Oct. 6, 2014 Live from the road

Motomiya 福島県本宮市 - Fukushima 福島市

Reported by Harashita Sunaoshi 40.0 km

Typhoon No.18 was approaching Fukushima, but that did not stop us from making our way to Motomiya City Hall, our first stop of the final day.


We were invited inside the building, where a number of staff members welcomes us with big smiles.


Yahva made a nice introduction to the mayor and his staff.


The mayor must be a rugby fan. As soon as he saw Emily's haka, he figured out her country!


The mayor received the torch on behalf of the people of Motomiya. Now the peace torch is officially passed onto Motomiya City.


The staff in the section behind the counter kindly stopped their duties as well for a moment to participate in the ceremony.


The mayor gave us Motomiya's mascot, Mayumi-chan, as a gift. Now our car-companion Kanna-chan has a friend!


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.


By the last day high-fives and the country-guessing game became a standard at city hall ceremonies. It's more fun this way!


Director of the Board of Education of Nihonmatsu City received the peace torch on behalf of the citizens.


They must have studied which countries the runners came from. In there hands were hand-made national flags.


Feeling peace in one's own heart...


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!


Our final run for the Japan Peace Run this year, with Deputy Mayor of Fukushima and all the others present at the ceremony.


As it was the end of the Japan route, the flame was put out.


Our last group photo. Everyone was happy.


See you everyone! We hope to see you again!!

福島大陸上部のみんなはピース・ランのパンフレットにランナーからサインをもらったりしていました。ありがとうございました! また会いましょう!

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!!!



Torch carried by
Ashirvad Zaiantchick (Brazil), Emily Oliver (New Zealand), Harashita Sunaoshi (Japan), Josef Sverma (Czech Republic), Ken-ichi Nobunaga (Japan), Laksyavedi Munkh-Erdene (Mongolia), Midori Shimizu (Japan), Munkh jargal Lkhaasuren (Mongolia), Pramiti Niwa (Japan), Shraddha Kurzemniece (Latvia), Sudasa Yoshida (Japan), Surasa Mairer (Austria), Usra Yamada (Japan), Victor Lusis (New Zealand), Yahva Hoffmann (Japan), You Yamada (Japan).  
Akanda Norov, Ashirvad Zaiantchick
The torch has travelled 40.0 km from Motomiya 福島県本宮市 to Fukushima 福島市.

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