Activity Reports    活動報告 Last updated on Mar.7, 2018

February 18, 2018: Intercultural session with foreigners.

  As our monthly group study, we had an interesting meeting with a couple of residents from foreign countries. They were each from Alabama, U.S. and Ireland. Both now live in Koriyama and work as high school English teachers. They first gave us what was their life like in their home countries and then we had Q&A session about tradition, culture, living and others. We recognized how the actual life was like in the American south, which was a little different from what we learnt before. We also learned about Ireland, its own language, recommended places to visit, history and others. Lastly each of our members made brief presentation about attraction and interesting things in Fukushima, picking up topics they might not yet have experienced.

(Photo: A scene from the session.)

2018年2月18日: 異文化交流会




February 3rd, 2018: Sake making experience in Aizu.

  Some of our members had a precious experience of sake making process at a major traditional brewery in Aizuwakamatsu. This was part of sake brewery tour in Aizu region promoted by a travel agency. We participated in the last process of 3-step preparation for the fermentation, where steamed rice is added to a fermentation tank together with koji and water for the 3rd time. All the sake making process will be finished by April, and the result is “My Sake” which is original to each person.

(Photo: Preparing steamed sake rice.)

2018年2月3日: 会津で酒造り体験




January 28, 2018: Attending Aizu Deep White Tour.

  A member of our group attended “Aizu Deep White Tour” where foreign media tourists from South Korea, China, Taiwan, Thailand, and Australia together with supporting members traveled through deep Aizu region. The focus was on fantastic snow scenery and local experiences. The area had plenty of snowfall over the past days, but today it was a quiet and mild weather perfect for taking pictures. They visited some of the iconic sites like observatory of JR Tadami Line train passing over a bridge in Mishima Town, and “Ouchijuku” hamlet which still retained an old Edo atmosphere as it was more than 200 years ago. They had a ride on Tadami Line train which traveled through beautiful landscape along the Tadami River. They also had a special experience at Yanaizu Town of decorating Akabeko, a local traditional folk craft, with their own original art.

(Photo upper left: Observatory at Mishima Town. Upper right: Ouchijuku hamlet. Bottom: Akabeko painting experience and some of the works.)

2018年1月28日: 「会津Deep White」ツアーガイド




January 20, 2018: Guiding foreign students of Aizu University

  A couple of our members have attended a group of foreign students in Aizu University on a bus tour of Aizu region. They visited some of the tourists’ attraction sites including Lake Inawashiro with swans and ducks, and a spectacular viewing spot in Mishima Town overlooking Tadami Line train passing on a bridge over the Tadami River at a steep valley. They also experienced etching their original arts on glassware at World Glassware Hall, Inawashiro Town. The students were busy taking pictures at all sites.

(Photo: A view from observatory at Mishima Town.)

2018年1月20日: 会津大学留学生ツアーの通訳ガイド



January 11-12, 2018: Attending a blogger from Thailand through Aizu

  A member from our group has attended a popular blogger from Thailand on a 2-day tour through Aizu region. She arrived at JR Koriyama Station in the center of Fukushima and started by a rental car. The 1st stop was a spectacular viewpoint in Mishima Town which overlooked JR Tadami Line train running through a steep valley. After stopping at Yanaizu Town, she stayed overnight at Higashiyama Onsen hot spring resort in Aizuwakamatsu. On the 2nd day she first visited Ouchijuku site, where an old post hamlet still remained as it was in Edo Period more than 200 years ago. And the last stop was Lake Inawashiro where hundreds of swans and ducks flocked on the beautiful beach. She experienced beautiful snow scenery as well as a blue sky.

(Photo left: At the viewpoint of Tadami Line. Center: At Ouchijuku observatory. Right: At Lake Inawashiro.)

2018年1月11、12日: タイからのお客様を会津にご案内

  2018年1月11、12日 : 会のメンバーが、タイからの人気ブロガーを会津の各地に2日間ご案内しました。福島の中央に位置する郡山駅から、レンタカーで出発。最初は、三島町にあるJR只見線橋梁の絶景ビューポイントです。その後、柳津町に立ち寄り、その晩は会津若松の東山温泉に泊まります。次の日は、まず大内宿を訪ねました。ここは,200年以上前の、江戸時代の宿場町の風情がそのまま残るところです。最後は、この時期、白鳥などが、数百羽集まる猪苗代湖畔です。素晴らしい雪景色と、青空にも恵まれた2日間でした。



December 16-17, 2017: Attending an Italian photographer

  Two of our members have attended a photographer who wanted to visit tsunami hit coastal or Hamadori region. He usually works at Switzerland as an engineer and he was during his business trip to Japan. We guided him through the tsunami hit area mainly Minamisoma and Soma, where the evacuation order due to the nuclear plant accident was already lifted by July of last year. The area has made a great progress toward reconstruction until now. He visited many places where he could find clear sign of recovery of the region. Those include Kitaizumi Beach where surfing event has resumed, perfect private residence in Minamisoma, and recovered Matsukawaura fishing port in Soma City. He also visited and talked with local people at a temporary housing complex where some evacuees from the vicinity of nuclear plant were still taking shelter.

(Photo upper left: A private home in Minamisoma. Upper right: With local people at a temporary community room. Bottom: A recovered fishing port.)

2017年12月16、17日: イタリア人写真家を浜通りにご案内



December 14, 2017: Iwaki up-to-date tour

  As our monthly group study, we had a tour through Iwaki city and learned a lot about the recovery of the city. We first visited Lala mew which was Iwaki City tourism and products center located at Onahama Port (50-minute local bus ride from JR Iwaki Sta.). On the 2nd floor of the venue there was a large exhibition of photos and descriptions of how Iwaki was hit and how far it has recovered from triple disaster (earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear plant accident) until now. This exhibition is open free to everybody. Then we visited a new Halal certified restaurant in Yumoto district of the city. The restaurant served dishes qualified by Islam, which are still rare in Fukushima. It is located about 5-minute walk from JR Yumoto Sta. We had excellent and healthy curry dishes for lunch, experiencing Halal meal for the first time. After lunch we had a short walking tour around Yumoto town including Sahakonoyu, a hot spring public bath house (10-minute walk from JR Yumoto Sta.).

(Photo upper left: Aquamarine and bridge view from Lala mew. Upper right: Exhibition. Lower left: Halal restaurant. Lower right: Hot spring public bath “Sahakonoyu”.)

2017年12月14日: いわき市アップデートツアー



December 12, 2017: Guiding through Tsunami hit area

  Two of our members have attended a tourist from Australia for a 1-day trip through tsunami affected area of Fukushima. During his stay in Japan he has already traveled other destinations including large cities of Osaka, Kyoto and Tokyo, and today he requested to visit tsunami hit area. We guided him through Minamisoma and Namie, both of which have been already lifted the evacuation order due to the nuclear plant accident triggered by tsunami, for the majority of residential area. The area has made substantial recovery progress but still has many challenges ahead. We guided him through the closest point to Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in Namie. He seemed to have been deeply impressed by mega solar plants and windfarms built in the area, which were renewable energy plants Fukushima has been pushing forward since the disaster.

(Photo: Tourist and guides.)

2017年12月12日: 津波被災地ガイド



December 10, 2017: Cooperation with Mexico on Dr. Noguchi memorial events

  One of our members from Koriyama, who now works in Mexico and who is also a member of Japanese-Mexican Society has visited Hideyo Noguchi Memorial Hall in Inawashiro. This was his second visit following the October of last year and his objective was to talk with hall officials about further cooperation and interaction between Mexico and Fukushima promoting Dr. Noguchi’s achievement as a bacteriologist in the Central and South American countries. One another member also attended him at the hall.

(Photo: Members at Hideyo Noguchi Memorial Hall.)

2017年12月10日: 野口博士記念事業でメキシコと連携



November 16, 2017: A deep countryside tour of Towa district, Nihonmatsu

  As our monthly group study, we had an amazing countryside tour of Towa district, Nihonmatsu City. The area expands to northeast of JR Nihonmatsu Station. It includes historic sites deep inside mountain woods of Mount Kohata (666m). Local specialties such as organic wine produced with grapes from local vineyard, or very natural honey products from local apiary are excellent. Roadside stations in the district served lunch prepared from local vegetables, which were extremely delicious. The area is abundant of fall colors and cherry blossoms as well as local festivals depending on a season you visit.

(Photo below left: 3-story shrine tower which suddenly appeared in deep wood. Photo below right: Members at local organic winery.)

2017年11月16日: 二本松東和地区の素敵な里山ツアー


(写真左: 森の中で突然現れる三重塔。 写真右: 地元の有機ワイナリーで、説明を聞くメンバー。)

November 11, 2017: English guide introduction for a high school

  Five of our members attended as instructors for an English guide introduction program at Asaka Kaisei High School, Koriyama City. The main theme of the guide training today was “Asaka Canal” which was designated as a Japan Heritage last year. About 20 high school students participated in the class and we first gave lectures and then went outdoors to experience the trial guiding tours. Both of us, our side and the school side shared a great opportunity preparing for welcoming foreign tourists here.

(Photo below left: An old map showing the whole area of Asaka Canal. Photo below right: Mizu Midori Park or Water and Greenery Park.)

2017年11月11日: 高校での英語ガイド教室


(写真左: 安積疏水全体を示す昔の地図。 写真右: 模擬ツアーの例として市内の水・緑公園。)

October 25, 2017: National Treasure tour in Aizu

  As our monthly group study, we had a valuable experience at Yugawa Village and Aizumisato Town, looking deeply into several of National Treasures kept in this region. The area was located right west of Aizuwakamatsu castle town. At first, we visited Shojoji Temple in Yugawa Village, where a number of valuable wooden statues carved in early 800’s were kept. Then we moved to Ryukoji Temple in AizumisatoTown, where rare kinds of Lotus Sutra scrolls were kept. The set of scrolls was another National Treasure which was written in early 800’s. What’s special with it was that all the Kanji characters were written on each lotus flower painted with different color variations. Finally, we visited Hoyoji Temple in the vicinity, where 3-story Buddhist Tower stood. It was rebuilt in1780 for the 3rd time and was the only kind left in Aizu region.

(Photo upper left: Main Yakushido Hall of ShojojiTemple, where a large wooden Yakushinyorai, or the Buddha of Healing statue, a National Treasure, was kept inside. Upper right: Member attendees in front of Yakushido. Lower left: RyukojiTemple and an image of Lotus Sutra. Lower right: 3-story Buddhist tower at Hoyoji Temple. )

2017年10月25日: 会津国宝巡りツアー



Sept. 24, 2017: Koriyama Asaka Development tour

  As our monthly group study, we had a wonderful study tour in Koriyama City with two foreigners from the U.S. and Afghanistan attended. The tour was focused mainly on spectacular Asaka Development Project in early Meiji Period including the development of Asaka Canal. These sites were designated as Japan Heritage last year. We first ascended to the highest observatory at 22nd floor of Big-i Tower in front of JR Koriyama Station and watched the vast Asaka Plain. Then we visited two of the related historic sites: Asaka History Museum, and Kaiseikan Development Office, and studied a lot about the history. Finally our tour ended at Hayama Falls near the city center, which had been a landmark for Asaka Canal Development.

(Photo left: Members looking at historic museum building. Photo right: Attendees in front of Hayama Falls.)

2017年9月24日: 郡山安積開拓スタディーツアー



July 2, 2017: Kawauchi one-day tour

  As our monthly group study, we had a wonderful experience at Kawauchi Village, with 10 local English teachers from foreign countries attended. Kawauchi Village is located in a remote mountainous area within coastal Hamadori region of Fukushima. It boasts a great wilderness such as Hebusunuma Pond, which was designated as a National Natural Monument for its great habitat of forest green tree frogs. A famous poet in 1900’s, Shinpei Kusano, was also deeply attracted by the frog and he made his villa called Tenzanbunko in the village. In the morning we all had a great experience of soba noodle making from soba flour at Iwananosato site. After having a nice soba lunch, we visited Hebusunuma Pond, Tenzanbunko, and finally had a coffee break at a new trendy café; Café Amazon. We want to thank all the people who supported this tour including Kawauchi Village officials, and Fukushima University FURE members.

(Photo upper left: Learning soba making from a master chef. Upper right: Jeremy-san guided through Hebusunuma Pond. Lower left: Tenzanbunko and the garden. Lower right: Attendees. )

2017年7月2日: 川内村ワンディツアー




June 11, 2017: Nihonmatsu rediscovery tour

  We had a lot of Nihonmatsu experiences today during our monthly group study. First in the morning, we walked along a trail on the slope of Mount Adatara, which was Adatara Valley Nature Trail, with full of fresh green leaves and waterfalls. After lunch, we visited Ebisu Circuit which was a world mecca for drift driving, and enjoyed watching thrilling performance of sport cars. Finally, we visited Adachigahara Furusato village, where we had a precious experience of handcrafting a kaleidoscope with “washi paper” or Japanese paper, which was a local tradition from 1000 years ago. Nihonmatsu City officials fully supported us all through the tour. Two language teachers from England also attended us and we all had a great intercultural communications throughout the tour. We are sincerely grateful for all of them.

(Photo left: Members at Adatara trail. Photo upper right: Watching drift driving performance. Photo lower left: Members challenged washi handicraft.)

2017年6月11日: 二本松再発見ツアー


(写真左: 安達太良渓谷にて。写真右上: エビスサーキット見学。写真左下: 和紙の万華鏡作りに挑戦。)

May 16, 2017: Basic Chinese orientation

  We have many qualified Chinese interpreter guides in our group this fiscal year. As Chinese speaking tourists increase in Fukushima Prefecture, it is preferable that even English speaking guides understand basic Chinese conversation. Today, we had an extra group study of basic Chinese introduction for English guides. A member of our group, who was born and grew up in China gave us a lecture for introduction. We practiced basic Pinyin pronunciation as well as learned how to pronounce our kanji character name in Chinese. Q and A corner also helped us a lot. It was a great opportunity for those who were starting to learn Chinese.

(Photo: Chinese orientation class.)

2017年5月16日: 中国語オリエンテーション




May 14, 2017: Okuaizu Tadami Line tour

  As our monthly group study, we visited Okuaizu region taking a ride on JR Tadami Line train. The train slowly traveled through deep valleys along the Tadami River and at first took us to Mishima Town. We had a wonderful experience of making a handmade strap by weaving dried wild vine at Seikatsukogeikan facility of the town. This kind of handwork had been local people’s work during winter when the area was covered with heavy snow. Then we moved to Yanaizu Town and visited Fukumankokuzoson Enzoji Temple. This site was the origin of Akabeko legend. In the deep backyard of the precinct there was a historic Okunoin-Bentendo hall built in 1393. Benzaiten which was the Goddess of wealth was enshrined in the hall and it was designated as a national important cultural asset.

(Photo upper left: A bridge of Tadami Line over the Tadami. Upper right: Participants at Seikatsukogeikan. Bottom left: Okunoin-Bentendo hall.)

2017年5月14日: 奥会津只見線ツアー


(写真左上:只見川にかかる只見線鉄橋。 右上:生活工芸館にて。左下:奥の院辨天堂。)

 April 24, 2017: Hamadori recovery tour

 As our monthly group study, we had a significant experience through a tour of Hamadori region which had been severely affected by earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear plant accident 6 years ago. Minamisoma City was one of them. We visited two of the iconic recovery sites: Robot Test Field and National Tree-Planting Ceremony (2018) venue both of which were under construction. Then we moved to Odaka district of the city where the evacuation order due to the nuclear plant accident had been lifted last July, and visited two of the new manufacturing and workshop businesses: Kikuchi-Seisakusho for robot products, and Hario Lampwork Factory for glass ornaments. Finally, we moved to Namie Town where the evacuation order was lifted just last month and visited a new temporary commercial complex “Machi-Nami-Marche” right next to the town office building. We also happened to meet a tourist from the U.S. at this town. Throughout the tour we could see the accelerating recovery in many places as well as realized still a long and winding way to go.

(Photo upper left: City officials explain about Robot Test Field plan. Upper right: Factory director explains about robot suit products at Kikuchi-Seisakusho. Bottom left: President explains about glasswork ornaments at Hario Lampwork Factory. Bottom right: Machi-nami-Marche at Namie Town.)

2017年4月24日: 浜通り復興ツアー




Mar. 26, 2017:

  As our monthly group study, we practiced English guiding tour for Miharu Takizakura giant cherry tree in Miharu Town. The tour was held jointly with Fukushima Bilingual Association, a non-profit organization based in Miharu Town, which promotes an early English education program for children. Some of our members exhibited an example of English guiding tour through the site and we had interesting feedback from the event. Miharu Takizakura cherry tree, which is a National Natural Monument, is expected to bloom soon during mid-April welcoming hundreds of thousands of visitors. (Photo below: Participants stand in front of Miharu Takizakura before bloom.)



Mar. 12, 2017:

  Some of our members have attended a guide training course for Asaka Canal, which has been designated as a Japan Heritage in 2016. The training class was promoted by Koriyama City. The water starts from Lake Inawashiro, goes east through tunnels beneath Ou Mountain Range and flows into the large area of Asaka Plain through 7 different channels. Construction of the canal was done between 1879 and 1882 as the first National Development Project by the new government. The canal contributed hugely to the development of the central part of Fukushima Prefecture including Koriyama City. We traced part of the canal and practiced guiding visitors. (Photo left: The main canal near the Fujita River. Photo right: A map of the whole canal.)




Jan. 28-29, 2017:

  Two of our members have attended a group tour of deep Aizu Region along Tadami Line train, which runs through snow-capped valleys and mountainsides along the Tadami River. This was a group of 75 young foreigners from 16 different Asian and European countries. They first visited Tadami Town and experienced amazing ride on Tadami Line train between Tadami and Yanaizu Station, a part of which still included back-up bus service. They also had some local experiences such as making handicraft ornament by weaving dried wild vine straps. They had healthy local specialty meals and fully enjoyed 2-day tour of remote Aizu Region. (Photo left: Tadami Line tour on the first day. Photo right: Handicrafts making on the 2nd day.)




Jan. 16-18, 2017:

  A member of our group has attended a photographer from Thailand as a translator for his shooting pictures mainly in Aizu Region, where he could find beautiful snow-covered landscape. He chose some places as viewpoints for JR Tadami Line train, which runs along the Tadami River winding through rugged terrain. He also visited historic places such as Ouchijuku hamlet and Tsurugajo Castle, both of which showed amazing winter scenery. Some of the pictures are already uploaded on his websites below. Please find some of them.

(Photo left: Photographer (left) and translator. Photos center and right: Shooting scenes.)





Dec. 18, 2016:

  This will be the last activity report of this year. As our monthly group study, we invited Mr. Matsueda as a speaker, who was a former official of Futaba Town where a part of Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant is located. He talked about his severe experience as a town official when he managed evacuation of the whole population in the town and also about searching and confirming missing people. These were something we rarely could hear from media reports. And in the afternoon session, we learned or reviewed about Asaka Development and Asaka Canal Project in the late 19th century, which was an essential part of today's Koriyama City. The project was designated as a Japan Heritage. (Photo left: Mr. Matsueda talked about his experience. Photo right: We learned history of Asaka Development by watching video.)




Nov. 20, 2016:

  We had a great communication tour experience with 4 ALTs who live in Fukushima, 11 staff members and officials from municipalities in the northern Fukushima as well as from prefecture office, who promoted this event. The tour included two of the major attraction sites in the northern Fukushima: Iizaka Onsen hot spring resort and Kasumigajo Castle Park. Three of “Omotenashi Guide Fukushima” members attended the tour, translating the talk of a local guide at Iizaka Onsen (Fukushima City) or guiding through Kasumigajo Castle Park, Chrysanthemum Figure Festival, and traditional confectionary shops all in Nihonmatsu City. (Photo left: Tour members in front of Iizaka Onsen Station, Photo right: Tour members in front of Chrysanthemum Festival venue.)




Nov. 13, 2016:

  As our monthly group study, we had a special tour of Date City featured the famous Date samurai family whose home town was in this district, and Anpo-gaki or sweet half-dried persimmon which is a great specialty of this town. We first visited historic site of Yanagawa Hachiman Shrine which was a guardian shrine of Date family. Then we learned about Masamune Datenicle animation film project based on stories of Date Masamune and his family, at an excellent farmers’ restaurant Denshokan. Finally, we visited an Anpo-gaki farmer at Isazawa district, where Anpo-gaki was born, and learned about the whole process of making Anpo-gaki. (Photo left: A local wrapped train of Datenicle runs through Date City. Photo right: Peeled and tied persimmons wait for sulfur fumigation.)




Oct. 22, 2016:

  As our monthly group study, we invited Mr. Ashworth as an English guide instructor. Mr. Ashworth is from Detroit, U.S., and is an English teacher at schools in Fukushima as well as helping tourism in Fukushima City for foreigners. We visited three of the attractions in the city: Jorakuen Garden which is an authentic Japanese-style garden, Nakano-Fudoson which is a unique temple with caves and waterfall, and Iizaka Onsen which is a large-scale hot spring resort from prehistoric age. He showed us his unique style of guiding in English with his affluent and broad international knowledge. His talk was so interesting that all of us really got immersed into the story. It was an inspiring opportunity for us to remind the essentials of a guide. (Photo left: A view from Joraken Garden. Photo right: Mr. Ashworth talks about moss on a stone.)


 今月の例会として、福島在住のアメリカ人のアシュウォーズ先生を、お招きしました。先生は、米国デトロイトのご出身で、福島県内のいくつかの学校で英語教師を務めると同時に、福島市観光のお仕事もされています。今回は、福島市の観光地3ヶ所を訪ねました。純日本庭園の浄楽園、洞窟や滝のあるユニークなお寺の中野不動尊、そして、先史時代に発見された大温泉地の飯坂温泉です。先生は、自身の豊富な学識と経験をもとに、独自のガイドを英語でして頂きました。その話は面白く、私達は皆引き込まれていきました。ガイドの基本を改めて啓発された、貴重な機会でした。 (写真左は、浄楽園からの景色。写真右は、先生が石の苔について、話しているところです。)


Oct. 4, 2016:

  One of our members, who now lived in Mexico, came back to Japan attending four tourists from Mexico. He guided them during their visit to Fukushima. Some of the destinations were Hideyo Noguchi Memorial Hall and Inawashiro Town office. Dr. Noguchi, who was a world-known bacteriologist, stayed in Mexico for some time, nearly 100 years ago. With this relation, there is a movement among Japanese-Mexican society to commemorate the event, which he talked about at the town office. (Photo: Visitors from Mexico and attendants in front of Dr. Noguchi's birthplace in Inawashiro Town.)


 メキシコ在住の会員が、メキシコからの旅行者4名と共に一時帰国し、福島県をご案内しました。その中で、野口英世記念館や猪苗代町役場も、訪問しました。野口博士は、世界的な細菌学者でしたが、約100年前、メキシコに在住していたことがあります。このゆかりで、メキシコの日系人の間に、100周年記念の話が出ており、猪苗代町役場でその話をしました。 (写真は、メキシコからの旅行者と、会員など。猪苗代町の野口博士の生家の前で。)

Sept. 11, 2016:

  As our monthly group study, we visited some of the tourist attractions near the northwestern shore of Lake Inawashiro. First, we visited Dr. Noguchi Memorial Hall, which had been renovated last year for the world famous bacteriologist, and is located on the site of his birthplace. Then we had a tour of historic Tenkyokaku pavilion, which was originally built as a villa of Imperial family on the scenic hill near the northwestern edge of the lake, and now has been transferred to Fukushima Pref. Finally, we visited Enichiji Buddhist Temple complex site, where high priest Tokuitsu developed a stronghold of Buddhism in Aizu region some 1200 years ago. Most of the historic buildings were destroyed but a few remained and some have been restored. Please refer to the map for the locations. (Photo left: Dr. Noguchi robot speaks to us. Photo right: Group members on tour inside Tenkyokaku pavilion.)


 9月の例会研修として、猪苗代湖北西部の観光地を巡りました。最初は、昨年リニューアルした野口英世記念館です。世界的な細菌学者の生家の場所にあります。次に、皇族の別荘として建てられた、天鏡閣です。猪苗代湖を望む高台にあり、現在は福島県の所有で、国の重文として公開されています。最後は、慧日寺跡で、約1200年前の平安初期に、奈良から来た高僧徳一により、会津仏教の中心として開かれました。多くは焼失しましたが、残ったものや、復元された建物があります。国の史跡です。場所は、地図を参照ください。 (写真左は、野口英世ロボットの話しかけ。写真右は、天鏡閣ツアーのメンバー。)


Aug. 20, 2016:

As our monthly group study, we invited Mr. Chinthaka Kumara Wijesinghe from Sri Lanka, who now works for i-Medical College in Koriyama City, as a guest speaker. First we learned a lot about his country Sri Lanka, its history, culture, people, and foods including curry, coconut and of course tea. He also talked about helping foreign students in Fukushima, as well as helping local children in his county. His talk was mainly in English, but he also speaks Japanese very fluently. It was an invaluable interaction for us with different culture. After lunch, we made a short visit to old signposts along the old highway in the city, then we came back and had useful guiding lesson led by one of the most experienced interpreter guide members. (Photo left: Lecture by Chinthaka-san. Photo right: Visiting historic signposts.)


 8月の例会研修として、スリランカご出身で、現在、郡山市の国際メディカルテクノロジー専門学校の、チンタカさんを、講師としてお招きしました。スリランカについて、歴史・文化・食べ物(カレー、ココナツ、紅茶など)など、多岐に渡り説明して頂きました。また、福島にきている留学生支援や母国の地方の子供たち支援のお話も、されました。話は、主に英語でしたが、日本語も大変上手な方です。午後は、近くの史跡(旧街道の道標)にミニ散歩をしたあと、戻り、ガイド実績豊富な会員の主導で、ガイド練習をしました。異文化交流を含めて、大変貴重な研修となりました。 (写真左は、チンタカさんの講話。写真右は、旧街道の道標。)


Aug. 7, 2016:

About 20 foreign students of Aizu University visited Tamura City on this day. They are from Vietnam, Taiwan, China, Nigeria, Cameroon, and Germany. A member of our group has attended as an interpreter. They first enjoyed Yasai curry lunch, which is a local specialty curry dish including eight kinds of fresh local vegetables. Then they visited two of the attractions in Tamura City, Mushimushi-land, which is a summer beetle park, and Abukumado, which is a large-scale limestone cave. They all enjoyed local food, beautiful countryside, and interaction with local people. (Photo: Lunch with foreign students.)


 会津大学の、約20名の外国人留学生が、田村市を訪れました。ベトナム、台湾、中国、ナイジェリア、カメルーン、ドイツからの留学生で、田村市の会員の1人が、通訳ガイドとして参加しました。最初、地元グルメの八彩カレーで、おもてなしをしました。地元の新鮮な野菜が、8種類入っています。そのあと、田村市の観光スポット2ヶ所を、廻りました。カブトムシ公園のムシムシランドと、大規模な鍾乳洞のあぶくま洞です。皆さん、おいしい地元の料理、美しい自然、そして地元の方との交流を、存分に楽しみました。 (写真は、留学生とのランチです。)


July 27, 2016:

One of our members guided an Australian researcher who was an Energy and Climate Change Specialist, during her visit to AIPOWER Company in Kitakata City. AIPOWER has been developing renewable energy power plants in Aizu Region, supported by the whole community. Mr. Sato who is a CEO of AIPOWER took her to its Oguni Mega Solar Power Plant. He explained about the company policy, its financial background and the future prospects, and exchanged ideas with her on renewable energy. (Photo: The researcher and Mr. Sato at Oguni Mega Solar Plant.)


 会員の1人が、オーストラリア人の、エネルギーと気候変動の女性研究者を、喜多方市の会津電力にご案内しました。会津電力は、会津地域で、地域全体の支援を受けながら、再生可能エネルギーの発電所を、展開しています。社長の佐藤弥右衛門さんが、会社の雄国発電所に彼女をご案内し、そこで、会社の方針や財政面、将来展望などを説明してもらいました。更に、再生可能エネルギーに関する、意見交換を行いました。 (写真は、雄国発電所で、研究者と佐藤社長。)


July 24, 2016:

As our extra group study, we visited Soma Nomaoi Festival in Minamisoma City, which is a traditional regional festival from more than 1000 years ago. The event occurs in late July every year, for three consecutive days. Its highlight comes on the middle day, featuring armed samurai parade, horse racing, and sacred flag competition. Tens of thousands of visitors attend the festival every year including many from abroad. The festival has been designated as a national important cultural asset and has become world famous today. (Photo left: Armed samurai procession. Photo right: Sacred flag competition.)


 7月の自主研修として、南相馬市で、相馬野馬追を見学しました。千年以上の歴史のある相双地域の伝統行事で、毎年7月下旬に3日間かけて行われます。真ん中の日に、お行列、甲冑競馬、神旗争奪戦が行われ、盛り上がります。外国人含めて、毎年何万人もの人が訪れます。国の重要無形文化財であり、海外にもよく知られています。 (写真左は、当日のお行列、右は、神旗争奪戦です。)


July 16, 2016:

As our monthly group study, we had an opportunity to study about radiation in English, conducted by Mr. Aoki, Technical Advisor at Decontamination Information Plaza (Fukushima City) of the Ministry of the Environment. We reviewed about radiation effects on human health as well as up-to-date results of decontamination works and future prospects. In the afternoon, we moved to Azuma Fruits Farm, one of the many fruits farms along the Fruits Line road. We experienced fresh peach picking and tasting in place. Peaches will last until late August, Japanese pears, grapes, and apples follow one after another through November in the fruits kingdom. Finally, we visited Horikiri-tei, a historic former residence of an outstanding family at the center of Iizaka Onsen area. (Photo left: Lecture by Mr. Aoki. Photo right: Fresh fruits tasting.)




July 13, 2016:

A high school chemistry teacher from the U.S. visited Katsurao Village this day and a member of our group has attended as an interpreter. Katsurao Village had suffered an evacuation order since the nuclear accident five years ago, and the order has just been lifted last June. His school is located not far from a nuclear plant in the U.S. and his students often raise concerns about safety of the plant. He wanted to visit and see the status of Fukushima by himself and find out the answers to his students. He visited Katsurao Village Office and talked with two of the staff members. There were many questions and answers, and he finally seemed much satisfied with his trip here. (Photo: Meeting at Katsurao Village Office.)


 米国の高校の化学教師が、この日、葛尾村を訪れ、隣の田村市に住む会員の1人が、通訳として同行しました。葛尾村は、5年前の原発事故以来、全員避難指示が出ていましたが、この6月に解除されたばかりです。米国での、彼の高校は、原発から遠くない場所にあり、生徒からは安全性の心配の声が、出ていました。彼は、福島の現状をこの目で確認し、生徒の疑問に答えたいと考えました。葛尾村役場では、2人の方が対応してくださり、数々の質疑の後に、十分目的を果たしたようでした。 (写真は、葛尾村役場での会見。)


June 18, 2016:

As our extra group study, we visited Jomopia Miyahata, which is a National Historic Site in Fukushima City. Three official guides guided us through a site tour, which contains a number of remains and artifacts from Jomon Period some 2300 to 4000 years ago. In the afternoon, we moved to Kori Town in the north and visited some historic sites including Handa Silver Mine site which prospered between late 16th and middle of 20th century. (Photo left: Recovered pit dwelling structure of Jomon Period. Photo right: Remains of Handa mine.)




June 12, 2016:

As our monthly group study, we had a special monitoring tour throughout Tamura City. It was arranged by our Tamura members in cooperation with city supporters. First, we visited iconic tourist attraction of the city, which is Abukuma Limestone Cave. Then we visited four other special destinations in a superb countryside. A local community restaurant Hana in Miyakoji District offers healthy curry and rice with local vegetables. Sweets shop YUI provides specialty sweets made from local foodstuffs. Mushroom farm Take in Tokiwa District had won a gold medal at a shiitake mushroom contest in Japan overcoming nuclear plant accident. Renshoan is an artists' house in a quiet wood environment of Funehiki District. We learned a lot about the city and are prepared to guide foreign tourists around. (Photo left: Abukuma Limestone Cave. Photo right: Attendees.)




May 15, 2016:

  As our monthly group study, we invited Mr. Joost Kralt, who is a foreign staff at International Policy Division in the Culture & Sports Department of Koriyama City. In the morning we had a guide training with Mr. Kralt at Takashiba Dekoyashiki which is a famous tourist destination as a traditional handicrafts hamlet. Then in the afternoon, he gave us his idea on how to attract more foreign visitors to Fukushima Pref. and Koriyama. We had a fruitful meeting sharing issues and future vision. (Photo left: Dekoyashiki tour. Photo right: Talk by Mr. Kralt.)




April 10, 2016:

  As our monthly group study, we invited Ms. Kumiko Imoto from Tokyo, who is an energetic business woman on commercial design. She studied art of design at university in Georgia, U.S. and her talk today was also in English. She talked about her hard days while in the U.S. and also her great success in the magazine world, as well as her idea of apparel design which merged Japanese and western design. (Photo: Talk by Ms. Imoto.)



 March 29, 2016:

 A member of Omotenashi Guide Fukushima has guided two women tourists from Thailand and Hong Kong in Aizuwakamatsu City. After arriving at the station, they first had a lunch at a traditional local food restaurant. Then they visited Tsurunoe Sake Brewery more than 200 years old and had a brewery tour and sake tasting. They also learned samurai culture visiting landmark Tsurugajo Castle and samurai residence in the city. At the end of the tour, they stayed at Higashiyama Onsen (hot spring resort) and had an excellent hot spring bath and dinner. (Photo left: In front of the restaurant, Photo right: Traditional lunch)




February 20, 2016: 

 As our monthly group study, we looked back at our earthquake and nuclear disaster five years ago. We invited Ms. Kataoka from Aizu Radiation Information Center as a guest speaker and shared severe experience at that time as well as the current recovery status. During the lecture she gave us an impressive phrase "Knowing the truth is scary, but once we know it, we can go forward."

 In another session, we studied Chernobyl nuclear disaster from an English translation "Voices from Chernobyl" by Svetlana Alexievich. Fukushima still has an evacuation order to some 7% area of the whole land, although the area is gradually shrinking by years. It was useful for us to study Chernobyl again at this time toward the final fix long way ahead.

 Photo below is Ms. Kataoka and attendee of the study meeting.




 January 17, 2016: 

 As our first group study in 2016, we invited a Chinese and a Korean guests and had a free discussion on social and cultural difference in daily lives. They were born and raised in each country and moved to Tamura City, Fukushima, Japan years ago. We learned a lot about differences in the way of thinking and behavior of the two closest neighboring countries. (Photo below left)

 In another session, we studied about Isabella Bird's tracks in Aizu, Fukushima from her "Unbeaten tracks in Japan". The English lady travelled Japan in 1878, which was shortly after Japan opened itself to the world. She travelled through Fukushima for 10 days, and her excellent description of local people's lives and beautiful landscape of Aizu really impressed us. (Bird's tracks below right)



 もう1つの勉強会で、Isabella Bird の本"Unbeaten tracks in Japan" より、彼女の会津の旅の足跡をたどりました。彼女は、開国まもない1878年の日本を旅した英国人女性で、10日間、福島県の会津を縦断しました。会津の人々の生活や、美しい風景などの、優れた描写力に感銘を受けました。(地図右)


December 20, 2015: 

 As our monthly group study, we had a Japanese tea ceremony lesson in Iwaki City. We learned a lot about the history and the aesthetic culture from a master of Urasenke School which is one of the three major tea ceremony schools in Japan. Now we think we can guide foreign visitors to a tea ceremony in Fukushima.

 In the afternoon, we visited some of the attractions in the city. Shiramizu Amidado Hall together with the surrounding Pure Land (Jodo) style garden is a national treasure as well as a national historic site. Another site, Iwaki City Coal and Fossil Museum features two themes: now closed Joban coal field, and fossil displays including Futabasaurus Suzukii the whole skeleton of which was found in the city in 1968.

 Photo below left is a scene from the tea ceremony lesson. Photo right shows participants at the entrance bridge to Shiramizu Amidado.


 本日、例会の研修をいわき市で実施しました。午前は、裏千家の先生のお茶室で、御点前をいただき、茶道の歴史や美学について学びました。今後、海外の方に、茶の湯をご案内するときに、大変参考になりました。 午後は、市内の白水阿弥陀堂と、石炭化石館を訪ねました。前者は、その浄土庭園も含めて、国宝と国の史跡に指定されています。後者は、閉鎖された常磐炭鉱の再現と、フタバスズキリュウに代表される化石類の展示があります。写真(左)は、お茶室で、(右)は、白水阿弥陀堂の庭園前での写真です。


December 12, 2015: 

 A member of Omotenashi Guide Fukushima has guided a visitor from Canada. She visited Iwaki City at which her family member had a war time experience during World War Ⅱ. She visited a house near the site of the experience and could hear more stories at that time from an old resident couple. Finally she visited a City Museum of Coal and Fossils studying more about the site and the experience. Photo below shows the visitor, Japanese couple, and the guide interpreter.



November 27, 2015: 

 A member of Omotenashi Guide Fukushima has attended an interview program with Iitate Village Mayor Norio Kanno by an Italian TV crew. The interview was on the ongoing recovery of the village which had been severely affected by the nuclear accident in 2011. Interpretation was done between the Italian crew and the mayor during 20-minute interview on issues such as decontamination and returning of the residents starting from spring 2017 (photo below).



November 22, 2015: 

 As our monthly group study, we visited Aizuhongo pottery village in Aizumisato Town. This is the oldest in Tohoku Region which includes 14 pottery workshops today. We learned in details about the process and characteristics at one of the workshops: Ryumon China (photo below left). It is dedicated in hard china products which require china pottery stone available from nearby mountain. Ryumon China has its unique liquid flowing pattern and beautiful colors such as ultramarine.

 We also visited some other historic places in the vicinity. Nagatoko is an old prayer hall of Kumano Shrine in Kitakata City. This large structure was first built about 800 years ago and was designated as a National Important Cultural Property (photo below right).


 本日、会の定例研修で、会津美里町の会津本郷焼の集落を訪ねました。東北地方では最古で、現在は14の窯元が営業しています。その内の1つ、流紋焼の窯元で、詳しく説明をして頂きました。(写真左) 流紋焼では、この地方の山から採れる陶石を活用し、磁器を専門としています。また、流紋焼は、液体が流れ落ちるような模様や、美しい群青色などの色が特徴です。

 更に、近くの史跡も、いくつか巡りました。その1つ、喜多方市の長床は、熊野神社の拝殿で、大変大きなものです。(写真右) およそ800年前に最初建てられ、国指定の重要文化財です。


November 17, 2015: 

 A Canadian couple visited Fukushima today. They were old friends of a member of this group. They were very interested in Anpogaki which is a kind of dried persimmon and one of the top specialties of Date City, Fukushima. The member plus two other members have welcomed the couple and guided throughout the city.

 At first during the morning, they visited an old Yanagawa Hachiman Shrine from 16th century (photo below left). The shrine had been closely related with the famous warlord Date Masamune.

 In the afternoon, they visited an Anpogaki farmer. Officials from the city tourist center also attended them. The couple learned in details how those persimmons are processed and shipped (photo below right). This is the best season for Anpogaki. The couple was greatly satisfied with the visit.






October 30, 2015: 

 As our extra group study, we visited two important temples in Aizu Region: Shojoji Temple in Yugawa Village and Ryukoji Temple in Aizumisato Town. Four of the five National Treasures in Fukushima belong to these two temples. Reservation is required for the disclosure of these National Treasures. 

 Three of the National Treasures belong to Shojoji Temple: Yakushinyorai (the Buddha of Healing) statue, Nikko Bodhisattva statue, and Gakko Bodhisattva statue. These wooden statues were created in the 9th century. There are also ten other old statues in the temple all of which are National Important Cultural Properties.

 Ichijirendai Lotus Sutra is also a National Treasure which belongs to Ryukoji Temple. Each of the Chinese characters is written on a lotus flower of various colors. Nine remaining scrolls out of ten are considered to have been written more than 800 years ago. 

 Since photos are not allowed for the treasures, please check the websites below to see their precious images.

Shojoji Temple:

Ryukoji Temple:








October 24, 2015: 

 As our monthly group study, we visited Oyasuba Historical Park and Niida-Honke Sake Brewery in Koriyama City. At the historical park we studied about Oyasuba Kofun (=tumulus) which is the largest of this kind in Tohoku Region built in 4th century. We studied a lot more about the ancient history of Koriyama area in the adjacent guidance facility. 

 Niida-Honke Sake Brewery produces the best quality organic and healthy type of sake products. Some of their products have been awarded gold medals including the latest International Wine Challenge Contest 2015. With the explanation by a friendly staff, our brewery tour turned out to be a lifetime experience.

 Photos below show the Oyasuba Kofun (left), and the brewery tour (right).






September 13, 2015: As our monthly group study, we visited British Hills complex on Hatoriko-Kogen highlands, Ten-ei Village. A charming Australian staff guided us through the Victorian manor house during which we learned a lot of English culture and language. Photos below show the interior of the entrance hall.

2015年9月13日: 本日、会の定例研修で、天栄村、羽鳥湖高原のブリティッシュヒルズを訪れました。オーストラリア出身のネイティブガイドによる、マナーハウスのツアーで、英国の文化や英語の学習をしました。写真は、エントランスホールでの、ガイドの説明(左)と、参加者です。


August 27, 2015: Our monthly group study was held in Nihonmatsu City. First we visited historic sites such as Takene Street and Kasumigajo Castle. Then, we moved to JICA Nihonmatsu Training Center on the foot of Mt. Adatara. There we learned about the training at the site before going out to developing countries. Finally, we attended a lecture on "adjusting to foreign cultures and languages" by a professor from Tokyo University. It was a fruitful day for all of us.

2015年8月27日: 本日、会の定例研修を、二本松市で行いました。最初、市内の竹根通り(写真左)や霞ヶ城の史跡(中央)を訪れ、次に安達太良山の麓にある、JICA二本松の訓練施設(右)を訪ねました。そこでは、現地に行く前の訓練の内容や、東大の関谷先生による、異文化や外国語適応についての、講義を受けました。有意義な一日でした。

Takene Street  

August 16, 2015: One of our members has attended a documentary film shooting crew from Switzerland. This is their second visit to Tomioka town, Fukushima, followed by the first one last March.

 The photo left shows our member interpreter with a Tomioka resident (left) and the film director (2nd from right). The right photo was taken during the tea break with three crew members in the back, a town resident, the interpreter and supporting members of our group.

2015年8月16日: おもてなし福島通訳ガイドの会のメンバーが、8月14-30日の間、スイスから富岡町に、ドキュメンタリー映画の撮影に訪れたクルー(3名)の、通訳をしています。今年3月に続き、2回目です。写真(左)は、富岡町の住人と、監督の間の通訳をしている様子です。また、写真(右)は、休憩時間に、クルーメンバ(一番奥)、富岡町の住人、通訳者、その他、会のメンバです。


July 12, 2015: Our monthly group meeting was held in Fukushima City. The main event was a lecture and Q&A session by Mr. Nissen, an American from Seattle, Washington who teaches English at Sakuranoseibo Gakuin High School.  He has lived in Fukushima for the past 25 years and his wife is a member of Omotenashi Guide Fukushima. We had an invaluable time sharing Mr. Nissen’s mindset and love for Japan including the March 11 and its aftermath experience.

2015年7月12日: 本日、7月の例会を、福島市で実施しました。桜の聖母学院高校の英語教師のニッセンさん(奥様が本会の会員です)にお越し頂き、講話と質疑応答を実施。米国シアトル出身で、福島に25年住み、もちろん東日本大震災も経験されました。彼の考え方、日本に対する愛着など共有でき、大変有意義な時間でした。


June 14, 2015: During the fourth monthly gathering, we arranged a study tour of renowned Asaka History Museum (left) and Kaiseikan site in Koriyama City. At Kaiseikan site (right), another certified local tour guide gave us a brief lecture on the history of the Asaka Land Development Project and the construction of the Asaka canal in English.

2015年6月14日: 第4回例会として、郡山市の安積歴史博物館(左)と開成館を見学しました。開成館では、英語の通訳ガイドさんによる、安積開拓と安積疎水の説明を、拝聴しました(右)。


May 28, 2015: Six of our members have guided a group of about 60 foreign scientists of physics and chemistry who were then attending an international conference at Urabandai, Fukushima. They had a marvelous day-off with us during a bus tour visiting Tsurugajo Castle and Suehiro Sake Brewery. 

2015年5月28日: 会員6名にて、物理・化学研究者の学会参加者バスツアーに同乗し、鶴ヶ城と末廣酒造をご案内しました。


inserted by FC2 system

inserted by FC2 system