Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Sakura Tulip Festival

Guess what, I was away to Holland over the weekends a couple of weeks ago.

Haha! As if you gonna believe me, right? So, without going any further, let me tell you the truth-lah. There was a tulip festival recently, held in Sakura city, a city neighbouring Chiba city. Cherry blossom has already fallen in Kanto region by this time, and it is time for tulips to take over the job of decorating the spring season. It took me roughly forty minutes of train ride from my place in Inage to Sakura station and from there, I took the free shuttle bus to the location where the tulip festival was held.


The free shuttle bus, for the convenience of visitors to the tulip festival.


After getting down from the bus, we walked for about ten minutes along a river and the windmill could be spotted from afar.

It was a coincidence because on that day, it was the opening ceremony of the 22nd Sakura Tulip Festival.

Before the formal ceremony started, the visitors were entertained by Chiba-khun, the mascot for the National Sports Festival, that Chiba prefecture is hosting at the end of this year. There was a group of senior citizens on the stage, who joined Chiba-khun doing morning stretching and exercise with the visitors.


The lateral view of Chiba-khun actually resembles the shape of Chiba prefecture on the map. 


Chiba-khun getting ready for 100-meter hurdles haha!


The Agricultural Counsellor, from the Dutch Embassy in Japan, who was the guest-of-honour to the opening ceremony.


A group of cheerleaders consisting of the mothers of the students from a local primary school, entertaining the crowd.


This cheerleading team was formed five years back, and one would never thought that they are mothers.

After watching the opening ceremony, it was time to explore the place, which was beautifully decorated with 139 types of tulips, which accounted to almost half a million plants. This visit reminded me to those times back then, when I was in Nagaoka where I visited Echigo Hillside Farm to see the tulips there every time spring came around. That was almost one year ago. I know it sounds cliché, but time flies really fast. Even faster than the shinkansen (bullet train) lol!

Back to the Sakura Tulip Festival, here are some selected shots of the tulips.


The presence of the windmill makes one feel as if we are in Holland.


They named this species as Washington.


This one should be Parade.


Parading in front of the tulips and the windmill as the background lol! 


It's spring, but they have Christmas Marble too.


 Close-up shot of Washington. Putting so many pictures of this species doesn't mean I am bowing to the Americans (an inside sarcastic joke, if you get me).


Another close-up shot, this time it's Flaming Prism.


Chiba-khun made its appearance again, to have pictures taken with the kids.

As you might notice, there is a windmill in this place. Named "De Liefde", which means Friendship, it was built and completed in 1994 to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the establishment of Sakura city. The parts of the windmill were made in Holland and assembled in Japan by the Dutch engineers. This windmill is the first wind-driven water pump in Japan, and is fully operated by the force of the wind.

I think this is the first time in my life that I have seen a real-life-sized windmill; it got me so excited when I saw it and couldn't wait to step into the windmill.


Posing in front of De Liefde, which is made of wood and steel.


Some information of the windmill.


A little bridge for visitors to get into the windmill.


The staff explaining some details about the windmill to the Dutch Agricultural Counsellor.


This is the second floor of the four-storey windmill.


Had the chance to camwhore with two Japanese girls, who was in the traditional Dutch attire in front of the windmill.

Besides watching the blooming tulips, there were other side activities for visitors as well.

Among others were the sales of tulips, in which visitors can pluck the tulips of their liking, which went on sale. Six stalks of tulips were sold for ¥500. Since most of the visitors were parents, who brought their children there, there were some events organised to cater these small little kids.


Tulips on sale.


Learning how to bend thin wires into animals' shapes.


Like any other events in Japan, food stalls selling the normal food were set up.


There were people who took the time to have hanami under the sakura trees too.


A local scout team set up a tent for visitors to try on their art-work.


Souvenirs, which were imported from Holland.


I got one of those kissing-couple deco from my aunt, who visited Holland some time ago.

That's the end of my half-day trip to see tulips. Thank you for reading.


CLF said...

one of the reasons I love spring than any other, GORGEOUS FLOWERS!!

Extreme Power said...

Nice. can send the tulips seed back to maxwell hill and plant some? They have red ones there.

calvin said...

@ clf:
yup, but besides sakura and tulips, i hardly see other flowers this spring >.<

calvin said...

@ extreme power:
please correct me if i'm wrong, but i thought they have red tulips at maxwell hill too?

Ken said...

The blooms are wonderful!
Wish to see tulips and sakura in real... >.<

Ken said...

PM gonna sue u for plagiarizing his words; bow to the Americans.

calvin said...

@ ken:
it might be hard to see sakura in malaysia, but i think there are many places in malaysian where they plant tulips, isn't it?

haha, the pm is too busy to read my blog. i hope he doesn't stumble into this place xD