Linux Summit. Then after that, there was an event talk on Open Source at IBM, Japan. It covered what kind of open source tools are being developed at IBM and how IBM cloud core technologies are based on open source.

conf_ibm_japan Open Source @ IBM, Japan

The next talk was from Uber: Data Science team. The talk covered how they are using Kepler.gl framework. It’s a WebGL framework works with large datasets. It’s a high-performance web application which provides geospatial analytic visualizations based on map data.

conf_uber_japan Uber Talk on Kepler.gl: a high-performance web framework for geospatial analysis. It was amazing!

During the conference, I interacted with many people from different companies. Japan giants — Fujitsu, Toshiba, Toyota, NEC, Hitachi were also there during the conference. Apart from Japan giants, other giants in the field of Open Source were also there like Google, Yahoo (Japan) and Intel. I also attended their 1-hour talks by each company covering how they are using their own open-source tools in their company to deliver technology making a positive impact. The first day of the conference was really amazing and full of energy! This time they had more talks focused on Artificial Intelligence, Data and Machine Learning.

The conference location was amazing! I managed to capture this photo of Toranomon Hills Forum during the evening when I was leaving the place.

conf_location Toranomon Hills Forum where Open Source Summit 2019 was held this year.

Places I visited in Tokyo

After attending the conference for 2 days, I was still having 2 days more to explore more places in Tokyo and nearby places. I visited: Chureito Pagoda first because it has a famous spot to observe Mt. Fuji. But due to bad weather in Tokyo during the visit, it was hidden in the clouds. Then I visited other famous places like Meiji Jingu Temple, Asakusa (best for shopping!), Shibuya Crossing (world’s crowdest crossing), Ueno Zoological Park.

japan_park Meiji-Jingu Temple — Peaceful and Wonderful

On last day, I planned with my Indian friends to visit Disneysea (near to Disneyland). It’s a whole new place and different from Disneyland. Disneysea is the only fun park in the world situated in Tokyo. I would say Disneysea is focused more on the adults in comparison to Disneyland which is focuses more on children. The rides in Disneysea like “Journey to the Center of Earth”, “Tower of Terror” etc are amazing, high speed and thrilling!

disneysea Mediterranean Harbour (Pirates of the Caribbean) at Disneysea. There were many places in Disneysea like Arabian Coast (Aladdin), Mysterious Island, Lost River Delta (Indiana Jones Adventure) and more!

At the evening around 7 pm, I returned back to the hostel to pack up the luggage since I was having a flight the next day in the morning.

japan_streets Evening: Last Day in Tokyo

Finally, the ending of Japan blog. I’m at my work desk and it’s been 3 hours almost writing this blog — thinking what to write and cover everything! The trip was great and the conference too! with an amazing opportunity to meet and network with some of the technologists, open source leaders and collaborate, and learn from them. Such conferences help us to know more about how industry leaders are making a positive impact on technology.

I hope you enjoyed reading :)