Council prepares for cultural visit to Yamato Takada, Japan

As part of the preparations for the landmark 60th-anniversary visit to Yamato Takada, Japan, Lismore City Council recently held an information evening for the nine-member delegation set to immerse themselves in a four-day journey exploring the vibrant cultural landscape of the Sister City as well as taking part in the Cherry Blossom Festival between 1 and 4 April.

The meeting at the Council Chambers was held to equip the delegates with essential knowledge about Japanese customs, etiquette and expectations to ensure a respectful and meaningful cultural exchange.

The delegation, includes a selection of six self-funded community members who nominated to represent the city, joining three Councillors, including Mayor Krieg, Cr Bing and Cr Ekins.

All delegates fund their own associated costs, including accommodation and airfares.

All participants expressed their passion for travelling as ambassadors for Lismore, fostering cross-cultural understanding and collaboration with our Sister City Yamato Takada.

Lismore City Mayor Steve Krieg said the visit to Yamato Takada, will strengthen the long-standing relationship between the two cities and mark a significant milestone in the partnership.

“Yamato Takada City Council extended an invitation to our community for delegates to visit during the Cherry Blossom Sakura season, which holds cultural and social importance,” he said.

“The information night was geared to ensure we were fully prepared to appropriately respect the Japanese attire, dining etiquette, greetings and other customs to deeply engage with our hosts and honour the traditions of Yamato Takada.”

“The Lismore City Council is grateful for Yamato Takada’s warm invitation and looks forward to a successful visit that further solidifies the sister city relationship.”

Among the delegates is Julie Burton, an enthusiastic junior coach at the Far North Coast Table Tennis Club. She said she is embarking on a mission to bridge cultures and sports by connecting with her Japanese sister city.

“My motivation to go is to hopefully create a connection with the Yamato Takada Table Tennis Club by meeting someone face to face so I can invite them to our club in Goonellabah,” she said.

“Some of the best Table Tennis players in the world come from Japan and it’s their second biggest sport, so it’s a worthwhile journey to forge this connection. We could certainly learn a lot from them and empower our own club”

When the delegates arrive in Japan, they will embark on a visit celebrating the breathtaking Sakura season and the enduring partnership between Lismore and Yamato Takada.

Highlights of the visit will include cherry blossom viewing at Onaka Park, meetings with Mayor Horiuchi and other dignitaries, tours of local landmarks, including Kashihara Shrine and insights into the region’s disaster recovery efforts caused by landslides.

At its core, this journey symbolises a shared commitment to fostering cultural, economic, and educational exchanges, laying the foundation for a brighter, more interconnected future.

By fostering meaningful connections and collaborations, this visit aims to not only strengthen the bonds of friendship but also to cultivate prosperity and growth for both communities.

Lismore City Council is thankful for Yamato Takada’s warm invitation. It is committed to ensuring that this visit strengthens the bonds of friendship and cooperation that have flourished over the past 60 years.

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