Thursday, July 23, 2009

Akiba Green Festival 2009: hybrids

Starting back on July 18, Akiharaba launched it's "Green Festival 2009" month-long event, which runs until Aug. 23. There are 12 different scheduled events during this time, but most of them are only one or two days long, and some weekends have nothing going on at all. Only the "Electric Street Matsuri", in and around Radio Land runs every day, but it seems to be something involving specific shops and I don't any any details on that.

During the weekend of the 18th and 19th, there were 4 different activities taking place, plus live outdoor entertainment in the plaza in front of Tully's at the UDX building. Most of the live entertainment consisted of juggling acts and the like, which I didn't have time to watch during my breaks (I was too focused on the stamp rally), but the announcer was cute enough to warrant taking her photo.

The 4 activities consisted of "Fly me to the Moon", an eco car show, a flea market and an energy-saving appliances show. (Technically, Fly me ran that Saturday and Sunday, the flea market ran Sunday and Monday, and the other two ran Saturday to Monday). At the same time, the Akiba Tourist Information Center in the UDX building held the stamp rally. Fly me, the hybrid car show and the energy saver event each had a table with a numbered rubber stamp (1-3); if you took your AGF09 brochure to each table for the stamps and then brought it back to the information center, you'd get one chance to spin a small wooden wheel to make a little ball come out. Grand prize was a gift certificate for 10,000 yen ($100) to spend in Akihabara. Second prize was a 1,000 yen gift cert. The white ball gave you the booby prize of a small package of tissues, a couple of pieces of hard candy, some plant seeds and some post cards from the Fly me event. I got the stamps 3 times, and lost all three times. Now, I have lots of tissues and plant seeds.

The energy saver show consisted mostly of solar panels, energy converters, some games for children, and videos of animals in zoos. Nothing to take photos of, but they did have a refreshment stand selling smoothies and Hagen Daz ice cream. I bought an ice cream bar for 200 yen that tasted really good on that hot day. The event was in the basement of the Belle Salle building on Chuu-ou Dori.

The hybrid car show was in the open plaza at ground level of the same building. It consisted of being able to look at some hybrid and racing cars, plus a theater area. No idea what was shown on the screen - there was never anything running when I dropped by. At least, the cars were cool.

I'll write up the Fly me event tomorrow. The flea market just had a lot of used stuff that I didn't want to buy. It was also really windy on Sunday, and the clothes racks kept falling over.

There's nothing scheduled for the weekend of July 25. There's a water-related event in front of the Dai building on Aug. 1, and the "Akiba Clean Campaign" throughout the city the same day (apparently, it's a volunteer trash pickup). On Aug. 2, there's something that looks like a test or quiz hosted by some hi tech companies on the 6th floor of the FujiSoft building. On Aug. 7, there's a Hokkaido-related event. Aug. 9 and the 16th, there's an "eco boat ride" on the Kanda river, and an "eco walk" through Akihabara. The flea market reappears on Aug. 22 and 23. And finally, there's an "Eco Seminar" on the 4th floor of the UDX building on Aug. 22.

An unrelated free event, called the UDX Summer Festival, will run at the UDX from Aug. 6 to the 9th. There will be belly dancing, live music, food, juggling, magic, a beer garden and taiko drums. I'm hoping to catch part of the "Fresh Putchua" character show (looks like it's from a magical girls anime series) from 1 to 4 PM on the 9th.

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