Sunday, August 15, 2010

TEIC Festival & Tokyo Bay Fireworks Festival

Short note: Since the summer break started, I have been doing several outings and at the same time, my wallet seems to be getting thinner by the day. Two days ago, the two of us spent the whole day shopping. But in the end, it was only me who shopped the most, or should I say, everything; from clothes at "21 Selamanya" to a pair of Timberland shoes and then a piece of carpet at IKEA, which totaled up to almost... errr, I think I should save the figure. Not sure what's up with the sudden urge to shop; exam stress relieving process perhaps haha!

By the way, do you think it is possible to have two winters in a year? That's gonna happen in less than 24-hours time. That's the second hint ;)

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It's like I am the first visitor to the festival lol!

Tokyo International Exchange Center (TIEC) Festival is an annual event held at TEIC in Odaiba, Tokyo. This is an event where international students from all over the world living in TEIC get to introduce their culture, food, and show their ethnic dance, music or songs on the stage. I was there quite early, and met up with Wee Kien, who was already there earlier.

As for the rest, they had gone to the beach at Odaiba Kaihin Park to reserve the spot for the fireworks display later that night. They eventually joined us at the festival after the spotted were reserved.

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Stage was ready for the Bon Odori later that evening.

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Visitors getter more and more when it was getting noon.

As there were only two of us there, we decided to explore the place and see what's interesting on offer at the festival.

The food court were still not ready yet, so we went to Plaza Heisei for some indoor activities. There were quite some activities for visitors, like fold your own airplane and then throw it to see how far it goes. Then, there's this activity where you get to draw your own design on transparent umbrellas. Very "interesting" activity, right?

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A corner for visitors to experience the Japanese culture.

We then went to another section - "World Picture Books and Kamishibai Corner". Sounds kinda interesting but what we saw were colourful story books, which are more suitable for kindergarten kids =.=

There were still some other activities like experiencing the Japanese culture of calligraphy, tea ceremony and flower arrangement. However, we have done those a few times in the past, hence we gave that a skip.

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We thought we might as well try our luck on this quiz.

We initially assumed that it should not be a too difficult quiz. However, the first question already told us that it is not a straight-forward quiz at all. The first question was, "What is the highest active volcanic mountain in Japan?"

A: Mount Fuji
B: Mount Aso
C: Mount Tsukuba

What do you think the answer is? Quite tricky, right? I thought it was "Mount Aso", because Mount Fuji isn't an active volcanic mountain. So did Wee Kien. Well, we actually kinda discussed among ourselves through the quiz-lar haha! But the truth is, Mount Aso is the largest, but not the highest active volcanic mountain in Japan.

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The questions that followed didn't get any much easier anyway. By the way, the answer is "China" for this question.

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How on Earth we are gonna know the answer for this kind of question, right? Think this is "Who Want To Be A Millionaire" arh?

I did something silly halfway through the quiz, that is by writing the answer for each question on the wrong column. The answer column goes vertically, but I didn't notice it and wrote my answers in horizontal sequence FML! I only realised it on the eighth question and I spent the rest of the time erasing and rearranging my answer haha!

I think I am the only person in the hall who did this mistake. Luckily it wasn't an exam.

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My answer sheet. Didn't have an eraser with me, so I used the traditional method by just cancelling the answers manually lol!

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The result - got five out of ten correctly, which I think it was not bad, because I was given a packet of Tom Yam-flavoured instant noodle for my effort haha!

While we wandered around the few floors in Plaze Heisei, we took the chance to collect the stamps for the stamp rally. I know this is more to a kid game, but the rest of the activities were even more childish and we didn't dare to take part in them haha!

We reached the last check-point but couldn't locate the exact location to get the stamp. So, we approached one of the staffs nearest to us. Before we could even open our mouth, he already pointed to the outdoor sports ground and told us to walk there haha! I should have told him, "No, no, actually I'm looking for the nearest train station", just to save my embarrassment lol!

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The final stop, which was the USA check-point.

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I just realised that each check-point represents each continents - Egypt (Africa), Australia (Oceania), UAE (Asia), Spain (Europe), and USA (America).

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The souvenirs and prizes I got - instant noodle from the quiz, Loacker cocoa and chocolate crackers from the stamp rally while the sweets on the bottom left was for completing a survey form.

We were given the chance to take part in a lucky draw upon completing a survey form, and the prize I got was to use my palm to grab as many sweets as possible from the huge basket. I didn't hear clearly what the staff told me, so I kuai kuai took just one piece of sweet from the basket. She asked me whether I was sure that I was gonna take just one sweet. 

It was then that I realised that I could take as many sweets as I could with my one palm. Having a palm as huge as a hippopotamus, I guess she regretted it for asking me that question earlier haha!

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Lunch time approached and I went to the Uzbekistan stall and wondered why their naan looks like something else.

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Bought this rice called pilov, which had beef, carrots and onions, cooked with few kinds of spices. A bit oily, but overall it was not bad.

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Zemiakové placky, or potato pancake from the Slovakian stall. It is made from potato dough, and topped with some dressing and cheese.

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Met-up with Kimura Sensei, our ex-Japanese language lecturer at PPKTJ in KL. She is now doing her Masters in Tokyo and currently living at TIEC hostel.

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The Indonesia stall appeared to be enjoying a brisk business, but I wonder why they have such few stickers, which represents feedback from the visitors on which stalls that serves the best food.

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Several of us went to take a ride on the kayu balak train haha!

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Took a picture next to the event's information board, with the two girls who "berkelakuan baik" (inside joke).

Seconds before the picture above was taken, I was taken aback when two girls ran towards the information board I was standing. My first instinct was how could two Japanese girls have the guts to take picture with a total stranger, especially a gigantic alien. Those two girls however, were actually Ikan and Li Ee, whom I got to know them from the hanami at Yoyogi Park early this year.

We later made our way to the reserved spot at the beach, which was about fifteen-minute walk away from TEIC.

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These are the people who went to the beach earlier that morning to reserve the spot for the fireworks later that night.

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There was an exhibition - Green Tokyo Hello Kitty & Friends at the beach.

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Crowded beach; a common sight every time there's a fireworks festival.

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The huge Malaysian gang, comprises of JPA and Monkasho scholars, and Japanese language school private students. I think we occupied one of the largest space at the beach; ten pieces of blue sheets combined!

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We still had several hours to go until the fireworks began. So we spent the time crapping, eating, sleeping, listening to music, nampa-ing, etc. 
And also, going to the toilet a few times haha!

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I just feel that this picture can have a very catchy caption. Anyone interested in giving a try? 
For example, "See, simply press on my camera some more-lah! Now my camera mabuk already!"

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Not everyone there are people we know; so we took the chance to ask each other's name, hometown, which universities they're from, what course, etc. Those are the common standard questions, ain't it?

To be honest, I was quite excited initially to be able to watch the Tokyo Bay Fireworks for the first time. It is after all, one of the biggest fireworks festival in Tokyo, with approximately 14,000 fireworks. However, some time after it started, I started to feel sleepy lol! I don't mean to sound arrogant or what, but just thought of giving my personal honest opinion. This is perhaps, the least interesting fireworks festival that I've attended so far in Japan.

One of the reason is perhaps because of the distance of our spot we were sitting, from the spot the fireworks were launched, which was separated quite far away. Secondly, the fireworks display didn't have much varieties. Overall, it was a little let-down, but anyway, here are some of the fireworks shots from that night.

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We left twenty-minutes earlier than the time the fireworks was suppose to end, to avoid being trapped in human sea yet again. A normal ten-minute walk to the train station can turn into ninety-minute walk every time a firework festival ends. Besides that, both of us had to pack our stuff as we would be leaving for our summer trips.

Anyway, it wasn't just us who left earlier. Some people started to leave early as well.

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This is how crowded it got even when the fireworks display was still on.

Can't imagine how chaotic it will turn thirty minutes from that.

2 comments:

sakura said...

Another caption would be:

"I ask you to take pic of leng zhais, not leng luis".. haha..

Ok, that was not very funny.. I think your caption is funnier :p

calvin said...

@ sakura:
haha, i think your caption is not bad at all.
quite funny xD