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Yamagata citizens exchange to celebrate anniversary

Yamagata citizens exchange to celebrate anniversary

The Swan Hill Yamagata Club is inviting residents to be part of an exchange to Japan next year, to mark 40 years of the Sister City relationship.

A group of residents from around the Swan Hill Rural City municipality will travel to Japan in mid April 2020.

The two-week trip will include home stays in Yamagata for four nights, as well as short visits to Tokyo, Kyoto and Fukuoka. The trip has also been planned to coincide with Cherry Blossom season in Japan.

The Swan Hill Yamagata Club’s Ross Cox and Lorretta Gleeson are helping organise the exchange, and encouraged people to consider joining in.

“These exchanges are a great way to travel and a great way to learn more about the Japanese culture. We will stay with local people, take part in local events and have with us many Swan Hill people who have been part of the Sister City relationship since the start,” Mr Cox said.

“We have run citizen exchanges in the past – the last one was in 2015 – and those who have taken part have found the experience to be an enjoyable and valuable one.”

An information night will be held in late May 2019 at the Swan Hill Region Information Centre.

“This is a no-obligation information session where we will discuss the itinerary, expected expenses, Japanese customs and any other queries people might have,” Mr Cox said.

For more information or to register your interest, contact Robyn Fry on rfry@swanhill.vic.gov.au.

The exchange is just one of the events planned to mark the 40th anniversary of the Swan Hill Yamagata Sister City relationships. Council, with assistance from the Swan Hill Yamagata Club and Yamagata City Council, is also working on finalising plans for the Japanese garden in Swan Hill.

Combining traditional Japanese garden style and the rural Australian landscape to create a contemporary public garden, construction is scheduled for the end of this year.