Immediately after the press conference, we left Tokyo for Isesako, about an hour East of the capital city. There, we started our visits to our Japanese customers. At our first stop, the entire R&D department were there to welcome us as the iglide car entered the grounds. About 20 people gathered to get a closer look at the car, and learn about igus products.
Currently, the customer is testing where our bearings would work best in his exhaust system. Millions of iglide bearings are installed into new cars every year, so I am sure he and igus engineers will work together to find the perfect solution. Even though they are plastic, the iglide bearings are not affected by high temperatures, and are an inexpensive and lightweight alternative to metal. Believe us? We filmed the following clip in Taiwan, proving the resilience of iglide bearings in high temperatures.
Though the trip from Tokyo to Isesaki should have taken about an hour, it took us more than double that! First, we had to pass the suburbs of Tokyo, some were as large as major European cities!
As you leave the city behind, everything slowly turns a bright green. Our route brought us right to the center of the island – in the summer, the mountains are transformed into a famous ski area. For now, though, we are able to see the real Japanese countryside.
As more and more people move to the metropolitan areas, the rural areas become more and more abandoned. While they are shrinking, the cities are booming. Most Japanese people that grow up in the country leave their villages behind for the city. With their villages, they are leaving behind traditional cultural practices, like food. I had the chance to taste a traditional fish dinner, which was incredibly delicious.
One evening, we visited a restaurant and bar where an old woman both cooked and served traditional “Grandma food.” We all know that grandmothers are the best cooks, and she was no exception!
After visiting “the grandmother bar,” we continued our journey towards the sea. Along the way, we stopped to visit a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the historic village of Gokayama. The village is preserved as a traditional village with wooden houses and straw roofs.
From Gokayama, we continued on to Hakui, which is located on the coast of the Sea of Japan. Seeing as iglide bearings are water resistant, we took the opportunity to take the car along the shores of the sea.
iglide bearings are all water resistant and corrosion free. We also offer special bearings that are exclusively manufactured for meeting the demand of under-water applications. iglide H, our underwater specialist, is the perfect choice for water, but also a variety of chemicals and other fluids.
Currently, I’m writing to you from Kyoto, where we are going to visit a very traditional and important Japanese site. I’ll tell you all about it soon.