Mihama Town Man, Close Contact of COVID-19 Case Outside Fukui Prefecture

Mihama Town Man, Close Contact of COVID-19 Case Outside Fukui Prefecture

August 20th Report, A Visit to Parent’s Home Outside the Prefecture

On August 20th, Fukui Prefecture reported a new case of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) infection of a Mihama Town male company employee in his 50s. On the 19th, the man was contacted by a relative who was confirmed as a COVID-19 close contact outside the prefecture.

The Mihama Town man returned to his hometown outside Fukui Prefecture, to stay at his parent’s home from August 7th to 17th. During the evening of the 18th, he experienced a sore throat. On the 19th, the man received a notification confirming a COVID-19 infection of a family member in his parent’s home, and went to get tested, showing positive for the virus.

Source: https://www.fukuishimbun.co.jp/articles/-/1147920

Domestic Travel Restrictions Lifted Across Japan, Fukui’s Tourist Attractions During the Weekend

Domestic Travel Restrictions Lifted Across Japan, Fukui’s Tourist Attractions During the Weekend

Number of Tourists from Outside the Prefecture Increased from 20% to 60%

On June 20th, Japan entered its first weekend after the domestic travel restrictions, placed by the Japan government, requesting self-restraint, was lifted; travellers have begun returning to tourist spots within Fukui Prefecture, raising anticipation for the return of crowds.

At Rainbow Line Summit Park, which spans across Mihama and Wakasa towns, and completed its renovations during the spring, has around 180,000 visitors in a year, approximately 70% of which are from outside the prefecture. During the past few days, the number of visitors from outside the prefecture went no higher than around 20%; however, on the 20th, that number increase to around 60%. License plates from the Kansai and Chukyo regions were conspicuous in the parking areas, which became fully occupied by 11 of the late morning.

“When the domestic travel restrictions were lifted, Fukui was the first to come to mind, which is why we came here. It feel refreshing, for the children as well, to go sightseeing outside our prefecture after such a long time,” said a family of tourists from Shiga Prefecture.

Source: https://www.fukuishimbun.co.jp/articles/-/1108758

School Entrance Ceremonies One Month Late, Wearing Masks

School Entrance Ceremonies One Month Late, Wearing Masks

Elementary, Junior High, and Senior High Schools Within Fukui Prefecture, Novel Coronavirus Prevention

On May 7th, in the midst of the prolonged school closures, as a preventative measure against the continuous spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), elementary, junior high, and senior high schools in seven municipalities across Fukui Prefecture, including Echizen City and Mihama Town, held their entrance ceremonies. With the refreshingly clear early-summer weather, the new students, as well as their parents and guardians, were wearing masks. While on high alert, schools embark on a new stage as they take on the challenge of holding the ceremonies a month late.

In Echizen City’s Kamiyama Elementary School, at around 9:00 p.m., thirty new students wearing their brand new uniforms, with their parents and guardians, gather in front of the school gate, one after another. Space is opened up between the students, as they form lines, and using hand sanitizers before entering the gymnasium.

The entrance ceremony begins with about two metres of space between every student’s seat; as each of the new students hear their name called, they respond, brimming with energy. School Principal Tomie Takura welcomed the students, “I’m happy to finally be able to hear everyone’s voices”; she continues by advising the students, “Let’s take care of our minds and bodies from getting sick, by leading a proper lifestyle.” The ceremony ended after about 20 minutes.

“I want to study with my friends,” said a new first-year student, with an expression full of hope.

“My child has finally entered elementary school. I hope to raise my child to be able to overcome such a tough situation like this,” said the father (aged 45), with a warm gaze upon his child.

At the same time, Tannan Senior High School has merged into the newly formed Sabae Senior High School, with the Inquiry Course as one of the learning paths within the curriculum; for the school’s entrance ceremony, 276 students were in attendance. The entrance ceremony was carried out with only the students and the school associates present.

“Since parents have been able to attend all the entrance and graduation ceremonies up to this point, it’s very disappointing to be unable to watch over the children while nearby,” said an Echizen City mother (aged 40), who dropped off her daughter at school.

“I was worried about the condition of my studies during the school closures; it also feels lonesome not seeing my friends. I’m glad to be able to go through this entrance ceremony without any problems,” said a new Inquiry Course first-year student (aged 15).

Seven out of eleven students from outside Fukui Prefecture were unable to attend the entrance ceremony, due to having to stay home for a two-week period, in accordance with a Fukui Prefectural Citizen Guideline.

Source: https://www.fukuishimbun.co.jp/articles/-/1082266

Japanese Plums Blooming One Month Early, Fear of Bad Harvest Due to Warm Winter

Japanese Plums Blooming One Month Early, Fear of Bad Harvest Due to Warm Winter

“I Have Never Experienced This; I’m Worried,” says a Farmer in Wakasa

In Fukui Prefecture’s Wakasa Town, where Fukui plums are the local specialty, Japanese plum trees are blooming a month earlier than the average year, due to the warm weather. An earlier bloom will result in lower rates of pollination, leading to the high possibility of a poor harvest. Plum farmers are gaining an impending sense of crisis, voicing sentiments such, “I have never experienced a bloom this early; I’m worried about the harvest.”

According to the Fukui Prefecture Nishuu Region Agriculture and Forestry Department, the plums greatly rely on insects, such as honeybees, for pollination; with the bloom beginning in January, where there is little activity from the bees, it will be difficult for the trees to bear fruit. Even after blooming, there is still a chance for sudden bout of a cold wave or snow, which will cause the flowers and buds to freeze and wither; in addition, if the light rainfall continues, the flower’s pistils will dry out, making it difficult to hold on to pollen.

Wakasa Town has the largest Japanese plum production area by the Japan Sea; across the area from Mikata Lake through the Tsunekami Peninsula, there are approximately eighty thousand plum trees, producing about 800 to 1,000 tonnes of Fukui plums every year. In 2019, the Japan Agricultural Cooperatives (JA) processed approximately 630 tonnes of plums, lower than the average year; but with the current climate, this year’s harvest may be even lower.

According to the Fukui Local Meteorological Office, the current year’s average temperature has been 2.5⁰C higher than average, as logged by an observatory closest to the plum farm, in Mihama Town. Normally, Benisashi and Kensaki (two types of plums) bloom between late February and early March; but with each tree already having ten to twenty flowers in bloom, more buds will continue to sell.

“It can’t be helped that it has been a warm winter. But at the very least, I’m hoping that it will continue on without snow, so the blooms don’t spoil,” said a local plum farmer (aged 37), as he sagged his shoulders.

Source: https://www.fukuishimbun.co.jp/articles/-/1018584

This Season’s New Low, Fukui City at 0.7˚C

This Season’s New Low, Fukui City at 0.7˚C

Ono City at -1.3˚C, Minami-Echizen Also Below Freezing

On November 29, Fukui Prefecture became much colder, due to the effects of the winter pressure pattern, and the high-altitude cold air. Ono City saw -1.3˚C, and Minami-Echizen was at -1.1˚C. Fukui City also reached a low of 0.7˚C, which is the average temperature during the end of the year.

According to the Japan Meteorological Agency, until 8:00 a.m. on the 29th, each region saw its seasonal low; Mikuni in Sakai City at 2.1˚C, Harue is Sakai City at 0.7˚C, Koshino in Fukui city at 4.4˚C, Fukui City at 0.7˚C, Katsuyama City at -0.6˚C, Ono City at -1.3˚C, Imajo in Minamiechizen Town at -1.1˚C, Tsuruga City at 6.3˚C, Mihama Town at 4.0˚C, and Obama City at 4.5˚C. The Reihoku region and Mihama town saw the current season’s temperature lows.

According to the Fukui Local Meteorological Office, the temperature highs for November 29th were predicted at 10˚C for Fukui City, 9˚C for Ono City, and 11˚C for Tsuruga City. For November 30th, the temperature lows are expected to be 4˚C for Fukui City, 2˚C for Ono City, and 6˚C for Tsuruga City.

Source: https://www.fukuishimbun.co.jp/articles/-/983132