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09 Sep. 2019 / IJEP Internship Program, Students' Voice

ESEP-INDIA 2019 Rahul Dev. Kundu (IIT Kharagpur)


Japan is unique for its beautiful yet gentle way of life. From sky-high buildings to small bonsai trees, deep thoughtfulness and aesthetic sense of the Japanese people is reflected from every part of their surroundings. Getting a research internship opportunity at The University of Tokyo was one of my dreams coming true as I have always wanted to visit Japan and experience their culture. Furthermore, an internship experience in a globally reputed University is bound to be beneficial for pursuing higher studies.

Before Arrival

After selection, there are main three tasks – flight booking, accommodation booking and visa application. Some suggestions were provided for the accommodation by the ESEP Secretariat, which are Fujimi House, DK House, Sakura House, and Tokyo Rent. At first, I decided to go for Fujimi house but later we found an Airbnb apartment near Nezu station, which is much closer to UTokyo Hongo campus. After booking the flight ticket and accommodation, the visa application process went very smoothly. I applied via VFS global Kolkata.

After Arrival

After clearing the immigration at the Haneda airport, I bought a Pasmo card which was really useful and convenient throughout my two-month stay. On the first two days, ESEP organized an introductory session, campus tour, Japanese language class and a Tea ceremony (Matcha). In the language class, we learned basic self-introduction in Japanese. In the Tea ceremony, we learned about the Japanese green tea Matcha making process and the cultural background associated with it.

Laboratory and research experience

I worked in the Bridge and Wind Engineering Lab at Hongo campus. My work was to investigate the effect of multi-axle vehicles on bridge response. This study explores the applicability of two-axle approximation of existing bridge-way-in-motion (BWIM) algorithm, which estimates vehicle parameters from bridge response. Both of my supervisors Nagayama sensei and Su sensei guided me throughout the internship whenever I faced any doubt. I also received valuable inputs and suggestions from the masters and doctoral students in my lab. In addition to this, there were weekly lab meetings where some of the students used to present their progress. I got a very clear idea of the research work going on in my lab from these meetings.

Memorable campus experience

We were lucky enough to enjoy the May Festival organized by University students on the very first weekend. We also experienced a meet-up with the sumo wrestlers. They explained their daily life, food habit, inspirations and demonstrated some sumo moves. There was also an international summer party in the later part of our internship. Besides savouring tasty Japanese foods, I also enjoyed calligraphy, painting and origami. There was also the suikawari or the watermelon splitting event, which was very fun to watch.  

Foods and drinks

Being a non-vegetarian I did not encounter any difficulty with Japanese foods. I have tried sushi, ramen noodles, sakedon, curry rice, udon noodles, oyakodon and miso soup there. I also liked the green tea and jasmine tea, which are available in most of the convenience stores. My friends with whom I was staying were vegetarian and we cooked for most of the days. Vegetables, box noodles, fruits etc. can be bought for the cheapest rates in Lawson100 stores. However, if one cannot find one near their apartment, Lawson store, Familymart, 7-eleven might be some good options. There is a Chuo refractory with Japanese dishes inside the campus where I used to eat sometimes. For vegetarians, the Subway inside the campus and some Indian restaurants nearby might be some good options. There is also a Lawson100 store inside the campus.

Places visited

We visited many places within and outside of Tokyo mainly on weekends. I visited the Tokyo Tower, Tokyo Skytree  (there is a pokemon centre nearby) , Asakusa, Tokyo Metropolitan Building (free observation deck) , Yoyogi Park, Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden (it is huge and very beautiful, also has a greenhouse section with pitcher plants), Nezu Shrine, Ueno Zoo (small area but really close view to animals and birds), Meiji-jingu, Imperial Palace and Eyeglass bridge, Akihabara (fun place with animal café, arcade, manga/anime shops and electronics stores), Shibuya (busiest crossing and Hachiko statue), Odaiba (TeamLab Borderless, Rainbow bridge), Omiya Railway Museum, Omiya Bonsai Museum and even the stairs from Kimi no na wa movie!


The memories of this two-month stay in Japan will always be very close to my heart. I got to know new topics related to dynamic analysis like BWIM system, Kalman filter and also got an experience of the laboratory culture at the UTokyo. I became motivated to pursue my doctoral studies in similar fields. I also learned about time management and punctuality. The natural calm atmosphere of the places I visited was really soothing. I am also very impressed with the aesthetic city planning, traffic management, separate waste disposal system and subway system. Most of the Japanese people may seem as introverts but they were really nice and helpful whenever approached. And lastly, here are some suggestions for coming interns. For buying Japanese style or anime printed clothes Uniqlo at Ginza might be a good option. For buying souvenirs, Daiso Harajuku and Asakusa shopping street have much variety at reasonable price. And for buying chocolates or food items, there is a tax-free store at Ueno which offers large variety with relatively cheap price. Good luck!!

09 Sep. 2019 / IJEP Internship Program, Students' Voice

ESEP-INDIA 2019 Abhishek Raghunathan (IIT Madras)

A bird’s eye view of Tokyo


The Engineering Summer Education Program(ESEP) is an organization from The University of Tokyo, Japan, that organizes a research internship program for students from IIT’s. We had to apply online for the program during December, and the results were declared near the end of February. I was among the selected 7 candidates. Through the program, I was able to work in the Micro Energy Systems Lab, Faculty of Engineering, University of Tokyo. I also received a stipend of ¥160,000 per month, for a duration of 3 months, which helped me fund my travel, accommodation and everyday costs. My lab was present in the Hongo Main Campus of UTokyo. I stayed in the Nezu area, which was very close to the university, and allowed me to commute by walk (5-10 minutes).

The Iconic Yasuda Auditorium, UTokyo

Research Experience

I worked under Professor Yuji Suzuki and Professor Kenichi Morimoto in the Micro Energy Systems Lab. I was part of the Thermo-Fluids group and my project was to predict and simulate condensation phenomenon in order to improve the performance of a heat exchanger, which the lab was building. My work was to build and validate an ANSYS Fluent function for calculating the heat and mass transfer during the condensation process. The research culture in the university and my lab was very good. The work was quite organized, with there being group meetings once a week or in two weeks where we had to present our work and the professors monitored the progress made and gave suggestions on how to overcome problems. Apart from these, there were also full lab meetings where major milestones in research were presented and the new members of the lab introduced.

A group picture of lab members, professors and visiting students

Everyday Life in Tokyo

The 3 months I spent in Tokyo were very unique and enjoyable, ranging from everyday activities to unforgettable experiences and sights. Tokyo has an amazing public transport system, meaning that there would be at least one train station within one kilometer of your location. Japanese food was very different from my typical meals back in India, though my options were quite limited due to being a vegetarian. The Japanese are very friendly and well mannered, and I heard an uncountable number of Arigato’s and Sumimasen’s, along with a bow to show respect. Tokyo also has a huge number of Shinto shrines and gardens; whose atmosphere is completely different from the fast paced city life of Tokyo.

Tokyo Imperial Palace: A beautiful mix of tradition and technology

The only downside to living in Tokyo would be the extremely high standard/cost of living, especially for food and transport. Thankfully, the stipend given be ESEP was more than sufficient to cover all the expenses.

ESEP also conducted and informed us of several sessions which were unique experiences in themselves, some of them being a Japanese class, a session with Sumo wrestlers, a Japanese tea ceremony, and an international students party.

09 Sep. 2019 / IJEP Internship Program, Students' Voice

ESEP-INDIA 2019 Pranathi Golla (IIT Madras)

Tokyo Experience

The two months I spent in Tokyo were unique and very different from my stay in other countries like Singapore, Taiwan and the US. From the pretty Japanese girls walking in colourful kimonos and wooden slippers to Ichiran ramen, from the amazing anime hub Akihabara to the cute Disney Stores, from the amusing Disney Sea to the thrilling FujiQ, I came home with a tonne load of memories.

I found the streets of Tokyo perfect for a stroll. There is always a cool breeze kissing your cheeks while the other pedestrians take their puppies for an evening walk. If one is lucky enough, they get to see a trail of ‘kawaii’ kindergarten kids walking across the streets in yellow or blue caps.

Research Experience

I have interned with Professor Ichiro Sakuma from the BioMedical Precision Engineering (BMPE) Laboratory at The University of Tokyo. My project was titled ‘Analysis of the Intraoperative Plantar Pressure Measurement (IPPM) Device and its usability’. The IPPM device is hypothesised to reproduce the pressure of the standing posture in the supine posture. I have initially conducted experiments and collected data from healthy subjects to prove the hypothesis. The data collected shows that the supine posture pressure distribution is 95% similar to that of the standing posture. In this process, I have observed that the device is very difficult to use. Thus, I designed a 3RPS parallel manipulator to automate the process of usage of the device.

Trip to Osaka and Kyoto

Keeping aside the very famous Universal Studios Japan, Osaka is the home to Osaka Castle, the National Museum of Art and Dotombori. With the flashy neon lights and sea creature displays, Dotombori is definitely a must visit spot. I have tried the popular takoyaki, okonomiyaki and kushi katsu and have absolutely loved them.

Kyoto is my favourite travel spot in Japan. While Tokyo is lit and buzzing with busy people, Kyoto is cultural, serene and beautiful. From Fushimi Inari to Gion street, the city couldn’t have reflected Japanese culture any better. The Hollywood film ‘Memoirs of a Geisha’ portrays the soul of Kyoto streets beautifully.  I would definitely come back to spend a few more days in Kyoto.

ESEP Experience

I would like to wholeheartedly thank the whole ESEP team for making this program happen. I was fortunate to have an authentic tea ceremony experience organised by the team. I absolutely loved my time in Japan and I will definitely recommend this program to my juniors.

09 Sep. 2019 / IJEP Internship Program, Students' Voice

ESEP-INDIA 2019        Akash Mitra(IIT Madras)

I am very lucky to have got the opportunity to participate in ESEP2019. The program was absolutely amazing. I got to work in a project very relevant to my research area. I was assigned to the Suda lab in IIS- Institute of Industrial Sciences, University of Tokyo. The lab is concerned with research on vehicle dynamics and control. My project was based on Analysis of VD parameters for PUVs with respect to Autonomous Truck Platoons. It was a National Project under Energy ITS. The project gave me a very good idea about graduate research. Also I did learn a lot about VD and Truck Platooning. The research consisted of both, Experiments and Software based Analysis. My tutor, Dr. Shimono had been a very integral support throughout. He encouraged me with important research papers and made sure I learnt new concepts. He was always there to clear all my doubts. Professor Suda too had been very supportive throughout. He made sure I was assigned to a project of my interest and also reviewed my project giving some advice on new approaches. I owe a huge thanks to him for alloting me a project of National importance. It has been a wonderful experience overall. There were no financial constraints whatsoever. Tokyo as a city has totally dazzled me. It is perhaps the best city in the world in terms of automation technology engineering citylife hygiene sanitation and safety. Everything is so organised disciplined and clean. The people here are so cordial and helpful. Life in tokyo is just amazing. Lastly I would like to express my sincere gratitute to UTOKYO for giving me this chance. The professors incharge and the secretaries have been very cooperative in every way possible. There were multiple interative sessions and international get togethers that were organised for the interns which helped us learn a lot about Japan culture as well. Having worked under Professor Suda and having received so much support as an UG researcher, I sincerely look forward to pursue graduate studies in UTOKYO and also a nice future in the beautiful city of Tokyo.

09 Sep. 2019 / IJEP Internship Program, Students' Voice

ESEP-INDIA 2019    Abhinav Chandraker (IIT Kharagpur)


I spent 2 months in Japan as a research internship student at UTokyo. The ESEP INDIA programme through which I applied was wonderful. The officials were very cooperative and cordial and the scholarship was enough to take care of all my travel and living expenses.

University and Research

The Hongo campus of the university is beautiful. The architecture is old and traditional on the outside, yet the buildings are modern, efficient and huge from the inside. The environment is quiet and feels very conducive to academic activities and research. There are also a few ponds and trails in the campus which give a serene touch to the whole place.

I worked in the Carbon Fibre Innovation lab in the Department of Systems Engineering under Prof Jun Takahashi. My research work was mainly experimental and so I spent a good amount of time in the lab. The labs were comparatively huge and were organised and well equipped. The work culture was pleasant and we used to have one lab meeting with the professor every week.

Life in Tokyo

One of the most marvellous things about Tokyo is its public transport system. There is an extensive and highly efficient network of subways which can be used to go almost anywhere, thanks to the closely located train stations. The huge prefecture has tons to offer from the glassy shopping complexes of Ginza and the crowded streets of Shinjuku and Shibuya to the peaceful shrines and lively parks that can be found in almost every big city. Tokyo literally has it all.

Japanese class

One of my best experiences of the entire stay will be the Japanese classes. Learning a new language can be a great way to dive into the culture of a land since languages draws heavily from the people and their cultures over many centuries. I attended a short term Japanese course over a period of one month. It gave me a chance to interact with other international students on a regular basis and I made some very good friends as result. The teachers were wonderful pedagogically and managed to make the whole learning process greatly enjoyable.

Food and Travel

Even though I was a vegetarian, I tried quite a few Japanese dishes and also acquired a taste for green tea, which is popular among the people. I went to Nikko city, which has many well preserved traditional and scenic tourist spots infused with natural beauty. The roller coasters of Fuji-Q were absolutely terrific. The trip to Disney Sea marked the end of my travelling in Tokyo and was fantastic.


The whole stay was memorable and a splendid learning experience. I partially pick up a totally new language, interacted with some very interesting people and travelled generously. I am positive that the time spent in the lab was very useful and the research habits that I learnt there would go a long way in the future.

01 Aug. 2019 / Activities

Completion of ESEP-INDIA 2019


7 students have successfully completed ESEP-INDIA 2019.

24 Apr. 2019 / India Report, Students' Voice

India Tour Report 2019     Takashi Sakamoto (UTokyo)






期間は2/20~2/27の一週間。工学系におけるトップ大学であるIIT Delhiへ訪問し、研究室見学や講義の参加、学生との交流をした。それからHONDA、TATA Consultancy Servicesといった現地の企業や、NGO、JICAの見学をして、インドの文化や日本との関わり方を見てきた。昨年までのレポートを読む限り社会基盤や機械の学生が多いようだったが、今年は幅広く募集をかけたためか、物工、マテ工、シス創などの学科からも参加していた。1日目から簡単に振り返っていきたい。




この二日間はIITでの講義、研究室訪問と学生交流。朝からメトロでIITへ。メトロでは改札にはゲートが設置されていて、特にお酒の持ち込みに厳しい。そもそもインドではお酒自体がモラル的にあまり良くないようで、飲酒はデリーでは25歳から、酒屋も夜10時には閉まる。これは宗教上の考え方からくるもののようだ。講義はプログラミングや気象学以外に、経済や教育絡みの内容が含まれたものを受講した。目立った特徴としてはどの授業も学生との対話や議論が多く含まれていることで、工学系でこういう形式で授業が進んでいくのは新鮮だった。学生側も激しい競争の中で入学してきただけあって、モチベーションが高く積極的。空き時間キャンパス内を散歩していると、犬だけでなくリスやクジャクもいて、動物にも多様性がある。研究室見学は物工の3年生2人と一緒で、スピントロニクス関連の研究室を訪問し、研究内容と実験装置の紹介をしてもらった。かなり専門的な部分まで説明してくれたが、難しかった…。授業後の時間はIITの学生との食事や観光。特に3日目に行ったRed FortはIITの学生としっかり回れたのと、写真をたくさん撮ってもらい、楽しかった。日本人が珍しいのか、インド人が写真好きなのか、観光に来ている人に写真を撮って欲しいと頼まれたときは大体一緒に撮ることになる。レストランやマーケットにも案内してもらったが、行くまでの道のりがまた楽しかった。インドのそこら中に走っているオートリクシャ―(三輪のタクシー)に初めて乗ったが、ドアもない状態でめちゃくちゃな走り方をするので、スリル満点で、この時が一番盛り上がったかもしれない(笑)

3日目夜 観光の最後に行ったIndia Gate
Qutub Minar
Taj Mahal 2月は乾季で天気も良い


この二日間は企業の視察。6日目の昼はTATA Consultancy Servicesを訪問した。日本にいた頃は知らなかったが、TATAはインド最大の財閥で、グループ企業の一つであるこのTCSも、ソフトウェアを中心に幅広い事業を手掛けている。学生からも簡単な自己紹介プレゼンをし、自分らの興味分野やインドへのイメージについて知ってもらった。夕方からJICAを訪問し、日本からの支援内容について話を聞いた。鉄道をはじめとするインフラ整備のための融資や技術提供がメインだが、宗教、文化含め、多種多様な層の人々が生活しているため、環境に手を加えるときに検討する事項が多く、想像力が必要になるのはインド特有の難しさかもしれない。


まとめ 今回のプログラムは、ホテル、フライトから、IITの学生との交流の機会や講義の調整、企業の視察まで、大変な部分を全て手配して頂いて、現地での活動を楽しむことができた。インドはまさに多様性の国で、毎日新しいものが目に入ってくる。こういった経験は久しぶりで、気持ちのリフレッシュとしても良かった。特に生で見るインドの発展、膨大な人口を抱える新興国の勢いは強烈なインパクトがあるし、脅威にも感じる。また今回は同行したメンバーからも刺激を受けた。専攻もばらばらなのでこのプログラムで初めて知り合ったが、皆積極的にコミュニケーションをとっていて、自分もこれから頑張ろうと思えた。雑談しながらの観光も楽しく、一人で行くよりずっと良かった。

IIT Delhi
夜のRed Fort




24 Apr. 2019 / India Report, Students' Voice

India Tour Report 2019     Tatsuya Hirokawa (UTokyo)

A vibrant city, Delhi

I had many reasons why I would have liked to go to India, IIT. Mainly, since I am going to graduate school of infrastructure, engineering, I was so eager to see the development of India both from hard and soft perspectives and researches about it. Infrastructure deals with various aspects of cities, for example, economy, efficiencies as IT, harmony with nature or culture, scenery or design. India is projected to be the largest country in population in 2024. I was so curious to know how the country is managing city planning and the improvement of people’s lives. Developments of societies involve such various points of view, therefore, as a civil engineer, I desire to have knowledge related to city development and skills as a generalist as well as a specialty in engineering. I wanted to gain a new perspective that I cannot gain in Japan through this program which would greatly help my research in graduate school from April.

Secondly, I was interested in India in terms of job-hunting environment. It is said that there are a lot of excellent students, especially engineers in India and there would be no longer a definite reason for Japanese companies to recruit Japanese students. In fact, a famous Japanese venture company, Mercari, recruited 32 Indian people out of 50 new employees in 2018 and most of them graduated from IIT. I was looking for an opportunity to talk with students at IIT and know how they are planning their future, their career path and places to work. I was interested in getting a job abroad, but I cannot imagine how I will do it in the future since most students here usually get jobs at Japanese companies or the government. I have another year or two before I decide my first job after graduation, therefore, by talking with students and visiting companies in India, I would have liked to make myself have a broader view for my future career path.

During the trip, I had faced with too many things which I cannot experience in Japan in terms of civil engineering. The thing I was most impressed was the chaotic cars on the streets. There were many cars, which looked pretty old models and was relatively small, rickshaws which are called tuk-tuk in Southeast Asia. They never follow the lanes written and change the lanes without signaling. They honk all the time, especially at the intersection. One IIT student told me that they are taught to honk at the intersection, but for me it looked that the system was not working since everyone was honking and nobody knows which one should go first. Possibly due to the rapid growth in ownership of cars, the soft aspects of car usage are still in the development phase in India. On the other hand, Uber is available in India and there were many cars available in any time. In Delhi, you would be able to travel by Uber with about 100 to 400 yen per ride for five kilo or something. It was interesting to see the gap like this in India that in some ways, they are very convenient and have new systems, but in other aspects, the system should further be developed and prevailed.

Another interest I had about the city was about the labor problem. There were many children working on the streets. They were sometimes selling foods, probably helping their parents and sometimes selling stationery such as pens to pedestrians. Even if they were not working, in Old Delhi, we came across children who kept following us and begged. I guess most people are aware of this problem and at least IIT students didn’t like that, however, as we learned in the class at IIT, at “Indian economic problems and policies” on the second day, Indian economic gap is not yet to be solved and the education they can get also varies according to the area they live and money they possess. This should be tackled with by the government very seriously.

I imagined that the problems they have in India in the field of civil engineering would be hard sides as hygiene management and so on. It is true that they have to change and organize systems such as water problems that they don’t have safe water everywhere especially for Japanese and hot water doesn’t come out easily. However, since India is experiencing a rapid change, it is equivalently important that they should take care of soft issues as mentioned above. 

As for the second motivation, a lot of people mentioned about the job-hunting environment in India during the tour. IIT students looked very interested in opportunities of working abroad as interns or full-time employees after graduation. HR manager at Tata Consultancy explained us that in India, it is rather companies that seek students, not that students seek companies they want to get in. Especially IIT students are difficult to get, they say, so that they are doing long internship program to let them be interested in. There are two things Japan should do. Firstly, as universities, they should try to improve the CS (Computer Science) department. They say that as engineering faculty, The University of Tokyo is in good position in rankings, however, CS is regarded as weak in Japanese universities. Secondly, in hiring employees, Japanese companies might have to look for students abroad more proactively. There are many competent students all over the world. Especially at IIT, many global companies including Microsoft or Google are trying to get students. I’m not sure how much Japanese companies are trying to hire them, they shouldn’t look for candidates only in Japan since HR is a very important basement of competitiveness fior companies.

This trip became a great opportunity for me in considering the theme for the research in the master‘s degree. I’m going to join the International Project Lab at Civil Engineering Department from April. The trip made me notice many problems which you cannot have in Japan, but are very serious in emerging countries. I could also feel the importance of Indian market, which is growing rapidly. While India is still one of developing countries, a lot of innovations seem to be happening here.

24 Apr. 2019 / India Report, Students' Voice

India Tour Report 2019        Wataru Arana (UTokyo)



・IIT Delhi訪問

 1日目と2日目はIIT Delhiへと足を運んで,研究室訪問や授業の聴講などを行った.コンピューターサイエンス・インド経済・材料力学・気候など様々な分野の講義を受けたが,すべてに共通して言えることが学生と教授の距離感の近さだった.教授は友達に話しかけるかのように学生に質問を投げかけるし,学生も委縮することなくそれに応じる.教室の席は前から埋まっていくし,みんな仲良しなのか固まって座っている人も多い.自分が集団に向かって表現することへの心理的な抵抗が小さい人ばかりだなあと感じた.工程の一部では各自の専攻に応じた簡単な研究室訪問の機会があり,私は土質,地盤,基礎などを扱っている研究室を見学させてもらった.インドでも日本でも基礎的な装置はあまり変わらないものの,細かい部分ではインド固有の問題に根差したアプローチがとられているものもあった.




レッドフォードの門 ライトアップがとてもきれい



フライアッシュでできたエコレンガ 多少もろいが普通の用途なら大丈夫らしい


・5日目は現地コンサル企業Tata Consultancy Services訪問・JICAインド事務所訪問があったが,前日の夜に体調を崩してしまったため一日中ホテルで休んだ.プログラムの応募動機がJICAの話を聞きにいったようなものなのでとても悔しかった・・・


・Honda Cars India訪問




24 Apr. 2019 / India Report, Students' Voice

India Tour Report 2019    Tatsuki Sonoyama(UTokyo)






このツアーの一つの目玉が、IITデリー校(Indian Institutes of Technology Delhi)に2日間行って研究室見学、授業見学、学生との交流を経験できるというものであった。IITは、かの有名なGoogleのCEOを輩出し、入学試験の倍率は100倍を誇るインドでは1番有名な工学系大学で、そのようなインドのトップクラスの大学生と交流する機会など簡単に得られるものではないと思う。