Obihiro Ice Festival1/29 to 1/31


Obihiro Ice Festival1/29 to 1/31
What·s HaR~~ni~g i~ 06ihiro?
-=====-----llntemational and Domestic Relations Section Newsletter
Jan 2009
Issue 202
ini volley all
A little bit of volleyball
Mini-volleyball is the Japanese attempt to make
volleyball more accessible. The court is smaller, the ball
is soft and light, and the net is much lower; low enough
for some people to look right over!
The International and Domestic Relations Section holds
a Mini-Volleyball Night every 2nd Wednesday of the
month (that's the 13 th in January) at the TlRC, where
anyone and everyone can come and play mini-volleyball
with friendly people from around the world.
People of all levels come to play, so it's always a good
time. You should come check it out!
For more info, contact us at :
The Tokachi International Relations Center (TlRC)
West 20 South 6, in Obihiro
[email protected]
TEL: 0155-34-0122
Obihiro Ice Festival1/29 to 1/31
I can't think of a better way to enjoy the freezing cold
temperatures of Obihiro's winter than with gigantic sculptures
made of snow and ice, and huge exploding balls of fire!
The end of January is probably the coldest part of winter here in
Hokkaido and to lure everyone out of their cozy blankets, the City
of Obihiro puts on quite the show in Midorigaoka Park (around
West 12 South 19). There will be hot food and musical
performances, not to mention all the beautiful ice and snow
This festival can be a memorable moment for you and your
friends, or it could be a romantic date, but just being outside for a
little while is quite chilly, so definitely wear lots oflayers of warm
clothing, and bring a bunch of those little hand warmer heat packs
(called kairo in Japanese) to keep you warm!
Fireworks over the main, giant snow sculpture
at the Obihiro Ice Festival
For more info contact us at :
International and Domestic Relations Section
West 5 South 7, in Obihiro
[email protected]
TEL: 0155-65-4133
·Pg.l: Mini-Volleyball and Ice F:estival
Pg.3: Winter Danger and Seijin Shoo
Pg.2: Events and Fun in Tokacbi
Pg.4: Movie Schedule
anuary yen s
and Oblhlro
Where/Contact #
Every Sat., Sun.
and Mon. from
now to March
First race at 11 :00
Last race at 17:00
Draft Horse Racing: This is probably what Obihiro is
most famous for. In these Ban'ei horse races, huge work
horses pull sleds loaded with weights. Sometimes the
sand track gets covered with a soft white blanket of snow.
Obihiro doesn't have a heated racetrack, so it specializes
in these winter snow races.
Obihiro Horse Racetrack
Winter Zoo:
Come see how lions, elephants, and giraffes survive in
cold snowy Obihiro!
Obihiro Zoo
12/5 to Feb
(Open Fri Sat Sun
and Holidays)
11 :00-14:00
Shikaribetsu Lake Kotan: "Kotan" means village in the
1120 to 3/31
10:00 - 22:00
language of the Ainu. There is going to be a village built
on the frozen Shikaribetsu Lake. There will be an open
air onsen (hot bath), an "ice bar" completely constructed of
ice, and igloos too!
Shikaribetsu Lake
Story Telling Around the World: This month we will
be reading a America children's book in both English and
Japanese. We will also play some games and have a good
time. Target audience: children from 3 yrs. old to 2nd grade
elementary students. RSVP by TEL, FAX, or email.---+
Tokachi International Relations Center
TEL 0155-34-0122
FAX 0155-34-0165
[email protected]
Obihiro Ice Festival: Lots offun for kids and adults,
1129 -1131
(Fri - Sun)
(details at right)
but be sure to dress warm!
Opening Ceremony and Fireworks
1130 11 :40 - 19:30 Various activities
1131 10:00 - 17:00 Concerts, live performances and the
Closing Ceremony
Obihiro Ice Festival
Note: The Sapporo Snow Festival
(probably Hokkaido's biggest tourist
attraction) will be Feb. 5 th - 11 th •
If you don't have hotel reservations
yet, you may be too late...
Obihiro Festivals Promotion Committee
TEL 0155-22-8600
Winter DangerSq~d'hOh'to Avoid
for them at convenience stores. 2) Buy something
called a yutanpo (hot water container). These come
in all shapes and sizes, but you can just buy any
cheap one, put it under your desk, and rest your feet
right on it (make sure to put the cloth covering on it
first!) The warm water inside will keep your toes
toasty for hours.
Danger 4: Cold intestines Japanese people are
very careful not to let their intestines get cold
because they insist this will lead to catching a cold.
Keep your own innards warm with a yutanpo (see
above). But not just any yutanpo. Go to the Mega­
Don shopping mall on the west side of Obihiro and
buy a cute little sheep, dog or teddy bear yutanpo
that you can cuddle in your lap all day at work. Not
only will it maintain your .~I
digestive organs at warm fiIllIlIIIIRi
temperatures, but it will
also look cho-kawaii!
(super cute)
Danger 1: Hitting a snowbank Tokachi roads get
icy in the winter, and we don't use roadsalt so much
to reduce salt damage to cars and to reduce water
pollution. Make sure to put winter tires on your car
and drive slowly when roads are icy or wet; wet
roads tum to icy roads at unexpected moments.
Danger 2: Taking a dive on the sidewalk
Obihiro's sidewalks are often angled and covered in
ice. This can be difficult to walk on, especially
when a thin layer of snow hides the ice below. If
you're walking around town, assume that every next
step with be a slippery one and you will never be
unpleasantly surprised. Also, don't ride your bike in
the snow and ice; that's just asking to taste the
Danger 3: Cold feet: Wearing socks and warm
slippers at all times are the traditional way to keep
your feet warm, but there are two more ways to up
the warmth down there. 1) There are hand warmer­
like pads that are specially made to put in your
shoes. They are shaped to fit under your feet. Look
:Japan pfasfi,
Seijin Shiki
A small insight into any and all aspects oflife in Japan
A seijin shiki is a coming of age ceremony in Japan. They are
generally held in January at local city offices, but the only one I
ever attended was held at a fancy hotel. Attendees this year will
be everyone who did or will tum 20 between April 2, 2009 and
April I, 2010.
The ceremony I attended in Tokyo (when I was 20) was held in
a large chandeliered dining hall. There was a stage where various
officials gave speeches, some comedians told jokes, and I believe
there was even a pair of clowns who did all this crazy clown stuff.
The speeches (though I could barely understand them at the
time) were about telling the new adults to ganbaru (do their best)
and to be responsible adults and such.
The performances and huge buffet of free food were there as
celebration of our becoming adults.
Us foreigners had no idea what we were doing so we just
showed up in button down shirts and other random asemblages of
clothing, but the Japanese guys and gals had their act together.
All the young women were dressed in beautiful kimono called
furisode (which means swinging sleeves). These kimono with
long hanging sleeves can only be worn by unmarried women.
The young men mostly wore suits, but some of them wore the
traditional hakama (picture below). People usually rent these
special kimono as they are rarely used on any other occasion.
If you turned 20 this year, I definitely recommend you search
out your local seijin shiki and attend it for sure!
Janua ry Movies At Cinema Taiyo, in Obihiro
Times are subject to
change. To confirm,
call or check online at:
(Nishi 3, Minami 7) Tel: (0155) 20-1525
Starts -Ends
(Bruce Willis in a blonde wig!)
Jan 22 - Feb
(Sci-Fi action flick)
Dec 23 - Feb
(Johnny Depp is John Dillinger)
Jan 1 - Jan 29
The 4 th Kind
Dec 11 - Jan 22
Jan 1 - Jan 15
Jan 15 - Feb
Public Enemies
Where the Wild Things Are
Jan 30 - Feb'
Jan 1 - Jan 29
Ototo ("Little Brother")
Jan 30 - Feb
Grandpa Carl's Floating House
Dec 5-Jan 29
Prof. Layton and the Eternal Songstress
Dec 19 - Jan 29
Zero no Shoten ("Zero Focus")
Nov 14 - Jan
Golden Slumber
Movies ending this month
Greg Hertel -Editor, Events, Movies, Web manager
International and Domestic Relations Section
Kotomi Kashiwagi, Hisashi Ono - General Advisory
Obihiro City Hall
International and Domestic Relations Section - Articles
Nishi 5, Minami 7-1
What's Happening in Obihiro? can be found at the following locations: Obihiro City
Obihiro, Japan, 080-0867
Hall, Tokachi International Relations Center, Obihiro University International Center,
Phone: (0155) 65-4133
Obihiro Tourism and Convention Center inside the Obihiro JR Station, Obihiro Public
Fax: (0155) 23-0171
Library, Cinema Taiyo, Joy English Academy and
E-mail: [email protected] at
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