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40th Sister-City Anniversary: Homer Alaska and Teshio Japan

Updated: 2 days ago

In April 1984, the Mayor of Homer, Alaska, and Teshio, Japan, formally established a Sistership Affiliation. This relationship highlights cultural exchanges and mutual benefits across the Pacific, connecting the East with the West. The 40th Anniversary Celebration will continue throughout the summer of 2024.

Homer Alaska Winter Carnival 2024 Best Performing Arts Winner!
Homer Alaska Winter Carnival 2024 Best Performing Arts Winner!

Things to Do in Homer Alaska: Celebration Events

The Celebration started with the Japanese Club's participation in Homer's Winter Carnival. Students spent weeks creating and practicing the Japanese art of Taiko Drumming. They performed in Homer's Winter Carnival Parade, winning the 'Best Performing Artists' prize. 

During the weekend of May 3rd, 2024, The City of Homer sponsored Tomodachi Daiko Inc., from Anchorage, Alaska, and Tokyo, Japan, to perform with students from Homer's Japanese Club at Homer Mariner Theatre. A workshop on building Taiko Drums was held at the Kenai Peninsula College, Kachemak Bay Campus.  

Homer Alaska Japanese Club Taiko Drumming Performance
Homer Alaska Japanese Club Taiko Drumming Performance

The Pratt Museum opened a Sister-Cities exhibit featuring art from Teshio, Japan, and Homer, Alaska. This exhibit will continue until September 2024. 

Alaska Japanese Club Homer Alaska
Alaska Japanese Club Homer Alaska

Teshio, Japan's Sister-City Relationship with Homer, Alaska

Teshio's relationship with Homer, Alaska, established as a sister-city connection, bridges two communities with similar environmental and economic characteristics. 

Both towns are positioned in relatively remote, northern locations, have economies heavily reliant on fishing and tourism, and feature stunning natural landscapes that attract visitors worldwide.

The sister-city relationship fosters cultural exchanges, including student and citizen visits, cultural events, and knowledge sharing about environmental conservation and sustainable living. 

These exchanges help deepen mutual understanding and respect, and they provide opportunities for both communities to learn from each other's experiences in dealing with similar challenges, such as climate change and economic diversification.

Homer Alaska's Japanese Club

The Japanese Club provides Japanese language, music, and art instruction and encourages communication with students in Teshio, Japan.

One of the most inspiring aspects of this partnership is the transformative opportunity it provides for students from Teshio to visit Homer and vice versa. 

These exchanges allow young people to immerse themselves in a different culture and gain global perspectives, foster international friendships, and develop a sense of global citizenship. 

These programs are instrumental in cultivating a sense of worldwide community and cooperation.

Japan-Alaska Sister City Forum

The Consular Office of Japan in Anchorage launched the Japan-Alaska Sister City Forum to promote and develop Sister City relationships in Alaska. Homer, Alaska, and Teshio, Japan, participated in the online Japan-Alaska Sister City-Town Pride FESTA.

Teshio won First Place for their video about Teshio and Homer’s Sister City Relationship.

Homer, Alaska, won Third Place with a submission by the Homer Alaska Japanese Club about Connections Between Teshio and Homer, including online classes and discussions between students to exchange cultural and lifestyle details.


Teshio, Japan, is rich in cultural, natural, and economic resources. Its sister-city relationship with Homer, Alaska, enhances its cultural richness and offers pathways for continued growth and global connection. 

The ongoing exchange with Homer highlights the importance of global friendship and cooperation, proving that even the smallest towns can significantly impact the world stage.

Frequently Asked Questions: 

Where is Teshio, Japan?

Teshio is a town located in the northern part of Hokkaido, Japan's northernmost island. Nestled along the coast of the Sea of Japan, Teshio is known for its scenic landscapes, fishing industry, and rich cultural heritage, making it a charming destination for visitors seeking natural beauty and authentic experiences.

What is the benefit of a Sister-City Relationship?

A Sister-City Relationship fosters cultural understanding, economic opportunities, and educational exchanges between cities. It promotes international cooperation, encourages tourism, and enhances diplomatic ties. By sharing experiences and resources, sister cities enrich each other's communities, fostering lasting friendships and global connections for mutual benefit.

What are the similarities between Teshio, Japan, and Homer, Alaska?

Teshio, Japan, and Homer, Alaska, share similarities in their coastal locations, reliance on fishing industries, and picturesque landscapes. Both communities value their natural environments and have strong cultural ties to the sea. Additionally, they embrace seasonal changes, fostering a sense of resilience and appreciation for their rugged surroundings.


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