Many cities in the world have a 姉妹都市 (“sister city“) partnership with a city in another country. Some cities have more than one “sister city”.
Tokyo, for example, has eleven sister cities.
- 中国北京市 (Beijing, China)
- Berlin, Germany
- Cairo, Egypt
- Jakarta, Indonesia
- Moscow, Russia
- New South Wales, Australia
- New York City, America
- Paris, France
- Rome, Italy
- Sao Paulo, Brazil, and
- Seoul, Korea
are Tokyo’s sister cities.
Cities make “sister city” contracts with other cities in the world to help promote each other’s culture, industry and tourism.
I just found out that the city I grew up in…Clearwater, Florida, USA is a sister city with 日本国長野市 (Nagano, Japan).
And that this year (2009) is the 50th year that Clearwater, Florida and Nagano, Japan have been sister cities.
To celebrate, both Nagano and Clearwater are doing more than usual to promote each other’s culture.
I also found out that every year, a small group of American students and teachers spend two weeks of the summer in Nagano, Japan…and a similar small Japanese group from Nagano visit Clearwater, Florida.
I wish I knew about that when I was a teenager in Florida! I might have applied for the program!
I remember, though, when I was in elementary school, a group of teachers from Japan visited my school in Florida. I guess they were from Nagano. I remember that they seemed very interested in my school lunch and what I thought of it (I know now that it’s because American school lunches are so very different from Japanese ones!).
What city do you live in? What’s your town’s “sister city”? Have you ever visited the sister city?
I have been to Nagano once. In 1998, to see the ’98 Olympics that were hosted by Nagano, Japan.
And I’ve only been back to visit Clearwater, Florida once since I moved to Tokyo in 1990 (in 2004, my family and I visited Florida for a couple weeks in the summer).
As for Tokyo’s sister cities, years ago, I visited Seoul, Korea and New York City once each.