信濃毎日新聞［信毎web］ 松本「脱クルマ」先進地に カーフリーデー正式参加へ
My mother-in-law sent me a clipping of this article from the Shinano Mainichi. The front page headline of this local newspaper from the Nagano region states that Matsumoto City is officially working towards becoming Japan's first official city participant in the Car Free Day. The Car Free Day movement began in Europe many years ago and has slowly spread to many cities around the world. Once a year, on September 22, a large part of the old part of Matsumoto city (near the castle) will be blocked to automobile traffic. Other cities in Japan regularly block of certain sections of roads, including huge 6 lane roads such as Ginza in Tokyo, but this is the first time that a major part of the inner-city will be blocked to motor traffic.
Best news I have heard in quite a while. I have no doubt that once this kind of thing can only become more and more popular around the country as locals and tourists alike discover just how nice it is to be able to walk and play on the streets, free from the noise, pollution and threat of cars.