My Trip to Japan - Kyoto, September 2014
As a practicing Organization Development (OD) Consultant it is not always that you get an opportunity to meet fellow OD Practitioners while not on an assignment. So when I got to know that the International Organizational Development Association (IODA - http://iodanet.org/ ) will be holding their 29th World Conference in Kyoto Japan I decided to attend.
My journey was through Osaka as Kyoto does not have an international Airport. Osaka is a typical industrialised city, however Kyoto is a more historical and traditional city. If you are a first time traveller to Kyoto I recommend that you always fly in to Tokyo and take the bullet train (Shinkansen) to Kyoto. I say this as the journey from Osaka to Kyoto takes about one and a half hours by bus and an hour by train and all you see are industrial areas. However Tokyo to Kyoto by the bullet train is a more scenic one and you get to travel on the fastest train on earth.
Kyoto itself is a clean and beautiful city with many historical sites to visit. The food too is great (of course I am biased as I love Japanese food) but choose wisely as the portions can be small. Hotel rooms are also an issue in Japan if you are not staying in a 5 star hotel, the rooms are quite small and the toilets are even smaller. I am not a big guy but I found the toilet to be ridiculously small.
As for the OD conference it was attended by a truly international delegation and I made a lot of new friends. In addition I got to meet a lot of Japanese OD professionals and make friends with them too. The Japanese people are a truly polite bunch and they are humble lot too. I look forward to an opportunity to visit this great country again in the future.