The haka Emily performened was in fact created after Christchurch Earthquake, which happened shortly before the Great East Japan Earthquake back in 2011. The mayor, upon hearing it, said "Let us move forward together."
Typhoon was supposed to hit Fukushima City, where we were heading, at around noon, and this photo was taken at around 10 am. Nothing could stop our super-runner Surasa from running happily and smilingly!
At our next stop, Nihonmatsu City Hall, the staff and the city's mascot Kiku-ninngyou (Chrysanthemum Doll) welcomed us. They must have just come out of the building for us without their jackets under this chilly weather.
Education Board Director was clad in sports gear, all ready to run with us!
Even in this typhoon, Kanna-chan kept cheering up the runners, doing her job!
This was a really smart idea: to wear a rain jacket underneath the Peace Run jacket. Pramiti could manage her 2km running towards the typhoon this way!
And here are the tough ones, running in T-shirts in this weather condition.
We were now in Fukushima City, finishing the last section before meeting local student athletes.
Our cooks with Motomiya's mascot Mayumi-chan.
Here we met with 12 members of Track & Field Club of Fukushima University. One of them just won the first place in the Japan Championship. They were wonderful student-athletes - simple and sweet.
Athletes from Toho Bank's Athletics Club also joined and ran with the torch.
We received a truly enthusiastic welcome by Deputy Mayor of Fukushima (front) and many staff members at Fukushima City Hall.
And now the torch is officially handed from our coordinator Yahva to Fukushima City.
Coach Kazuhisa Kawamoto (with the torch), who organized all the events of this last day for us, from Motomiya to Fukushima (there were supposed to be school programs as well, which got cancelled due to the typhoon). He is one of the most popular and capable coaches in today's Japanese track-and-field. As it turned out, he is a most sincere seeker of peace as well.
Everybody placed their hand on their heart to feel peace inside.
We gave the Torch Bearer Award to Mr. Kawamoto for his invaluable contributions and achievements in the field of athletics, and also for his incredibly helpful involvement in this year's Peace Run organization. In his speech, he said he wants REAL peace, not mock peace; and Sri Chinmoy Oneness-Home Peace Run is promoting this real peace. Therefore, he will continue to support us. Thank you so much, Mr. Kawamoto!
Now all was over, we were off to a sentou (public bath) at Fukushima Station before heading back to Tokyo. Japan's Peace Run experience cannot end without experiencing a soak in a large, relaxing bath.
Back in Tokyo, we went out for sushi at this high-tech traditional restaurant. As many members would leave Japan the following morning, this was our last group dinner.
Here you order what you like using a touch-screen. Shortly after, your choice of sushi is delivered to you on an express train. Needless to say, the international members enjoyed the experience as well as the food very much!
We hope the international runners would go home with fond memories of Japan and people of Japan.
We the members of Peace Run Japan are extremely grateful to all those who participated and helped this year's Peace Run, to those city officials who worked hard behind the scenes to help organize the ceremonies and school programs, and to the mayors and other representatives who kindly held the peace torch on behalf of their cities. You are all true torch-bearers of peace. Thank you so very much, and see you again!!!