fbpx
Connect with us
Advertisement

Tokyo 2020

[Tokyo 2020 Countdown] Olympic Torch Relay Completes Two-Day Leg in Ibaraki Prefecture

Runners on July 5 in Ibaraki include Shotaro Yo, a visually-impaired shamisen player, and Keiji Suzuki, a judoka who won a gold medal during the 2004 Olympics.

Published

on

Torchbearer Maki Tsukada, judoka

~~

~

After circulating through nearly all of 47 prefectures around Japan, the sakura-shaped Olympic torch is now nearing its final destination, Tokyo. 

Runners on July 5 included Shotaro Yo, a visually-impaired shamisen player, and Keiji Suzuki, a judoka who won a gold medal during the 2004 Olympics.

Judoka Keiji Suzuki

“Hope brings courage! Listen to the sound of my heart!” said Yo, making this his torchbearer’s message.

In an interview with Tokyo 2020, Yo explained, “As a Japanese citizen and a resident of Ibaraki, I would be glad to be a member of a welcoming party, giving the best hospitality to people from all over the world.” 

Shamisen player Shotaro Yo

On July 4, the torch traveled from Kashima City to Mito City, and on July 5 it departed from Koga City. The Ibaraki leg of the torch’s journey ended with a celebration at the Tsukuba Expo Center, a science museum and planetarium in Tsukuba City. 

Ryujin Suspension Bridge

The routes took it through Ibaraki Prefecture’s Kashima Shrine, Sugao Marsh, the Ushiku Daibutsu, and Kasumigaura. 

Hideo Iijima, former Olympic sprinter and baseball player
Zico, otherwise known as Arthur Antunes Coimbra, former coach of the Japan national soccer team
Akiko Takahashi carrying the torch
Ibaraki Prefecture torch relay runners

The Torch traveled around nearby Chiba Prefecture for two days before it reached Ibaraki Prefecture. 

After passing through Ibaraki, the Olympic torch is set to cross over to neighboring Saitama prefecture on July 6.

Runners in front of Fukuroda no Taki

Author: Serena Landers

Serena Landers is a young reporter for JAPAN Forward in Tokyo and a student at Wesleyan University in the United States.