Delegation from ‘sister city’ Koshu visits Ames


Photo: Kelby Wingert/Iowa State Daily

Members of the Japanese delegation visiting Ames relax at the MU Market & Cafe in the Memorial Union on Sept. 19, 2013.

Katie Grunewald

Thirteen delegates from Koshu, Japan arrived at the Ames City Hall on Tuesday, Sept. 17, and continued with a tour of Ames, Iowa State and Des Moines throughout the week. Ames and Koshu cities are honoring their 20th anniversary as “sister cities.” Several families are hosting the delegates in the Ames area.

“We are delighted to welcome the representatives of our partner city to Ames,” said Ames Mayor Ann Campbell in a news release on Monday, Sept. 16. “The last two decades have provided a wonderful opportunity to interact with the people of Koshu City and learn more about their lives and culture.”

The delegation’s first day of tours began on Tuesday morning when they arrived in Des Moines. The delegation toured the Salisbury House before traveling to Ames later that night.

The delegation toured Mary Greeley Hospital, Fire Station No. 1, City Hall, the Resource Recovery Plant and various downtown Ames businesses, including Olde Main Brewery, and had the option of going on a bike ride through the Ames historical district on Wednesday.

Thursday was “School Day” and the delegation toured Meeker Elementary School, Ames Middle School, the Horticulture Research Farm and the Memorial Union.

On Friday, the delegates will travel back to Des Moines to go on a tour of the Iowa Capitol, the State Historical Museum, the John Deere Factory and a shopping trip to Jordan Creek Town Center.

Saturday is a day for the delegation to spend with their respective host families before leaving Sunday morning.

Sept. 14 marked the 20th year of the Ames-Koshu relationship. Not only does the partnership include the Koshu delegation visiting Ames, it also has created an opportunity for multiple Ames Middle School groups to travel to Koshu. The last trip to Japan was in 2012.

Campbell, the Ames City Council and the Ames International Partner Cities Association welcomed them to Ames. The mission of association is to promote cultural and educational exchanges between Ames citizens and the citizens of its partner cities.

Ames presently has two designated “sister cities.” They are Koshu, Japan, and Frydek-Mistek, Czech Republic.