Visit from the Hong Kong Lions Nature Education Foundation
On October 4-7, six members of the Hong Kong Lions Nature Education Foundation (LNEF) visited Samani Town and toured around the Mt. Apoi Geopark. LNEF has many ties with UNESCO Global Geoparks, and through a recent connection with the Hong Kong UNESCO Global Geopark, we were able to arrange a visit to Mt. Apoi Geopark.
The tour officially started on October 5th, at the same time that the region experienced a severe weather event. Around 222 ml of rain fell during a 24-hour period causing major flooding and landslides in the West Samani district, closing the national road that leads out of Samani.
We were able to continue the tour even with the severe weather, but we did have to adjust the schedule. We started off at the Visitor Center so the LNEF members could learn more about the Geopark. From there we headed to Cape Enrumu where we had a brief break in the rain.
Mt. Apoi Geopark Visitor Center
Next, we alighted at the Central Community Center where we at the Apoi Dream Bento, designed by Junior High students, for lunch. It started raining again after lunch so our next stop was the Samani Public Library to watch the Samani Folktales videos and explore the Geopark Corner.
There was another break in the rain so we were able to drive to Horoman-kyo Gorge to see the Toho Olivine quarry and enjoy a tea break at the Horoman Community Center. On the way back to the hotel we paused at the former plate boundary site, but it began to rain heavily again so we did not stay long. Dinner was at a local restaurant, Ominaeshi, which served a delicious sashimi and tempura dinner.
The schedule for the second day of the tour was also adjusted and focused on more indoor activities like stone polishing and the Ainu embroidery class where the LNEF members enjoyed trying on traditional Ainu clothing and had an introduction to the history of the Ainu people. Luckily the rain stopped for a while in the afternoon, just long enough for a Bura Apoi Nature Walk.
We also had a chance to drive further into Horoman-kyo Gorge and saw some salmon swimming upriver and laying eggs. At the very end of the day, there was a social dinner party held at Hotel Apoi Sanso. During the dinner, the LNEF representative gave an enlightening presentation on the Hong Kong Lions Foundation activities and collaborative work with the Hong Kong UNESCO Global Geopark. LNEF also presented Mt. Apoi Geopark with a commemorative plaque and publications celebrating the LNEF 30th anniversary. It was a great way to end the two-day tour.