Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Kobe-Hiroshima Adventure - Day 1

We went to Kobe, Hyogo prefecture.

Shinkansen 700 series going to Kobe

My lunch-rice with salmon, crab slices, fish eggs

Double storey highway near Port of Kobe

Aftermath of Kobe greatest eartkquake in 1995

Japan coastal guard back from duty

Unique bell-shape lamp at Merican Park

Replica of Columbus ship

Kobe Marine Museum roof piercing the sky

Mesmerizing drum beat and lead me to this gentleman

The best place to let out your stress

Ferris wheel at Mosaic Garden

Kobe Tower

Kobe Harbour Land as seen from Merican Park

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Trip to Tokyo

Went to embassy in Tokyo for important documents.

Here are some pictures that I managed to take during my trip back to Niigata.

Older model of Shinkansen for Tokyo-Niigata. Looks like Airbus 320, cool.

Inside of the Shinkansen. Similar like aiplane.

New model of Shinkansen for Tokyo-Niigata. Looks very futuristic but I prefer the old model. I called this model, the 'itik' model. One of its special features is it has double decker cars.

Mountains in Niigata are still slightly covered with snow

Niigata is famous of its paddy fields. 70% of the scenary you will see from Tokyo to Niigata will also be paddy fields.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Uchino Matsuri 2008

Uchino is a small town to the south of Niigata City. This is where I live. Last week, people of Uchino celebrated the end of summer by having a festival.

Lanterns are the must for festival

It was brilliant idea to do the festival in front of the train station. Easy access.

They were many stalls including this one. Choose your mask from ultraman to Stitch for RM24.

Scratch and win or 'Tikam-tikam' is one of the most visited stall during any festival in Japan. Youd could probably win a PS3.

Min-you nagashi was the main event

...and dance all night long

The festival continued to next day.

This is the representative from our zone, Uchino-Yamate, for the Uchino Parade.

The main street in Uchino was closed to give way for the parade. I never knew that pig can climb coconut tree!?

Small 'mikoshi' is easy to lift.

But big mikoshi are not. Nice *** though (LOL).

Some ritual ceremony. They sprinkled 'sake' on a the street and circled around the split.

These kids were really in high spirits

These 2 gentlemen reminded me the famous tv siries in 80's, ninja.

Anpan-Man came to support. But could he fly with a bath towel as a mantle?

He was the man of the day

...and even lead the 'ondo' dance

We love Uchino! Do you?

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Budo Gari in Shirone

We went to Shirone with several Malaysian friends for 'budo gari' a.k.a. grape eating spree.

It is F.O.C. to enter the farm. If you want to enjoy the fruits, you can choose several options. We chose the kyohou (giant grape) course for 1,200 yen (approx RM 40).

Showing of harvests

Pick your grapes, wash them, sit and eat

This unique variety called manicure finger because it looks like women fingers with manicure.

Other than grapes, the farm had many kinds of fruits too including strawberry, kiwi, peach and pear

They was a section for playing with rabbits and goats too. The fence wasn't good enough for the tiny ones. We found Several outlaw rabbits sneaked out for freedom.

Dream Car Show Niigata 2008

Dream Car is a famous 'pimp my ride' like group in Japan. The group came to Niigata for showing off their machines.

In Japan, autoshow is not just about cars. The group had their own pretty young models to show off too. They were called the Dream Car Girls.

These gentlemen didn't know what's the meaning of quiting. They followed wherever the dream car girls roamed-.

The delicious pink Hyundai Tiburon. Even the mag wheels were pink too.

The Bentley GT with front bonnet carved with 12 K gold

The Skyline GT-R with its well known round tail light

Another Skyline GT-R showing what it made off

The fierce looking Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X. Better get a house rather than this monster machine unless your are filthy rich.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Niigata Matsuri-Day 2

Niigata Matsuri-Day 2.

I went to experience the cultural event, Shimin-Mikoshi at Furumachi. Briefly, mikoshi is a portable shinto shrine and used as a transport to move Japanese gods.

This mysterious group of girls were preceeding the mikoshis. They walked slowly in a zig zag pattern following the rythm made by the chimes of their staffs.

Then came the mikoshi. The mikoshi was carried by many people on their shoulders. They moved slowly, pushing the mikoshi up and down while crying 'wasshoi washhoi'.

They were many different kinds of mikoshi. This one really resembled shinto shrine with phoenix on top.

Somebody would stand on top front of mikoshi probably for giving moral support

The young lady seemed happy while the carriers were in pain. Check the guy on the bottom left.

The heat from the summer sun and the weight of the mikoshi really affected it carriers

Some of them were like in the verge of unconsciousness. Later, I found out some of them drank beers during break time, maybe that why.

Several mikoshis in a row. It was like a riot. Totally awesome. I wanted to sneak into the crowd but it was impossible. See the policeman?

On the way home, I came across this group of kids playing Taiko. They were incredibly superb.