I'm off to Wako-shi northwest of Tokyo. Wako is not called "The Pearl of Saitama", the birthplace of no celebrities of note and not the site of a fondly remembered romantic drama from the 1950's that now doesn't draw hordes of visitors eager to walk the same cobblestoned streets as the young couple in the movie, on account of no such movie existing.
Its claim to fame, relatively speaking, is instead the Riken institute headquarters. The research project I'm a small part of is financed through Riken, so it's a natural place for us to hold project meetings. It's far enough that I can't get there the same day; instead I leave this afternoon, stay in illustrious Ikebukuro and take the train out to Wako tomorrow morning. I can just make the last Shinkansen to Osaka tomorrow, which gets me to my front door right about half past midnight. Pretty OK.
If that maglev between Tokyo and Osaka ever becomes reality I'd be able to make this a day trip - more likely I'm already retired by then of course.