Vail officials finding soft snow, snow monkeys on trip to Yamanouchi, Japan |

Vail officials finding soft snow, snow monkeys on trip to Yamanouchi, Japan

Mia Vlaar
Yamanouchi Mayor Yoshitaka Takefushi, left, officially welcomes Vail Mayor Dave Chapin, right. After a trip to Vail by Yamanouchi officials in the summer of 2017, Vail officials are returning the visit this week, as part of a global friendship exchange.

Editor’s note: A delegation from the town of Vail is in Japan, visiting the city of Yamanouchi and the Nagano Prefecture. The group is sending back photos from the trip. Vail and Japanese officials have signed a “Global Friendship Exchange” agreement.

The Vail delegation on Wednesday, Jan. 24, visited the famed Jigokudani Snow Monkey Park in Yamanouchi, Nagano prefecture, Japan. The park is located in the Joshinetsu Kogen national park and is a treasured natural wildlife refuge appreciated by Japanese citizens and visitors from all over the world.

While returning from the park through a scenic walking path, the delegation was interviewed by a team from TV Asahi network for a nationwide variety show in Japan.

The day’s activities concluded with a welcome reception and traditional dinner with the Yamanouchi delegation.

Thursday’s activities included formal meetings with the Yamanouchi-machi mayor, Mr. Takefushi and the town delegation, culminating with the formal unveiling of a stone memorializing the Vail-Yamanouchi Global Friendship Exchange. The Vail delegation continued onward to Nagano where formal meetings with governor Abe and the Nagano prefecture delegation took place. At both formal gatherings the dialogue centered on our unique mountain resort environments, economic growth, transportation and sustainability in our respective treasured hometowns.

The afternoon was spent on the slopes of Shiga Kogen, where the snow was deep and soft and the delegation was happy.

Mia Vlaar is the town of Vail’s Economic Development Director.

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