Hand in hand with the diversification of Japanese leisure, there has been a steady increase in the number of people who appreciate "sky leisure" not only as a "spectator" sport, but as an activity which can be "experienced in person." "Sky Leisure Japan" seeks to gain broad-based understanding of the enjoyment and safety of sky leisure among the general public, while also serving to energize local communities. Various types of sky leisure activities are held in a single location, with flying demonstrations and other events being staged since 1989 as the largest scale gathering of its kind in Japan. This is an annual event, with the venue change from year to year. This year will mark the eighth holding of Sky Leisure Japan, with the show to take place in Wakayama Prefecture to help commemorate the startup of use of the new runway at Nanki-Shirahama Airport by the prefecture.
The event will be sponsored by the Sky Leisure Japan Steering Committee, which is comprised of the Japan Aeronautic Association, local public authorities, aviation sports groups and other parties. Support is provided by the Ministry of Transport, local governments and the Japan Sky Leisure Promotion Council, while further endorsement and cooperation is being received from airlines companies and other members of the corporate sector.
2. Sky Leisure Japan History
Location Date Attendance No. 1 Honda Airport, Okegawa City, Saitama Prefecture November 1989 50,000 persons No. 2 Suzuka Circuit International Racing Course, Suzuka City, Mie Prefecture November 1990 25,000 persons No. 3 Nippon Steel Corporation, Kita-Kyushu City, Fukuoka Prefecture November 1991 80,000 persons No. 4 Honda Airport, Okegawa City, Saitama Prefecture October 1992 50,000 persons No. 5 Takigawa Park, Takigawa City, Hokkaido August 1993 42,000 persons No. 6 Maishima Sports Island, Osaka City, Osaka Prefecture May 1994 123,000 persons No. 7 Japan Aeronautical School & Nirasaki Gliding Ground,Yamanashi Prefecture November 1995 61,000 persons
3. Event Details
Sky Leisure Japan consists of "aerial events," focused on demonstration flights by eight different aviation sports groups (including stunt flying), as well as "ground events" designed for enjoyment by people of all ages. The emphasis is on constructive proposals to the local community and other visitors about new leisure activities geared to bring people into greater contact with the joys of the sky. The specific events differ from year to year, but generally consist of the following.
- (1) Demonstration Flights/Air Show
- This main event provides direct experiences of various different flight modes. Featured is an air show with aerobatics by gliders and other aircraft, skydiving, hand-made aircraft, hang-gliders/para-gliders, micro-light planes, rescue activities with firefighting helicopters and other demonstrations.
- (2) Experience Flights (free; sightseeing flights also available for a fee)
- Test rides for experience in stationary hot-air balloons, self-propelled para-gliders, micro-light planes (ground taxiing), helicopters, small-size aircraft, etc.
- (3) Aircraft Ground Displays
- Displays of sky leisure aircraft --
gliders, motor gliders, hand-made aircraft, hang gliders/para-gliders, micro-light planes, model aircraft, small-size aircraft, biplanes, helicopters, etc.
- (4) Sky Leisure Participating Group Information Booths
- Information booths are presented by the eight aviation sports groups and other participants, featuring displays to provide understanding of the current state of sky leisure at a glance, while responding to visitor questions and supplying advice about sky leisure.
- (5) Sky Market
- Aviation parts junk sale, and other chances to pick up aeronautical goods and other rare items which normally cannot be obtained.
- (6) Children's Handicraft Club
- Classes on making paper airplanes, kite flying, bamboo propellers, water rockets, and other organized instruction will be offered.
Other events include simulated flights, the opportunity to operate model aircraft, commemorative stamp rallies, "Sky Song for You" concert, a painting exhibition, prize drawings, sale of famous local produce and souvenirs, and other great attractions.
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