IAAF World Relays Notebook - Day 1

Wednesday March 18 2020

A lady walks her dog on the streets of Yokohama on May 9, 2019. The sale of tickets for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games opened yesterday for Japanese nationals. PHOTO | ELIAS MAKORI |


This weekend’s fourth IAAF World Relays Championships will also see the host city of Yokohama celebrate 160 years as a port city. Yokohama port in Kanagawa Prefecture was triggered in 1859 into a hub of international exchange and trade, Japan’s gateway to the world, largely by the 1859 “Treaty of Amity and Commerce” between the USA and Japan. Yokohama, Japan’s second most populous city after Tokyo, now has a population of 3.74 million people.


Language need not necessarily be a barrier for foreigners who love Japanese theatre and stage performances. Thanks to an “earphone guide”, non-Japanese speakers are able to follow stage performances through the gadget that translates as well as explains stories, music, puppet performances and other aspects of the popular Bunraku, which basically means the traditional Japanese puppet drama. At the National Theatre in Yokohama, one is required to pay a Japanese Yen equivalent of Sh700 to hire the earphone guide.


While law enforcers in Kenya worry about muggings, thefts and pickpocketing in urban areas, Japanese authorities are scratching their heads, seeking the best ways to curb the menace of eating while walking! Shops selling food in Japan have specialised in foods that are conveniently consumed on the go, like fried foods on skewers, but this has raised concerns over littering and other dangers posed by the skewer sticks. In Kanagawa Prefecture, or province, there is an effort to outlaw eating while walking which the authorities describe as “a public nuisance that can ruin other peoples’ clothes.”