Hood River – Tsuruta Sister City, Inc

Hood River – Tsuruta Sister City, Inc.

Sponsored by Carol Annala

PO Box 273
Hood River, OR 97031
Mission Statement
The mission of Hood River/Tsuruta Sister City, Inc., is to promote friendship and cultural understanding between the city of Hood River, Oregon, USA and Tsuruta Town, Aomori, Japan.
The following are a few of the plans the organization would like to cultivate in the near future:
Develop an exchange connection between the towns’ fire departments and develop a partnership between city government officials.
Provide Japanese language opportunities in Hood River for students and adults.
Further develop Tsuruta Park into a Japanese Garden.
Increase awareness of the Sister City program to the community and increase membership.
Increase participation between schools.
Re-establish the high school exchange program.
Provide scholarship opportunities for Hood River youth to travel to Tsuruta.
Increase student visits to Japan to an annual endeavor and increase adult visits to Tsuruta.


This year’s 40th anniversary of Hood River and Tsuruta’s sister city agreement reawakened the excitement and desire to build new connections and expand on existing relationships between the towns and their communities. The participation and reactions from both communities demonstrates that the partnership remains strong and continues to grow.
Hood River/Tsuruta Sister City, Inc. was established in July 1977 by Tsuruta Mayor Kenji Nakano, Hood River Mayor Charles Beardsley and citizen Ray “Chop” Yasui. The primary goal of this partnership was to promote friendship and cultural understanding. Since that time an active exchange program among adults and students has continued to develop. Since its inception, more than 1,752 people have taken part in visits and exchanges in the last 40 years. A strong friendship and cultural understanding between the people of the two towns continues to flourish.

Sister City Projects:
In the summer, every other year, Hood River youth have an opportunity to visit Tsuruta for about 10 days. They stay with host families, attend school, site see and attend Japanese cultural activities.
In the spring of every year, about 25 students and adults from Tsuruta visit Hood River. They learn about American culture and the Pacific Northwest. They stay with host families, go site seeing and visit local schools.
In the fall of every year, since 2000, high school students visit from Tsuruta for three-five days to stay with host families, visit Hood River Valley High School & tour the area.
Most years, a Tsuruta High School Student spends an entire school year in Hood River. They live with a host family and attend Hood River Valley High School.
Every five years to commemorate a special Sister City event, adults travel between the two cities. Adults are also welcome to travel with the student exchanges.
Each year, Tsuruta Town Office hires a Hood River citizen as their Coordinator for International Relations (CIR). This is a salaried position in which the CIR lives and works in Tsuruta for one year, with the option to renew for an additional year.
A scholarship is awarded to a qualifying Hood River high school senior each year.


Fundraising Events
Taste of Tsuruta Dinner/Auction – At this annual event, guests are invited to get more familiar with the organization and the sister city relationship between the two towns and support the Hood River-Tsuruta Sister City program while drinking wine and enjoying Asian cuisine. It’s an evening of friends and fun with raffle prizes and a live and silent auction. Proceeds of the event help fund the sister city organization and its exchange activities.

Corporate Giving Opportunities
Corporate Membership, Sponsor
Events such as the Taste of Tsuruta