Tony Reed
Del Norte Triplicate

A delegation of 15 local officials are leaving Saturday for Rikuzentakata, Japan and will get little rest until their return home June 23.

The dual purpose of the visit is to share tsunami preparedness and response tips and to take part in Rikuzentakata’s Sister City signing ceremony.

Officials will also share agricultural and other business information.

Delegates from Rikuzentakata visited Crescent City on April 16 to take part in the first part of signing ceremony.

Following a 12-plus hour flight to Tokyo and about five hours of train and bus travel, the group will be met by Rikuzentakata city staff just before 10 p.m. Sunday.

Starting from 7:30 the next morning, the itinerary is essentially packed.

Monday, the group will tour the City Observation Viewpoint, the tsunami Information Center, and the new city center. Following a visit with Mayor Futoshi Toba, a tour of a Shitake Mushroom Farm and a quick lunch, the group will visit the chamber of commerce and Takata High School. Following lunch with local officials, they will visit the city’s Disaster Management Center.

The group will then attend the Sister City signing ceremony and a dinner organized by the Rikuzentakata delegation.

Tuesday, the group will be at the Rikuzentakata Global Campus for a three-hour crisis simulation exercise. They will visit the Tohkai Shimpo newspaper for lunch before attending a four-hour disaster management program.

They will then visit Asuka Gallery and later, a “culture experiment” organized by Ma’am Takata, a local women’s group. At 9 p.m., they will check into the hotel for the night.

Wednesday, the group will depart at 4 a.m. to board a fishing boat in Hirota Bay and later have lunch with the Fish Business Association. They will then visit the harbor for discussion regarding the current crisis preparedness and evacuation facility.

Some lodging rearrangement will occur before the group visits the Suisen Sake factory. Following a barbecue dinner, they will conclude their 16-hour day and return to the hotel at 8 p.m.

June 21 begins with a bus ride to the temporary museum in Rikuzentakata where the boat Kamome is stored. The boat, formerly owned by Takata High School, washed ashore in Crescent City in 2012, was cleaned up by Del Norte High School students and returned to Japan, kicking off the Sister School and Sister City relationships.

They will visit the “Dream Project,” a company created for people with special needs, and the elementary school for a discussion with teachers, and a seafood processing facility. A farewell starting dinner at 6 p.m. will conclude at about 10 p.m.

The morning of June 22, following a day of transit back to Tokyo, the group will visit the American Embassy and later have dinner with Amya Miller and Rikuzentakata Senior Advisor Kiyoshi Murakami.

June 23 is all travel to get back home and the return trip will land the delegation in Crescent City the following day.

20540275