Friday, February 22, 2008

Yuki Akari

雪明り (Yuki akari) which literally means "the light of snow" was the theme of one of the events during the recently held Nagaoka Snow Festival in my place. It was similar to that which is held in Hokkaido; the only difference being the fact that it is in a smaller scale.
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In recent years, it appeared that this is a major attraction of the annual snow festival. If it wasn't for the heavy snow, it would have made the atmosphere just perfect to spend a night there despite the chilling conditions. It was a clever idea by the Japanese to utilise the surrounding which is covered with snow by making rows of holes and later lighting candles in those holes.
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At some spots, they even made the holes come in double layers.
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The feeling being there was serenely beautiful and it didn't come to my surprise that there were many couples were spotted spending their sweet moments holding hands there. It wouldn't get any more romantic than this, with the snow flakes falling down on that night. As for the rest who thronged that area, it would be photography enthusiasts who ignored the freezing wind blowing that night to have their best shots on the illumunated scene from the candles.
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As one of the events for the earthquake recovery invocation, this annual event doesn't fail to attract thousands of visitors each year. This illumination event was cancelled a few years back due the to bad weather but fortunately enough, the weather was rather kind this year. Besides the setting up of candles in the holes, there were also triangular monument made of fibre. To have them going along with the candles, it felt like spending some time in a fantasy land.
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For a person with a cheap camera and without a tripod like me, it was not a simple task not to come out with disappointing blurry shots. The snow, which got heavier as the night progressed didn't make my job any easier. The freezing temperature which I was kept under, made me lost my touching sense on the camera shutter. My numb fingers couldn't even press properly on the shutter and there were several times that I thought I had pressed on it, when the truth is that I haven't do that.
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It should have been better if not for the snowing weather because the fireworks display which was due for later that night was postponed to the next night. I couldn't return to the same place again as I have had another event on that night. It was a disappointment to me for not getting to watch the fireworks display.
However, I know there is always another year for me.
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By the way, that is the word 愛 (Ai) or "Love" at the end of the rows of candles.


Crabbed!! said...

Wow...such a romantic place. I better find myself a gf before year's end...don't want to be a lonely dude freezing my finger off trying to press the shutter...

calvin said...

i will be honest here. the number of visitors attending the event this year was not as encouraging as previous years, while the night illumination only covered limited areas.

pray hard that the weather will get better next year so that your future-gf will have a more romantic night =P

KOKahKOK said...

i also wan! hehe..... agreed that this is a romantic place neh!

calvin said...

indeed it is :)

stevelee67 said...

wow..nice one !! i myself havent been to such snow festival

calvin said...

@ stevelee67:
yea, it was a breathtaking night scene. come to nagaoka one day when you are visiting randy to experience the snow festival :)