Notice Board

2018 e3 Field Trip Report

August 24th, 2018

                   One Monday evening I was watching sunset at a place called “northernmost point in Japan”, at the very north part of Wakkanai area with a feeling of accomplishment. After many years in Japan, I finally I reached this very far away point! Thanks to the e3 group I could strike out another item on my bucket list of places I want to visit in my life.


                   This year e3 field trip was held on August 20-21. There were 27 students joined this trip. Our first site visit was Bioenergy Center in Wakkanai City. Differently from big cities like Sapporo where garbage is divided into recyclable (plastic, pet bottles, paper etc) and burnable garbage which is incinerated, Wakkanai City separates “raw” garbage which is treated and processed to make it renewable energy such as biogas, compost and power for the electricity generator. Our next destination was Mega Solar facility which is located not far from the center. It was actually not such a “mega” size solar plant, however, we’ve learnt about different types of solar panels and how challenging it is to operate the solar plant in such unfriendly weather in Hokkaido area where clear sky and sun are rare.

                   In the evening we stayed at Soyafureai Park which was very close to the Mega Solar facility. It was fun to hang out with all the participants to get to know more about them.

                   The next day, we woke up early and went to the famous tourist destinations at Wakkanai such as North Breakwater Dome (designed by Hokkaido University’s graduate) and Wakkanai train station, the northernmost point of Japan Railway. The beautiful architecture of North Breakwater Dome has totally mesmerized me. After having fun in the morning, we went to our third site visit: Honorobe Underground Research Center. It was amazing to see advanced technology to ensure the safety of underground nuclear waste storage on the depth of about 350 meters. I was surprised and relieved to discover that no dangerous nuclear waste was handled in Horonobe. The purpose of the facility was only for a research. I learnt that Japan didn’t enter the stage of implementation of underground nuclear waste storage and the destination area where it can be stored wasn’t chosen yet.

                   We also visited Tonakai Farm to see deers brought to Wakkanai from Finland many years ago and Lake Naganuma. Kunimare Sake Brewery was our last destination before going back to our university. This brewery is the only remaining brewery in Mashike. A lady working at the brewery showed us around inside and explained how sake is made in a traditional Japanese way. After trying and comparing some sakes, we rode back to Sapporo.

                   It was a fantastic and memorable field trip organized by e3 group, a combination between sites / facilities-tour and fun-tour, to visit the first time ever in our e3 history the very north of Japan – Wakkanai city. Don’t miss it the next year!

Egy Crystal Soesilo


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