Taking advantage of a personal visit to Japan, the mayor renewed ties with one of Eugene’s sister cities. Speaking April 10:
[00:00:08] Mayor Lucy Vinis: During council’s break in March, I took a personal trip to Japan because I have a son who’s living there and had the opportunity to visit our sister city in Kakegawa.
[00:00:18] The last time a mayor visited Kakegawa from the city was in 2005 when Mayor (Kitty) Piercy went, and for various reasons it has not made sense, financial sense to fly there, but I was going there anyway. And really, it was a really wonderful experience. Kakegawa is a tea-producing area. It’s famous for its very high-quality green tea.
[00:00:40] Displayed in their city hall, which is designed to mimic the tea field—so, it’s a big rectangular building in which the stories, each of the six floors, is like as if it were steps on a hillside. And so when you’re on the ground floor, you can see all of the steps of the floors and they’re all so very accessible.
[00:00:59] And they have the same little fans in the city hall that they have out in the tea fields for frost prevention. So it’s a really important part of their culture and their identity, and they have posters everywhere about the components of their sustainability mission.
[00:01:13] So they are very much of like mind and it was really a pleasure to meet their new mayor and they have the first woman deputy mayor ever in the history of the city. That was very exciting.
[00:01:25] So it was a unique opportunity and I’m hoping that they’ll come visit us sometime soon. And it will be hard to honor them as royally as they honored me when I was there. So really, really a pleasure.
[00:01:38] John Q: Eugene’s mayor visits sister city Kakegawa, where area tea farmers are frequent winners in the prestigious National Tea Competition. Just as we promote the UO with The Duck, our sister city has its own tea mascot, Kinjiro. Sister cities promote peace through person-to-person citizen diplomacy. Learn more on the Eugene city website.