Shigenobu Kanao / Automotive & Leasing Division
* In this column, Marubeni Group staff provide a glimpse of the cities in which they are living and working.
Edmonton is the capital of the Canadian province of Alberta, also named the “Texas of Canada” after its famous oil business and cowboys. The city is located approximately 300km north of Calgary, the host city of the 1988 Winter Olympics. It is the northernmost city in North America with a population above 1 million.
In a typical year in Edmonton, the three months spanning June-August are the only time of the year when the minimum temperature doesn’t fall into sub-zero figures. In December and January – the coldest months of the year – the chill factor can drop below -40 degrees.
Everything in Edmonton is of a large scale: the city is the gateway to the Canadian Rockies, which boast abundant nature; large pickup trucks that are rarely seen in Japan are on the roads; and there is a large oil sands refinery. In this edition of Recommended Spots, I would like to introduce Edmonton and its surrounds to you.
When we think of Canada, ice hockey is one of the national sports that first comes to mind. Edmonton is home to the Edmonton Oilers, a hockey club that won five NHL Stanley Cups mainly during the years 1979–88 when legendary player Wayne Gretzky was on the team. Here, at Rexall Place, you can experience the thrills and feel the sense of togetherness unique to indoor sports by watching the players enter the rink, scoring goals, roughing each other up, and by hearing the passionate voices of the fans all around you. If you visit Edmonton during the October-April season, please come and watch a game.
Edmonton has earned itself a reputation as a “festival city” for hosting an array of sporting and arts events such as the 2001 World Championships in Athletics and the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup. Among these events, the most enjoyable is the Heritage Festival which celebrates its 40th anniversary this year. This event is typically held in early August and introduces the traditional cultures, traditions, and cuisines of 85 countries across more than 60 pavilions. At this wonderful event you can dine on food from all around the world and watch highly individual traditional arts.
Alberta Beef is of course quite well-known. If you’re looking to try it in Edmonton, some steak houses don’t accept reservations on the weekend and sometimes you have to wait upwards of an hour or more. Prime rib, an American-style roast beef, and succulent ribeye, are exceptional. Also, since delicious beef can be purchased very cheaply from the supermarket, almost every Canadian family has a barbecue set at their house which many people use in summer as well as in winter. Every weekend, particularly during the short summertime, the smell of roasted meat wafts through the neighborhood.
Edmonton is the gateway to Jasper, a tourist spot in the Canadian Rockies. One of the typical ways Edmontonians may be said to spend their free time is to tow a camping trailer from their pickup trucks and go camping in the Canadian Rockies.
The road to Banff, a world-renowned tourist destination approximately 300km southeast of Jasper, provides an endless stream of truly beautiful scenery. There are numerous spots to enjoy along the way such as lakes, glaciers, waterfalls, etc., but Lake Louise is very popular for its views in summer and for skiing in the winter. The contrast of the glittering bright emerald blue of all the lakes against the grand mountain ranges is amazing, but personally, I felt that Bow Lake has the most impressive views.
Jasper is a comparatively cozy town where you can enjoy nature. Banff, as a tourist destination, is a beautifully maintained town which has various restaurants, including Japanese, as well as numerous souvenir stores. Also, the wonderful view from Banff’s Sulphur Mountain is absolutely breathtaking. Driving from Edmonton to Jasper takes approximately 3.5 hours and approximately 4 hours to Banff if you don’t pass through Jasper. If you are in Edmonton on business with the weekend to spare, this is the kind of place you should visit.
Well, that’s it. Edmonton has spectacular nature, delicious beef, and an array of events. From Japan it takes approximately 15 hours to fly to Edmonton with a transfer in either Calgary or Vancouver and can be a little far, but please do come and visit!
Marubeni Group communication site “MS+ (MS Plus)” (July 15, 2015)