Niimi, Okayama Prefecture, Japan is Sidney’s newest sister city
On July 1, 2008 Niimi became Sidney’s newest sister city when Mayor Ishigaki of Niimi and Mayor Amos of Sidney, at a ceremony in Sidney, BC, Canada signed a Charter of Agreement to establish a sister city relationship between the communities.
Niimi is located in northwest Okayama Prefecture, Japan on the Takahashi River and is best known for its limestone quarries and the production of wagyu beef, cement production, forestry and tourism. Farms in Niimi produce tobacco, peaches and grapes. The population currently stands at approximately 35,000.
Since the initial contact, citizen and student exchanges between Sidney and Niimi have been ongoing:
- In 2006, at the invitation of Mayor Ishigaki, Mayor Amos and four citizens of Sidney travelled to Niimi to better acquaint themselves with that city and it’s citizens.
- In 2007, a delegation of representatives from Niimi visited Sidney to further explore the possibility of a Sister City relationship between the two communities.
- In 2008, Mayor Ishigaki, together with six city Councillors and two citizens travelled to Sidney for the official ceremony commemorating the signing of the sister city Charter.
- In 2010 three citizens from Sidney, together with one citizen from Anacortes, visited Niimi to experience Japanese culture, establish new friendships and participate in mutually beneficial business related activities.
- In 2012 ten junior high school students from Niimi, together with the Deputy Mayor, a school principal and a translator visited Sidney to experience Canadian culture, participate in English Language classes and enjoy home stays with Canadian families.
- In 2013 an Assistant Language Teacher from Sidney began a two year contract in Niimi
- In 2015 eight citizens of Sidney including Mayor Steve Price, visited Niimi as guests of the city.
In October 2014, six SSCA members, together with Sidney Mayor Steve Price and his wife, Fiona, went to Niimi as an official delegation. This video is a record of their stay in Niimi
- More Information about Niimi
Getting There (plane to Osaka or Tokyo; train to Niimi)