Life / Culture

  • "RUN BASE SAPPORO" even offers rental shoes and jogging wear

    Runner's stations (sometimes abbreviated to "runsute" in Japanese) are facilities where city runners can do things like change clothes and shower, and a new runner's station called "RUN BASE SAPPOR...

  • On October 7, five coastal cities in the Kushiro region announced that the amount of damage to fishery sources including salmon and sea urchins is currently estimated to potentially rise to approximately 2.8 billion yen, due to the problem of ongoing fishery damage thought to be caused by red tides along Eastern Hokkaido coasts. Taking into account the Tokachi and Hidaka regions as well, the total amount of salmon that have died throughout Hokkaido territory is 19,600 (as of October 6), and the monetary damage amount is expected to rise higher in the future. Mayors of 16 municipalities in four regions, including the Nemuro region, met with Hokkaido Governor Suzuki Naomichi at the Hokkaido Government Office on October 7 and requested aid for fishers.

  • On September 29, the Ainu Association of Kushiro held the ‘40th Kamuycep Festival’, a traditional Ainu ceremony to welcome salmon and pray for an abundant catch. Twenty-five people wearing traditional dress offered thanks for the blessings of nature in the ceremony, which was held by the Shinkushiro River in the city of Kushiro in eastern Hokkaido.

  • An Ainu cultural and academic research group in the town of Bihoro in the Okhotsk region, which is involved in the preservation of Ainu culture, held a ‘cipusanke’ (boat launching ceremony) for a ‘itaomacip’ (timber boat) used by the Ainu for open sea voyages, at Ranshima Beach in the city of Otaru in central Hokkaido on September 19.

  • Lake Kussharo, which is located in the Akan-Mashu National Park (in the town of Teshikaga in the Kushiro region) and is the largest caldera lake in Japan, will reach a major turning point on October 1. In principle, the personal use of powered boats such as motorboats and jet skis will be prohibited on the whole of the lake, which has a circumference of 57 km. Unless specifically authorized, navigating the lake in such a manner will be punishable under the Natural Parks Act.

  • Wooden spoons made from white birch by Aitomi Mokuzai-kakou Corporation in the town of Tsubetsu in the Okhotsk region of eastern Hokkaido, which are used at five shops that sell dairy products in the town of Okoppe and the like, are proving popular among customers for their ‘cute’ cow designs. The spoons are part on an initiative derived from an Okhotsk Regional Promotion Bureau project, and the cost of manufacturing the spoons is covered by a forest environment transfer tax that the national government allocates to local governments for the purpose of maintaining forests in the region. As the trend shifts away from the use of plastic, the plan is to promote the warmth of wooded products.

  • Nurse Fukushi Minami from the town of Kyogoku in Central Hokkaido’s Shiribeshi area has been offering a mobile sales service for her own medicinal blend teas with recipes based in a medicinal herb theme. On September 9, she opened her own shop called “Cokyuu” in Toyako.

  • Sapporo Maruyama Zoo recently announced that two rare slender shrews, which in Japan only live in the northernmost main island of Hokkaido, gave birth to a total of 13 babies at the beginning of September, though two have since died. Slender shrews -- which grow to about 5 to 6 centimeters long, excluding the tail, and weigh about 4.5 grams when fully grown -- generally inhabit forests and grasslands in Hokkaido and the northern part of the Korean Peninsula.

  • Today is the official Shiribeshi Hug your Husband day. It is very important that all wives in the Shiribeshi area give their husbands a big hug today.

  • A giant ‘kagami-mochi’ rice cake weighing approximately 100 kg was offered at the Kameda Hachimangu Shrine in the Hachiman-cho district of the city of Hakodate on September 10, as part of a prayer ceremony carried out by the Association of Southern Hokkaido Agricultural Cooperative Chairs –– in which wishes were made to end the COVID-19 pandemic and to promote rice-cake food culture.