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Higashikawa

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Higashikawa is an awesome little town of 8000 people that currently has 10 jets (3 ALTs, 5 CIRs, and 2 SEAs). it has tones of sweet little restaurants and cafes, like the wood fired pizza place, or roster coaster where they roast their own coffee beans in house, as well as traditional Japanese food restaurants. We also have Asahidake, the largest mountain in Hokkaido. We are the town of photography and have an annual international photography festival in august every year. We have lots of foreigners in town, including 60 registered foreigners (last time i looked) and lots of transients. We have a school for foreigners to learn Japanese in town so their are lots of students of Japanese as well as lots of tourists. We have 4 elementary schools, one JHS and one SHS. we have 3 onsen, but they are not in the heart of town, they are up on the mountain. We are famous for our water (only place in Japan with water that is not treated- just filtered and sent to homes) and it is delicious. we also are know for our rice. We are a 40 min bus ride form Asahikawa so can easily get there and back in a day. The Japan national cross-country ski team comes here to train so the cross-country ski tracks are quite good. you can ski Asahidake as well but it is all back country (not groomed) and you can rent snowshoes to go snowshoeing on the mountain as well. Canmore the local ski hill is great for students but most of the skiers prefer Kamui if they are not learning. we have a famous water fall called Teninko (angle wing falls) but the straight path to it has been taken out by a land slide and has not bee repaired so you have to make a longer hike if you want to see it. our town mascot is a momonga (dwarf flying squirrel) but he only appears in pictures. we have a small Japanese style castle (modern built) on the hill near town which gives a great view of the area if you do not have the stamina to climb Asahidake. there is a rope way up to a 1km flower viewing course on the mountain that anyone can walk (i have seen wheel chairs on it) but to make the summit means climbing a lot of scree (small loose rocks). we have a Monte Bell right next to the Michi no eki (town station- not a good translation but as close as I can get. these don't really exist outside of japan). we have lots of artisans with studios like carpenters, wood carvers and potters in the north part of the city. There is a twice annual flea market festival in Kitoshi park right at the base of the ski hill. the Omikoshi festival is in late august and early September included the gods rice harvest (we grow rice for the gods here). The JA festival is normally in early September as well. We have the Ainu fire festival to bless hikers for the mountain season in June as well as the Sea to Summit triathlon (kayak, cycling, mountain hiking). right so that is the summary. sorry for the grammar mistakes and the informal nature of the post but I'm doing this quickly after work so i hope i got everything.

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