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November 2008

Let’s Start “Eco Drive” Environmentally Friendly Driving

30 November 2008

Kyoto City is promoting “Eco Drive” which causes less fuel consumption and is environmentally friendly by stopping engine idling and gradual starting.
This is one of the methods for solving the greenhouse effect by reducing CO2 produced by cars. The city held “Eco Drive Festa” and participants enjoyed learning about eco driving through lectures, displays of eco cars which move by electricity or hydrogen, etc.
Now Kyoto City is recruiting “Miyako Eco Drivers” to practice eco driving and promote it. Also “Eco Drive Promotion Companies” which actively promotes eco driving is also being searched for. The city will send special staff to support the company. For further information, see the pamphlet or website of the Kyoto City Environment Management Section: Tel: 075-213-0930.

Maintaining an Attractive Environment for Foreign Exchange Students

23 November 2008

Kyoto City will start new projects to support residential environments for foreign exchange students and to promote further international exchange.
Having a certain number of excellent exchange students will improve international competitive ability of universities in the city and that make Kyoto more multicultural.
To ensure a comfortable living environment in Kyoto for exchange students and their families, the city will provide some sites for universities which are planning to build foreign exchange student residences. The first candidate site is the old site of the Ukyo Ward Office. The affiliated university for this site will be decided early next year.
In addition, to assist exchange students in learning about and enjoying Kyoto culture, the city will provide special passes for the exchange students which will let them enter 8 cultural facilities in the city (Nijo Castle, Kyoto International Manga Museum, etc.) free of charge for the certain period of time. Other special privilege programs are also planned (tea ceremony party by Japanese students, etc.).
By promoting these programs, the city will try to increase the number of exchange students in the city to 10,000 by 2017. For further information about the exchange student residential support, contact the University Project Section: Tel: 075-222-3103. Regarding special programs for the exchange students, contact the International Promotion Section: Tel: 075-222-3072.

Kyoto City Cultural Merit Award Ceremony Held

16 November 2008

Kyoto City held an award ceremony for cultural merit on November 5th, 2008. The award is presented to people who have contributed to the city’s development of art and culture over a long period of time.
Five people received the award this year. Mr. Sengoro Shigeyama has performed kyogen comic theatre plays for many years both in Japan and abroad. Mr. Sosa Sen is a master of tea ceremony (Omote Senke) who has taught the spirit of Japan through the tea ceremony. Mr. Kiyotsugu Nakagawa specializes in traditional wood crafts and is designated as a person of intangible important cultural heritage. Mr. Sueharu Fukami is an original and unique artist in the field of ceramic and sculpture works. Mr. Yasuhiko Murai who used to be a director of the Kyoto Municipal Museum of Art largely contributed to the city with his study of history of Japanese culture.
The mayor of Kyoto, Mr. Kadokawa, gave a speech and praised the award winners. “Kyoto is a representative city of Japanese culture and these five people are particularly important in the role they have performed in promoting Kyoto’s beautiful art and culture worldwide. I hope they will continue to develop their field.” For further information, contact the Kyoto City Art and Culture Planning Section: Tel: 075-222-4105.

“Kyo Machiya Machizukuri Research” for All Machiya Town Houses in the City

9 November 2008

Kyoto City is now undertaking “Kyo Machiya Machizukuri Research”. Kyo machiya are traditional residences which are an important part of Kyoto’s historical townscape. However, the total number of Kyo machiya is decreasing by 2% every year. The research involves determining the actual number of Kyo machiya and devising ways of protecting them.
In total, more than 5,000 people are involved in the research (specialists in Kyo machiya and voluntary citizens). They will visit all of the city's (the total is estimated to be roughly 50,000) Kyo machiya structures that were built before 1950 and interview the owners.
In addition to Kyo machiya, the city is looking for new wooden architecture which is blends well with Kyoto's traditional townscape. The research will last until March next year. The city needs volunteers to help with the research. They must be over 18 years old and be able to work on Sat., Sun. and holidays. For further information, contact the Kyoto City Townscape/Machizukuri Section: Tel: 075-354-8701.

The 110th Anniversary Ceremony for the City’s Autonomy Held and Mr. Tokindo Okada Awarded as Honorary Citizen

2 November 2008

On October 15, 1898, Kyoto City acquired municipal autonomy. Citizens got a right to elect their mayor and city hall was opened. Kyoto City celebrates October 15th every year as a day of autonomy. The year 2008 marks the 110th anniversary and a ceremony was held at Kyoto Kaikan (Okazaki, Sakyo ward) on October 15th, 2008.
At the beginning, the mayor of Kyoto, Mr. Kadokawa made a speech. “I would like to develop the idea of local autonomy with the “cooperation” and “unified voice” of all citizens.”
Next, Mr. Tokindo Okada was awarded as an honorary citizen of the city. He is the world’s first scientist to successfully cultivate crystal lens cells which largely contributed to the field of developmental biology. Also he has largely contributed to the city’s promotion of art and culture.
Ten other citizens who have contributed to the city were awarded. In addition, the previous mayor, Mr. Masumoto, and other people and groups who helped the city improved received letters of appreciation from the city. In total, 1,141 people and 837 groups were honored for their contribution to the city. For further information, contact the Kyoto City Secretariat Section: Tel: 075-222-3066.

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