Sister city exchange activities since the formation of the city of Kahoku



Dates refer to the period of stay in the destination country.



Index of activities

Kahoku youth group visits Messkirch (September 2010)

Messkirch youth group visits Kahoku (October 18 to 27, 2009)

Messkirch adult group visits Kahoku (May 24 to June 4, 2009)

Kahoku youth group visits Messkirch (September 16 to 23, 2008)

Messkirch youth group visits Kahoku (October 21 to 30, 2007)

Messkirch official delegation and adult group visit Kahoku (May 30 to June 4/8, 2007)

Kahoku youth group visits Messkirch (July 3 to 11, 2006)

Kahoku delegation and adult group visit Messkirch to mark the 30th anniversary of Heidegger's death (May 24 to 27/31, 2006)

Kahoku delegation visits Messkirch to mark the 20th anniversary of sister city affiliation (September 30 to October 6, 2005)

Messkirch adult group visits Kahoku (May 16 to 25, 2005)

Messkirch youth group visits Kahoku (March 15 to 22, 2005)

Messkirch delegation visits Kahoku for the reaffirmation of sister city affiliation (July 3 to 8, 2004)



The sister city exchange activities between Kahoku and Messkirch are conducted with the cooperation of the Kahoku Association for International Exchange. Link to the website of the Kahoku Association for International Exchange (Japanese only).




Messkirch youth group visits Kahoku (October 18 to 27, 2009)

Eighteen students of the Messkirch-based schools Grafen-von-Zimmern-Realschule and Heidegger-Gymnasium visited their sister city of Kahoku in the company of two teachers.

The group arrived at Oskaka Airport on October 17 and gathered first impressions about Japan during a stroll in Osaka's pedestrian area.

After spending one night at an Osaka hotel, the group visited the Fushimi Inari Shrine and the Kiyomizu Temple the next morning before heading to Kahoku via bus.






Upon arrival in Kahoku, the German guests and their ten Japanese host families got to know each other. Then the Germans spent their first nights in the homes of their host families.

In the morning of October 19, the first item on the schedule was a visit in the mayor's office. Following that, the group visited the conference room of the city council. They heard a short introduction on Kahoku and had then time to ask questions about Kahoku and Japan.

Next was a visit at the Ishikawa Prefectural Nursing University and a round tour through the premises.

Afterwards, the group headed for the Omi Nishiyama Yaoi no Sato Monument Park. There they heard interesting stories about the history of Japan and viewed a reconstructed Yayoi Era-style dwelling. The students then made a soap stone gem and were instructed to the fine art of making a fire from materials found in nature. At 5.30 pm the day ended by the pickup of the host families.









The fourth day began with a visit at Takamatsu Elementary School. The elementary school kids had prepared calligraphy items and the German students could try their luck in writing the Chinese characters for "enthusiasm" while being taught by the Japanese students.

Next, the Germans visited the private-run Kizu Kindergarten. The preschool kids had prepared an entertainment program featuring music and dances, and the German guests were impressed by the kids' ambitious performance. The Germans splashed out presenting the dance to the song "Fliegerlied" they had practiced back home in Germany.

Lunch was a Japanese-style barbecue at the Sea and Coastal Museum Ummikoland - no sausages or buns, but grilled squid and pan-fried noodles. After lunch the group took a walk on the beach, which the South Germans especially enjoyed. A German student ended up falling into the water, providing for a funny closing to the fourth day.




On the fifth day, October 21, the German students headed to explore the Noto Peninsula. First they could marvel at the fishes and other marine animals at the Notojima Aquarium. Then the group went fishing in the ocean with rented rods and shrimps as baits.

When the students arrived back at Kahoku, they prepared dinner together with the Japanese students from the host families. They served Japanese curry, salad and the fish they had fished in the afternoon.

Following that, the group headed to Nanatsuka Fureaikan, the building where they were to spend the night. There a surprise awaited them: the Japanese students who had participated at the student exchange program to Messkirch in 2008 waited there for their German friends. They brought fireworks, and so the official part of the day ended with a fireworks show.

Following the night on typical futons, the Japanese junior high school students and their German guests were to go to school together on October 22. One full day the German students should have the chance to experience Japanese school life. Unfortunately the school broke this off after half a day and sent the German students home after lunch. This caused irritation with some of the German students.




On the morning of October 23, the group went to harvest the brand name sweet potato Kahokkuri. As Kahokkuri have a high market price, the students were allowed to start harvesting only after an instruction about the right harvesting method. Other than German potatoes, the skin of the purple Kahokkuri is very delicate and even slightest damage to the skin lowers the retail price. At the end of their harvesting experience the students were allowed to take the precious potatoes home.

After lunch, the group participated in the cultural festival of Kahokudai Junior High School. The German students watched a play by the Japanese junior high school students. The German students were also part of the program: they presented the dance to the song gFliegerlied." For that, the German students called the Japanese students on stage, and all danced together. So the sixth day in Kahoku ended.

The seventh day, a Saturday, began with watching the travelling exhibition on the subject of the German reunification that Kahoku held in the Nishida Kitaro Museum of Philosophy. There was also a small roundtable discussion in which the two German teachers, deputy headmaster of Realschule Mrs. Diener and headmaster of the Gymnasium, Mr. Mueller, talked about their personal experiences with regard to the Fall of the Wall. The German students had come with their host families, and after the speeches, a lively question and answer-session evolved.

The rest of the weekend, Days 7 and 8, the Germans spent with the host families.

On Monday morning the German students met again and shared their weekend experiences. Some had gone to a spa with their host families, others had visited sights in the area or had done some shopping. The group caught a train to Kanazawa leaving as early as 7 a.m. and went from there to Daijo Temple by bus. Upon arrival, a Zen master introduced them to the fine art of Zen meditation and taught them the adequate seating position, viewing direction and way of breathing.

Following that, the students visited Kenrokuen Garden, which is regarded as one of the three most beautiful gardens in Japan, and Kanazawa Castle. After lunch in Forus Shopping Center, the students were given time to shop before heading back to Kahoku.





At 6 p.m. a farewell party was held, and some of the German students showed up in a cotton kimono called yukata. A special treat was the entertainment program featuring tricks and interesting formations using a bamboo curtain. The master invited the Germans on stage where they enthusiastically tried throwing the bamboo curtains. After the party the German guests went home with their host families for their last night of homestay.

At the 11th and last day in Kahoku, October 27, the German student group assembled at Unoke City Hall to go to Osaka from there by bus. The host families were there too, and in this lively scene the news broke that a German student had caught the swine flu. A visit to the doctor confirmed the suspicion and so the German student group had to head to Osaka without one of the German students and his teacher Mrs. Diener. On their way to Osaka Airport, the returners' group made a detour to Universal Studios Japan. While the student with the flu and Mrs. Diener stayed in Kahoku for a few more days until the student recovered, the remaining German students boarded the 11:15 p.m. plane in Osaka after eleven adventurous days in their sister city of Kahoku.



Article in the City Bulletin, issue 12/2009, page 9 (Japanese version)

Translation of the City Bulletin article

Translation of Japanese newspaper articles



Messkirch adult group visits Kahoku (May 24 to June 4, 2009)

Twelve people from Kahoku's sister city of Messkirch in Germany visited their Japanese sister city from May 24 to June 4, 2009. The group had the chance to get to know their sister city and Japan for 12 days thanks to the cooperation of the Kahoku Association for International Exchange.






Day 1: Arrival of the group of 12 from the sister city of Messkirch, Germany at Kansai Airport in Osaka. Bus drive to a hotel in Uji (Kyoto). For many members of the group their dinner in the hotel was the first time to eat tofu, tempura, and other delicious foods from Japan.

Day 2: On the morning of May 25, the group visited the famous Byodoin Temple in Uji, an image of which is also imprinted on 10 yen coins. Following that, the group headed for Kahoku by bus and arrived there at around 3:30 p.m. At 4:30 p.m. the group paid a visit to the mayor's office, and the citizens of Messkirch asked many questions about Kahoku and Japan in general. At 6 p.m., the group finally met their host families. The 12 guests were hosted in pairs by 6 host families. After a warm welcome guests and host family members returned to their homes.

Day 3: On the morning of May 26, the group left to visit the Ishikawa Prefectural Nursing University in Kahoku. The group received an explanation by the university chancellor and had the chance to ask questions before they went on a tour of the premises. Lunch was taken in the university cafeteria. After lunch, the group took a bus ride to Mount Hodatsu where they had an amazing view of the area. In the evening, a welcome party with Japanese fireworks was held at the Italian restaurant Cacena in Kahoku.

Day 4: In the morning of May 27, the group went to see the archaelogical park Omi Nishiyama Yayoi no Sato Monument Park in Takamatsu. Here the group made a trinket from stone, grinding the stone to give it a nice shape. The group was also taught how to make a fire using only materials found in nature. Then the group ate lunch at Takamatsu Resthouse while enjoying an ocean view from the restaurant window. After lunch the German group took a stroll on the beach before heading for the Nishida Kitaro Museum of Philosophy. There the group received an introduction about the life and work of Kitaro Nishida and marveled at the interesting architecture of the building. The Kahoku Channel team interviewed the group members one after the other and asked about their impressions of their sister city and Japan. In the evening, the German guests returned to the homes of their host families.

Days 5 to 8: From the 12 group members, 10 had decided to pay Tokyo a visit. This group left Kahoku early Thursday morning via a train bound for Tokyo and returned to Kahoku on Saturday night. Sunday they spent with their host families. The remaining two Germans had decided to make an overnight trip to an onsen (spa) hotel within Ishikawa prefecture from Thursday to Friday and spent Saturday and Sunday with their host family.










Day 9: After gathering at Unoke City Hall in the morning, the group of 12 participated in a sushi cooking class held by members of the Kahoku Association for International Exchange. Together they prepared different kinds of sushi like futomaki and inari as well as tempura. Next the group was introduced to the traditional art of using a furoshiki (wrapping cloth) to make various kind of wrappings or useful things like a bag or a hat. The German guests seemed to enjoy learning about this aspect of Japanese culture.

Day 10: In the morning the group played Ground Golf at Shiomidai Park in Osaki. The participants who played this kind of golf for the first time had lots of fun. For lunch, the group went to a restaurant in town, being treated to fresh fish specialities. At 2 pm the German guests were picked up by their host families to give them enough time to prepare for the farewell party that was scheduled in the evening at the Health and Welfare Center. To the party the female guests appeared in a yukata (light summer kimono) and looked really pretty. Highlights of the evening were a presentation of traditional Japanese folk dances and a shamisen concert. Moreover Mr. Nishida, chairman of the Kahoku Association for International Exchange, performed magic tricks astounding the audience. The German guests returned the favor by reciting German folk songs and introducing the German party song "Flieger" that comes with gestures and movements. Japanese and Germans alike sang enthusiastically along gesturing and moving according to the melody, and so the last evening in Kahoku ended in an exuberant mood.


Day 11: On the morning of June 3, the group and their host families gathered at Unoke City Hall. They were dismissed with an address by the deputy mayor. Having left Kahoku, the group headed for Kyoto via bus. After having lunch in Kyoto, the group visited the very impressive Fushimi Inari Shrine and in the evening had dinner at a teppanyaki [hot plate] restaurant.

Day 12: Their last day in Japan the group spent sightseeing in Kyoto. They visited the old imperial palace as well as Kinkakuji Temple. After lunch the group had a few hours to explore Kyoto on their own. In the late evening the group departed from Kansai Airport in Osaka in a plane bound for Germany.





Article in the City Bulletin, issue 7/2009, page 7

Translation of the City Bulletin article

Translation of Japanese newspaper articles



Kahoku youth group visits Messkirch (September 16 to 23, 2008)


For many years student exchanges have been held between the sister cities of Kahoku and Messkirch. Alternating every year, a group of German students will travel to Kahoku or a group of Japanese students will travel to Messkirch.

In 2008 a student group from Kahoku traveled to Messkirch. Fifteen junior high school students, 13 girls and two boys between ages 13 and 15 were selected from the applicants. Six students came from Kahokudai Junior High School, two from Unoke Junior High School and seven from Takamatsu Junior High School. Aside from the 15 students, two English teachers, a representative of the Lifelong Learning Division and, the German coordinator for international relations took part as an interpreter. Furthermore, the adult exchange program, which also alternates between cities annually, was scheduled so that the adult group and the student group could travel together. Therefore, including the four chaperones and the exchange group of four adults, the group consisted of 23 people.


On September 14, after an official seeing off by Mayor Aburano and other city officials at the city hall in Unoke, the group set out on the long trip to Messkirch.

The group flew to Haneda Airport via Komatsu Airport, and from there they checked into a hotel in the vicinity of Narita Airport. After a night spent at the hotel, on the morning of September 15, the 23-person group boarded a flight from Narita to Milan. In Milan the group changed planes, arrived in Rome at night and headed directly to the hotel. Unfortunately, there was no time to spend sightseeing in Rome, as the group left the hotel as early as 6 a.m. the next morning and headed for Leonardo da Vinci Airport. At the airport a surprise awaited them: the Alitalia flight they were supposed to take had been canceled due to a strike. The next available Alitalia flight to Zurich was 7 hours later, a scenario which would have ruined the afternoon program planned by Messkirch. With the kind cooperation of an Italian travel agent, they were able to take a flight into Zurich with a different airline, so the delay ended up being less than two hours.


Upon arrival in Zurich, Edith Weber, the head of the tourism bureau in Messkirch, was already awaiting the group. The group passed the Swiss-German border via bus and had lunch at a German restaurant. The Japanese guests seemed to enjoy their meals, and subsequently visited the Hohentwiel Fortress ruins, the largest fortress in Germany. During the steep and exhausting walk to the fortress, a guide explained interesting facts about the history of the fortress.

After visiting the fortress, the group went into Messkirch, where their host families awaited them. Several Japanese guests, especially members of the adult group, knew their German hosts from their visit to Kahoku, but for most of the students this was the first encounter with the family they were scheduled to spend the following week with. After a short introduction of host families and guests, everyone headed home.












On the morning of September 17, the group was given the chance to visit the Martin Heidegger Gymnasium school. They were welcomed with two songs sung by 5th and 6th graders. Then Principal Mueller showed the group around the school premises and explained about the science rooms. The group was also allowed a look into classrooms with ongoing lessons, so they could see what a German lesson is like. After the walk through the school, the principal spoke about the German education system, and the Japanese students and teachers had time for questions.

Following the visit in the Gymnasium, Mayor Zwick officially welcomed the group at the city hall. The Japanese students were impressed by the height of the more than 2-meter tall mayor, and took many photos as souvenirs. Next on the agenda was a guided tour of the city. The guide explained many interesting facts about the history of Messkirch. The group visited the Church of St. Martin and the Messkirch Castle and heard explanations as to the life in Messkirch nowadays. Afterward, the group had lunch in the cafeteria of the education center together with the German host students.


In the afternoon, a visit to the open-air museum in Neuhausen ob Eck was scheduled. Messkirch had booked a guided tour on the subject of "From grain to bread" for the Japanese guests. The guests learned how people in former times made bread, starting from the sowings of the grain, to the harvesting, threshing and grinding of the grain, to the baking of the bread in an outdoor stone oven. Everybody in the group was allowed to make his/her own "Dinnele," a kind of pita bread with onions and bacon. The program ended with a return to the education center at 5:30 p.m.

The first thing on schedule for the morning of September 18 was a visit to the school Grafen von Zimmern Realschule. Here, again, the group was allowed a glimpse into classrooms and science rooms. After that the group crafted a felt ball under the direction of Vice Principal Diener, something the Japanese students had never done before.

After lunch with the host families, the group gathered at the parking area behind the education center and headed to Brigel Farm in Langenhart. On the farm, the group took a walk though the premises and looked at the animals. Afterward they played games. The Japanese students taught the German students games from their home country and vice versa. Later, Dinnele was baked again, this time with salty as well as sweet toppings, which were well-received by the students. The students spent the night in the hay. The Brigel Hof offers two big "hay rooms" both of which are half covered with hay.











On the morning of September 19, the group had an extensive breakfast including products like ham, jam and honey which were produced on the farm, and after that headed to the monastery in Beuron. Having visited the monastery, the group set out on quite an exhausting two-hour hike to Wildenstein castle on a partly steep forest path. The group was relieved when they finally arrived at the barbecue site at Wildenstein Castle, where Messkirch City Hall representatives awaited them with drinks and sausages already on the grill. German barbecue is quite different from Japanese barbecue, so it was very interesting for the children.

After the meal, the group headed to Sigmaringen Castle to take part in a guided tour. The guide explained many things about the history of the castle. After that, there was time for a short walk through the city before the group went back to Messkirch and their host families.

During the following two days, the weekend of the 20th and 21st of September, the Japanese guests spent time with their host families. A few students visited the sights of the area, others went to bigger cities to do some shopping or went as far as Munich to experience the Oktoberfest.


On September 22, a full-day trip to Lake Constance was scheduled. First, the group visited the lake dwellings in Unteruhldingen and heard about the history of the people in the area of Lake Constance in ancient times. Next, the group set out to Meersburg by ferry, where there was time for a walk through the city. Later, the group visited the Salem Monkey Reserve, a place where one can watch monkeys from a short distance and feed them.



Upon their return to Messkirch, the group members made preparations for the farewell party scheduled to take place from 7 p.m. in the education centre. Mayor Zwick and Mrs. Tsuda, the group leader of the student exchange delegation, gave short speeches, after which the students of both countries gave performances which they had prepared for the occasion. The Japanese students performed the German song "Schnappi," which they had rehearsed while still in Japan. Rehearsal was held in German, under the direction of the German coordinator for international relations. They also performed the Japanese song "Sukiyaki," a song with a famous melody also known outside of Japan. The German students had put the experiences and activities of the week past into a text, and also came up with a refrain to the melody of a popular German song. The German students performed this together, and so the about 70 guests in the farewell party, including Japanese guests, their host families and members of staff of the administration, got to know about the ongoings of the week past.

The party was a great success and guests and hosts returned to their homes for their last night of homstay in high spirits.


On the morning of September 23, the group gathered in the parking area of the education center at 7 a.m., where the bus that would take them to Zurich airport was already awaiting them. Both host families and guests regretted saying goodbye, and there were tears, but also promises to meet again.


After arriving at Zurich airport the checking in process was completed without any trouble regarding excess luggage of any group members, and after an exciting week in their sister city of Messkirch, the 23-person group set out for their home of Kahoku, tired but happy.






Article in the City Bulletin, issue 11/2008, page 2 (Japanese version)

Translation of the City Bulletin article

Translation of Japanese newspaper articles



Messkirch youth group visits Kahoku (October 21 to 30, 2007)

A group of 18 people from the German city of Messkirch, which is Kahoku's sister city, visited Kahoku from October 22  (Monday) to October 30 (Tuesday). They were hosted nine days thanks to the generous cooperation of the Kahoku Association for International Exchange.








The group flew into Kansai International Airport on Sunday, October 21, and after a sightseeing tour in Kyoto the next day, the group arrived in Kahoku. There were some nervous feelings at the Introduction Ceremony (Monday 22), but through continuous exchange with the host families, both parties began to relax and truly enjoy their stay. At the farewell party (Monday 29), the visiting group presented a dance, Daniela Kneisel, one of the visiting group members, sang a song and everybody was in high spirits.
Moreover, during their stay the three junior high schools in town held their culture festivals, allowing the German students an opportunity to see the Japanese schools under special conditions, rather than just visiting a normal school day. Furthermore, the German students were able to participate in the presentation of English activities at Kanazu Elementary School, allowing for further cultural exchange to take place between the group and Kahoku residents.

Saying goodbye to the host families on the morning of October 30 (Tuesday) was a little sad, but they were sent off in the conviction that there will be a chance to meet again. "Please come to our house again!"


























These are the names of this year's 10 host families. Thank you very much for the nine days of patience and generosity. We hope you keep the exchange up in the future.
Minoru Matsumoto (Futatsuya), Hideyuki Asao (Takamatsu), Toshiya Higashimoto (Matsuhama), Hironobu Tachibana (Matsuhama), Kanae Hashimoto (Kizu), Shuichi Sawada (Unoke), Shinichi Sawada (Uchihisumi), Ryoei Okamoto (Uchihisumi), Katsumi Nagara (Takamatsu) und Yuichi Yamanada (Osaki).




Article 1 in the City Bulletin, issue 12/2007, page 4 (Japanese version)

Translation of City Bulletin article 1

Article 2 in the City Bulletin, issue 12/2007, page 11 (Japanese version)

Translation of City Bulletin article 2

German students' comments

Translation of Japanese newspaper articles



Messkirch official delegation and adult group visit Kahoku (May 30 to June 4/8, 2007)

Under the direction of Mayor Zwick, a Messkirch City delegation visited Kahoku at the end of May 2007. Among the group members were city council members, a local newspaper representative, and for the first time the District Administrator of Sigmaringen district. Together with the 12 official delegation members, a nine-person adult group also came to Kahoku, comprised of high school students as well as retirees. The German guests were hosted by Japanese host families in pairs.



The trip began with one night in a Kyoto hotel and sightseeing of the Kiyomizudera Temple. Then the group headed to Kahoku, where a welcome party was held for them.

The aim of the stay was to inspect the big changes that have taken place in Kahoku since the formation of the city. Among other things, two new junior high schools and one new nursery school were built. The program also featured an inspection of a textile factory in the city. Throughout their visit the German guests asked many questions.




During their stay, the famous Hyakumangoku festival in Kanazawa was held. After visiting the Kenrokuen Garden, one of the most famous gardens in Japan, the German visitors and their Japanese hosts had an excellent view of the festival  from their grandstand. In the Hyakumangoku Parade the participants wear traditional costumes from the Japanese feudal era and the main attractions are the ladder acrobats.

On June 3, a dinner party was held to bid farewell to the official delegation.





The adult group spent four more days in Kahoku, having the chance to spend a night in a hotel in the Noto Peninsula and to become cooking teachers of the typical Southern German dish Linsen mit Spaetzle in the First Joint Sister City Cooking Class.



Article in the City Bulletin, issue 7/2007, page 2 (Japanese version)

Translation of the City Bulletin article

Translation of Japanese newspaper articles on the exchange

Translation of Japanese newspaper articles on the Heidegger panel



Kahoku youth group visits Messkirch (July 3 to 11, 2006)

A group of five students from each of the three junior high schools in Kahoku and three chaperones visited Messkirch from July 3 to July 11 in accordance with the Student Exchange Program. It was the first student group to visit Messkirch since the city of Kahoku was established.

The Japanese guests were accommodated in pairs by the families of German students. Since most of the German students had been to Kahoku as participants in the previous student exchange the initial period of timidness resolved quickly. The Japanese students had learned a few German expressions at an explanatory pre-departure meeting, but for the most part English was used as language of communication.





The Japanese student group attended classes in the schools Martin Heidegger Gymnasium and Grafen von Zimmern Realschule on several days. The Japanese students were interested in the fact that there are no school uniforms in Germany and that great importance is attached to the advancement of the students' independence and individuality.

Further items on the agenda were sightseeing in Messkirch, the inspection of a mill as well as a hiking trip to Wildenstein Castle. However, the highlight of the stay was the overnight trip to Brigelhof Farm. After exploring the farm premises and watching the farm animals the students were allowed to spend the night in the hay. Another interesting experience for the Japanese students was the participation in a school sports festival.
For one weekend, the Japanese students had the chance to experience everyday German culture by spending the weekend with their host families.







Upon saying goodbye after 8 days spent together many tears were shed. For the Japanese students the experiences made in Germany will certainly be unforgettable.







































Article in the City Bulletin, issue 9/2006, page 10 (Japanese version)

Translation of the City Bulletin article

Translation of Japanese newspaper articles



Kahoku delegation and adult group visit Messkirch to mark the 30th anniversary of Heidegger's death (May 24 to 27/31, 2006)

May 26 is the Memorial Day of Messkirch's honorary citizen Professor Dr. Heidegger, who passed away in 1976. On the occasion of the 30th anniversary of his death, Messkirch hosted a commemoration in cooperation with other institutions. Among the invited guests was the delegation of the sister city of Kahoku.



An official delegation of four people including Deputy Mayor Hasatani and an adult group of four people traveled to Messkirch to attend the devotional and wreath laying ceremony at Messkirch City Cemetery. The visitors from the sister city also attended the commemorative held in the town hall on the evening of May 26.

The official delegation departed after a four-day stay, whereas the adult group experienced the culture of Messkirch and the German culture for an additional four days.



Article in the City Bulletin, issue 7/2006, page 2 (Japanese version)

Translation of the City Bulletin article

Translation of Japanese newspaper articles



Kahoku delegation visits Messkirch to mark the 20th anniversary of sister city affiliation (September 30 to October 6, 2005)

October 2, 2005 was the 20th anniversary of the sister city affiliation between the city of Messkirch and the city of Kahoku (formerly the town of Unoke). To mark this occasion, a delegation of 26 people, including Mayor Aburano who headed the group, visited Messkirch. For most of the participants it was their first visit to Germany, and for a few their first trip overseas.

After the arrival at Zurich Airport the group traveled to Messkirch where the introduction ceremony with the 13 host families that would accommodate the visitors in groups of two took place.

As an anniversary present, the Japanese guests gave a reproduction of the Kotoji stone lantern of Kenrokuen Garden in Kanazawa, one of the most famous gardens in Japan. It was dedicated on the morning of October 2 in the Messkirch Castle garden. Furthermore, the dedication of a stone tablet took place. As a sign of the continuous friendship between the two cities it was installed on the outer wall of the Messkirch Castle garden next to the stone plate that was built 20 years ago in memory of the sister city affiliation. As an anniversary present from Messkirch an identical stone tablet had previously been sent to Kahoku.






The official sister city affiliation anniversary festivities took place on the evening of October 2 in the festival room of Messkirch Castle. In addition to commemorative speeches, the entertainment program featured modern dances by the students of Martin Heidegger Gymnasium and traditional Japanese dances presented by the visitors.

The activities during the stay were comprised of many cultural experiences and sightseeing. In addition to visiting various facilities in Messkirch like the St. Martin church and the Heidegger Museum, a German-Japanese friendship soccer match was held. When hearing an explanation about the German educational system during a school visit, the Japanese were quite surprised. The Japanese guests also got the chance to explore the surrounding area of Messkirch. By visiting the Open-Air Museum in Neuhausen ob Eck the guests learned about the history of the area. The guests also enjoyed the scenic beauty of the Danube valley and a visit to a local distillery. Further sightseeing highlights were trips to Mainau Island, the Black Forest and to the city of Heidelberg. The Japanese guests were particularly impressed by the beauty of Heidelberg Castle.




In return for the German hospitality shown to them, the guests from Japan performed a cultural program. Among other things, the Japanese tea mistresses dressed in kimonos and celebrated a tea ceremony in traditional fashion using original items they had brought with them from Japan and offering Japanese tea and traditional sweets.

After eight exciting days far away from home, and with suitcases full of memories, the party returned to their home town of Kahoku on October 7, 2005. For the citizens of both cities this visit will certainly be an unforgettable experience.



Article in the City Bulletin, issue 11/2005, page 2 (Japanese version)

Translation of the City Bulletin article

Translation of Japanese newspaper articles



Messkirch adult group visits Kahoku (May 16 to 25, 2005)
A Messkirch adult group of six people went to visit their sister city of Kahoku from May 15 to May 25, 2005.

The group not only took part in many cultural activities in Kahoku, such as a traditional tea ceremony, but also enjoyed a sightseeing tour of Kanazawa.
















Article in the City Bulletin, issue 6/2005, page 4

Translation of the City Bulletin article

Translation of Japanese newspaper articles



Messkirch youth group visits Kahoku (March 15 to 22, 2005)
From March 15 to March 22, 2005, a Messkirch student group visited Kahoku in accordance with the Student Exchange Program. It was the first visit of a student group since the formation of the city of Kahoku.

The group of 17 students and three teachers stayed with host families and joined classes in each of the three junior high schools in their sister city over several days.

To give the group the chance to experience Japanese culture many events were put on, and the group also enjoyed sightseeing tours not only in Kahoku, but also in neighboring cities as well as Kyoto.



































Article in the City Bulletin, issue 5/2005, page 10 (Japanese version)

Translation of the City Bulletin article

Translation of Japanese newspaper articles



Messkirch delegation visits Kahoku for the reaffirmation of sister city affiliation (July 3 to 8, 2004)
Kahoku came into existence through  the merger of the three towns of Unoke, Takamatsu and Nanatuska on March 1, 2004. To reaffirm the sister city affiliation that had existed between the city of Messkirch and the former town of Unoke since 1985, a Messkirch City delegation of six people headed by Mayor Zwick came to the newly founded city of Kahoku.

By signing the sister city contract on July 6, 2004, the cities of Messkirch and Kahoku reaffirmed their mutual desire to promote cross cultural activities and strengthen their longtime friendship now and in the future.





Article in the City Bulletin, issue 8/2004, page 2 (Japanese version)

Translation of the City Bulletin article

Translation of Japanese newspaper articles