Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Nagaoka Flower Fair

Short note: I went to my class as usual this morning for my Mechanical Dynamics lecture. When I haven't even warm-up my chair for ten minutes, the lecturer said to me, "Okay, you can go back, 'ya know". I was like, "Huh, you serious sensei??!" The fact is, we just received our test papers of the mid-term test held last week, and he decided to do the resit for that paper this morning, to everyone's surprise. I got a rather good marks, or in other words I didn't fail that paper-lah; so I get to skip the lecture for today. It was weird, because I was the only one who got to skip the class haha.
About a month ago, there was a flower fair - Nagaoka City Flower Fair, held at Senshugahara Furusato-no Mori (Home Town Forest), next to the Nagaoka City Art Museum. It was a coincidence that I was out to attend an interview at Nagaoka Civic Centre. I got the news that I pass that interview a couple of weeks ago, but I'd expected them to take me in because it was just a simple ten-minute interview, in which one of the interviewer was Mr Haga Tomonobu, the head of the Nagaoka City International Culture Exchange Center.
By the way, just in case some people might have a mix-up here, this is a different interview from the university entrance exam's interview I attended several days later. I will elaborate more on this interview at the Civic Centre when the right time comes.
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A monument of the "One-hundred Sacks of Rice", referring to an incident at the end of the Edo Era, just prior to the Meiji Restoration. Nagaoka was defeated in the Boshin Civil War and the Nagaoka han (feudal domain) was devastated.
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A fountain in front of the Nagaoka Hive.
It is already the end of June and it's the raining season at the moment, which means spring is ending and we will welcome the long-awaited summer very soon. However, I guess it is still not too late for me to post up an entry on the flowers from spring this year. It was a cloudy day, although I hoped that it would be a clear day. Nevertheless, I didn't let that stopped me from spending a good one-hour there to check out for anything interesting.
But the first task for me was to look for a parking spot; for my bike haha. Even though it's just a little piece of junk steel to some, I can't just place it on random places or I would risk it being towed away by the city council people. So, I cycled around a few rounds (actually just one round, I just wanted to exaggerate things here haha) looking for a suitable spot that I even cycled through the exhibition area and also the stalls selling flowers. Luckily nobody chased me out from that place haha.
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This was the area in which I intruded with my bike lol.
After going around and failing to spot any spots for people to park their bike, I decided to put my bike at the parking spots for motorbike, hoping that nothing will happen to my bike. So, I walked across the road to the place where the main event of the flower fair was held. Though it wasn't exactly a perfect weather, the turnout wasn't that disappointing.
There were parents who brought their kids for a weekend outing, a number of young couples who decided to have a mass dating there, and the older generations whom, well, had nothing much do to at home other than counting the number of flies flying around their house; so they went to the flower fair to view colourful flowers on display, instead of flies haha.
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The main entrance to the park.
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See how nice they planned the flowers that it feels like you are standing on a giant Persian carpet.
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The staff on the right, while the free flowers on the left.
There was a mini game, something kinda like a treasure hunt in which you had to locate a few check-points and answer some simple questions, like the name of the flowers etc. Once the hunt is completed, we just had to take the form to the awaiting staff under the tent and we will get to bring home a few small pots of flowers, for free.
I didn't join that hunt because I was kinda rushing to attend the interview, and it started to drizzle a little already by that time. Besides, where should I put the flowers if I bring back to my dormitory, unless I give it to Tada-san, the office lady. But she might get the wrong message after wards haha.
Okay, time for some breathtaking pictures of flowers from the Flower Plaza.

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#1 The Flower Plaza

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#2 Great spot for photographers enthusiasists.

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#3 These looks like ice-creams

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#4

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#5 Bunga tahi ayam also got haha.

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#6

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#7 Ohh, hi! Haha, the flowers, not the guy is beautiful, okay.

I took a break from walking around the flower plaza and entered a building where there were some exhibitions carried on. One of them which attracted my attention was this artist who used the shreds of wood and turned them into interesting art piece.
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From these shreds of wood.
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And he turned them into decorative stuff.
Walking to the first floor, I came to a connecting bridge to the art museum. Along this bridge, they exhibited posters made by the kindergartens, primary schools and junior high schools which participated in the city flowers planting campaign. Looking at these posters, I wondered if this is possible in Malaysia.
Although I never said that Japan is perfect, it is things like this that I find our country is still lacking behind. They are aware that it is vital to sow the awareness about the importance of loving the environment on these kids while they are still young. Not only this kind of simple action will make the world greener and slow down the alarming global warming rate lately, it will also make their school and the city more beautiful.

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The posters by the children.
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Closer shot of the posters.
While browsing through these posters, I looked to my left and from the tinted window and got a bird-eye's view of the Flower Plaza. The view was just marvelous.

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#1

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#2

Here is some close-up shots of the flowers.

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In between the colourful rows of flowers, I spotted several garden gnomes from the famous fairy tale of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs at the flower place. However, I didn't get to locate Snow White and I only saw four gnomes and here they are.
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The gnomes came in brown, green, blue and also, white shirt haha.

Since when I turned a gnome-lah? Haha, it was just a coincidence that my pose looked somilar to the gnomes. After spedning about forty minutes at the flower fair, I went back to the city centre to attend my interview and saw some festivals was held along the main road that leads to the train station.
The first thing that caught my eyes was this thingy. As much as I wanted to jump into this giant balloon, I only see little kids playing with it; I had no choice but to forget about it.
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Anpanman, a famous cartoon character in Japan.
Otherwise, imagine what how those kids react if they see another giant trying to join them haha.

9 comments:

naqiubex said...

Ouh... Now that looks really great...
Tchhh...

calvin said...

@ naqiubex:
yeah, it was =)

Crabbed!! said...

Weh..tak ajak!!

calvin said...

@ crabbed!!:
haha, whose famous quote was this again? was it michael's? xD

Crabbed!! said...

Don't know...maybe...but he lives half a Japan away. I'm near you!!
I know we attract attention when 2 tall guys walk side by side and pose for the camera but...

Weh...tak ajak!!

calvin said...

@ crabbed!!:
yup, very true. i can't imagine how the stares would be like when they see not one, but two giants walk side by side haha =P

anyway, when you went meditating, you also didn't ajak me xD

next up would be the fireworks festival. that one i guess i don't need to ajak, and you will still go, right? haha =P

Ken said...

Wonderful photos... Looking forward to see more interesting events in Japan on ur blog. =)

calvin said...

@ ken:
thanks, and keep coming because you will get to read more japanese tales in the future =)

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