A delegation of Edmonds residents — including Edmonds Mayor Dave Earling and his wife Susan — arrived in Hekinan, Japan Sunday to begin a week-long visit marking the 30th anniversary of the two cities’ Sister City relationship.
Here’s a report we received Monday from Katie Kelly Director of Edmonds Historical Museum, who is on the trip:
“It’s Monday evening and we’ve had a great day filled with some amazing things! After an 11-hour plane ride, and another 1.5-hour layover, then an hour flight, we made it to Hekinan yesterday (April 1). Everyone was tired, but we were welcomed with bright smiles and hellos!
“Today (Monday) we met with Hekinan’s Mayor and staff this morning. Then headed to Okazaki Castle to see the cherry blossoms. We were welcomed to Hekinan with a large group of happy ambassadors waving flags and a banner.”
“Tomorrow we head to Kyoto!”
The trip not only celebrates the 30th anniversary of the two cities’ Sister City relationship but the 70th anniversary of the city of Hekinan. Founded in 1948, Hekinan is a city of 73,000 people and is an hour’s train ride south of Nagoya in central Japan. Like Edmonds, it is a waterfront city, surrounded by a lake, a river and two bays.
Edmonds and Hekinan established a Sister City relationship on April 5, 1988. Since that time, more than 1,000 adults and students have traveled between the two cities through the Commission’s exchange programs.