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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Torch Relay comes to Shibushi

Shibushi? Yep, Shibushi.

The first time I heard the name was when my father mentioned the name and I wrongly assumed that he had butchered Shibuya’s name.

No, it’s a real place and as it turns out, my wife has a family connection to the town of approximately 30,000 people.

Anyway, that’s not really relevant at the moment. The point is that the Olympic Torch Relay came to Shibushi and I decided to head down with my camera and drone to check it out.

The course was taped off but there weren’t many people out to see the festivities, especially at the starting point down at the port.

I expected somebody running with a baton behind a support vehicle rather than the large convoy that included a bus filled with police and large commercial vehicles exploiting the opportunity to expose themselves to large groups of people.

“Large groups of people? Didn’t you say there weren’t many people?”

Yes, I did. But as I followed the main runner with the torch, the crowd started to fill out a bit and by the time we reached the school — with cheering students filed along the fence line — it started to really feel like a public event.

I got told off by officials and police several times. “Hey, get down from there! You can’t film up there!” “Stop running!” “I said stop running!” “No, that’s not fast walking, you’re still running!” “Listen, just accept the fact that you can’t cover the whole relay. It’s impossible.”

Impossible? Hell no. I covered that whole relay and here’s the proof.