Message from Mr. Pillai Abhishek Lakshman

Please give a short introduction of yourself.

Greetings from the Land of the Rising Sun. I’m Abhishek Pillai, a second year PhD student at Kyoto University (Dept. of Mechanical Engg. & Science). My research involves the investigation of combustion noise phenomena in gaseous combustion & multiphase reacting flows (i.e. Spray Combustion) using Numerical/Computational approaches. I like travelling, hiking, socializing, music, karaoke and trying out new cuisines.


What is your favorite thing about Kyoto?

What I like most about Kyoto is its calm atmosphere. Kyoto is a city surrounded by hills with abundant natural beauty. It is the cultural center of Japan and the symbol of Japanese traditions. Kyoto is one of the few modern cities in the world where ancient and contemporary architecture coexist. The harmony between tradition and modernity is simply astounding.


In what way has your impression of Kyoto or Japan changed since coming here?

When I was growing up, I got a glimpse into Japanese culture and society through Manga (Japanese comics), Anime, and Japanese movies, which piqued my curiosity. I came to Japan with high expectations and after having lived here for almost 2 years now, I have to say that Japan and Kyoto have surpassed my expectations. My professors, colleagues, friends and the Japanese people in general, have made me feel welcomed here. The people are very kind and friendly.

What attracted you to choose Kyoto University as a place to study?

Kyoto University is one of the best Universities in Japan and the world. It is internationally recognized and offers academic programs across vast areas of study. The curriculum and research being conducted at Kyodai is on par with (and in some areas even better than) other top international Universities. Kyoto University as well as other Universities in Japan have access to state of the art research facilities. Another factor that attracted me to choose Kyoto University was its location, i.e. Kyoto city itself.


In what way did you adjust yourself to Japanese culture?

For me, the transition into the Japanese culture and the way of life was natural and felt effortless. But, maybe that’s not the case for everyone. I know that some of my friends (from other foreign countries) needed more time to adapt to life in Japan, since a lot of things were new to them. But, in my opinion, adjusting to Japanese culture is easy and students shouldn’t shy away from choosing Japan as their study destination.


Please give a message to students or researchers in your home country who may be thinking about studying in Japan?

Japan is a very promising destination for higher education. I would definitely recommend Japan and Japanese Universities to aspiring students and researchers. There are lot of good opportunities in terms of education and research. Having said that, I would also like to give a heads up to students considering Japan as their study destination. I feel that it would better if you learn the language, as it will be helpful for daily life. Some might find the culture and life here, new and very different from what they are used to and if you have restrictions regarding certain foods (e.g. If you are a vegetarian or vegan), I suggest you prepare accordingly in advance. And lastly, try to get to know more about Japan as it will be very useful. I’m sure that you’ll learn a lot here and be pleasantly surprised. Good luck.