Did you know that Seattle currently has sister city relationships with 21 cities throughout the world? The establishment of sister cities fosters relationships between two locales thus creating greater understanding of their respective cultures. The exchange program began in 1956 thanks to President Dwight Eisenhower. His intention was essentially one of world peace and less conflict; or at least more peaceful relationships between the United States and other countries of the world.
I have an ongoing goal of honoring and highlighting each of the 21 sister cities of Seattle. The master list of cities appears in my “Travel the World in Your Own Backyard: Seattle’s 21 International Sister Cities” post and will be updated every couple of weeks.
Sister City: Kobe, Japan
Year Established: 1957
Representation in Seattle:
The Seattle-Kobe sister city relationship was the first for each city, and looking back at all the connections, partnerships and exchanges the two cities have made, it shows! Cultural, educational, business, governmental, and even sports exchanges and a special exhibit in the Seattle Aquarium have occurred.
In order to “travel” to Kobe, we visited Kobe Terrace in Seattle’s International District. The park is small, just a pocket park with a few winding trails, but it contains some significant gifts to Seattle from the people of Kobe. Mount Fuji cherry trees can be seen throughout the park along the walkways, in addition to a 4-ton, 200 year old Yukimidoro lantern at the top entrance.
Since we were already in the international district, looking to dive into Japanese culture a little more, and in desperate need of a snack, I also decided we needed to check out a nearby Japanese bakery. A cup of piping hot green tea and a traditional Japanese pastry called, “azuki” was the perfect to warm and brighten up our otherwise dreary Seattle day.
So many more Kobe-Seattle connections exist in the city, that I look forward to exploring with Bergen like the Kobe Bell Meditation Garden located on the Seattle Center campus and the annual Cherry Blossom festival in April. And, you can bet we will be back to Kobe Terrace park to see the Mount Fuji cherry trees blooming in all their glory!
Have you traveled to Kobe, Japan? Tell us about your experience!
Come join the conversation! You can keep up to date with each and every post by subscribing to the blog via email. We’d also love to have you join us on all of our adventures by “liking” our facebook page and following us on twitter! If you enjoyed this post, please “like it”, “tweet it” or “pin it”!