In 1986, Mr. Otoji Nakagawa, the then mayor of Higashikawa, envisioned an international role for the town and visited Canada. The Alberta government introduced him to Canmore, which is similar to Higashikawa in terms of climate and tourism. After a series of friendly exchanges, the two towns agreed to form a sister-city relationship. On July 12, 1989, the two towns signed the friendship treaty in Canmore.
Canmore, 22 km east of Banff National Park and 106 km west of Calgary, is surrounded by the Canadian Rocky Mountains. The Three Sisters, a chain of three mountains, is the symbol of the town.
In February 1988, the town hosted the Nordic events of the Calgary Winter Olympics and the ski facilities still remain open for public enjoyment. The main industries are tourism, cement, ceramics, and forestry. The population of Canmore continues to increase with its booming real estate industry.
Location: Lat. 51.900 N Long. 115.357 W
Average Maximum Temperature / Average Minimum Temperature:
January -5.3 / -14.9°C, April 9.0 / -2.8°C
July 22.1 / 7.4°C, October 10.1 / -1.1°C
Annual rainfall: 28 cm rain, 240 cm snow
The exchange between the Republic of Latvia and Higashikawa started in 1993, when the people of Higashikawa gathered elementary and junior high school books, picture books and other Japanese language teaching materials to send them to the Japanese Language Evening School in Riga, the capital of Latvia. The exchange continued and on July 7, 2008, a friendship treaty was signed between Higashikawa and Rujiena, a town located in northern Latvia.
Rujiena is located in northern Latvia, 150 km from Riga, the capital of Latvia. 95% of the population is Latvian, which is why it is called the “most Latvian town” in the country. Rujiena acquired its name from the river Ruja, that flows through the town. The river’s name comes from the Estonian word “ruhi-sile”, a dugout canoe.
In 1997 the town was incorporated into the North Vidzeme Biosphere Reserve. It is a vast territory in which natural treasures and landscapes of international significance are being preserved, while ensuring sustainable social and economic development.
Rujiena is well known in the country for its agricultural products, bakery “Liepkalni” and ice cream brand “Rujienas Saldejums”.
Yeongwol County is located close to Pyeongchang, the host city of the 2018 Winter Olympics, and has beautiful scenery, a variety of museums and hosts the Dong Gang Photo Festival. The exchanges between Higashikawa and Yeongwol County started in 2008, and various exchange activities for children and adults have been carried out since then. A Cultural Exchange Agreement was signed in November 2010.
Yeongwol County is a place of breathtaking nature and traditions. It is located in central Korea, 169.1 km from Seoul, the capital of South Korea.
It is a small city with the population of about 40,000 people, which prioritizes on its natural resources. Also, there is a UNESCO World Heritage Site (Jangneung, Royal Tombs of the Joseon Dynasty), other historical heritage sites and the beautiful Donggang River. The main industry is tourism, being the “town of roofless museums” (24 museums) in South Korea and attracting 2.5 million visitors every year from all over the world.