Highlights from Olympic Torch Relay in Aichi

The Olympic Torch Relay section 2 in Handa City, Aichi prefecture, Japan.
The Olympic Torch Relay section 2 in Handa City, Aichi prefecture, Japan.

The Olympic Torch Relay is underway in Aichi! You can watch every moment of the flame's historic journey to the Opening Ceremony of the Olympic Games on 23 July 2021 via the dedicated Tokyo 2020 live stream, as well as following the highlights as they happen via our blog, below.

06 April, 16:30 (JST): Goto and his robot companion

It was a surprising afternoon in Anjo City! After GOTO Akihito was passed the Olympic flame a robot rolled up to help carry the torch much to the delight of those out supporting. Goto, who joined an automobile manufacturer in 2007, wanted to solve the problem of limited movement for those with physical impairments.

Torch relay goes hi tech with robot torchbearer
00:22

It was in the streets of Anjo City, Aichi Prefecture that GOTO Akihito and a robot companion came together to carry the Olympic flame.

06 April, 16:00 (JST): Two-time Olympian running to represent Inazawa City

After representing Japan at both London 2012 and Rio 2016, hockey player HAYASHI Nagisa decided to retire. However, she couldn't wait to be a torchbearer in her hometown of Inazawa City.

I think sports can inspire and impress people.

It is at such a time that the world is suffering, and I hope that sports will make all of Japan and the world healthy.

Two-time Olympic hockey player HAYASHI Nagisa carries flame
00:13

HAYASHI Nagisa, who participated in London 2012 and Rio 2016, continues her ties with the Olympic Games by carrying the flame today in Aijo City, Aichi Prefecture.

06 April, 15:00 (JST): Photo check in

As we head into the afternoon portion of the Olympic Torch Relay in Aichi Prefecture, check out the photos from this morning adventures in Toyohashi City, Handa City and Toyokawa City.

06 April, 14:00 (JST): Meet KISHIKO Kodera

The introduction of the "People-Friendly Town Development Ordinance" by the Aichi Prefectural Government changed the city for Kishiko Kodera, who was left in a wheelchair after a traffic accident, was living in. Noticing the city becoming more barrier-free, she founded an nonprofit organisation (NPO) with her friends called the Tōkai People-Friendly Urban Development Network to raise awareness about people with impairments.

Earlier today, Kishiko was the first torchbearer in Handa City.

Read more about Kishiko's story here.

Aichi, JAPAN - 6 April 2021 : The Olympic Torch Relay section 2 in Handa City, Aichi prefecture, Japan.
Aichi, JAPAN - 6 April 2021 : The Olympic Torch Relay section 2 in Handa City, Aichi prefecture, Japan.
Tokyo 2020

06 April, 12:00 (JST): A visit to one of Japan's famous Inari Shrines

Alongside Kyoto's Fushimi Inari and Saga's Yutoku Inari Temple, Toyokawa Inari in Aichi Prefecture makes up Japan's Big Three Inari Shrines. The shrine features thousands of stone foxes in bright red bibs and also has elements of both a Buddhist temple and a Shinto shrine.

Basketball player OTA Atsuya, who plays in Japan's B.League with San-en NeoPhoenix, carried the Olympic flame from the main shrine as Japanese drums played.

Olympic Torch visits one of Japan's "big three" Inari shrines
00:36

The Olympic flame visited Toyokawa Inari Shrine which is known as one of Japan's Big Three Inari Temples.

06 April, 11:00 (JST): Spring Festival comes to Torch Relay

Every year the Chintoro Festival, which forms part of the Handa Dashi Festival to celebrate the coming of spring, takes place across the city. The event, which dates back to the Edo period and usually sees "Chintoro boats" launched in Miyaike Pond in the grounds of Sumiyoshi Shrine - all re-enacted today during the Olympic Torch Relay.

Torchbearer, TAISHIN Hirano, who is a Handa City native and part of Japanese boy group MAG! C ☆ PRINCE, was chosen to carry the torch during this leg.

Flame carried on traditional boat in Handa
00:41

Every April, the city of Handa in Aichi Prefecture celebrates the coming of spring with the festival of "Handa no Haru no Dashi Matsuri". The "Chintoro" boat, which forms part of the festival, carried the Olympic flame.

06 April, 09:50 (JST): Designer of Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 sport pictograms

HIROMURA Masaaki, who led a team in the design of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 sport pictograms, was born and raised in Aichi Prefecture. He remembers being totally invested in watching the Tokyo 1964 Games as a 10-year-old. And this morning in Toyohashi City, he was able to carry the Olympic flame on it's final day in the Prefecture.

The Olympic Games are a sports festival, but also a competition for culture.

I think that the important role of connecting the torch is to pass the baton to the future.

Japanese graphic designer Masaaki Hiromura who designed the pictograms
Japanese graphic designer Masaaki Hiromura who designed the pictograms
Tokyo 2020 / Shugo TAKEMI

06 April, 09:20 (JST): Find out about Aichi's most famous Olympian and more

One of the famous athletes who hails from Aichi is HANEDA Takuya, the canoe slalom star who clinched a historic bronze medal at Rio 2016. Haneda's performance that day saw him become the first Japanese athlete to win an Olympic medal in the sport.

If you're keen to find out more about the athletes who were born and raised in the prefectures the flame will be visiting this week, you can read more here.

TOKYO, JAPAN - OCTOBER 20: HANEDA Takuya of Japan competes in the Men's Canoe Single (C1) semi final during day three of the Canoe Slalom NHK Trophy at the Kasai Slalom centre on October 20, 2019 in Tokyo, Japan.
TOKYO, JAPAN - OCTOBER 20: HANEDA Takuya of Japan competes in the Men's Canoe Single (C1) semi final during day three of the Canoe Slalom NHK Trophy at the Kasai Slalom centre on October 20, 2019 in Tokyo, Japan.
Koki Nagahama/Getty Images

06 April, 09:10 (JST): Welcome to Toyohashi City!

Day two of the Olympic Torch Relay is getting started in Toyohashi City, a location famous for having the largest port in Japan for the export and import of cars. From there, the flame will make its way to Handa City, Toyokawa City, Anjo City, Kariya City, Okazaki City and Obu City, before ending the day in Toyota City – home of the world-famous car manufacturer of the same name.

You can watch all of the day's action unfold live right here on Tokyo 2020.

05 April, 16:00 (JST): Inuyama Castle

English tour guide MORITA Yuso passes through Inuyama castle, one of Japan's oldest surviving castles and one of five that has been designated as a national treasure of Japan.

A castle steeped in history, the Inuyama castle has been used by HIDEYOSHI Toyotomi including 120,000 samurais during the 1584 Battle of Komaki Nagakute against future shogun TOKUGAWA Ieyasu.

Olympic flame visits Inuyama Castle
00:22

05 April, 15:30 (JST): Volleyball player at Barcelona 1992

It has been 28 years ago but AOYAMA Shigeru still vividly remembers his Olympic debut at Barcelona 1992, from the Opening Ceremony to his time on the volleyball court where the Japan team placed sixth. After participating in countless international matches, Aoyama is now helping future Olympians as director of the Chukyo University Men's and Women's Club and wants to keep nurturing their Olympic dream.

Japanese volleyball player from Bacelona 1992 carries flame
00:39

AOYAMA Shigeru was a member of Japan's volleyball team that came sixth at the Barcelona 1992 Games.

05 April, 14:45 (JST): Highlights

So far the Olympic flame has travelled in Seto City, Nagoya City and Kasugi City. Before it continues its journey from Ichinomiya City this afternoon, take a look at some of the highlights of the day so far.

05 April, 13:45 (JST): Defying odds

MAKINO Kaori has overcome her battle with stage 4 lymphona cancer at age 22. As a cancer survivor, she has spread her message of hope by completing a 100km marathon and 200km triathlon both in Japan and abroad. Today, she continues to provide hope to people who are facing the same challenges she had before.

The Olympic Torch Relay section 1 in Seto City, Aichi prefecture, Japan.
The Olympic Torch Relay section 1 in Seto City, Aichi prefecture, Japan.
Tokyo 2020

05 April, 11:20 (JST): Music to the ears

MUTO Kuya, starts the torch relay in Nagoya City, the capital of the Aichi Prefecture and the third largest city in Japan.

Muto lost his hearing in his left ear when he was three-years-old, but it didn't stop him from pursuing his love for music. He became a concert master at the Tokai Children's Orchestra, is involved in the local brass band club and plays trumpet whenever he gets the chance. Today, he found his moment to shine and wants to inspire other people to follow in his footsteps and pursue their dreams.

Nagoya City torchbearer MUTO Kuya dream to inspire others
00:39

Despite losing his hearing at a young age, it never stopped Muto Kuya, who was a torchbearer in Nagoya City, from pursuing his passion for music.

05 April, 10:20 (JST): Keeping the Seto pottery tradition alive

Seto City is the centre of Japanese pottery production. And one who has unique ties to this ceramic tradition is our first torchbearer KATO Tozaburo.

Tozaburo is currently the 31st in his generation to practise the 1,000-century old tradition of Seto pottery, after his father, who is one of the descendants of legendary Toshiro otherwise known as KATO Shirozaemon Kagemasa, the father of pottery in the Seto area.

"I would like to express my gratitude to those who have supported me to this day and let many people know the charm of Seto City's historic pottery culture," Tozaburo said.

奥运圣火在日本爱知县濑户市
奥运圣火在日本爱知县濑户市
Tokyo 2020

05 April, 10:10 (JST): Welcome to Seto City!

Welcome to the first day of the Olympic Torch Relay in Aichi! Today's journey begins in Seto City, a location that has become synonymous with traditional pottery - so much so that one word for ceramics in Japan is setomono. From Seto City, the flame will visit Nagoya City, Kasugai City, Nagoya City, Ichinomiya City, Inuyama City, Nagoya City, Inazawa City, Nagoya City and Kiyosu City, before ending the day once again in Nagoya City.

You can watch all of the day's action unfold live right here on Tokyo 2020.

03-4 April Re-live the impressive moments on the road

The Olympic flame has travelled in the picturesque areas of the Gifu prefecture: From historical streetscapes of the city of Takayama; the Sekigahara Battlefield, site of the most decisive samurai battle in the city of Sekigahara; the Gifu castle to the clear streams of Nagara River in the city of Gifu, take in all these impressive moments below.