Last June 18, 2016 (Saturday) was a very sunny day and it was the perfect weather to celebrate the company's 24th Anniversary. When you say sun, the word sea does not come far. And so the Employee Events Committee (EEC) 2016 in Japan decided to spend the day with everyone in Yokohama, a well-known bayside area in Japan.
Not just 24 members staying in Kanagawa prefecture were present for the event, but we were also graced by the presence of a japanese colleague and a member who travelled all the way from Toyota City to celebrate with us.A Festive Lunch:
To kick things off, everyone got their fill in an all-you-can-eat pizza and pasta lunch at La-Pausa, an Italian restaurant. The dishes looked, smelled and tasted great; one could tell that they were made from fresh and high quality ingredients. There were lots of food choices, some defied the norm but were surprisingly satisfying for our taste buds. Aside from the pasta and pizza, we were also served salad and fries, a classic in most Italian restaurants in Japan. The dishes kept coming, but no food seemed to last very long on our tables.
What made our experience better was the simple but elegant ambiance of the venue, and everyone’s liveliness and enthusiasm. Of course, the good food did nothing to lower the festive mood everyone was in. As the time for leaving came, we finished our food, paid the bills and took a commemorative picture.A True Paradise:
After the hearty meal, we headed to Sea Paradise, a huge theme park set in the island of Hakkeijima in the vicinity of Yokohama city. To describe the place, it’s like a half aquarium and half amusement park.
We took two trains from Yokohama to get there, and then took a ten-minute, scenic, cross-bridge walk to Sea Paradise. It was around 2:45 pm when we got there but no one seemed to notice the time from all the excitement. Some members said it was like walking around Baguio City because of the pine trees seen along the way. Hakkeijima was simply a beautiful place. Though it was really hot and sunny, everyone was eager to start touring the park.
Sea Paradise has four main sections namely Fureai Lagoon, Aqua museum, Dolphin fantasy and Umi farm. All of these featured different activities for both young and young-at-heart to enjoy. We especially loved the dolphin and beluga whale show, which was one of the highlights of the park's excellent Sea Life show. The dolphins showed off their talents and impressed everyone by their breath-taking stunts. First time or not, it left a smile on everyone’s faces.
In the Fureai Lagoon, members got the chance to meet and touch huge Sea Lions who seemed pros at posing for the camera. In the Umi farm, members caught fish, and grilled those at a nearby barbecue area. The Aqua theater was a cinema-like dome that showed an educational video, and featured a spacious area and very comfy seats. Though we admit some became sleepy from the coolness and comfort of the theater.
The Aqua Museum exceeded our expectations as it housed a lot of interesting species. These include a polar bear, jellyfishes, penguins, walruses, a whale shark, and seals, to name a few. This visit gave us an opportunity to better understand sea life. There were lots of “oohs” and “ahhs” and plenty of jaw dropping moments when we saw all these giant and tiny creatures up-close. Also, riding the escalator under a water tunnel was one-of-a-kind.
The island was very wide - it holds different aquariums, theatres, sea farms, restaurants, shops and an amusement park - yet this did not stop the adventurous spirits from completing the tour and seeing all the sights. Overall it was a great day to stroll, learn new things and be amazed at the wonderful creatures. At the end of the day, we were all tired, but the time we spent and the memories made together were priceless.
The celebration did not stop when we left Sea Paradise that day. A week or so before the event, EEC 2016 announced that a photograph and testimonial competition was going to be held. Participants had to submit up to 3 photos or testimonials regarding the celebration where the best of the bunch will receive the following prizes:
Sea Paradise was a chance for me to be like a kid and have fun. Looking at sea animals, watching a dolphin show and try fishing was a great experience!
My phone shattered during the event
but I'll remember the fun I felt
It still works
maybe a reminder that god is at work
I should have had a bad day
but it turned out a great day
I wish you all the best