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.
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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
I made an English page for Hino-cho.
It is not yet complete, but it’s a good start. I will add more info to it, especially directions to get to various sights and maps.
If you want to write anything about Hino, go ahead and send me the text in English. I will correct/edit it and add it to the Web page if suitable. Photos are also welcome.