Thursday, March 24, 2011

Japan Day, Auckland

The 10th Japan Day Summer Festival - the biggest one-day Japanese cultural event in New Zealand was happening on 13th March 2011. This event was one day after the devastating earthquake in Japan with the magnitude of 8.9 and followed by tsunami. However, this event was planned very much ahead and the show must go on.

This year, the Japan Day was held at the ASB Showgrounds. There's a lot of parking being provided at the showground itself with a fee of NZD6 or opposite side with a fee of NZD5.

This event attracted a lots of crowds. You can see from the photos taken below from the indoor and outdoor area.

As we arrived quite early, there's opening ceremony speeches by the VIP in the indoor stage.

Also, I saw one of the local TV were shooting the event too.

The event area was separated into two area, indoor and outdoor. Outdoor area was full of the food stalls, especially those cooking needed. There were quite a lot of Japanese food stalls outdoor, with a lot of Japanese wording written for the food description. Besides, when I approached some of the stalls, they were speaking Japanese to me and I couldn't understand. Perhaps because I look like a Japanese to them.

Of all the stalls, one of the stalls managed to capture a lot of people attention. It was the rice cake stall. The stall demonstrated the traditional way of pounding the rice cake using the "Usu". Once it is done, they will pass the rice cake to a group of staff whom already ready to roll the rice cake into a ball shape and placed into the plastic container for sale.

Of all the food stalls in the event, we only bought 3 different types of Japanese food as our morning tea. They were the prawn and octopus takoyaki, triangle shaped sushi and dango.

Meanwhile at the indoor of the event area, there were some workshop going on such as Shogi (Japanese Chess), kimono displays and photo shooting session, Japanese caligraphy, origami art, and tea ceremony.

There's also bonsai workshop class which was conducted by someone who is not a Japanese. And if you look at the bonsai photo properly, there's a praying mantis on the bonsai. At first when I saw it, I thought it was a fake one, BUT it's not as I can see it moving.

Besides that, there's also some decorations and corporate display indoor. Honda had taken quite a big corporate display area as they were the Platinum sponsor for the event.

There were also some booth collecting donations funds for the earthquake in Christchurch and earthquake and tsunami in Japan.

We only spend like an hour walking around the event. Then we adjourned to our lunch at one of the Chinese restaurant nearby.

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