Hino’s Miki Ito going to Vancouver Winter Olympics

Hino matsuri float

Hino matsuri float

Miki Ito (伊藤みき) from Hino town snagged the silver medal (Uemura Aiko got the gold) for the women’s dual moguls of the FIS Freestyle World Championships in Inawashiro, Fukushima Prefecture on March 8, 2009. This has assured her a spot on Japan’s winter Olympic team for Vancouver in 2010.

Born in 1987, Ito graduated from Hino Jr. High School and Omi Kyodaisha High School. She’s currently a student at Chukyo University in Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture. Both her sisters are also free-style mogul skiers. Vancouver will be her second winter Olympics. At Torino in 2006, she placed 20th.

Hino Hikiyama signs in English

Sign in Japanese, English, and Korean.

Hino-cho holds the Hino Matsuri Festival every year on May 2 and 3. Ornate Hikiyama floats (there are 15 of them) are displayed and paraded along the main roads. If you go to Hino-cho, you can see the large yamagura storehouses for these tall floats. From this year, all the storehouses now have a brand new sign explaining about the float in Japanese, English, and Korean. Each float has an interesting history.

The person who wrote the English is a native speaker of English living in Hino-cho. His name is Austin Moore and he recently sent me email and told me about it.

For a rural town like Hino, it’s surprising and delightful to see anything in English. Hino also has a Web site with English sightseeing information.

If you’ve never visited Hino, it’s a very nice town to visit and people are friendly.
http://photoguide.jp/pix/thumbnails.php?album=324
http://www.biwa.ne.jp/~hino-to/005.html

Hino Matsuri on May 3

Click image to see more photos.

Hino-cho will hold the Hino Matsuri on May 3. It is a parade of beautiful Hikiyama floats. I went last year and was very impressed. I will miss it this year.

I heard that each Hikiyama float storehouse 曳山の山蔵 in Hino now has a sign with an English explanation. The person who wrote the English is a native speaker of English living in Hino-cho. His name is Austin and he recently sent me email and told me about it.

Last year, the Shimizu-cho float was the only float with an English explanation. I was very surprised to see it. Austin was a member of that float and wrote the English. He later received requests to write English explanations for all of the other floats too! Those English explanations are now displayed at each yamagura. There are 15 of them. Each float has an interesting history.

You see how even one person can make a big difference? Yes, even the local tourist association cannot (or does not) do such things. But Hino does have an English sightseeing guide online.

If you’re in Hino, check out the yamagura and read the English sign. Better to see the festival. I highly recommend it. If you’ve never visited Hino, it’s a very nice town to visit. People are friendly at the Hino-cho mixi community too. Google Map
http://photoguide.jp/pix/thumbnails.php?album=324
http://www.biwa.ne.jp/~hino-to/005.html

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