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Photo News

Here's a selection of various efforts Ichinoseki City is making to bring the ILC to fruition, of local events the city’s international residents enjoyed, local attractions and so on. Swipe through the picture gallery by using the arrows.

Find more ILC news translations at News Updates and in triannual Newsletters.


A seminar explaining the ILC held at civic center Feb 17 

On February 17, around 50 people attended the ILC Explanatory Seminar held by the Tohoku ILC Project Development Center and the High Energy Accelerator Research Organization (KEK), at Kawasaki Civic Center.

Key speakers presented on topics which included the status of the International Linear Collider project, the significance attracting the project, the direction of particle physics over the next 10 years, the safety of the ILC and how the ILC would impact society and industry in the area.

After the presentations, a Q&A session took place. Participants were particularly interested in knowing of the prospects of the ILC being built in Japan and in Ichinoseki and expressed opinions that more needs to be done to build momentum nationwide, and soon.

Ichinoseki Science Café with Hirotomo Noda  Feb 3

Ichinoseki Science Café was held at the Oshu Space & Astronomy Museum on February 3.

A lecture on the exploration of small bodies in the Solar System was given by Hirotomo Noda of the RISE (Research of Interior Structure and Evolution of Solar System Bodies) Project, National Astronomical Observatory of Japan.

After the lecture, the participants took a tour of the Space Museum. The 4-Dimensional Digital Space Theater took us to the edge of the observable universe.

Special ILC classes : Junior High School round-up Jan 26 

Seven junior high schools across Ichinoseki received ILC Online Special Classes in the fiscal year of 2023.

When students arrived at class, they were greeted by their lecturer (1 school taught by Aoki Yumi, and 6 schools by Fujimoto Junpei both of the High Energy Accelerator Research Organization KEK) via a camera. The lecturers shared their PowerPoint presentations which touched upon the history of science, particle physics and the outline of the ILC project.

Within the presentation, each student was given a chance to observe a cloud chamber experiment which is a simple particle detector used to detect ionizing radiation. 

After the lecture, the students had times to ask questions.

Special ILC classes : High School round-up Jan 18 

Three high schools in Ichinoseki held ILC special classes in fiscal year 2023, each with a unique spin.
- Ichinoseki Kogyo High School (Oct 4-17) 3rd grade students learnt about the ILC through a lecture. They will later convey what they learned to elementary and junior high school students using PowerPoints they created.  

-Ichinoseki Gakuin High School (Nov 16-21) 1st grade students received lectures on the ILC and multicultural symbiosis. They created posters on future town planning and presented their ideas.

-Ichinoseki Daini High School (Nov 28) 1st grade students received lectures on the ILC, information distribution in Ichinoseki and multicultural symbiosis. They held a discussion on future visions of the city.
-Hanaizumi High School (Jan 18) 1st grade students received a lecture on the outline of the ILC and multicultural society. They discussed how to be involved with making the city a more inclusive one for foreign residents. 


170 attend ILC event  Dec 6 

On December 6th, The Construction Area Association for the Realization of the ILC held an event with the aim of building momentum for the realization of ILC construction in Tohoku.

The event held at Bellino Hotel Ichinoseki was attended by approximately 170 people.

Mr. Atsushi Sunami, Chairman of the Sasakawa Peace Foundation, who specializes in political science, gave a lecture on the “International Linear Collider from the perspective of science and technology diplomacy'', and Mr. Shinichiro Michizono, professor at High Energy Accelerator Research Organization, gave a lecture on “ILC accelerator technology and ILC Technology Network”.

Making a request to MEXT and MOF Nov 28 

On November 28, The Construction Area Association for the Realization of the ILC handed a written request to Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) and Ministry of Finance (MOF).


The representatives were Mayor Yoshihito Sato of Ichinoseki City, Mayor Shigeru Sugawara of Kesennuma City, and vice representatives: Kunihiro Koiwa, Chairman of Ichinoseki/Hiraizumi ILC Promotion Convention, and Ken Inomata, Representative Director of Tome International Linear Collider Promotion Council.


Main remarks by MEXT correspondents are as follows:

The ILC is a highly technological facility and still requires research and development. It is also a project with a huge budget. International cost sharing and understanding both domestically and internationally are also necessary. I would like researchers around the world to discuss and reach a consensus on what to do about the next Higgs Factory. First and foremost, I would like to do the best I can.

Kids enjoy science and create snow globes  Nov 18

On November 18, Ichinoseki Kids Science, a science event for parents and children, was held with Iwate University Engineering GIRLS as lecturers.

42 people participated in the event which was held at Ichinoseki City Kawasaki Community Center in the morning and afternoon.

Participants did experiments using carbon dioxide and observed reactions, as well as making snow globes using gold leaf from an urban mine.


ILC, Forests and Carbon neutrality Sept 26

Ichinoseki City presented on forest C02 absorption at the International Workshop on Sustainability in Future Accelerators (WASFA2023).

As Ichinoseki is a major part of the Kitakami Site, how to deal with the extra carbon dioxide produced by the construction and running of the ILC must be considered.

Currently, the general annual absorption of Ichinoseki's private forests = 303Kt, falling 2.8 times short of carbon neutrality.
Some key ideas presented along with absorption calculations were of forest management, reforestation and contructing building from wood.

Estblishment of regonal ass

Science Kids 2023 Summer  Aug 8

Ichinoseki Kids Science 2023 had children see light through the lens of science.

On August 5th, 20 elementary school students from Ichinoseki and Hiraizumi attended the hands-on science class held and sponsored by the South Iwate Research Center of Technology. Michiru Nikaido gave a lecture on natural phenomenon and how light affects our planet. From there, he did some simple experiments such as making a cloud in a bottle and showing how different colors of light travel. The last section had students make a spectrometer and observe different light sources. Everyone was captivated by the array of separated colors.

Japanese Summer -Festivals and Food Stalls Aug 20

In summer, various festivals and Bon Odori are held throughout Japan. One of the traditional sceneries of Japan is the rows of stalls. Adults can enjoy foods such as yakisoba or yakitori with some draft beer. Children flock to the game stalls, such as target shooting, goldfish scooping, and katanuki (die cutting candy). Even in a normally quiet place, people will naturally gather if there are festivals and food stalls. Even in Ichinoseki City, festivals are held every weekend in the summer. Everyone loves festivals. If you’re in Japan during the summer, please experience the festivals and food stalls.

The establishment of the Construction Area Association for the Realization for the ILC  Feb 8

The inaugural meeting of the Construction Area Association for the Realization of the ILC was held on February 8 at the Ichinoseki Cultural Center in order to support the development of the International Linear Collider (ILC) in the Tohoku area.

The association was promoted by Ichinoseki City and Ichinoseki Hiraizumi ILC Promotion Council, with participation from roughly 200 individuals from Iwate and Miyagi prefectures.

Ryu Shionoya, a member of the House of Representatives and chairman of the Diet Members for the Promotion of Construction of the Linear Collider International Research Institute, addressed the general assembly with a congratulatory speech and a lecture was given by Masanori Yamauchi, Director of the High Energy Accelerator Research Organization (KEK). Mayors expressed their determination and confirmed that the local governments of the candidate construction site, and related parties will work together to actively develop activities toward the realization of the ILC in Tohoku.

Promoting the ILC at the summer festival   Aug 7

Ichinoseki enjoyed its annual summer festival over the weekend (August 4-6). Fireworks, tanabata decorations, food stalls, mikoshi, dancing and drums brought the streets to life. The Ichinoseki ILC Promotion Division marched with banners reading 'We are ready for the ILC' during the kurukuru dance event. 


2022 special classes

Kanayama Tanada   Mar 30

Nestled away in the mountains of Ichinoseki is Kanayama Tanada. Kanayama Tanada is a terraced rice field with 50 uniquely shaped rice fields of about 20 square meters.

Due to the small, unleveled rice fields, most of the work must be done by hand. Such terraced rice fields are rare in Japan, and from 2022, they have been selected as a nationally recognized terraced rice field heritage site. Tourists pay visit from all over the country during the period from when the rice field work begins in April until the rice is harvested in October.
Here are the many faces of the Kanayama Tanada rice fields throughout the seasons.

Special ILC classes held at schools across the city   Dec 6 - Jan

Special ILC classes were held at Ichinoseki Daini High School on December 6, 13, and 20, 2022, and at Hanaizumi High School on January 19, 2023.

Den Doris, Coordinator for International Relations of Iwate Prefecture gave an overview of the ILC and gave a lecture about coexisting with difference cultures. Group discussions and poster presentations about future community development and multicultural coexistence were held based on the lecture's content.

The Hot-Air Balloon Festival of Ichinoseki and Hiraizumi   October 14

The Hot-Air Balloon Festival of Ichinoseki and Hiraizumi 2022 was recently held from October 14 to 16, mainly at the Ichinoseki-Mizube Plaza.


This festival started in 2012 as an event to help support the reconstruction from the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami. This year, the clear autumn skies above Ichinoseki once again came alive, dotted with colorful hot-air balloons in reds, blues, and golds.


Alongside the festival, nationally-ranked pilots raced their balloons through the air at the 3rd match of Honda’s Hot-Air Balloon Grand Prix, the most important competition in the nation. Thirty teams entered their balloons into the competition, although matches in the morning of the first day were canceled due to thick fog and strong winds. However, by the afternoon, the balloons were in the air, aiming for the target set in the rice fields of Ichinoseki’s river region. They raced from the Mizube Plaza to the goal, trying to land on precise targets.

Tanabata summer festival in Murone   July 2

Ichinoseki recently celebrated its first Tanabata summer festival in three years.


The Murone district (near the ILC site) was decorated with handmade Tanabata accoutrements, and even saw performances  of Yosakoi dance and local bands.

Shiunseki (purple cloud stone) Inkstone   Mar 11

The inkstone is an essential component in calligraphy. Shiunseki Inkstone is one of the representative traditional crafts of Higashiyama, Ichinoseki, and is produced from a precious russet-colored stone with cloud-like patterns. It produces a warm and elegant ink-colour. There is currently only one Shiunseki Inkstone craftsman, down from a previous 5 to 6 individuals. The craftsman is still making inkstones at the age of 90.

A bizarre festival in the midst of winter   Feb 11

Under normal conditions – prior to COVID times – every year in early February, one of Japan’s strangest festivals would be held in Daito, Ohara of Ichinoseki. Brave men would run through the streets half-naked while being doused with ice-cold water. The following is a remarkable account of a former Ichinoseki Assistant Language Teacher who participated in the Daito Ohara Mizukake Matsuri.

The Kitakami Ohashi Jan 13th

The Kitakami Bridge spans the Kitakami River, which runs through Ichinoseki, and serves as a vital link between Kawasaki, Ichinoseki, and Yasakae. The Kitakami Bridge's shape is highly unusual, with only a handful others of its kind in Japan. The bridge, with its exquisite weave and view of the Kitakami River, is a symbol of the town that soothes individuals who have had a long day at work on their way home.


Seaon's greting

 Southern Iwate Prefecture/Northern Miyagi Prefecture ILC Promotion Convention Dec 28th

On December 24, the Southern Iwate Prefecture/Northern Miyagi Prefecture ILC Promotion Convention was held at the Ichinoseki Cultural Center to promote the International Linear Collider (ILC).

The convention was initiated by the Residents' Association Aspiring to Realize the ILC, the Tome City International Linear Collider Promotion Council, Kesennuma City and Ichinoseki City, and about 400 people from Iwate and Miyagi prefectures participated.

At the convention, a keynote speech was given by Prof. Atsuto Suzuki, President of Iwate Prefectural University, Chairman of the ILC Promotion Panel and representative of the Tohoku ILC Project Development Center, and Prof. Satoru Yamashita, a specially appointed professor of the International Center for Elementary Particle Physics, the University of Tokyo. In addition, a convention declaration was adopted that southern Iwate prefecture and northern of Miyagi prefecture will work together to strongly promote efforts toward the realization of the ILC.

Season's Greetings from Ichinoseki and the ILC Dec 16th 

This year was a quiet one, but we have continued to spread awareness of the ILC at junior high schools within the city via online lessons, held science cafes and distributed the quarterly newsletter, ILC NEWS. We hope to welcome you here in the near future.


Pictures: Tsuyagawa, Murone Christmas lights. While it’s not an area where people often commute through (the population of the town being less than 800 people), some years ago, the townsfolk started decorating their houses with fairy lights. What started with two houses has over the years, expanded to a 500m long strip. Now every year during late Nov to early Jan, people gather here to enjoy this special sight.

Ichinoseki City welcomes the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Torch Relay June 18th

The 2020 Tokyo Olympic Torch Relay - Ichinoseki leg

On the morning of June 18, 2021, the relay started at the Ichinoseki Cultural Center to the sound of Japanese drums. 10 torchbearers ran through the city toward the goal, Ichinoseki City Hall. Final torchbearer, Ichinoseki local and champion snowboarder Reira Iwabuchi, was cheered on by enthusiastic citizens and the many Ichinoseki mascots, including our very own Higgs Kun.

Zoom exchange with sister city  Feb 11th

A Zoom exchange with Ichinoseki’s sister city, the Central Highlands in Queensland, Australia, took place on Feb 11.

The mayor of the Central Highlands, Kerry Hayes, gave a presentation about their region’s industry and tourism and kindly took questions from the many online participants. Some participants included students who had once visited CH through the exchange program.

An account by Mayor Kerry Hayes

Happy New Year, happy new webpage! Jan 1st

Happy New Year from us at the ILC Office in Ichinoseki. And welcome to our new English Ichinoseki ILC webpage!

This is a picture of the first sunrise of the year taken at Ishikurayama in  Ichinoseki. Watching the sun rise on Jan 1st (hatsuhinode) is a New Year’s tradition in Japan.  Ishikurayama’s weather conditions as well as it's proximity to the Kitakami River allow for ‘unkai’ or sea of ​​clouds to form quite often, making it a great spot for hatsuhinode.

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