This past weekend (June 8-10), the Pan-Pacific Festival took place in Hawaii, which involved a range of events, even including a parade through Kalakaua Avenue with groups from all over the Pacific Rim.
Joining the festivities was Mayor Matsui and some of his delegates all the way from Hiroshima. Through the Japan Local Government Center (JLGC – CLAIR) in New York, JETAA Hawaii had the opportunity to assist the Mayor in some of his tourism promotion activities.
At the first event (June 9, Saturday), JET alumni Keith Sakuda, Kristine Wada, and Darryl Toma joined Mayor Matsui at Ala Moana Center Stage to give a presentation on Hiroshima and promote some of its famous and not-so-famous attractions that include the Peace Park Memorial and Museum, Atomic Bomb Dome, Miyajima, Okonomiyaki, Momiji Manju, Mazda Stadium (baseball), as well as some of the upcoming events such as the 2013 Hiroshima Confectionary Expo (April 9 – May 12, 2013) and Hiroshima Flower Expo. Following their presentation, a Kagura dance group performed on stage.
At the second event following the presentation at Ala Moana Center Stage, Keith, Kristine, and Darryl joined up with fellow JET alumni David Tokuda, Christine Toyama, and Reid Yamada to have lunch with Mayor Matsui and some of his tourism promotion delegates. Discussion topics varied, including JET alumni experiences, teaching methods, impressions of Hiroshima, and suggestions for improving tourism promotion for Hiroshima.
The next day (June 10, Sunday), JET alumni David Tokuda and Darryl Toma joined the Mayor and his delegation, along with a representative from the JLGC, to promote tourism to Hiroshima in Waikiki. Passerbyers filled out questionnaires about Hiroshima, received free information packets that included origami, and had chances to win a variety of prizes from Hiroshima that included brushes, beads, and various pottery.
Overall, the JET alumni that participated had a great time assisting Mayor Matsui and his delegation with their activities and look forward to future opportunities to assist them, as well as the JLGC.
A big thanks goes out to Mayor Matsui from Hiroshima City for giving JETAA Hawaii this opportunity. We would also like to thank Mayor Matsui’s delegation for their great support throughout each event. In addition, we would like to thank Naomi-san and everyone from JLGC in New York for her great support in coordinating everything. Last but not least, thank you very much to Lisa from the Honolulu Japan Consulate for assisting in coordination and of course, all of the JET alumni who participated in these events.
We will look forward to the next time we can meet!