Club Profile 2014
Offical club name : The Friendship Force of Oita
Closest major airports : To get to Taketa, take a one-and -half hour flight from Haneda airport to Kumamoto airport at 21,000 yen. From Kumamoto airport to Taketa , there are regular bus services available. It is about one and half hours at a cost of 1,700 yen per person.
Fukuoka airport ( 3-1/2 hours drive). Oita airport ( 3 hours drive)
Cost of transportation between the airports and our city (based on 20 people)
By chartered bus : 100,000 -120,000 yen per bus.
By private car, if Hosts meet the Ambassadors at the airport : none
The maximum number of Ambassadors our club can host : 30
About the club : Our club was founded in Taketa City (population 28,000) in March ,1988. Most of the 90 families with membership in the Friendship Force of Oita live in Taketa City and its neighboring towns and villages.
Although our club is a small one in a small community , the people are friendly , and warm-hearted.
Our real treasure is the people with open hearts and minds .
We would like all of you to appreciate "Oita hospitality" at home as well as the beauty of real Japanese customs and traditions still preserved here.
Our primary aim is to "Open hearts of Oita to the world" to build friendship, offering our compassion, respect and interest.
About the exchanges : We have had 36 exchanges and we have hosted 988 Ambassadors abroad for the past 18 years. And 378 of our Ambassadors have visited 30 clubs abroad and have been warmly hosted.
In April, 2001, we welcomed Decatur High School band, consisting of 190 students and adults. Our town was filled with joy and friendship.
About the region : Taketa and its neighboring communities are nearly in the center of Kyushu, the southernmost of Japan's four main islands. Taketa is surrounded by lush green valleys, mountains, and majestic bamboo groves with fresh air and water. In our town we have some quite spectacular festivals throughout the year. The areas sourrounding the town provide hot spring baths or "Onsen", which are good for all kinds of ailments and generally beneficial to your health.
The best time to visit : Spring or autumn is the best time to visit our town.
Spring brings some attractions to you ,including the procession of Edo-style warriors to coincide with the cherry blossom season. In May the air becomes crisp and clear . It is very interesting to watch a lot of carp-shaped streamers being hoisted to the top of tall poles erected in the yards as part of the celebration of Children's Day (May 5).
Autumn brings the moon-viewing festival and the live performance of an open-air torchlight Noh drama by the river under Oka Castle at dusk. We are blessed with the splendors of the natural world and the beauty of real Japanese customs and traditions. Our real treasure is the people's charm with smiles and full humanity.
The activities our club arranges : We provide a variety of attractive activities for the exchange.
Mt. Aso with the world's largest calderas and one of the world's most active volcanoes is a half hour drive. Kumamoto Castle , one of the Japan's greatest fortresses is also in the area. We make a day bus trip to these places.
The Ambassadors enjoy downtown touring and shopping during your stay. The small shops and stores provide you with a lot of interesting things and a warm welcome to the visitors. Our welcome or / and farewell party is a lot of fun and exciting. It is a "potluck party", to bring your own foods and drinks.
It is interesting to see and enjoy so many local dishes as well as the ones from different cultures. Another high light of the party is performing Shinto sacred dance and music together with professional performers.
On free days you visit schools ,hospitals and other facilities and share the Japanese way of life. Participating in our activities is like falling in love at first sight.
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