Educational Trip Abroad – Part 2

International Conference in Australia and Famous Centers for Stem Cell Work in Japan – Part Two

Japan
Sadly, we had to leave Australia, Australian cousins, and Australia’s wildlife and board our airplane on Sunday evening, heading for Japan! We arrived in Tokyo on Monday morning, then boarded another flight to Fukuoka, in northern Kyushu, where my life-long friend, Dr. Izumi Maruyama was waiting for us at the airport. He had been forewarned that we were not traveling light, so he came with two limousines!

Traveling from the airport to the city of Kurume, where I spent several months in 1973 as a medical student on assignment from Manchester University in Britain, took about forty minutes. We spent the remainder of the day at our hotel, but in the evening, we were invited to a reception dinner in a private dining room, where we gathered with a few friends and shared a spectacular evening of joy, remembrance, and stories of encounters of years past. Not to mention, we were served an authentic myriad-course Japanese dinner with amazing grace.

The second day we boarded a bullet train (Shinkansen) to Nagasaki, where I had visited in 1973, with my dear friend Dr. Kyo Adachi (wearing a hat in the picture). Kyo had driven me there one night, slept in the car until morning, then saw sites like the atomic blast site and the famed house of Madam Butterfly (Grover house) of the famous opera, by Puccini. I wanted to refresh my own memory and show my wife and daughter same. It was exhilarating and well worth it!

The following morning my great friend Izumi drove us westwards towards the sea, to a dreamy town in the mountains called Yufuin. I had spent some time there in 1973, at the famed rehabilitation hospital, with a Dr. Kuwahara. It brought back to me amazing memories of the very effective Japanese style of rehabilitation. Since it was still early in the day, Izumi decided to take us to the coastal city of Peppu, famous for its myriad hot springs that one could see from the winding mountain road descending to the city. We visited the most famous of the hot springs of Peppu, the “blood hell.” This is a hot spring pond of piping hot water, which actually looks red- from iron ore.

Izumi had booked us an incomparable Japanese-style hotel (Ryokan), in Yufuin, surrounded by woods and hot springs, and even our own suite had its own hot-spring water supply. Again, we were served the proverbial myriad-course, traditional dinner in our own suite, the Japanese way! That was a dreamy time, where time stood still for me, where 45 years merged into the present!

On our way to Kurume, we took a detour to see Mount Aso and Kumamoto, of the famed Castle, simply to eat the best suba (like ramen) anywhere! Eventually, we caught a bullet train to arrive in Kyoto, the ancient capital of Japan, in the evening. Kyoto is Japan’s greatest treasure, which has a magnificence of its own, including scores of memorable palaces, pagodas, and castles. We did as much sight-seeing as was humanly possible in the two and half days we had, seeing places like Nijo Castle, the ancient Imperial Palace, and the Golden Pagoda.

Late Sunday morning, we arrived back in Tokyo, via the bullet train, and settled in our hotel in the Ginza district, from which we were able to visit lots of places in a short time. While planning this trip, I had made plans to visit two very famous centers for stem cell work and research.

Centers for Stem Cell Work and Research
One center was the Tokyo Dental University, where Professor Michiyo Yaegaki works on stem cells extracted from teeth, then induce them to become liver cells (and also pancreatic islet cells) then transplant them into pigs. It was gratifying and humbling that he trusted me to discuss his highly privileged information, prior to being published sometime in the future.

The other center was the Jichi Medical University, north of Tokyo, where I spent a great time with Professor Kotaro Yoshimura, who has been an undisputed leader in stem cell work and research on the world stage. He showed me around his hospital and research facilities and explained a lot of his on-going research and ideas. Being also a renowned plastic surgeon, Dr. Yoshimura let me in on a few of his surgical and procedural pearls of wisdom in aesthetics.

Unfortunately, our trip had to come to an end, and on Thursday I returned home through LAX in CA. The trip was amazingly educational and rewarding in all aspects. Medically, scientifically and socially it was superb! Packed with learning new ideas and tricks to keep me and our practice: Spring of Youth Medical Group, Laser and Aesthetics; and Gulf Coast Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine, on the cutting edge of sound knowledge and practice. A knowledge that would help in managing venous and lymphatic diseases; in using stem cells soundly for various diseases; and aesthetic techniques and practice, including those with stem cell and products.

Socially, the trip was a resounding success. I made lots of new friends at the UIP2018 in Melbourne, reunited with my cousins and their families whom I had not seen for decades; and renewing a two-score-and-five old friendship in Japan; making lots of new friendships there too!  It also gave me precious time with the two women in my life: my wife and daughter!

Please feel free to enjoy many more photographs and videos from the trip on our social media pages, and I hope to be able to add more photos and videos from my future conferences and meetings that I participate in and present research at.

I always welcome any constructive comments through our websites; Spring of Youth Medical Group and Gulf Coast Stem Cell & Regenerative Medicine Center or email.

Download: SOY/GCSC Conference Trip – Aust/Jap 2018 Part 2