Monday, October 17, 2016

Oct. 15

Asian Kagoshima 2016

I didn't have to work at the English conversation school on Friday, so I had no idea if anything was going on at Central Park. Saturday morning, I was busy preparing for a day trip to Miyazaki on Sunday, so I wasn't able to get out of the apartment until just after 12. On the off-chance, I swung by Central Park, and yes, something was being set up. Unfortunately, there were no clues as to what it would be for. Since it was raining relatively hard, I expected whatever it was might be canceled for the day.

The only thing I could think of that normally occurs at this time of year is the Asian Fest, where representatives of high schools from other countries in the Asian region visit to perform various dances and songs. But, that's a two-day event, and Saturday is usually indoors, in Houzan Hall, across the street, but still with the food court open in the park.

At 4 PM I had a short break, so I headed back to the park to see if anything had changed. At a minimum, the opposite end of the park, closer to the Hall, had the entrance gate up, with the sign "Asian Kagoshima 2016." I turned around and looked at the Hall, and I could see a number of people hanging out near the entrances. So, I was at least partially right.

Then I found the schedule board. The outdoor portion was being limited to just Sunday this year, which was disappointing. The sign shows the different kinds of foods to be offered at the booths, and advertises a quiz rally, with airplane tickets from a travel agency as the prize. There would also be music performances at the outdoor live stage.

It's a good thing they expected rain on Sunday. It did rain the entire time I was in Miyazaki, which is about 100 miles away at the other side of Kyushu. It was a rather miserable weekend. I never did hear if the event was successful or not.

Wine Festa

Meanwhile, the open space in front of Lotteria was hosting the latest wine festa, which is a drinking party supported by a small food court and live music (either classical or soft jazz). I swung by here at 12:30 Saturday afternoon on my way to the school. Since the cost is something like $25 for a wine flight, I didn't bother spending money because I'd have to be at the school a few minutes later. The main thing was to see who was performing the music. At this point, it was two guys in tuxedos, with guitars. The music wasn't interesting and the support staff kept walking in front of the stage and spoiling the photos.

During my 4 PM break, I came back and stood around for a few minutes. This time, there was no music - just the MC hawking the food at a couple of the booths. Instead, I took photos of the Harley Davidson bikes.

I wanted to get a better photo of the trike, but it was parked between a pillar, and the sales tent.

The booths sold food and wine, and there were advertisers like Harley trying to sell other stuff. The event wasn't that heavily attended, with maybe 30 people total at one time, many of them families with kids that just drank soda. So, maybe closer to 20 people paying for the flights of wine. Again, I had to be back at work before 5 PM, which didn't give me time to do much. Then again, just about all the food and wine here is overpriced, and I wouldn't have spent the money anyway, unless I had several hours to sit and talk with friends.

This is the MC. I went back to work, and didn't get out until 8:30 PM, by which time the booths were closed. I went home, had a quick dinner, then went to bed early so I could get up at 8 AM Sunday to go catch the bus.

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