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Local Government International Exchange

Sister City Information

Finding a sister city

CLAIR supports local governments that are trying to form sister city relationships.
If you would like to post your local government's profile on our page listing foreign local governments that are looking for a Japanese sister city (Japanese only), you can send us the information we need using the following documents:

Please contact us for more information.

Japanese local governments looking for sister city relationships overseas

Here you can find out what local governments in Japan are looking for a sister city relationship. Click on the town name or scroll down to see an overview of their region.

Local governmentPrefectureDesired Country or Region
Ujitawara Town Kyoto English-speaking countries such as USA , Canada , Australia
Ichihara City Chiba New Zealand, etc.
Shintoku Town Hokkaido U.S., U.K., Canada, Australia
Katsuura City Chiba Australia
Nagi Town Okayama Australia, New Zealand

Ujitawara Town(Kyoto Prefecture)

Population 9,270(as of September 1 ,2019) Area 58.16 square kilometers

(including 43.76 square kilometers of forest)

Outline of Local Government

Ujitawara town is located in the southeastern part of Kyoto Prefecture , within a 60-minute drive from Kyoto and
Osaka. A town blessed with refreshing water and rich greenery has long flourished as the main production area of Uji tea , and was the birthplace of Japanese green tea , which was formulated in the middle of the Edo period.

Ahead of the opening of the Shinmeishin Expressway in 2023 , the town is proceeding with the construction of a
new government office building and the development of a road network. We are working to create a bustling city
that takes advantage of the history and tradition of tea making.

Desired Country/Region of Exchange

English-speaking countries such as USA , Canada , Australia

Desired Characteristics of Exchange Partner

We want to have an exchange where children and students can interact with each other's culture.

Other PR Information 【Ujitawara town introduction Video】

【The birthplace of Japanese green tea

The green tea that Japanese people drink on a daily basis is said to have originated in the Yuyadani area of Ujitawara town.

In 1738, Soen Nagatani, who runs the tea business in Yuyadani, developed a method for producing
green tea with excellent color, taste and aroma over the course of 15 years. The tea that the common
people drink has turned into a historic turning point, changing from brown crude to delicious green tea.

【Soen Nagatani's birthplace

At the birthplace of Soen Nagatani in the outskirts of Yuyadani, you can see the remains of the roasting
furnace that was restored from the birthplace and used to make tea leaves. In addition to this birthplace,
the townscape of Yuyadani, where beautiful tea plantations spread out and tea wholesalers and tea
farmers line up, is registered as a Japanese heritage certified by the Agency for Cultural Affairs.

【Soen Friendship Yantan】

Opened in June 2018 as a tourism exchange base in Ujitawara town, the birthplace of Japanese green tea.
Residents of Yuyadani working on regional revitalization operated this facility. In addition to tourist
information and highlights unique to local residents, there are plenty of charms of Ujitawara, such as a tea experience program and sales of local products.

【A row of cherry blossom trees along the peaceful road

Near the cherry blossoms along the Tawara River that runs through the center of town, there are nearly
300 cherry trees planted, and a stunning cherry tunnel appears in early April. There is a light up at night, and you can enjoy cherry blossom viewing at night.

【Heart town】

The shape of Ujitawara town is heart-shaped. City promotion is carried out as a "city of hearts" where
the peace of rich nature and the warmth of people nurtured by tea culture are overflowing.
A temple in the Okuyamada area, Shoju-in, which was built about 800 years ago, has a "Inome window"
in the shape of a heart. Events such as the wind chimes festival held in summer are very popular and are crowded with many tourists.

Date Modified Dec 2019

Ichihara City (Chiba Prefecture)

Population 276,627 (as of Feb 1, 2019) Area 368.17 square kilometer
(about 1207906.82 ft)
Outline of Local Government

Ichihara is within 50 km (about 164041.994 ft) of central Tokyo and is located in an excellent location about an hour away from Narita and Haneda Airports.
Ichihara is blessed with abundant nature and a mild climate and that's why people from ancient times decided to live here. Shell mounds and remains from the Jomon era (12,000 B.C. - the fourth century B.C.) and Yayoi era (the tenth century B.C. - the third century) have been excavated in various places throughout the city.
In 1957 when the land along the coastal areas started to be reclaimed, major petrochemical companies expanded and towns were turned into developed secondary and tertiary industrial areas.

Desired Country/Region of Exchange

New Zealand, etc.

Desired Characteristics of Exchange Partner

Preferably have something in common in the field of commerce and industry, agriculture, tourism, history, culture, or sports, etc. with Ichihara City.

Other PR Information 【Commerce and Industry】
The city ranked third in Japan for the amount of shipped manufactured goods, and is the core of the Keiyo industrial belt that is one of the largest petrochemical complexes in Japan.
To differentiate us from other rice-growing districts, we are undertaking the growing of our own brand rice "Yorou no Megumi". Our rice is unique because we are greatly reducing pesticide use and instead are investing in organic farming.
Ichihara City is blessed with numerous tourist resources to be proud of: its rich nature of Yorou canyon, numerous historical sites scattered throughout the city. We have also utilized the Satoyama woodland in the southern region to hold the art festival "Ichihara Art × Mix" twice in the past with the hope of promoting the region with modern art.
【History and Culture】
There are 2,500 remains and 40 shell mounds from the Jomon era (1,2000 B.C. - the fourth century B.C.) and Yayoi era (the tenth century B.C. - the third century). In the late 7th century, the provincial government of Kazusa was established and during Nara era (710 - 794) Kazusa Kokubunji (Temple) and Kazusa Kokubunniji (Convent) (two of the biggest Buddhist structures in Japan) were built.
Also, a request was filed for the approval of the geomagnetic reversal formation in the Tabuchi area as a GSSP (Global Boundary Stratotype Section and Point) and the name "Chibanian," which contains the name of a Japanese prefecture, will be given as an official name for a geological era for the very first time.
We are the hometown of JEF United Ichihara Chiba (J-league football team) and Chiba Lotte Marines (Pacific League baseball team). We have an agreement of "Friendship-city program on regional development and contribution through sports" with both teams.
Furthermore, we are the domestic training base of the Japanese Super Rugby team, HITO-Communications SUNWOLVES.
Ichihara City has many excellent sports facilities such as the Ichihara Spo Rec Park, ZA Ori Pri Stadium, Yorogawa Rinkai Stadiums, and the ZA martial arts gym. The Ichihara Spo Rec Park in particular has received the highest international evaluation for its three natural lawn grounds and one artificial lawn ground.
【Local Cuisine】
Boso Futomaki Zushi is made for ceremonial occasions, which has been a tradition that has been passed down generations. By using various ingredients, all kinds of designs are created. It represents not only Ichihara but Chiba Prefecture as well.
Date Modified Mar 2019

Shintoku Town (Hokkaido Prefecture)

Population 6,283 Area 1,063.83 km2
Outline of Local Government Shintoku is located in the center of Hokkaido, covering a vast area of 30.76km by 62.29km, with a total area of 1,063.83㎢.

Shintoku expanded as a railroad town and is now one of the few express train stops on the way to Sapporo City, taking only two hours.
The scenery dramatically changes with each season throughout the year. You can enjoy Onsen (hot spring), horse-back riding, canoeing, rafting, skiing, and many other outdoor activities. It is also the first town in Japan to have a Club-Med resort village.
Our industries include: agriculture, livestock, forestry and above all, buckwheat production which has received the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries Prize. This prize shows that Shintoku's buckwheat is certified as the best in Japan.

Desired Country/Region of Exchange

English-speaking countries such as, U.S., U.K., Canada, Australia, etc.

Desired Characteristics of Exchange Partner

A similar-sized community where students can engage in cultural exchange.

Date Modified May 2018

Katsuura City (Chiba Prefecture)

Population 18,275 Area 93.96 km2
Outline of Local Government Katsuura City is located in the central area of Chiba Prefecture and is 90 minutes by train or 60 minutes by car from central Tokyo. As Katsuura faces the Pacific Ocean the summer temperature is cool (approximately under 30℃) and winter temperatures are warm. Many tourists visit our town seeking beautiful scenery and fresh seafood throughout the seasons. Katsuura's local food "Tantan-men" noodles, which is a very spicy dish, received first place at the "B-1 Grand Prix" (local food festival) gathering many votes for the taste and love for the city.

Martial arts is also popular because "Nippon Budokan Center," the first martial arts seminar house, was built in Katsuura in 1971. The "International Budo University" (est. 1984) also located in Katsuura has fostered many elite Budo athletes and today, many foreign athletes come to study and train at the university. Some overseas Judo teams also stayed and used the university as training grounds for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.

In marine sports, surfing and standup paddleboarding is popular and a surfing world tournament was held on Hebara Beach in 2004 and 2005. In 2020, Surfing's first Olympic games will be held on Tsurigasaki Beach, only 24 km away from Katsuura City. Beautiful nature, warm climate, fresh seafood and exciting sports are highlights in our town.
Website(s) City homepage:
Desired Country/Region of Exchange Australia (eastern coast)
-Cities nearby Sydney and Brisbane are preferable
Desired Characteristics of Exchange Partner -Similarity of natural environment, industry and culture
-Prosperous for sightseeing (sea and sport)
Other PR Information

"Moriya Seashore"
Of the 4 resorts in Katsuura, Moriya is the largest beach resort and has lifesavers patrolling all summer.

"Hebara Beach"
WCT surfing tournament was held here. There is a large parking lot, free toilets and shower service awaiting surfers.

"Ubara Utopia"
Developed in early 20th century as coastal resort, it became Yukio Mishima's novel stage in the past for a beautiful cape.

"Katsuura Tantan-men" noodle (spicy)
A hot and tasty local food. It contains chili oil, baked onion, and meat with soy sauce based soup. There are 40 restaurants competing, each with their original flavors.

"Katsuura Girls Festival"
Wishing for the fine growth of girls, the traditional event has been held from ancient times in Japan. Over tens of thousands of Hina dolls are gathered and used to decorate the shops, temples, and 60 steps of Tomisaki Shrine from the end of February to the beginning of March. 200,000 tourists come to see them.

Date Modified September 2017

Nagi Town (Okayama Prefecture)

Population 6,000 Area 69.52km2
Outline of Local Government

Nagi is a town abundant with art and nature, located in northeast
Okayama Prefecture in the Chugoku region of Japan, bordering
Tottori Prefecture to the north. Nagi's main industries are
agriculture and forestry, and the town is well-known for its
Yokozen Kabuki, a form of traditional Japanese theater, in addition
to the local art museum. It is also host to the Japanese Ground
Self Defense Force Camp Nihonbara. In order to deal with its
decreasing population, in 2012 Nagi Town announced its
Declaration for Childrearing Support and currently maintains a high
birth rate due to the town's childrearing measures, drawing wide
attention domestic and abroad.

Desired Country/Region of Exchange Australia, New Zealand
Desired Characteristics of Exchange Partner Educational exchange with our junior high school.
Other PR Information Welcome to Nagi (introductory video)

Nagi MOCA (Museum of Contemporary Art)
Working from a base proposal by famed architect Arata Isozaki,
winner of the 2019 Pritzker Architecture Prize, Nagi MOCA is made
up of three installations that are both elements of the museum's
structure and art works in their own right. Pushing the established
conceptions of what it means to experience art, we invite you to
explore the manipulation of shape and light, to take a moment to
reflect and meditate.

Yokozen Kabuki (traditional Japanese theater)

Continuing a rich tradition since Edo-era Japan, Nagi's Yokozen
Kabuki is recognized as an important intangible folk culture asset
of Okayama Prefecture. Distinctive and dramatic, kabuki has long
been a Japanese icon. If you're in the area at the right time,
seeing a show first-hand in Nagi is an unforgettable experience.
Kabuki performances take place across the year, with the highlight
show taking place in autumn over two days.

Bodaiji Ginkgo Tree
The large ginkgo tree at Bodaiji Temple, nestled up in the
mountainside of Mount Nagi, is recognized by the national
government as a natural monument and a prefecture-wide symbol
for Okayama. According to legend, the influential Buddhist reformer
Honen planted the tree when he began his initiation as a monk,
following his statement that 'learning begins from the roots'.
40m tall and 13m wide, the Bodaiji Ginkgo Tree is one of the
Yomiuri Shimbun's Top 100 Famous Trees of Japan for good reason.
Watching the passage of time for 900 years, the tree stands with an
unmatched presence, all the more alive for the years it has passed.

Mount Nagi
Nagi takes its name from the nearby Mt. Nagi (1255m). Affording
a breathtaking view of the area from the top of the mountain and
serving as a backdrop for daily life in the town below, Mt. Nagi's
majestic presence draws eager trekkers all year round. Designated
as a national park, Mt. Nagi is a showcase for the diversity and
beauty found in Japan's changing seasons. Starting with spring's
new life, the landscape turns to a brilliantly rich green in summer,
which in turn sets alight with autumn colors. Culminating with
snow-clad winter vistas, the mountain is a sight at any point of
the year.

Nagi Beef
Nagi Beef is an exceptionally high-grade wagyu beef that has found
its way into fashionable restaurants around Japan. And for good
reason: the breeding and care of Nagi Beef has been refined over
many generations, along with the pedigree of calf to cow. Recently,
Nagi Beef has been recognized at the Wagyu Beef Prize Show,
coming in at 2nd place nationwide.

Nagi Vikarya Museum
Built to the shape of a shell, the museum exhibits the now-extinct
vikarya (bikaria), a relation to today's sea snail. Fossils from
50 different species are presented across 300 displays, and
outside you can dig for actual fossils from 16 million years ago.

Date Modified
For Enquiries
International Exchange Division
Tel : +81-3-5213-1723
Fax : +81-3-5213-1742
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