The first 500Km

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We started to head out of Tokyo straight after the press conference, towards our first destination; Isesaki, which is around one hour east of the capital city. Once in Isesaki, we visited the first of our beloved customers. As iglidur® approached upon the business property, it was fantastic to be greeted by the whole R&D department, with around 20 members gathering to not only take a look at the car, yet be informed about the numerous igus® products involved.

The customer has a current need for the use of bearings within his exhaust system, and is thus testing those of igus’. One application area could be in the throttle body. iglidur® bearings, guiding the throttle valve, could be said to be a classic worldwide application, where a wide range of customers have been relying on self-lubricating iglidur® bearings for their throttle valve for many years.

iglidur® bearings endure high temperatures without any problems and are a cost-effective and light alternative to heavy metal bearings. Suspicious? The following video clip, made in Taiwan, is showing very lively how resistant igus® plain bearings are against heat:

Although Isesaki was only about one hour drive from Tokyo, it altogether took us 2-3 hours to get there. Initially, we had to pass the suburbs of the greatest city on earth, yet some of these “suburbs” are as large as major European cities. Sooner or later when you eventually leave Tokyo, all the scenery turns to green landscapes.

The route in which we embarked upon lead us right to the city centre. In winter, the mountains turn into a famous skiing-area whereas in summer, there is a real contrast in season where you can experience the real countryside of Japan.

As in most developed countries, the rural part gets more and more abandoned. Despite a shrinking population, the big cities are growing. The majority of people growing up in the countryside leave their villages behind. With their villages, they also leave behind traditional dishes, all of them incredibly delicious. Although the picture below at a first glance looks likes potatoes, it is actually grind fish. Somehow, it gets the potato look and even has a similar consistency.

One evening we went to a restaurant/bar where an old lady, cooking and serving at the same time, made traditional “grandma” food… which simply was the best in the world.

Karaoke, invented in Japan, is a must in traditional bars. It was evident that the people gathering there had been doing Karaoke their entire life. Everyone, including the very old cook of the house, had a pleasant and unique voice. It was surely not contributing to my self-confidence when it was my turn to get up to sing something.

From the old Grandmothers bar, we continued our journey on heading towards the sea. On the way, we had the chance to visit an UNESCO world heritage site.

The village is preserved in a very traditional way with wooden houses that have a roof made out of straw.

From the world heritage site we ended up at Hakui, which is located at the sea. As iglidur® is water resistant, we took the opportunity to take the car to the shore of the Japanese sea.

igus® bearings are all water resistant as well as corrosion free. Based on this, we offer special bearings that are exclusively manufactured for meeting the demand of under-water applications.  iglidur® H, our water specialist, is the perfect choice not only for water but also fluids and chemicals respectively.

Anyway, I will keep you up to date,

Yours, Sascha.