2021 Sabae Azalea Festival Suspended

2021 Sabae Azalea Festival Suspended

Planned for Sabae City’s Nishiyama Park, Announcement by the Executive Committee

The 61st Sabae Azalea Festival (sponsored by Fukui Shimbun) was schedule to take place on May 3rd and 4th at Nishiyama Park (Sabae City, Fukui Prefecture); however, as a preventative measure against the spread of COVID-19, the executive committee announced the decision to suspend the event, for the second year in a row.

All events connected with the festival will subsequently not take place. There will neither be a special parking area at Sundome Fukui, nor will the shuttle bus operate during the scheduled days.

In a normal year, the Sabae Azalea Festival attracts roughly 150,000 visitors from within and outside the prefecture. Being the season of blooming cherry blossoms and azaleas, there are many visitors, even outside the festival period. Thus, food stands and other such stalls are suspended from operating at the park between March 27th and May 16th.

The festival’s executive committee expressed, “It is unfortunate to suspend this event. But we wish everyone to understand that, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, being in the park for long period of time can increase the risk of infection. We still hope for people to enjoy walking through the park and its flowers, while spreading out the time of visit”. The parking area nearby Sabae City Hall will have free parking from May 1st to May 5th, during Golden Week.

Source: https://www.fukuishimbun.co.jp/articles/-/1278846

Mizu Yokan Burger, An Original Fukui Specialty

Mizu Yokan Burger, An Original Fukui Specialty

Michi-no-Eki [Nishiyama Park], Habutae Mochi Topping Also Available

At Michi-no-Eki Nishiyama Park (located within Fukui Prefecture’s Sabae City), the “Mizu Yokan Burger”, a winter specialty of Fukui using mizu yokan (a Japanese red bean jelly), has gone on sale for a limited time. Presented with a generous amount of whipped cream, the burger has a splendid appearance, while offering a mild sweetness. The extraordinary combination of ingredients continues to gain popularity.

The Michi-no-Eki developed the burger to give visitors from outside the prefecture another way to learn about Fukui’s specialties. The toasted buns are spread with butter, and has mizu yokan, kinako (roasted soybean flour), and whipped cream sandwiched in between. The round-shaped mizu yokan used are provided by a confectionery shop within Sabae City, specially ordered to be used to fit burger buns; it has a lighter sweetness from using less brown sugar, to pair well with whipped cream. The kinako provides an extra accent to complete the Mizu Yokan Burger.

There is also a “Mizu Yokan Habutae Mochi Burger”, which has four to five bite-size pieces of habutae mochi (sweet Japanese rice cakes with a soft and silky texture) in between the mizu yokan and buns, adding a springy texture.

Manager Tsuromu Ito expressed, “Definitely come and try this snack-inspired burger!” The Mizu Yokan Burger is available for ¥300, with the Mizu Yokan Habutae Mochi Burger at ¥400 (tax included). These items are planned to be on sale until the end of February.

Source: https://www.fukuishimbun.co.jp/articles/-/1249994

Cream-Coloured Baby Lesser Panda

Cream-Coloured Baby Lesser Panda

Sabae’s Nishiyama Zoo, Public Appearance Scheduled for October

At Nishiyama Zoo, located in Fukui Prefecture’s Sabae City, a baby male lesser panda (also known as “red pandas”) was born. Other than feeding on his mother’s milk, the baby lesser panda currently spends most of its time sleeping, and is scheduled to make his public appearance around October.

“Kanoko”, the mother lesser panda, is four years old and gave birth on the morning of June 27th; the father “Taiyo” is seven years old. Last March, for the purpose of breeding, the lesser pandas were transported to Nishiyama Zoo from Tokyo’s Tama Zoological Park; it was the first time for Kanoko to give birth.

The baby lesser panda does not yet have a coat patterned with brown, white, and black, characteristic of lesser pandas, but is covered with a cream colour. When measurements were taken on July 29th, the baby lesser panda weighed 930 grams, measured 25 centimetres along the head and torso, and had a tail length of 13 centimetres. At this time, the lesser panda’s sex was identified as male.

According to the city, after giving birth, Kanoko became temperamental; the zookeepers are taking care not to approach the baby lesser panda more than necessary. Last year, Nishiyama Zoo also accommodated the birth of twin lesser pandas. Now, the zoo has a total of 14 lesser pandas.

Source: https://www.fukuishimbun.co.jp/articles/-/1144427

Lesser Pandas Full of Energy, After 2 Months

Lesser Pandas Full of Energy, After 2 Months

Sabae City’s Nishiyama Zoo Reopens

In Sabae City, Fukui Prefecture, after roughly two months of being closed since March 30th, due to the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) infection, Nishiyama Zoo reopened on June 1st. The famous lesser pandas’ (also known as “red pandas”) adorable appearance have visitors smiling from ear to ear.

At the moment, the zoo is operating with reduced hours, from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. In addition to disinfectant sprays placed before the entrance, visitors are asked to fill in their contact information and have their temperatures measured through thermography upon entering the zoo. Infection prevention measures are also diligently carried out within the zoo, such as by addressing visitors to maintain distance from each other, while enjoying the sights.

On June 1st, right from when the zoo opened, children and their parents visit in great numbers, watching over the lesser pandas deliciously enjoy their food. A male Indian peafowl, approaching its breeding season, can be seen making courtship display, as to attract its female counterpart; a man in his 30s, visiting from Fukui City with his family of three, commented with a smile, “It’s as if the peafowl is welcoming us.”

“It’s been two months since the zoo has had visitors; I wonder if the animals are also delighted,” said a staff member watching over the zoo.

From June 1st, the nearby Nishiyama Park has opened to allow people to visit for the purpose of sightseeing; Michi-no-Eki “Nishiyama Park” has also reopened with reduced hours, operating from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Source: https://www.fukuishimbun.co.jp/articles/-/1097210

Nishiyama Park, Some Restrictions Lifted

Nishiyama Park, Some Restrictions Lifted

Walks Within Park Allowed

Sabae City’s Nishiyama Park, which has been prohibiting entry as a preventative measure against the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), has lifted some restrictions, allowing for walks within the park.

As a response against the spread of COVID-19, Nishiyama Park has prohibited entry since April 21st; however, from May 21st, it has become possible to take walks within the park. Despite the chilly climate, people could be seen taking their strolls, immediately from the morning.

Furthermore, visiting the park for long periods of time or for sightseeing are still prohibited; Nishiyama Zoo, within the park, and Michi-no-Eki “Nishiyama Park”, adjacent to the park, will remain closed for the time being.

Source: https://www.fukui-tv.co.jp/?post_type=fukui_news&p=129106&page=1