Himeji, Japan

The Himeji Gardens in Adelaide are one of the city’s most popular attractions. They signify the strong bond between sister cities Himeji and Adelaide.

About Himeji

The City of Himeji was established in 1889, although the area’s history dates back to the Nora period.

Himeji is most known for its historic wooden castle (dating back to the 17th century and believed to be Japan’s oldest), known as Hakuro-jo, or “White Heron Castle”, due to its white walls and design. The castle was granted UNESCO world cultural heritage site status in 1993.

Today the city is a major port and centre of industry. It is headquarters to the Nissan Steel Company and an economic hub. Located 464 kilometres south-west of Tokyo, it is home to approximately 534,000 inhabitants.

How the relationship began

On 22 February 1982. The City of Adelaide declared that arrangements should be made to establish a sister city relationship with the City of Himeji. The proclamation formalising the relationship was signed in Himeji on 19 April 1982 by the then Mayor of Himeji, the Honourable Toyonobu Yoshida, and the then Lord Mayor of Adelaide Dr John Watson.

The relationship aims to deepen mutual understanding, friendship and goodwill through programs of educational, cultural, social and economic exchange.

Highlights

184 Himeji citizens visited Adelaide resulting in an injection of over $600,000 into the City's economy.

The Himeji Exchange Committee was established.

In Adelaide the Himeji Garden was created. A gift from the City of Himeji, the garden features a small lake, a stepped rock waterfall, timber arched bridge, a Kare-Sensui garden of raked sand, and a veranda. A delegation from Himeji came to Adelaide from 2- 5 April for the official opening of the garden.

To commemorate Adelaide Week in Himeji, the then Adelaide Lord Mayor Steve Condous visited Himeji. As part of the celebrations, an Aussie barbecue and a street parade were held. South Australian businesses showcased their products to a trade display.

In return, approximately 70 delegates from Himeji visited Adelaide for the 10th anniversary of the relationship.

Delegates from Himeji came to Adelaide to celebrate the anniversary of their relationship. The City of Himeji kindly donated $10,000.00 worth of wheelchairs to Bedford Industries as part of their interest in mental health.

$4 million worth of business contracts were developed following a trade visit to Adelaide by Himeji local government and private sector representatives.

66 Himeji officials travelled to Adelaide to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the sister city relationship. Mayor Kazuhiro Horikawa presented the then Adelaide Lord Mayor Alfred Huang a Shachihoko* (a creature from Japanese folklore with the head of a tiger and body of a carp).

* The Shachihoko is on display at the City of Adelaide archives in Topham Mall

Always resulting in significant cultural exchanges, the 27th student exchange from Himeji to Adelaide occurred, and the 26th student went from Adelaide to Himeji.

The City of Adelaide and the City of Himeji celebrated the 35th anniversary of their sister city relationship.

Find out more about Himeji