Monday, April 30, 2007

World's Tallest Structure Up To 2020

Here are the the world's tallest structure in present and some are yet to be built but in planning up to the year 2020. It started from Eiffel Tower in Paris for just merely 318 metres built in 1887. At the moment the tallest structure standing is Taipei 101 in Taiwan which stands at 508 metres. But in less than 13 years time, the tallest structure on earth could doubled the height of Taipei 101. Planned to be built in Shanghai with 300 floors and 1228 metres, it should be completed by the year 2020.
Location: Paris
Height: 318m
Floors: N/A
Year completed: 1887
Location: Chicago, Illinois
Height: 443m
Floors: 110
Year completed: 1973
Location: Shanghai
Height: 421m
Floors: 88
Year completed: 1998
Location: Kuala Lumpur
Height: 452m
Floors: 88
Year completed: 1998
Location: Dubai
Height: 321m
Floors: N/A
Year completed: 1999
Location: Taipei
Height: 508m
Floors: 101
Year completed: 2004
Location: Shanghai
Height: 492m
Floors: 101
Year completed: 2007 (to be completed)
Location: Tokyo
Height: 600m
Floors: N/A
Year completed: 2007 (to be completed)
Location: Dubai
Height: 705m
Floors: 160
Year completed: 2008 (to be completed)
Location: Guangzhou, Shanghai
Height: 514.8m
Floors: 131
Year completed: 2010 (to be completed)
Location: WTC Manhattan, New York
Height: 541m
Floors: 69
Year completed: 2010 (to be completed)
Location: Shanghai
Height: 1228m
Floors: 300
Year completed: 2020 (to be completed)

Sunday, April 29, 2007

A Great Start To The Golden Week

WARNING: The following post is kinda long compared to my usual entry. The text is quite long, and the same goes with the photos (50 photos!).
Well, the Golden Week had actually started today. But for my course, I still got class on next Tuesday and Wednesday. So, we couldn't go down Tokyo any earlier. So we'll be going down to Tokyo on Thursday morning instead. Anyway, back to today's activity, we went to 国営越後丘陵公園 (Echigo National Hillside Park) which is about half and hour drive from our kosen. We set off at around 8.40am and on the way there, we stop by a convenience store to get some snacks and drinks.
the main entrance to the park
with tulips as the foreground
The weather today was by far the best since we arrived in Nagaoka 1 month ago. The sun was shining, the sky was blue, the wind was not too strong, no rain of course, everything was just perfect. When we reached there, there was already quite a number of people. But lucky us coz there were still parking bays available. While walking into the park, we met up with a Malaysian family who is from Niigata University of Technology (技大). According to our sensei who took us there, there's no payment needed to enter the park today compared to the usual price of about 400yen (around RM15). After putting our stuff in the locker, we started off with climbing a stair which I estimated about 300 steps high! Since it was so cold, we stopped a couple of times.
the stairs I mentioned is on the right
After reaching up there, we stop a while and then started our jungle trekking. Well, it wasn't exactly jungle trekking, but I don't know what I should call it. The next stop was an observatory tower. Again we got to climb stairs! I can tell you it's really tiring! But the view from the top is just breathtaking. Then we continue our trekking for the next 1 hour. While walking, we chat around among us and with the sensei as well.
some views from the obsevatory deck
the range of mountains in far background still got snows on them
After finishing off the trekking, when we were walking back to the park, there was an almost unbelievable scene. The traffic was just from bumper to bumper. Looking around at the parking bays, the cars there were nearing 10,000! And that didn't include those who were lining up waiting. The long line was stretched for as long as a few kilometres! I think this is because #1 Today is Sunday; #2 It's the starting of Golden Week; #3 (and the main reason I think!) It's free today!
just look at the parking bay (this is just one part!) and the cars waiting in line (top of the pic)
We later went looking for a suitable picnic spot, but it wasn't a hard task since the park is quite huge. But the places near the tulips are almost fully packed. While eating, we did the 自己紹介 again! I'm not sure how many times we have done this, but they (the Japanese) seems like very like it. Takahashi sensei's mum who was there as well also revealed she went climbing Mount Fuji with her daughter few years ago. And unexpectedly, it was Takahashi sensei who had most of the trouble climbing it.
there are water fountains as well
By the time we finished eating, it was already 12.40pm. So we were given an hour long free to wonder around the park. Ridzuan and I went walking around and taking pictures, especially the tulips. I just can't stop taking the pictures of the tulips.
red, orange and white tulips
carpets of red and pink tulips
red and orange tulips
pink with some white stripes
this shot is just nice, right?
yellow tulips
me in front of the tulips
carpets of tulips of different colours
red is the theme today
Then we went into a building and inside were some exhibition and some shops selling souvenirs. When the time is up, we gathered again and headed to the next stop: the seaside in 柏崎市 (Kashinozaki).
aren't these 2 Japanese kids cute? (I've asked the permission of their mum before taking their pics)
some of the wooden house
which was build in detail
there were dolls inside it as well
the biggest model of the lot
in front of an arch at the park
I don't know if this is just for kids (but it looks like it's mainly for kids!)
in the end, 4 of us took photo together!
still can't stop taking pics of tulips even though we were walking out of the park
I guess you guys must be tired reading this entry already, but as I 'warned' earlier, this is just the half time break. There is another half to go.
後少し。。。頑張れ!

The journey the seaside in Kashinozaki took about 1 hour. On the way there, I began feeling sleepy. But since I sat in the front seat, I got no choice but to accompany my sensei to chat. If I were to sleep as well, it's like 不好意思 (segan in BM?).
the magnificent red Yonehashi (Yone Bridge) by the sea
this is the JR train station which is the nearest to the sea in whole Japan
in front of the日本海 (Sea of Japan)
After reaching there, we went down till the seaside (not a beach anyway) and spend some time there. This is my first time going to a seaside in Japan. The water was just beautiful. If the Kitar Semula campaign in Malaysia applies 3R, for this one, it's 3C: Clean, Clear, Crystal. From the beach the view of 米山 (Mount Yone) behind the red 米橋 (Yone Bridge) was just magnificent.
the Yoneyama and Yonehashi
some view of the sea
blue sea
There was also a spot called 恋人岬 (Lover's Point) where couples will tie a pair of lock on the wood there. There are all sorts of messages being written here. One of the examples was: <誰かの名前>は<誰かの名前>をずっっっとずっっっと愛してる!(someone loves someone forever and ever). Hmm, interesting. I wished I could try this some time :)
恋人岬 (Lover's Point)
couples will ring this bell before tying the lock behind
shot from the seaside
the water bursting upwards is made by the whales (if you believe me!)
I like this shot
last shot, by the rocks at the seaside
By 4pm, we started to head back to Nagaoka. This time, I couldn't stand coz I was too sleepy. So I slept for almost the whole journey. We reached the kosen at around 5pm. It was pretty tiring, considering we had spend the whole day going from place to place. But I think we should thank the sensei who took us to the 2 places today. I think our exhaustion just paid off. I guess the sensei here treat the foreign students really well as they always make sure our welfare is taken care properly. The next activity for us will be on July. But the one I looking forward is 長岡大花火大会 (Nagaoka Fireworks Festival) in early August.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

And I Got My New Phone Today

After getting my alien card yesterday, I went out with Foong Yin, Hasan, Yan Kuang and Muazam to register for our new handphone. When we went to the Softbank branch (it's a handphone company, not a bank!) at Eki, they don't allow us to get a new phone unless we bring our passport along. Although we brought our alien card together, but since all three of us didn't bring our passport there, so we couldn't get our phone. We waited for our alien card to be done for so long all this while just to register our new phone, yet we still couldn't get a phone. Sigh. But anyway, since we going to the newly opened (just 2 weeks ago) shopping complex, リバーサイト千秋 (Riverside Senshu) near Jusco, we decided to try there.
Before we went to the Softbank branch at Eki, we met with one of our senpai, Ebby who was waiting there with William. She was from Nagaoka Kosen and who is currently studying at Niigata University. It was nice chatting with her though. So after that, we set to Riverside Senshu and there, we met with 3 more senpai (5th grader), Yati, Ayu and Syida. After exchanging some words and some ice cream, we went searching for the Softbank branch there.
911T-my new phone
After some recommendations from Yati, I decided to take the 911T model which was quite expensive, but I guess it's worth it. While doing the registration thing with some help from Yati, I got my phone without paying a single yen at that time. Yes, I'm serious. It's because the payment will be completed through my bank and it's in a monthly basis. I was also asked to pick a free gift which I pick a towel coz I feel it's pretty nice.
instead of the normal flip-over pad, this phone's pad is a push-up pad
the towel I got
Before getting out from the outlet, as there were children’s snack on display, we took (quite a lot actually) them and eat some while the remaining ones, we put into our bags. Then the girls went shopping (that’s nothing surprising at all, right?) for a few hours! Before going back, we had our dinner there at a Chinese restaurant, since Yati wanted to eat Chinese food. This is the second time she went to the same restaurant in one day (coz she had her lunch there as well!)
some of the snacks we took home (siao, right?)
When I was back in hostel, only I realised that I'm the only one (out of the 8 new students) who got a phone at the moment. So in other words, I'm the first to get a new phone. Muazam will be getting his phone next Monday, while for Yan Kuang, he's still under aged (technically). Maybe here their policy is much stricter. So, I guess the rest will be getting their phone in Tokyo during the Golden Week.