Will and I (ok mostly me) were disappointed that we had missed Korea Day so we made sure to have a butchers at Japan Day when it came to Auckland's Queen's Wharf. We started the afternoon with some ramen in a little restaurant in Mount Eden village called Zool Zool. Mine came in a miso broth and was delish :)
We headed down towards The Cloud building by the harbour which was filled with all sorts of sights and smells, including a large display of Honda cars! We watched whilst paying customers indulged in a tea serving ceremony. It was fascinating to watch the choreographed and graceful moves of the Japanese women serving the Matcha tea and I wish we'd had some extra dollars to spend here...
Upstairs we saw some guys and girls practising the martial art Aikido. As they were in front of the window the light meant it was difficult to take clear photos but I liked the shapes their bodies were creating and they almost looked like silhouettes, or puppets in front of a paper theatre.
I spotted a long table lined with bottles of ink and traditional brushes and paper and pinned above examples of Japanese calligraphy symbols. I couldn't wait to have a try and chose to have a go at the 'Brightness' character. The girl instructed me to load the brush fully and hold it at an almost vertical angle, sort of at right angles to the paper, which felt a little unnatural but I'm so glad I had a go and was really pleased with the outcome :)
The video below is of a girl singing. From the looks of the girls in the front row of the audience I'd say she was pretty famous and very popular as they seemed to know all the words and kept cheering! The girls' costumes were amazing, with exaggerated hair styles and silky gowns. (I now wish I'd bought a manga book from one of the many stalls!) I have to say the chorus was very catchy and me and Will kept singing it to each other for the rest of the day!
Outside was a bit grizzly but we stuck around long enough to watch this cool ninja performance! We loved that the actors took the whole thing very seriously and kept in character for the entire time.
I loved Japan Day and although Will has already been I really want to visit the country now :)