Mikuni Fireworks Festival, Suspended for 2021

Mikuni Fireworks Festival, Suspended for 2021

Expresses Executive Committee

On March 4th, considering the effects of COVID-19, the 40th Mikuni Fireworks Festival, which was scheduled to take place within September in Fukui Prefecture’s Sakai City, was declared suspended by its executive committee. As a COVID-19 countermeasure, a system to charge for all seating was considered, as a way to restrict admission. However, it was determined to be difficult to guarantee the safety of the attendants and local residents. This is the second consecutive year in which the fireworks festival has been suspended.

In regular year, the number of attendants to the Mikuni Fireworks Festival surpasses two-hundred thousand, being among the largest fireworks festivals within the Hokuriku region. Last year, the fireworks festival had been suspended due to the difficulty in securing security personnel, in connection with the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games, before it had been postponed. During this year’s instance, the executive committee looked at the state of how the festival would be operated during the COVID-19 pandemic. Last October, considering the increased risk of heat stroke due to wearing masks during the summer, the festival that had been scheduled for September 18th, although normally taking place on August 11th.

Last autumn, COVID-19 infection rates across the country had slowed down, but had completely changed shortly after. Currently, including within Fukui Prefecture, the number of COVID-19 patients have been declining, and a vaccine plan is being laid out throughout the country. However, how the situation progresses into the future remains unclear.

At the Mikuni Fireworks Festival executive committee meeting on March 4th, the members all agreed that they “would wish for the event to be held, if it was possible”. But among opinions such as “it will be impossible to prevent crowding in the surrounding areas, even with restricting admissions”, and “there is a high chance that the vaccine will not reach everyone by the time of the fireworks festival”, the Sakai City executive office also stated that, “holding the event will be difficult”.

Based on such opinions, executive committee leader Hiroshi Dojo expressed, “if we push to hold the event, and it results in an increase of infections, that is something we cannot undo”, confirming the executive committee’s decision to suspend the Mikuni Fireworks Festival.

Source: https://www.fukuishimbun.co.jp/articles/-/1272131

Mikuni Fireworks Festival 2021, Event Day Confirmed

Mikuni Fireworks Festival 2021, Event Day Confirmed

Influenced By COVID-19, Scheduled One Month Later than Normal Year

On October 21st, the Mikuni Fireworks Festival executive committee, in Fukui Prefecture’s Sakai City, announced that next year’s festival will take place on September 18th, a change from the usual annual date of August 11th. Along with novel coronavirus (COVID-19) countermeasures, the risk of heatstroke while wearing masks during the summer was taken into consideration, which led to the decision of the festival to take place during mid-September, when the humidity will have decreased.

The Mikuni Fireworks Festival is the largest festival within the Hokuriku region, with over 200 thousand visitors, with next year’s being the 40th occurrence of the event. The festival will take place at the Mikuni Sunset Beach and the Kuzuryu River Boat Park, as it has during previous years. September 19th and 20th are reserved in case the event should be postponed.

In regards to security and transportation, the executive committee office’s city tourism department expressed that, with the fireworks festival taking place after the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games, it will become relatively easier to secure staff and vehicles for the festival; adjustments will be made moving forward.

Taking national and prefectural event guidelines into account, well-defined methods of temperature measurements and to avoid the “Three Cs” (closed spaces, crowded places, and close-contact settings), as preventative measures against COVID-19, are under consideration. Depending on the COVID-19 situation, the festival may be suspended, postponed, or scaled down.

The Mikuni Fireworks Festival for 2020 had been suspended due to scheduling conflict with the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games, before the announcement of its postponement, which had led to difficulties in securing resources such as security staff and shuttle buses.

Source: https://www.fukuishimbun.co.jp/articles/-/1189585

Mikuni Fireworks Suspended, Due to Schedule Overlap with the Tokyo Olympics

Mikuni Fireworks Suspended, Due to Schedule Overlap with the Tokyo Olympics

Difficulty in Gathering Security Staff, Similar Situations Occurring Across Japan

On January 20th, in Fukui Prefecture’s Sakai City, an executive committee for the Mikuni Fireworks Festival, which was scheduled to take place on August 11th, was announced to be suspended for this year. The reason stated was the inability to guarantee sufficient security measures, due to the event overlapping with the schedule of the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics. Because of the Tokyo Olympics, many fireworks festivals across Japan are being suspended one after another.

The Mikuni Fireworks Festival is the largest fireworks festival in the Hokuriku region, with the number of visitors surpassing 200,000. Every year on August 11th, the event is held at the Mikuni Sunset Beach; last year had the 39th occurrence of the event. With around 10,000 fireworks launched in the air, including the popular “underwater fireworks” and 2-shakudama (a large-scale firework) fireworks, approximately 235,000 spectators gathered for the 2018 event.

The Tokyo Olympics will take place from July 24th to August 9th, while the Paralympics will take place from August 25th to September 6th. As a result, obtaining security and operational staff has become an arduous task, and taking the matter of safety into consideration, the executive committee decided to suspend the fireworks festival. Acquiring rental equipment, such as portable toilets, has also become an issue.

“ Due to being unable to guarantee safety and security, hosting the event would be difficult,” explained the executive committee, recalling past major incidents across the country; in particular, there was an incident during a fireworks festival hosted in Hyogo Prefecture’s Akashi City, where a pedestrian bridge for the spectators collapsed, resulting in the death of 11 people.

The effects of security staff shortages due to the Tokyo Olympics can be seen nationwide; notable fireworks festivals suspended includes Chiba Prefecture’s Teganuma Fireworks Festival, which can reach crowds nearing 400,000 spectators, and Kanagawa Prefecture’s Kamakura Fireworks Festival, which has a history of being held over 70 times.

Currently, no other significant fireworks festivals within Fukui Prefecture have been suspended for the upcoming summer season.

Source: https://www.fukuishimbun.co.jp/articles/-/1013489

A Winter Scene of Ten Thousand Interwoven Daikon Radishes

A Winter Scene of Ten Thousand Interwoven Daikon Radishes

Produced to be Used as Takuan in Fukui

In various areas within Fukui Prefecture, daikon (Japanese white radish) are being dried, in preparation to be used as takuan (pickled daikon). As a farmer working in Fukui Prefecture’s Fukui City, Akihiro Shimada (aged 58) has a field with about ten thousand daikon radishes dehydrating; exposed to the cold winds, the radishes’ umami flavour becomes condensed, producing a sweet aroma lingering in the air.

From six years ago, Shimada has been cultivating “miyashige” (a type of white radish relatively larger than other daikon radishes, and harvested in fall to winter). On December 5th, Shimada’s wife, Miho, also worked hard to help with the cultivation. After being rinsed with water, the roughly 30 centimetre long radishes are tied together in bunches of four, and hung one after another, along a pipe structure installed across the field, measuring 2.5 metres high, and 35 metres long. After dehydrating for roughly two weeks, the radishes are shipped out. It will then be sold within the prefecture’s Japan Agricultural Cooperatives (JA) direct sales markets, and at the Michi-no-Eki (a roadside rest area) located within Sakai City’s Mikuni-cho.

Grown in a field of sandy soil, Shimada has pride in the radishes’ sweetness and white colour.

“Through continuous trial and error, this year’s batch is the best ever. I want the youths to also try the challenge of making tsukemono (pickled food),” says Shimada.

Source: https://www.fukuishimbun.co.jp/articles/-/987416

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