October 20-21, 2000: SUNTORY Hyper Forum "Local community leads the world"in Oita

SUNTORY Cultural Foundation and six awarded groups co-sponsor the forum this time.
Prior to the forum, I attended a rehearsal meeting held in Toyo Hotel in Oita city.
From left, Ono of COARA, Hitoshi Takeuchi, Hata from Kouchi prefecture, staff of SUNTORY Foundation, Mori of New COARA General secretariat, and Kadowaki of COARA office.
On the other side of the room sit, from left, Kojima, Kurosawa, both from SUNTORY Foundation, Hasegawa from Sapporo city, and Kuwano of Yufuin.
The Forum started at 1:30 p.m.

Ms. Kojima of the Foundation takes the chair.

Mr. Shinichiro Torii, the chairman of the board of directors of the Foundation, makes a few words.
On the stage is a large curtain with an unusual logo and the pictures of the panelists today.
Each of the panelists appeals him or herself. I can easily understand how the Internet plays important rolls in their respective activities.

We New COARA group compiled a short presentation video film. Each of us made a short message that appealed what COARA values.
Mr. Hiroshi Takeuchi made a basic presentation that followed by discussions by the panelists.

From left, Takeuchi, Ono, and Kuwano who introduced the importance of Internet among the young people's local activities in Yufuin town.
On the right is Miss Miwa Sano, a young member of Hachiouji municipal assembly, introduced how effectively she makes the most of the Internet tools such as homepage and bulletin board in her political activities.
Next to her is Mr. Takeshi Hasegawa from Sapporo city. He manages a huge festival called "Yosakoi Soran Festival." He presented how greatly he uses the Internet in his planning and running of the festival.
On the rightmost is Mr. Shunpachi Hata from Kouchi prefecture. He runs a farmers union by using the Internet and i-mode as effective tools to communicate with farmers in the fields or with people in charge of co-operative delivery sections.
The Forum was over at 5:30 p.m. and some participants from outside of Oita prefecture moved to Yufuin in which a nice party was held. At Yunotake Restaurant of Kamenoi Besso Hotel, we had a wonderful party over tasty dishes.
Today's drinking were, of course, SUNTORY's products such as beer, wine, and whisky. Yufuin autumn was on the dishes.
After a welcome message by Kentaro Nakaya, president of the hotel, all the members introduced themselves in short.
(Left) Mr. Mori (right) and my husband Ken, both are the members of COARA, also welcomed the guests.
Mr. Shimizu was from Kobe city all the way. As SUNTORY Foundation is located in Osaka, many members came from Kansai, making Mr. Shimizu as if her were in his homeland.

Young activists in Yufuin town made vivid speeches. After a while, we moved to Nicol's Bar of Tamanoyu Hotel and enjoyed a good time over drinks.
October 21, 2000: Looking around Yufuin valley
I stayed at Enokiya Inn in Yufuin. I could enjoy the hot spring and had a sound sleep.

Next morning, Mt. Yufu welcomed me in the morning mist.

Wonderful view of autumnal leaves looking down from the third floor of the Inn made me very happy.
A large bin of fresh milk was very good for morning dishes.
I soon walked out to look around Yufuin. A small stone image of Jizo sits quietly at a small hot spring in front of Tamanoyu Hotel was decorated with a lovely scarlet apron.
Lake Kinrin (golden scale) features its beautiful image whenever I look at it. Deepening autumnal color will make the scene more beautiful.

My good friend Ms. Kato (right) welcomes Ms. Kojima of SUNTORY Foundation (left.) They have been close friend each other for a long time.

At nine a.m., Mr. Yoneta, general secretariat of Yufuin Sightseeing Office, took us for a walking tour.
The tour started from "Studio Toki", one of famous woodworking shops in Japan. Mr. Yoneta (left) and Mr. Tokimatsu (right) stand in the shop garden.

This is the working shop soundproofed to protect the calm environment of the town.

Various kinds of wood and chopped twigs are used for those beautiful products.
Next stop was Yufuin Art Museum.

The Museum displays wonderful collection of the late Kei Satou, a Gipsy artist. Indigo dyed cloths were on display in the bamboo-structured beautiful gallery.

Then we came to Yufuin JR station to see its unusual design building.

A sightseeing coach was waiting for tourists in the square.
Here, we visited Flora House.

The House started from a floriculture shop and developed to a complex of studying, staying, and hot spring. The owner Ando (right) strongly explained that her target was to live her real life.
In the weaving shop, tourists can go through cloth making using grass-dyed thread or herb strings.
Next stop was Etou Farm. Mt. Yufu welcomed us in the blue sky.
Mr. Eto talked about his experience of vegetable growing at last night's party.
In the plastic greenhouses, garland chrysanthemum, spinach, carrot, and horseradish are beautifully growing. Tomato season was already over, but we could still find some of small fruits.

Mr. Kadowaki of COARA, was so thirsty and bit into a tomato fruit. I also tried it and found it was so sweet with its original taste.
Yufuin tour was now over. The guests headed to Yunohira spa before going back to the airport. I said good-bye to them. See you again in Oita!
October 21, 2000: Yufuin in the afternoon
As we love Yufuin so much and visit the place so many times. This time, we first joined a guided tour however. It was very nice for us.

As we felt tired a little, we took a rest at Nicola's bar again. Refreshing green leaves and hot cocoa made my heart and body relaxed.
We then took a late lunch at Budouya Restaurant.
We killed time in the valley until dark. I found such a catch in the stream. A lot of small fish called Donko was the catch of the day, they said.
October 21, 2000: One-man art exhibition
Mr. Kato, the general secretariat of Yufuin Music Festival, opened today his one-man art exhibition at Kotokotoya Tearoom, displaying his works of oil paintings and watercolor paintings.
We soon dashed to celebrate the exhibition.

I purchased a wreath at Flora House and it was delivered to the tearoom in the evening.
On the wall are his works.
Celebration party has started.

Mr. Katou popped the cork and poured wine for a toast.
Tonight's feast are delicious wine, tasty canape, fresh salad, German home dish of "carrot and chicken stew", and good friends.
Night went on as we enjoyed pleasant chatting with many good friends. I have had nice two days in Yufuin.

Hiroshi Takeuchi homepagehttp://www.ne.jp/asahi/takeuchi/hiroshi/

Hata homepagehttp://www.simanto.com/

YOSAKOI Net official sitehttp://www.tokeidai.co.jp/yosakoi/

Miss Miwa Sano homepagehttp://www.ne.jp/asahi/miwa/sano/

Tamanoyu homepagehttp://www.tamanoyu.co.jp

The history of COARAhttp://www.coara.or.jp/Contents/histry.html

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