The land of 3G – Japan – A travelogue!

What would have just been a dream for many, came out to be an amazing experience for me!

Being a technology and gadget enthusiast, one could not ask more than an all expense paid trip to the land of 3G, Japan.

More than 500 pictures clicked, a sneak peak into the next generation technology, experiencing the power and utility of 3G mobile communication channel and an amazing trip to one of the most hospitable countries of the world! All of that and more at fun filled and action packed 3 days in Japan.

It all started with the TATA DOCOMO 3G Life gig. Towards the start, it may have appeared to be one of those fake competitions which a lot of brands execute to increase awareness, but that wasn’t the reality. Both TATA and NTT DOCOMO are amazing brands when you take a step ahead to experience the sheer blend – trust of TATA and expertise of NTT DOCOMO in some of the most amazing mobile technologies one would have heard about.

For the uninitiated, Tata Docomo is India’s fourth largest operator in terms of wireless subscribers and the first amongst the private companies to launch 3G services in India on 5th of November’2010. TATA Docomo is a joint venture between the Tata Group in India and NTT Docomo, the leaders in mobile communication, in Japan. NTT Docomo holds 26% stake in the company.

Now towards the interesting part, the journey!

Passport and Currency exchange form at New Delhi Airport

But before that, let me share an amazing video that’s one of the many scintillating technologies we played with;

We’ve tried capturing it across a 3D glass! It was a typical case of how a virtual museum can be set up to to a walk through of an old city! Mind boggling. 🙂

The entire journey was fascinating. I had some real bad notions about Air India, which to my surprise, did a fair job! I was glad to finish off a long due book on my Kindle while others dozed off. Did you ask for a picture?

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A little more than 2 hours after we landed at the airport, we managed to check in at our luxurious rooms at hotel Hilton Tokyo. The 29th floor room had a picturesque scene off the window! But soon, we were to have a quick lunch at an Indian restaurant and rush to the NTT Docomo Headquarters at the Sanno Park Tower. I am thankful to the tour guide and the cab driver. The two ladies were humble, helpful and honest!

On our way to the hotel from the Airport

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The hotel, Hilton Tokyo;

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Did I say luxurious and picturesque rooms?

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The famous Indian restaurant where had lunch! The food way ohkay. 😀

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Not too late, we arrived at the NTT Docomo’s Head Quarters!

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We were received by Mr. Murat Karadeniz, Executive Advisor, followed by Mr Kii, M.D. of Global Business and Keisuke Yoshizawa – Executive Director of Strategic Investment & Alliance.

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The 2 day agenda was placed before us. Trust me, it looked so tightly scheduled! Also, Japanese swear by time.

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After a brief round of introduction, we were provided a 3G wireless router and a 3G mobile phone. Needless to mention, both were on the NTT Docomo network, giving us great connectivity!

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It was time for a group photograph!

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We were then taken to the Docomo Future Station – A studio featuring some of the amazing technologies I had ever come across!

NTT Docomo offers a varied range of phones under the categories: Docomo Style, Prime, Smart and Pro.

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Amongst several mobiles phones, we saw Japanese version of Samsung Galaxy S carrying Android Froyo, Sony Ericsson phones, and several models of Lynx. They also had locked Blackberry phones and Windows based handsets.

Japan is not only the land of rising sun, but a land where the first commercial 3G was launched! Japan has experienced 3G for a few years already and are shortly moving to the next gen mobile technology termed LTE (Long-Term-Evolution) which has far more capabilities and of course, the speed!

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Controlling a car using a touch screen device. Interesting, huh?

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Experiencing a 3D virtual museum where in you control the movement by waving your hands in the air was mind blowing!

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After all of this, a cup of tea was much needed!

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We then moved to another Indian restaurant for dinner.

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The next morning started off with an awesome breakfast which had Japanese omelets! I had only heard of them. 🙂

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What happened next was amazing! Using the mobile phones we were given a day before, we could buy burgers at McDonald’s. These were smart NFC enabled devices which were capable of being loaded with cash!

This is where one needs to touch his phone;

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This is what you do after that!

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We then headed to the Docomo Smart Lounge showcasing some of cool, lifestyle devices that included Samsung Galaxy Tab amongst other devices from Sony, Blackberry and Lynx!

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A Samsung Galaxy Tab, powered by NTT Docomo;

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We were then taken to the NTT Group Note Lounge in Otemachi. Sadly, we were not allowed to take pictures for obvious reasons.

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That was the last official destination we had. Following which, we headed to Akhiabara market, which is one of the famous electronic hubs of Japan. You can get anything you think about in technology. From Android based tablets to iPads. Not all are cheap though.

Lucky enough, we got good deals on Canon cameras and 3 of us picked, one each!

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The second day dinner was in our hotel where we were treated by the hosts from NTT Docomo. It was a great dinner, full of awesome conversations on technology, culture, languages, people and more!

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The next and the last day, we could get a chance for some local sight seeing and then a revisit to Akhiabara!

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Soon, we headed to the airport on a flight which was delayed for around 12 hours!

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Overall, it was an amazing journey to the land of 3G with fellow folks – Shitij (from TATA Docomo), Honey Singh (HoneytechBlog.com), Arun Prabhudesai (Hover.in) and Clinton Jeff (zomgitscj.com).

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Thank you Tata Docomo for sponsoring this trip. We’ll cherish it for years to come!

P.S.: I could take more than 500 pictures across 3 days. Some of them may be found here and here!

 

Praval

 

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