EXPERIENCING TOYOKORO                                Members of Summerland’s royalty were given a tour in and around Summerland’s sister city of Toyokoro, Japan. The Summerland royalty members are Summerland princess Verity Taylor, second from left, Blossom Queen Sage Beddome and Summerland princess Katrina Kirschmann.                                (Photo submitted)

EXPERIENCING TOYOKORO Members of Summerland’s royalty were given a tour in and around Summerland’s sister city of Toyokoro, Japan. The Summerland royalty members are Summerland princess Verity Taylor, second from left, Blossom Queen Sage Beddome and Summerland princess Katrina Kirschmann. (Photo submitted)

COLUMN: Making friends and memories in Toyokoro

Sister City visit in Japan was an incredible opportunity

Taking a trip to Japan was not something I thought would ever happen in my life.

When my husband Chris and I were invited to join Summerland’s Sister City delegation to Toyokoro, we both agreed this was an opportunity that might never come again, so we packed our bags and boarded the plane along with ten others in our group.

We landed in Sapporo, Hokkaido after 19 hours of travel and headed straight for the hotel.

The first place we ventured out to that night was a little restaurant that served marinated pork, rice and gyoza dumplings. “Oishii.”

Walking back to the hotel, I noticed the atmosphere of Sapporo was different than in Canada, and not just because the humidity hovered at 82 per cent.

The sidewalks are dark, there isn’t much illumination from streetlights, yet it felt very safe. Also, bicycles were left unlocked with no fear of theft.

It was a welcome change and left a favourable impression on me.

The next day we met our guide Makato, and went out to tour the city.

Queen Sage and Princesses Verity and Katrina told me they were willing to try any food that was served to them. Challenge accepted!

The group started with a visit to the government buildings, clock tower, outdoor fish market and a Hasso-an (eight window) traditional tea house built in the 17th century.

We were privileged to visit the Hokkaido Jingu Shinto Shrine and walk along the paths lined with cherry trees, although no longer in blossom at that time of year.

A gondola ride up to the Okurayama Olympic ski jump hill was next, with breathtaking views of the city below.

The heat made us thirsty, so Chris bought an iced tea from the vending machine. Except it was barley tea, which is not the same. Only Katrina liked that one!

READ ALSO: COLUMN: Springtime and ramen in Toyokoro

READ ALSO: COLUMN: Wildlife observed during summer in Toyokoro

It was so much fun taking these three young ladies out on the town for lunch. Butter clams, octopus, crab miso soup and raw tuna sushi.

What better way for young people to discover their adventurous side than by travelling to another country!

Hopefully more students in our community will be given the opportunity to make friends and memories with a trip like this.

When it was time to journey to Toyokoro, we knew that the residents were anticipating our arrival, but I had no idea the extent they would go to welcome us.Their hospitality was amazing.

The delegates met us at City Hall, Mayor Toni Boot gave a speech, and the royalty left with their homestay families.

The impact of this trip to our Sister City will linger. We learned so much about how different their way of living is compared to ours. One thing that was pleasantly similar was their public library.

The librarian, Misumi, told me there are 48,000 books in the collection, with 12,000 checked out yearly. Impressive for a town of 3,000 residents.

The Summerland library was gifted a set of picture books in Japanese and English by Shinsuke Yoshitake. Drop by to read them and see the display celebrating our Sister City, Toyokoro.

Caroline McKay is an Assistant Community Librarian at the Summerland Branch of the Okanagan Regional Library.

To report a typo, email:
news@summerlandreview.com
.



news@summerlandreview.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The regional district’s Penticton offices. (John Arendt - Summerland Review)
Building and bylaw service up in 2020 for RDOS

More complaints were resolved and building permits issued in 2020 than 2019

Penticton city council heard from Dhorea Ramanula, of Paid Employment for People with Lived Experiences Tuesday, Jan. 19. Ramanula’s organization has operated public washrooms in Kelowna staffed by community support workers since April, she says Penticton could benefit from a similar facility. (Michael Rodriguez - Kelowna Capital News)
Penticton interested in new public washroom concept to combat vandalism

Public washrooms with on-site support staff have been operating in Kelowna since April

Aidan & Mandy will play a live-streamed show at the Venables Theatre, Saturday, Jan. 23. (Contributed photo)
Penticton’s own Aidan & Mandy in concert Saturday, Jan. 23

The live show will be streamed from Venables Theatre in Oliver

The next Canadian census will be held in May, 2021. The Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen is urging its residents to complete the census form online. (Statistics Canada)
Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen urges participation in census

National census will be held in May, 2021 with COVID-19 protocols in place

The BC SPCA is adapting its fundraising after cancelling events due to COVID-19 restrictions. (Twila Amato - Black Press Media)
BC SPCA gets creative with fundraising as pandemic continues

The non-profit’s in-person fundraising events all had to be cancelled due to COVID-19 restrictions

Esa Carriere, 23, was the victim of a 2018 Canada Day homicide. (File)
Youth sentenced in Kelowna Canada Day killing

Young woman pleaded guilty to lesser assault charge, sentenced to 15-month intensive support and supervision program

A rendering of UBC’s planned downtown Kelowna campus. (Contributed)
Kelowna’s new downtown campus to help alleviate UBCO’s space crunch

The sizable development is anticipated to be completed by the fall 2024 semester

Vernon's Noric House long-term care facility is dealing with an influenza outbreak amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (File photo)
Two more deaths at Vernon care home

Noric House case numbers remain steady, but death toll rises

A petition to spare the Mount Rose Swanson area from logging later this year has eclipsed 21,000 signatures as of Jan. 20, 2021. (Rose Swanson Mountain/Facebook)
Controversial logging will cut 4% of ‘sensitive’ Armstrong forest area: Ministry

A petition to spare the Rose Swanson area from logging has eclipsed 21,000 signatures

Vernon firefighters douse a fire inside a cardboard bin behind the Shops at Polson off Highway 6 Wednesday, Jan. 20. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
PHOTOS: Dumpster fire behind Vernon shopping mall

Vernon Fire Rescue Services respond doused recycling bin fire backing onto Polson Park

Eighteen-year-old Aidan Webber died in a marine accident in 2019. He was a Canadian Junior BMX champion from Nanaimo. (Submitted)
Inadequate safety training a factor in teen BMX star’s workplace death in 2019

Aidan Webber was crushed by a barge at a fish farm near Port Hardy

Southern resident killer whales in B.C. waters. Research shows the population’s females are more negatively influenced by vessel traffic than males. (Photo supplied by Ocean Wise Conservation Association)
Female orcas less likely to feed in presence of vessel traffic: study

Research the southern resident population raises concerns over reproduction capacity

(Black Press Media files)
Transport Canada not budging on enclosed deck rules, despite calls from BC Ferries union

There have been at least 23 cases of the U.K. variant detected in Canada, four of which are in B.C.

Most Read