Message from Mr. Nishant Mital

Please give a short introduction of yourself.

I graduated with a Master of Technology (M.Tech) degree in Biotechnology from SASTRA University, INDIA. Currently, I am in third year of doctoral program at Keio University School of Medicine.

What is your favorite thing about Tokyo?

As Japan’s largest city, capital, main economic zone, and seat of government, Tokyo’s credentials are already pretty impressive on paper. But, what I love the most is that Tokyo is simply thriving with activity always. Everywhere you turn someone’s hurrying off somewhere with a sense of purpose. The sidewalks are absolutely crawling with people all day long, yet not one scrap of rubbish is strewn on the pathways or dropped as litter. So for me, the most colorful aspect to Tokyo isn’t just its impressive infrastructures but the people. They are always kind, polite and helpful and keep the city so clean to the point where it almost looks brand new. Tokyo is the city which has not lost its traditions in light of its rapid, modern growth.

(photo: Tokyo from Mita Campus: the main campus of Keio University)


In what way has your impression of Tokyo changed since coming here?

Even with the extreme language barrier, a local will always try to help you in the best way they can. Every time I have asked for directions, the person hasn’t just pointed, they have walked me right to the spot – whether that’s the correct train platform or a destination that’s a 10-minute walk away. Others happily get out their mobile phones and get technical with the GPS. For a nation of people who strictly adhere to time, they always have time for you. For the kindness of strangers, arigato (thank you) Japan.

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

Keio University is a world-renowned university that has contributed extensively to Japan in international research and education. During my sprouting career, I used to consult the research publications of Professors Keiichi Fukuda in the field of cardiovascular medicine. Ever since then, I always wanted to graduate from his lab at Keio University School of Medicine.

(photo: Graduate School of Medicine, Shinanomachi Campus, Keio University)


In what way did you adjust yourself to Japanese culture?

The Japanese are polite, welcoming and follow a strict etiquette that you should try to uphold too, and unlike most cities where people become a little uptight, Tokyo hasn’t lost its civility. Bowing when saying hello and thank you is the norm, as is giving and receiving items and gifts with both hands. Even when it comes to paying, your money should be placed in the plastic tray provided, and it’s where your change will be returned. Guesthouse owners go out of their way for you and shop workers are some of the cheeriest people you will meet. It really is a beautiful thing to encounter on a daily basis. Another point I like to add is - Japan is a country of expert time keeping and Tokyo, despite it’s frantic city status, still adheres to the rule; and I am slowly adjusting to all these small yet important Japanese cultural traits.


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

I strongly recommend students to think about Japan as a place to complete their graduation as quality of education and research in Japanese Universities is outstanding. Apart from research, you will get to learn modesty and punctuality, which is definitely most important in a long run.