The Olympic Torch Relay is underway in Miyazaki! You can watch every moment of the flame's historic journey to the Opening Ceremony of the Olympic Games on 23 July 2021 via the dedicated Tokyo 2020 live stream, as well as following the highlights as they happen via our blog, below.
26 April, 15:00 (JST): Pictures on the road!
Coastal scenery, hula dancing, and shrines…Miyazaki has so much to offer as the Olympic Torch Relay travels through the Prefecture. Check out the highlights of today in pictures.
26 April, 14:30 (JST): Masako the inspiring girl
Born with spina bifida, 13-year-old KAWANO Masako usually relies on a wheelchair to move around. When she was at primary school she encountered the daily challenge of climbing the stairs to reach her classroom on the third floor but luckily she received help and encouragement from teachers and classmates. However last year, with the help of a walker, she competed in a 120m race at the school’s sports meet and afterwards people told her that they were inspired.
When I thought that I could give people courage, I cried while climbing the stairs.
Now a junior high school student, Masako has started practicing judo — another experience she’d never dreamed of before.
26 April, 13:00 (JST): Hula dancers cheer for the relay
This morning, when HASHIGUCHI Keiko kicked off the relay in Miyazaki City, a group of hula dancers welcomed her with an elegant performance. It was the perfect welcome for the coastal city!
26 April, 11:10 (JST): Two-time Olympic marathon runner lights the way
Today, marathon runner TANIGUCHI Hiromi wasn't running for a medal, but for his hometown Nichinan City.
Starting the career as a marathon runner in junior high school, Taniguchi left his mark at both domestic and international events. In 1991, he became the first Japanese male runner to win gold at the Athletics World Championships. He also took part in both the Barcelona 1992 and Atlanta 1996 Games.
After retiring, Taniguchi didn't stray too far from the track becoming a special professor at Miyazaki University, who dedicates his time to developing both athletes and athletics in the Prefecture.
26 April, 10:30 (JST): The shrine bringing good luck to married couples
One thing you definitely should not miss about torch relay in Miyazaki is the visit to Aoshima Island.
Located off the coast of Miyazaki City, the island features white beaches and subtropical jungle. You will also find a colourful Shinto shrine—Aoshima Shrine—at the centre of the island. It’s a popular place for weddings as people believe that the shrine brings good luck to married couples.
Outside the shrine there is another famous spot named Oni no Sentakuita, or devil’s washboard: a natural formation of straight rows of basalt rock.
You can see the washboard as torchbearer SAKAMOTO Tetsurou runs along the beach.
The Olympic Torch Relay just visited Aoshima Island, which is located off the coast of Miyazaki City.
26 April, 10:00 (JST): The passion of an 18-year-old Karateka
GOTOU Kaito is a torchbearer in Miyazaki City, whose dream is to have more people know about karate, a sport that will debut at Tokyo 2020.
Though visually impaired, Gotou started practising karate in primary school and has competed against able-bodied rivals at competitions since 2019. He attributes such experiences to the kind support from masters at a local dojo.
Now a student at a school for the visually impaired, Gotou hopes that the challenges he faces can show karate to a wider audience.
Living in a world where I could not see clearly, I’ve been connected to the world via karate. Together with people around me, I am determined to move forward on this road.
26 April, 09:15 (JST): Re-live highlights of Day 1 in Miyazaki
The Olympic flame started its journey in Miyazaki Prefecture on Sunday. Let's take a look at the bright smiles of the torchbearers who ran yesterday!
26 April, 09:10 (JST): Meet the young Miyazaki torchbearer who wants to cure the world
One of the torchbearers who will be running in Miyazaki is FUJIU Ayame, a local pupil who is president of her school's student council. She aspires to promote closer collaboration between Japan and the world, and dreams of one day becoming a pharma researcher to find cures to diseases.
As far as her home prefecture and destination of today's leg of the Olympic Torch Relay is concerned, Fujiu has this to say:
"Miyazaki Prefecture is known as the home of Japanese mythology. There are many mythologies and folklore that have been passed down for generations. Miyazaki is also blessed with wonderful nature, being surrounded by beautiful mountains and the sea. Miyazaki is referred to as "the sunny side of Japan" for its warm and mild climate."
26 April, 09:10 (JST): Welcome to Miyazaki City!
Welcome to the second day of the Olympic Torch Relay in Miyazaki! The flame will begin its journey in Miyazaki City, a popular destination with balmy temperatures that made it a favourites of Japanese honeymooners for many years. From there, the torch will journey through Nichinan City, Kushima City, Mimata Town, Miyakonojo City and Kobayashi City, before a final stop in Ebino City.
Ebino is a favourite of hikers with a 12km trail that twists and winds its way through mountainous pathways. From the top of Ebino's highest peak, the 1,700 metre-high Mt. Karakuni, visitors can even enjoy views of South Korea.
You can watch all of the day's action unfold live right here on Tokyo 2020.