The 10th Asia-Pacific Rally in Japan

The 10th Asia-Pacific Rally (the 36th Japan Autocamping Rally) was held November 2-5, 2006 at Ryuyou Auto Camp in Iwata City of Shizuoka, Japan. It was attended by about 700 people, including 74 campers from overseas, who enjoyed making international friends and participating in various events for the four days. With great weather throughout the rally period, the campers were blessed with the early-fall sunshine during the day, and the wind was so calm that even the campsite's symbol, a windmill called Furyu ("wind dragon" in English), stopped moving.

Day 1 started with reception at 10:00 a.m. After each camper set up tent at the rally site which was filled with festive mood, they joined the Evening Event at restaurant Shiosai, organized by JAC, and had great joy in seeing one another again.

On Day 2, there was a welcome event at the rally site where the participating campers as well as local residents enjoyed playing Japanese traditional games such as kite flying, shuttlecock, and top spinning. Prior to the Opening Ceremony, an olive tree was planted to commemorate the event, and the FICC President joined them in spreading soil. At the Opening Ceremony, held at Nagisa Square, which is facing the waterfront of Tenryugawa River, the Japanese national anthem was played, and greeting messages were given to the campers by the three speakers: Mr. Junzo Hasegawa, JAC President and the Chairman of the Rally; Mr. Nozomu Suzuki, Iwata City Mayor and the Honorable Chairman of the Rally; and Mr. Joao Perreira, FICC President. Then, the FICC Asia-Pacific flag and various national flags were raised to the music of Beethoven's 9th Symphony "The Ode to Joy," and the FICC President declared the opening of the Rally.

The Opening Ceremony was followed by Welcome Party. On the stage, kappore (Japanese traditional dance) and Iwata City's matsuri-bayashi (traditional ensemble music performed in Shinto festivals) were performed by local volunteers. The campers also enjoyed playing games such as a persimmon peeling competition.

On Day 3, Early Morning Eco-Trekking was held, and the participants walked around the Ocean Park and the Enshunada Beach to watch birds and view nature at the beach. All the campers from overseas joined the bus tour starting at 9:00 a.m. and visited Hamamatsu Museum of Musical Instruments, Hamanako Garden Park, Hamamatsu Flower Park, etc. Also the children enjoyed a variety of games on the campsite and enxperienced sweet potato digging outside.

In the evening, International Communication Party was held at Nagisa Square, and campers from different countries performed their traditional songs and dances for cultural exchange. Beside the stage were the food stalls called "Shiosai Roten" (Shiosai Stalls) where beef kushiyaki (beef skewered on sticks), home-made soba (buckwheat noodle), kishimen (flat flour noodle), takoyaki (octopus dumplings), etc. were sold by camping clubs from Shizuoka region. The prices were set at around 100 ryu-yen and 200 ryu-yen (ryu-yen being the special currency used exclusively in the Rally). Korean and Taiwanese campers also ran food stalls, selling Korean barbeque meat and Jinro (Korean liquor) and Chinese meat balls and Shaohsing wine (Chinese liquor), respectively, which turned out to be a big success with a long line of customers in front of their stalls and the food sold out immediately.

At the Closing Ceremony on Day 4, following the speech by the Chairman of the Rally, Japan Auto Camping Federation, The Camping Association of the Republic of China, and Formosa Camping & Caravanning Club, Korea Camping & Caravanning Federation, and Ryuyou Auto Camp were commended by FICC Asia-Pacific Commission for their greatest contribution to the success of this Rally. Also, in commemoration of the 10th Asia-Pacific Rally, two campers were honored for having participated in the most Asia Rallies in the past. After the FICC Asia-Pacific flag and the JAC flag were lowered to the music of Beethoven's "The Ode to Joy," the FICC Asia-Pacific flag was handed over to The Camping Association of the Republic of China, which is scheduled to host next year's Asia Rally. Finally, all the rally participants sang "Auld Lang Syne" arm in arm before saying goodbye.

Mark of Asia Pacific Commission

Japanese Site