Tokyo Tech News
The 39th Suzukake Festival and Open Campus were held at Suzukakedai Campus on May 13 and 14, 2017. After a spell of unfortunate weather on the first day, the skies cleared up on Day Two, attracting roughly 3,000 visitors to the lush grounds on the border of Tokyo and Yokohama.
This year's festival was particularly special. Things kicked off with a pre-event on May 12 — an open lecture on autophagy by Honorary Professor and Nobel Laureate Yoshinori Ohsumi. The 260 participants who filled the auditorium included Tokyo Tech faculty, students, and members of the public. After his talk, Ohsumi answered questioned from excited middle school, high school, and university students wanting to learn more about the professor's work.
On May 13, members of the Tokyo Tech Alumni Association held Kurarika, a science class for elementary and middle school students, providing 140 youngsters with a chance to get their hands into science. Student clubs, including Science Techno and BioCreativeStaff, also held handicraft workshops for 45 children. As in previous years, festivalgoers were able to enjoy lab walk-ins, Tokyo Tech Museum displays, food and drink tents, juggling performances, concerts, and many other attractions.
Building on their cooperation agreement to promote the convergence of art and science, the Institute again teamed up with Joshibi University of Art and Design to organize Joshibi Picnic, a new event in collaboration with Tokyo Tech Museum. The event consisted of two parts — Gallery Talk and Body Art. Gallery Talk provided the opportunity to hear from budding artists displaying their works at the Peripatos Open Gallery. Body Art featured other Joshibi talents brightening up the day of elementary school students with various body-painting creations, including Kotaro, the Tokyo Tech swallow mascot. With 24 university students guiding the sessions over two days, a total of 488 participants enjoyed these highlights.
In June 2016, the Suzukakedai ring road opened to provide improved safety and access around the scenic campus. One week before the Suzukake Festival, this road was put to full use during the first Suzukake Peripatos Ekiden, a relay race joined by 29 four-member teams of all ages. Top performers received their prizes at this year's Suzukake Festival.
While aiming to emphasize the Open Campus aspect through more lab walk-ins and information sessions for potential students, this year's festival was also boosted by a variety of new activities and special events aimed at all age groups of the public. Tokyo Tech looks forward to seeing many new faces at the next Suzukake Festival.