National Sports & Recreation Festival Tochigi: Nov 5-8

Tomorrow marks the big opening of the huge 4-day event, the National Sports & Recreation Festival! It’s an annual sports event open to the public, and is hosted in a different prefecture each year. This year Tochigi-ken is the host, and the event has been highly publicized for almost a year and a half now. It’s also the reason Tochigi’s mascot Tochimaru-kun was born, and where we got our bubblegum J-Pop theme song “Hashire” from. (I’ve had to listen to the thing once a week over the loudspeakers at work for the past year and a half so I don’t want to think about it.)

Coppers can't get him down.

Official description: “The National Sports & Recreation Festival is an event aimed at promoting the enjoyment of sports and recreational activities by holding sporting events that include those not focused on winning or losing, and that anyone can participate in. The events allow participants to interact with one another, and has been rotating annually between prefectures nationwide since 1988.”

All the sports are split between separate dates and separate locations throughout the prefecture. Unfortunately, the information is only available in Japanese, and there is far too much to translate, so I will post the website and encourage you to get help from a friend to read the schedules, etc. if needed. (Some locations may also be difficult to access without a car.)

If I’m not mistaken, some games have teams that have signed up beforehand and are just exhibition games, and others will be open to the public. You’ll have to double check the info online.

Please check the homepage: http://sporec-ecotochigi.jp/
(Click on red button to see the schedule for that day. Information will be posted on the morning of.)

Hope to see you there!

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Toyama International Charity Show

Toyama Prefecture, located roughly between Tochigi and Kyoto, runs an annual International Charity Show, managed entirely by JETs.

“Every year, the Assistant Language Teachers (ALTs) and Coordinators for International Relations (CIRs) in Toyama prefecture organize an International Charity Show to raise money for charity both locally and internationally while also giving back to the community that has welcomed them so hospitably. The first Charity Show was held in 1990, and 2011 marks its 21st anniversary.”

Click on the link to the Charity Show homepage for more information.

The event is a great chance for JETs to take initiative to manage and run events in the prefecture. It’s a win-win situation when considering both personal advantages (skills training, resume-building, great memories!) and community advantages (exposure to the international community, benefits from charity money, great memories!). Let’s take pride in our roles as ambassadors in Japan and give back to our second-home in Tochigi by planning a great event of our own!