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Friday, Aug. 24, 2012

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River run: Boat races are one of the main events at the Fureai Festival in Miyazu, Kyoto. One of the races is for children (below). 2011-2012 OTEGAWA FUREAI MIRAI-JUKU

DIY boat races celebrate traditional wall in Kyoto

Staff Writer

Along with Matsushima and Miyajima, Amanohashidate is reputed to be one of the three best views in Japan. The thin strip of land separates two sides of Miyazu Bay in the city of Miyazu, Kyoto. This Sunday, the city will hold a festival that includes a cardboard-boat race.

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The event is held to commemorate the construction of a wall along the Ote River in 2010, which was done to protect against flooding and add to the city's traditional charm. The main event, is the cardboard-boat race called the Kanzaemon Cup, and it will start at 10 a.m. with the "junior class" of competitors aged between 10 and 15 years old. A "general class" for anyone older than 15 will follow. Competitors will row handmade cardboard boats for about 100 meters and compete for the fastest time.

As it is a race, participants must design their boat carefully to withstand the water. Winners will receive prizes such as gift certificates to restaurants and hotels.

While the race is taking place in one part of the city, the Fureai Festival will be held at a nearby location. That festival will feature a flea market and food stalls that specialize in local cuisine.

The Kanzaemon Cup takes place in Miyazu, Kyoto, on Aug 26 from 9 a.m. till 3 p.m. (in case of heavy rain it will be postponed until Sep 2) Admission is free. For more information, call (080) 1511-0084 or visit mirai.muse.bindsite.jp.

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