A young man from Japan is experiencing everything rural life in Alberta has to offer.
Motoki Mizutani is from Hamamatsu (south of Tokyo). Currently, he's in Sturgeon County on a 30-day agricultural exchange with 4-H and Labo (Japan's version of 4-H).
27072017mapofjapanHamamatsu, Mizutani's home town has over 700,000 people.
"[He's] coming over to learn English," said Arla Pirtle, Mizutani's host. "He want's everything rural, we live on a horse farm so he's getting a lot of equine." Back home, he rides horses, so it's not something too new for him.
Of course, Mizutani wants to check out some hockey action. Pirtle's daughter Cadence plays ringette, so he'll be going to watch her in action soon.
"It's big, interesting," said Mizutani of Canada. "Japan is small [in size comparison]."
He's currently learning about government in school back home, so a trip to Sturgeon County council chambers was only appropriate to learn about municipal government. Mizutani said back home, 16 councillors fill the chairs.
"Canada is very far, I'm very happy staying," he said.
Mizutani is heading to Jasper for a weekend getaway to see some Rocky Mountain wildlife, to Bonnyville to experience life as a pioneer in the prairies and take part in a few Sturgeon County-run programs.
"I'm having a lot of fun with Motoki, I'm happy that I took the experience when I did," said Arla's son Cooper. He'll be heading to Japan next year as part of the 4-H exchange.
Mizutani will be heading home on August 17.
Follow along with Motoki as he explores rural life in Alberta by checking the hashtag, #motokiadventures

27072017motokiintomschairMizutani sits in Sturgeon County mayor Tom Flynn's chair while exploring council chambers. Photo courtesy Arla Pirtle.
27072017motokibrushinghorseIn Japan, Mizutani is involved in local equestrian programs so he was a natural fit at the stable here in Canada. Photo courtesy Arla Pirtle.

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