Thursday, November 11, 2010

Chiba University Festival 2010

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Fall is the season for autumn foliage. It is also the time of the year where universities in Japan hold their annual university festival.

Chiba University had their 48th University Festival for four days, over the last weekend. It was not my first time to such event, as I have had experienced it for the past three years in Nagaoka Kosen. The difference is however, they do it in a much larger scale in universities. In kosen, they usually only have the college students to perform on the stage. In universities, they invite well-known artist to entertain the guests. In kosen, they have around ten stalls selling food. In universities, they add an extra zero to that number.

That means they have more than 100 stalls, just in case you didn't get it.

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The main entrance to Chiba University. Weather was great throughout the festival.

I will not gonna touch in details on every events held in the festival because that will take forever and only make this entry boring. After all, the events are almost the same no matter which university festival you go in Japan. Anyway, I will only pick up several interesting points worth mentioning here.

The common events were stage and street performances, which include concert, fashion show, juggling and magic show, exhibition by the each faculty, beauty contest, treasure hunt, haunted house, and of course stalls selling food, which is always the main attraction at any university festival.

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Department of Engineering Festival. It's my own department, have to support and give face a little bit-lah.

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They had an exhibition on Disney animation! Something very unexpected coming from such department, isn't it?

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Chiba University Robot Contest or Robocon 2010. The objective is to built a Tokyo Sky Tree model by stacking the white cubes made of polystyrene. 
Very impressed to see the different methods used by each team.

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That lady watching the choir surely loves fusion fashion. She was wearing a kimono but at the same time, a scarf hangs around her neck.

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An energetic cultural performance by Team Chiyoren.

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One of the main event at the festival - a stand-up comedy by タイムマシーン3号 ("Time Machine #3"), who features regularly in NHK comedy show.

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It was a very smart choice to have one tall and thin guy, Yamamoto Koji (山本浩司) while his partner, Seki Futoshi (関太) is short and fat. 
Their jokes were very original and even an alien like me is able to catch their jokes.

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One great thing about them is that fame didn't make them to be proud; in fact they were really nice and friendly, they spoke with their fans like old-time friends. 

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A model train for kids to take a ride.

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There are Nishi-Chiba station (西千葉) and Shin-Chiba station (新千葉), but they came out with two stations with names similar to the real stations - 
Nise-Chiba (偽千葉) and Shin-Chiba (真千葉) haha!

On the second day to the festival, I met with two of my juniors, Sarah and Sin Ying, who made the effort to came all the way from Kisarazu. We did some usual catching-ups but at the end of the conversation, we decided to walk around and have a look for anything interesting. Of all things, guess where did they suggest me to go with them?

Rumah hantu!

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Aiyo, just a haunted house at a university festival. Shouldn't be that bad kua.

Horror of horror! I don't think I should reveal this fact in public but if you know me well enough, you should be aware that I never watch horror shows. Hmmm, I don't have to mention it here because you know why-lah right haha! And they asked me to join them to enter the haunted house. You see, both of them are my juniors and furthermore, they are girls. So, if I were to chicken out and tell them I am afraid, where would I be able to keep my face already, right?

So, the kiasu me just agreed to their suggestion. While we were queuing up before entering the haunted house, we saw only kids in front of us. We told among ourselves, perhaps we have chose the wrong option because it seemed that the place is more suitable for kids haha! I have never entered any haunted house in Japan, my only experience was going into some pasar malam version of haunted house during my primary school days. You know, during those days, it's very popular and commonly held during the Canteen Day.

"Aiyo Calvin, I never knew you are afraid of ghost-lar!"

That was the comment I got from my junior upon coming out from the haunted house haha wtf!

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The rows of food stalls along the sakura tree, where their leaves are beginning to turn orange.

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This is the street where it turn pink in spring, when the cherry blossoms are in full bloom.

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You will be impressed to see how creative the Japanese are in promoting their food. This is nothing special - using a mascot to lure customers to their stall.

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Unlike the bear mascot stall, This stall which sells oden, have one of their staff hanging a cylindrical and triangle thingy on her body. 
Luckily the stick thingy wasn't in another direction because it would make it look so wrong lol!

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Festival atmosphere was certainly felt here, with their energetic, non-stop shouting to attract customers to their stalls.

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Pikachu was given the task to monitor the rubbish station. Oh no, it's not Pikachu but a duck lol!

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Chiba-khun is ready to take anyone for a ride around the university for only 50 yen. However, they increased it to 100 yen on the second day haha!

Despite there were few tenths of stalls set up by various clubs and circles, the one and only area that I was interested was the stalls by international students. No, it's not because I dislike Japanese food, in fact I love them very much. It's just because the food sold by the Japanese are always the same old thing - yakisoba, yakiniku, okonomiyaki, takoyaki, karaage, etc. They do not have much variations besides all those food.

However, try stepping into the international stalls area and suddenly, you find yourself spoilt for the many choices available. As I can remember, there were stall by the students from Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Germany, South Korea, China, Nepal, Indonesia, Vietnam and of course Malaysia. Although they were outnumbered by the Japanese stalls, I can safely said that the choices of food is at least twice as many as what you could find from the Japanese stalls.

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Nepalese and Indonesian stall.

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Samosa and pap, which resembles Indian papadum.

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A closer look at the samosa, which was really good. Anyway, anything made of potato will always taste good to me haha!

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Had a photo with the mascot of the Indonesian stall - the botak satay boy haha!

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This is by far, one of the best satay I have tasted! Mutton satay. How often can you get it in Japan?

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Vietnamese stall.

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Phở, a rice noodle soup, which is a popular Vietnamese dish. Very similar to our koey teow soup.

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The Koreans even came fully dressed in their traditional costume.

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Chijimi, a typical Korean pancake.

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China has the biggest stall with the most staff. One thing I was impressed by them is their menu, where they have several sets of different menus.

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A small and humble Sri Lankan stall, selling roti egg and Ceylon tea.

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Taiwanese stall, which is the neighbour to Malaysian stall.

The Malaysians in Chiba University also set up a stall this year but unfortunately, I wasn't involved at all this year. It only made me miss the moments I had during my kosen years even more. Back then, our "Warong Malaysia" was a huge success. All the Malaysians in our kosen worked together as a team; we planned, we cut onions, we cooked, we decorated the stall, we shouted for customers, everything was done together.

Good ol' times they were, and I am glad the juniors didn't let the tradition stop. In fact, our signboard made in 2008 was used again for the third straight year at this year's college festival.

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The decorations makes it look like a very typical Malaysian looking stall, no?

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There were five kinds of food in the menu - roti canai, banana cake, roti jala (which they translate it as "net bread" lol!),  apam balik ("Malay style hot cake"), and cucur kodok ("banana ball" haha!).

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The banana cake, which was not bad.

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Clockwise from top left: A discussion session among the international students in 2007, and Warong Malaysia group picture in 2008, 2009 and 2010, all in Nagaoka Kosen.

The Malaysian stall I saw at Chiba was just "different" from what we had in 2008 and 2009 in Nagaoka.

16 comments:

D-T said...

hmm... did i get it right...a roti canai for 250 yen? tats bout RM9.50...

D-T said...

tat just make me feel like going for a roti canai @ the local mamak stall ... time to appreciate the food in m'sia tat we normally take for granted :)

calvin said...

@ d-t:
yes, you got it correctly. it's almost rm10 for one piece of roti canai in japan! that is why every time i am back, i will try to stuff myself with as much local food as possible haha!

Anonymous said...

LOL!!!so mahal leh the roti canai..
here roti canai naik 10 sen also suda bising...i will never complain about the price of roti canai here again ==....

D-Tourist said...

haha... when you are back in M;sia u should learn how to make roti canai... then can sell in japan :)

calvin said...

@ anonymous:
actually, the roti canai price is considered common to the standard here in japan. of course it's super expensive if you convert the value and compare it with the prices you get in malaysia.

furthermore, this kind of event is only held once a year, so i don't think the customers will complain much about the price =)

calvin said...

@ d-tourist:
hmmm, i think i'd prefer to sell tosai because i personally love tosai a lot. so, i might be able to eat the tosai while selling it haha!

D-T said...

then u must sell idli too :)

calvin said...

@ d-t:
the next thing that would happen is, the japanese must be wondering if i am operating an indian stall or what lol!

D-T said...

hahahah!!! u tell them u have ceylonese heritage... and thus the indian influence :P

calvin said...

@ d-t:
that would make them even more clueless lol!

Anonymous said...

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, may all your wishes come true!

calvin said...

@ anonymous:
thanks and same to you :)

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