Sister Cities and Sister Castle of Himeji City


*Direct distances between Himeji and its sister cities
Flight time with a speed of 900km per hour

  Sister Cities
  CHARLEROI (BELGIUM)
Charleroi is one of the five biggest cities in Belgium, located 60 km south of Brussels, the capital city of Belgium and the biggest city in the Waron area of the south, where French is spoken. While it has preserved the vestige of the Middle Ages such as stone houses, churches and castles, it has developed industries.

Thanks to concentration of railways and road systems, it has grown as a heavy industrial city with the coal-mining industry at its center. The present main industries are the manufacturing of iron, chemistry and the construction industry. Recently space navigation and high-tech industries are emphasized as industries of the future.

Relations between Charleroi and Himeji go back to the time of World War II. Charleroi was known to Himeji citizens through churches and schools run by Junshinkai, one sect of the Catholic Church. In January, 1964, the king and queen of Belgium visited Himeji. Taking this opportunity, the sister-city affiliation was established on July 13, 1965 and the first foreign sister-city of Himeji was born.
  PHOENIX (U.S.A.)
Phoenix, the sixth biggest city in America, is the capital of Arizona state, located 576 km east of Los Angeles. It is situated at the center of the Sonoran desert surrounded by mountains and blessed with 310 days of fine weather throughout the year.

The city whose name was originated from the legendary Phoenix is widely known as a town coping with both leisure and industry. Recently, high-tech industries such as electronics and data processing have remarkably developed as industrial structures are diversifying. The electronic center in this city is the third biggest in the U.S.A.. The cultivation of cotton, fruits, the production of beer, and the use of irrigation water from three dams in the suburbs all bring people prosperous lives.

Phoenix began its sister city affiliation with Himeji in the same year of the 200th anniversary of the national founding by mediation of International Goodwill Cities Federation. A number of citizens participate in exchanges through art and education.

  ADELAIDE (AUSTRALIA)
Adelaide is the capital of the State of South Australia, located on the seashore of south Australia 650 km northwest of Melbourne. The climate is of the Mediterranean Sea - style that features hot and long summers and mild and short winters.

As for the industrial structure of Adelaide, once the manufacturing industries and agriculture were emphasized. But, recently the high-tech industry, the metal working industry and financial business are taking the leading roles. From a social and political view, Adelaide was the first city in the world to give women the rights of suffrage and the right to have their own property. Adelaide attracts many tourists for its Adelaide Art Festival in which world top artists gather and as the town which is the door to wild animals paradise, Kangaroo Island.

Himeji city had a signing ceremony of their sister city affiliation with the Mayor of Adelaide and his wife on April 19, 1982.
  CURITIBA (BRAZIL)
Curitiba is the capital of the state of Parana in southern Brazil, located about 400 km southwest of Sao Paulo and about 700 km from Rio de Janeiro. The city, situated on a plateau about 900 m above sea level is blessed with a mild climate. In the local native's language, Curitiba means, "An abundance of pine tree".

The city was started and developed by those who looked for gold and settled Bilinya (the present Tiradentes Square) down by the Atuba river. Curitiba is a culturally rich city which has a lot of cultural facilities such as art museums and museums with the Guaira Theater, the largest theater in South and Central America, being at the top. It is also known as a less polluted city.

Himeji city was recommended to establish a sister city affiliation with Curitiba by the governor of Hyogo prefecture in 1980 and was affiliated on May 14, 1984 after many consultations by friendship delegations sent to South American from Hyogo.

  TAIYUAN (CHINA)
Taiyuan, the capital of Shanxi Province, is located 500 km southwest of Beijing. Since the city was developed in 5th century B.C., it had been regarded as an important fortress of northern China until the 16th century.

The handicraft industry had been very popular from ancient times and in 100 B.C. the iron industry started and Taiyuan was known as the town of scissors. The main industries in the 20th century were coal mining and heavy industries, making the best use of rich coal resources. Recently light industries and the textile industry are taking their place. A lot of temples related with ancient dynasties still remain in town. Historic heritage such as Tian Long stone cave, Chongshan Monastery (Chongshan si) and Twin Pagoda Temple (Shuangta si) are still cherished by the citizens as symbols of their city.

Himeji city began the sister city affiliation with Taiyuan on May 20, 1987, starting with a visit of friendship delegations from Taiyuan to Himeji.
  CHANGWON (Republic of Korea)
The city of Changwon is located about 50 km west of Pusan in the Southeast Republic.
Changwon is the first planned city, and it developed as the center of politics, industry and culture in Gyeongsangnam-do. On July 1, 2010, the neighboring cities of Masan and Jinhae merged with the city for the first time in Korea, and expected to develop more as a growing point of southeast economic bloc.

In the city there are a lot of cultural assets and historical heritage, such as the museum established by Moon Shin, a world famous sculptor, mountain temple (Kuangsansa), Mongol Well (Monggo Jeoung), etc

Himeji city and former Masan city have many similarities in population, area, history of city organizations, industrial structures and so forth. There have been exchanges by citizen delegations between the two cities, and former Masan city proposed an affiliated sister city relationship. Even after the merger in 2010, we keep our relationship as sister cities.

 Sister Castle
  Chateau de CHANTILLY (FRANCE)
The city of Chantilly is a small town with a population of 12,000, located about 40 km northeast of Paris in the province of Oise. The city is known for horse racing. The symbol of this city is the castle of Chantilly which is known as one of the best castles in the world. The castle is a specimen of magnificent Renaissance architecture whose beauty has been reflected on the surface of Silvy lake around the castle. It is said there was already a castle wall in the era of Roman's control. In 1386 the great lawyer of Charles VI, Pierre d'Orgemont got this castle. Since then renovating and extension work has been repeated and in the 19th century Duke Aumale had made some big scale renovations rendering its present appearance.

The national treasure Himeji castle shared sister-castle affiliation with the castle of Chantilly beginning in 1989 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the city system. For Japan, this was the first sister-castle affiliation with foreign castle.

Citizens Delegation to Phoenix, USA (40th Anniversary)

We are going to send a citizens delegation to cerebrate the 40th anniversary of the sister city affiliation between Phoenix, USA and Himeji in November. They will join the commemorative events in Phoenix. They will also visit Grand Canyon, Las Vegas and San Fransisco. The application has expired. Thank you.