Olympic Torch in Kanagawa: The nature and city lights

The Olympic flame is currently in Kanagawa Prefecture, famed for its blend of nature and city lights. Here's everything you need to know about the towns and some of the Torchbearers on the latest stage of the Olympic Torch Relay...

Picture by Tokyo 2020

Just a hop, skip and a jump away from Tokyo is the bustling yet calm Kanagawa Pefecture.

From the waterfront port of Yokohama with it's skyscrapers to the beaches and temples in Kamakura, it's obvious why Kanagawa is a popular destination amongst both locals and tourists.

The Olympic Torch Relay will not be held on public roads in Kanagawa Prefecture with Celebration events held instead. Thankfully each torchbearer will pass the Olympic flame to the next torchbearer at a “torch kiss” point at three selected Celebration venues.

Here’s everything you need to know about its journey through the latest stage of the Olympic Torch Relay.

READ: Japanese sports stars on the Olympic Torch Relay route: Kanagawa and Chiba
WATCH: Olympic Torch Relay livestream

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Picture by © JNTO

Where is the Olympic Torch going?

Fujisawa, 28 June
Not far from Enoshima, which will play host to sailing during the Olympic Games, lies Kandai Park where the celebration ceremony will take place. Fujisawa City is know for it's rich nature, it the summer the blue seas surrounding Enoshima come to life while spring sees the city adorned in wisteria flowers.The city was one of the 53 stages along the Tokaido Road, which connected Kyoto to Edo (now modern day Tokyo).

Sagamihara, 29 June
At the foothills of a number of mountains in the Kanagawa region lies Sagamihara City. The city is an adventure-seekers dream location with much on offer including camping and hiking. But if you want to kick up your feet, Sagamihara also has an abundance of onsens to choose from.

Yokohama, 30 June
Japan's second largest city will play host on the final day of the torch relay in Kanagawa Prefecture. Yokohama is known as having one of the world's largest Chinatowns, which isn't far from the bustling bay area. This will be the backdrop for the lightning ceremony at the Red Brick Warehouse, which played an important part when Japan opened to world trading. Yokohama will also host both football, softball and baseball matches during the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.

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Picture by © JNTO

Stories from the Torchbearers

ONUI Mistuhiro

Lightning ceremony: Fujisawa City

Age: 76

Onui was a first year university student when Tokyo 1964 took place ans is excited to have the Olympic Games back in his home nation almost 57 years on. He hopes he will be able to share in the excitement of the Olympic Games with his grandsons, one of which is a karate athlete in the United States, while showing that 'grandpa' is strong. Onui believes that the power of sport should be passed on to the next generation to inspire them with dreams and hopes.

Sport is giving us a dream, a dream gives us power and power gives us a future.

SUGIYAMA Fumino

Lightning ceremony: Sagamihara

Age: 39

Sugiyama is a former member of Japan's national fencing team that went to the 2004 World Championships. However, he had always struggled to reconcile his sexuality during his athletics career. After retiring, he decided to come out as transgender and begin the transition process. Since then has been a pillar of pillar of the trans community in Japan, co-chairing one of the largest LGBTQ awareness events in Japan.

I am very honoured to be a torchbearer for the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games, which are based on the theme of 'Diversity and Harmony'

TAKAHASHI Minami

Running in: Yokohama

Age: 30

Takahashi is a founding member of Japanese all-girl pop group AKB48 and was 14-years-old when she first made her debut. Life as an idol wasn't easy as she made the daily back and fourth between her hometown of Hachioji and the theatre. For Takahashi, Hachioji has always played a big role in her life and it's thanks to the people of the city that she has been able to do what she does even after graduating from AKB48.

I would like to express my gratitude to the people of Hachioji, where I was born and raised, by passing the baton as a torchbearer in this torch relay.

KAWAI Ramu

Lightning ceremony: Yokohama

Age: 20

Kawai might be a future Olympian in the making. The breakdancer won gold in the individual B-girls and mixed competition at the 2018 Youth Olympic Games. While breakdancing isn't on the cards at Tokyo 2020, Kawai hopes that she can compete at Paris 2024. She wants to thank her family and senior members of Japan's national team who support and train her.

By taking part in the torch relay, I want to support all the participating athletes and strengthen my ambition to compete in the 2024 Olympics.

TSUJIMURA Takumi

Lightning ceremony: Yokohama

Age: 21

Tsujimura is a member of Japan's Para table tennis team. At the age of 10 he was diagnosed with with osteosarcoma, a type of bone caner. He started playing table tennis during junior high school in Fujisawa City and by high school he became part of the national team. Away from table tennis, Tsujimura plays a big role in his local community as part of Fujisawa's Para Sports Festa and a wheelchair table tennis exchange with junior high school students.

I want to be a person who can give hope to people suffering from childhood cancer.

I want to run with a sense of gratitude to the people around me who support me.

Olympic Torch Relay: Kanagawa 

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