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Annual Outing to Mt Takao and Dinner at Ukai Toriyama, May 24th 2008, 12:00 - 19:00

May Outing (guests and family members welcome):
Saturday, May 24th (12:00 – 19:00)

If you would like to join us on our annual excursion to Mount Takao and Ukai Toriyama, please contact Tim Minton (t.minton[at]camford[dot]org). There is no obligation to take part in both parts of the day's progamme, so please indicate if you would like to participate only in the hike or the dinner.

The cost of dinner at Ukai Toriyama is 6,000 yen, which includes tax, service and a limited supply of drinks.

Mount Takao and Ukai Toriyama, May 24th 2008

Saturday, May 24th.
It was with the weather forecast threatening rain that we optimistically gathered outside Takao-sanguchi station for a (not so) bright and breezy midday start to our day of hiking and dining on May 24th. Some stragglers (namely Charlotte Lewis and myself) were somewhat late having been enthralled by the Trick Art Museum a couple of minutes away, warily suggested to us all by Tim Minton. We finally escaped its maze of rooms with hidden doors – tricky indeed - pausing for some quick shots in the mouth of a great painted gorilla on the way, to join the party and set off on the hike.
Mt Takao & Ukai Toriyama - streamMt Takao & Ukai Toriyama - stream
The first few drops of rain ominously started to fall, and those of us who were somewhat unprepared for inclement weather were relieved to hear that Phil’s backpack was full of assorted jumpers and provisions. Luckily the rain stopped soon after, and didn’t bother us for the rest of the walk. In fact the weather was perfect hiking weather, neither too hot nor too cold.
Some of our party broke off to climb the mountain in a cable car while the rest of us carried up and on by foot. Passing through the greenery and along mountain streams, the walk was very pleasant although increasingly strenuous as we neared the top.
As we walked we talked, changing conversational partners as we variously fell behind or caught up, muttering the odd greeting to those passing in the other direction. Occasionally we’d pass Chris Parry going in one direction and then the other as he put us all to shame by nimbly running up and down and along the mountain range all day.
Posted in | Submitted by huw.williams on Sat, 2008-05-24 02:00.
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Buffet Dinner at Nambu Tei, Hibiya Park, Tuesday, April 22nd, 18:30 - 21:00

We will have exclusive use of this popular French restaurant’s ground floor and leafy terrace.

Address: 1-2 Hibiya Park, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-0012, Tel. 03-3591-1023


Attendance fee: 7,000 yen
(Payment is required in advance; account details will be sent to those who apply to attend. There will be no refunds for cancellations after the closing date.)

There is no particular dress code for this event.

If you would like to attend, please contact Tim Minton (t.minton[at]camford[dot]org) by Friday, April 18.

Nambutei buffet dinner, 22 April 2008

Nambutei Buffet Dinner, 22 April 2008

On Tuesday 22 April, 34 C&O members and guests made the annual Society pilgrimage to the charming restaurant Nambutei, which stands on the southern edge of Tokyo’s Hibiya Park. Tucked away in the trees, out of sight of Kokkai-dori, the busy main road, Nambutei provides a welcome haven from the bustle of the frenetic metropolis.

Nambutei buffet dinner group photo 2008Nambutei buffet dinner group photo 2008

In attendance at the buffet dinner were three new members, Dr Ken Shackleton (The Queen’s, Oxford, 1998–2002), James Thomas (St Anne’s, Oxford, 1997–2001) and Anthony Walker (Trinity, Cambridge, 1995–1999), and two visitors, Toshiyuki Yamanaka (St Edmund’s, Cambridge), the honorary secretary of the Kansai Chapter of C&O, and Clive Galliver (Trinity, Cambridge), who was on a visit to Japan.

As always, the restaurant laid on a magnificent buffet spread, which was devoured with alacrity by the assembled throng—the Pasta Bolognese disappearing at particularly impressive speed. The food was washed down with copious amounts of good wine, and the buzz of animated conversation drifting out from the restaurant patio into the night air made the venue that much easier for late-comers to find.

After an hour or so of conviviality, Terry Nakamura quieted the hubbub and introduced the new members and visitors. Tim Minton then made a few society announcements and conveyed the sad news that our much-loved current president, Sir Graham Fry, would soon be leaving Japan to return home to Britain—his tenure as ambassador at an end. (Happily, however, his diplomatic successor David Warren is due to take over the reins as Society president also.) Tim appealed to the assembled company for ideas for a parting gift for Sir Graham, noting that he is a keen bird-watcher. The more ribald suggestions being ignored, it was decided that the society would buy the ambassador a print depicting avian life in Japan.
Posted in | Submitted by huw.williams on Tue, 2008-04-22 09:00.
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Dinner at Tokyo Kaikan's Crystal Restaurant Kasumigaseki Bldg, 24th March 2008

On March 24th we gathered for the very first, and also, very last time at Tokyo Kaikan's Crystal Restaurant on the 35th floor of the Kasumigaseki Building. The restaurant was to close down very soon as the building is due to be redeveloped.
Tokyo Kaikan Dinner 2008Tokyo Kaikan Dinner 2008
Around 20 members attended making for rather a cosy atmosphere. The assembled party enjoyed a buffet dinner and took in spectacular night views along Sotobori-dori to the towers of Shiodome and the Tokyo Bay Bridge beyond. We welcomed one new member, Prof. Yamada, and also said goodbye to another, Pedro Da Costa who was returning to Portugal to take up a research post in Oporto. Doreen Simmons took the opportunity to point out to all those present the significance of the Kasumigaseki Building: when it was built in 1968, it had been the first building in Tokyo permitted to exceed 8 storeys. We may nowadays take for granted buildings of 30 and 40 storeys plus springing up all over the city but the Kasumigaseki Building was the pioneer. Simon Lloyd added that he had worked on the 32nd floor for many years and that, although in 1968 it was said that the building had been built to a standard that was 300% better than the required anti-earthquake safety measures of the time, experiencing an earthquake whilst on the 32nd floor was really a rather frightening experience.
Tokyo Kaikan Dinner 2008 -2Tokyo Kaikan Dinner 2008 -2
Posted in | Submitted by huw.williams on Mon, 2008-03-24 09:30.
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Buffet Dinner at Tokyo Kaikan's Restaurant "Crystal", Kasumigaseki Building, March 24, 2008, 18:30 – 21:00

The restaurant is on the 35th Floor of the Kasumigaseki Building and commands a fine view of central Tokyo. Our event will be held in a private room that can accommodate up to 50 people.

Address: 3-2-5 Kasumigaseki, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, Tel. 03-3581-0420


Attendance fee: 7,500 yen
(Payment is required in advance; account details will be sent to those who apply to attend. There will be no refunds for cancellations after the closing date.)

Dress Code: Jacket and tie

If you would like to attend, please contact Tim Minton (t.minton[at]camford[dot]org) by Thursday, March 20.

Seated Dinner at The Tokyo Club, 14th February, 2008

Reception and aperitifs from 18:00; dinner from 19:00
Address: 9-14 Roppongi 1-chome, Minato-ku;
Tel. (03)-5114-0555
Subway access from Roppongi 1-chome, Kamiyacho, Tameike Sanno stations; detailed directions will be sent to those attending.

Cost: 8,000 yen (7,500 yen for Tokyo Club members)
Payment required in advance; account details will be sent to those who apply to attend.

Dress Code: Jacket and tie

If you wish to attend this event, please reply by Monday, 11th February to Tim Minton, Honorary Secretary, by e-mail (t.minton[at] or fax (044-945-5716).

Those who cancel after the closing date will not be refunded.

Dinner at Tokyo Club, 31st October, 2007

By now our members are no strangers to the handsome clubhouse in Roppongi 1-chome, on the same road as the Swedish Embassy, the American Embassy and the Hotel Okura, and almost in the shadow of the gigantic Ark Hills. On Wednesday 31st October 51 Camford members and guests gathered for dinner. The 6:15 for 7:00 starting time gave the early birds an opportunity to socialize over a glass of wine or two; those of us whose work goes on to a little later may have missed the conversation but were kindly allowed to catch up on the wine.

The Tokyo Club is a private and very exclusive club that only a year or two back began to allow outside parties to use the premises, provided that they were arranged by a member, and on this occasion our ‘host’ Terry Nakamura began the evening by reading us our rights, or more strictly, defining the spaces available for our use. Apart from the usual facilities we had a very nice private dining room, and after dinner, the spacious lobby outside for final drinks. Terry stressed that the Library, which was on the same floor, was out-of-bounds to non-Members, but we had, after all, gone there to eat and drink in good company and no-one seemed tempted to trespass.

Tokyo Club Dinner Oct 2007  - 1Tokyo Club Dinner Oct 2007 - 1

Tokyo Club Dinner Oct 2007  - 2Tokyo Club Dinner Oct 2007 - 2

So that we would know what we were eating, Terry had also kindly obtained a translation of the menu, which was all in French. The food, in whatever language, was right up to the usual standard, though before the dessert the waiters seemed a little bemused to carry away so many untouched salads; it appears that many of the British and British-educated still have not taken to the American custom of serving a salad on the side.

Two new members were introduced (Jenny Barb [Clare Cambridge 1978] and Hisao Shiomi [Faculty of Law, Cambridge, 2002]) along with one returnee (Jason James, King’s Cambridge 1983).

Though the Roppongi premises are now the home of the Tokyo Club, its former site in front of the Kasumigaseki Building has gone through yet another transformation. September 26th saw the opening of the new Tokyo Club Building, partly owned by the club, whose immediate impact is as the home of some up-market restaurants.

Tokyo Club Dinner Oct 2007  - 3Tokyo Club Dinner Oct 2007 - 3

Tokyo Club Dinner Oct 2007  - 4Tokyo Club Dinner Oct 2007 - 4

Tim and Huw looking far too serious, and Phil thinking of something to say to the photographer.

Tokyo Club Dinner Oct 2007  - 5Tokyo Club Dinner Oct 2007 - 5

Tokyo Club Dinner Oct 2007  - 6Tokyo Club Dinner Oct 2007 - 6

Tokyo Club Dinner Oct 2007  - 7Tokyo Club Dinner Oct 2007 - 7

After the dinner at the Tokyo Club, we moved on to a Nijikai at Aux Bacchanale in Ark Hills. We were a little pressed for time with only ten minutes to last orders. But a very pleasant autumn evening with plenty of wine to keep us going.

Tokyo Club Dinner Oct 2007  - 8Tokyo Club Dinner Oct 2007 - 8

Tokyo Club Dinner Oct 2007  - 9Tokyo Club Dinner Oct 2007 - 9

As before we are grateful to Terry Nakamura for arranging for us to have a very pleasant evening. Now that Tim Minton has also become a club member, perhaps we have a back-up.

Posted in | Submitted by huw.williams on Wed, 2007-10-31 18:00.
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2007 Autumn Golf Outing to Windsor Park Country Club, Ibaragi October 20-21.

Inspirational round from Oxford Ace, Miller, puts Dark Blues ahead.

Golf 2007 Ibaraki Group Photo

The series tied at 15-15, a group of ten assembled at lunchtime on Saturday in near perfect conditions and put in half a round in order to sharpen our games for the tournament on Sunday. An early indication of intent was given by Alex Miller, who drove the green of the par 4 seventh, which clearly unsettled the Cambridge contingent and gave heart to his Oxford team-mates.

Golf 2007 Ibaraki Nineteenth Hole

However, by midnight it looked like all attempts to sharpen our games had been futile; 12 bottles of wine, dessert wine and a bottle of port later, it seemed unlikely that the quality of golf on Sunday would be of the normal caliber.

Four hours later, the loyal England supporters in our party were watching the Rugby World Cup final (which sadly England lost to South Africa) and were looking doubtful for a 7.30 tee-off.

Golf 2007 Ibaraki Camford Room
Then at 6.30 History was made; for the first time in its 20 year history, The Windsor Park Country club hosted a party in the Oxford and Cambridge Suite for the Cambridge and Oxford Society, and Champagne flowed.

Golf 2007 Ibaraki Fairway

Posted in | Submitted by huw.williams on Sun, 2007-10-21 00:00.
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Odaiba Day

On Saturday 8th September the Society held the "Odaiba Day" events.
The first event was the visit to Oedo Onsen Monogatari, the urban onsen which some members had enjoyed on the occasion of the Society's 100th anniversary celebrations in 2005. This time 7 members and guests gathered to take the plunge and enjoy the somewhat confusing experience of old Edo in the ultra-modern surroundings of Odaiba.

The 7, fully revitalised and refreshed by their bathing, joined another
12 attendees at the Shiokaze no Koen barbecue area quite close to the waterside. As it turned out, the onsen had provided relaxation for muscles and sinews that would soon need to go straight into action assembling tables, chairs and barbecues themselves.

Odaiba Day - Group activitiesOdaiba Day - Group activities

Odaiba Day - Julian hard at workOdaiba Day - Julian hard at work

The scene resembled something out of the Krypton Factor or an Army Officer Initiative Course as Cambridge and Oxford graduates of all ages and both sexes struggled to understand exactly how the subtle catches and sliding pieces slotted into place.

Odaiba Day - Ladies at workOdaiba Day - Ladies at work

Posted in | Submitted by huw.williams on Sat, 2007-09-08 05:00.
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