Nishinomiya, Japan

Yoku Irrashai Mashita – Welcome!

As the initial Sister City affiliation in Spokane, the agreement between Spokane and Nishinomiya, Japan, was signed in September of 1961 in the Lilac City, then had a formal signing ceremony in the Nishinomiya City Hall in April of 1962.

And for the past 45-plus years, more than 10,000 exchanges have occurred between the citizens of each of our communities, with many long-lasting personal friendships counted among them.  And we can all be thankful to the pair of civic leaders: Mayor Neal R. Fosseen, businessman-artist Edward M. Tsutakawa, and obviously their counterparts in Nishinomiya; who had the foresight to bring the plan to fruition.

Our citizens have had mutual meetings and exchanges of medical groups, Boy and Girl Scout Troops, Chambers of Commerce, businesses, civic and fraternal organizations, unions, teachers, musicians, stage productions, and of special importance, students.

And, of course, mayors and council members of Nishinomiya and Spokane have greeted each other in each other’s city as have members of the two Sister City Societies traveled the many miles to participate in festivals and special gatherings.

No statistical tables could actually say what benefits have accrued from all these gatherings…because a sizable portion of that is on a totally personal level…but the residents of Spokane know what additional charm has been brought to Manito Park with the construction of the Spokane-Nishinomiya Japanese Garden.

The Spokane-Nishinomiya Sister City Society also makes a humanitarian contribution forthe relationship between Spokane and Nishinomiya.  After the Great Hanshin Earthquake of 1995, the Society promptly sent Nishinomiya $125,000 in medical aid and $25,000 for earthquake relief funds.  Moreover, the Society has developed a collection of resources related to Nishinomiya City in cooperation with the Spokane Public Library.

And from an educational standpoint, we have the outstanding campus of Nishinomiya’s Mukogawa Women’s University on Spokane’s Fort Wright premises.  More than 200 young women from the Japanese school participate in a semester of study at the Spokane location for immersion in English and the American culture.  That totals some 7,800 since Mukogawa Fort Wright Institute opened its doors in 1990.

The primary goal of the two cities’ affiliation is to foster closer relations in the educational, cultural and economic realms. By any measure, that has been accomplished over the nearly half century of our friendship.  And there is every reason to believe it will continue for another half century…and more.

Who Should Join
We welcome all who share an interest in the Society’s basic purpose and program.  The Society has some 210 listed members and the Board of Directors meets once a month.  A newsletter is published quarterly (or as needed) and plans are in the works for membership meetings on a more regular basis, in addition to the annual meeting held in early March.

Members use these meetings to learn more about Nishinomiya and Japan and to share recent experiences with exchange activities.

Contact Society President Rol Herriges at 509-536-4480 or To visit the Spokane-Nishinomiya sister city website, click on

Please check out our 50 Years of Friendship video.

To visit the Nishinomiya website: