Japan Sister City

2020 SCIRC Student Packet. Download this to submit your application to go on the June 2020 trip!

Before RYOBI entered the American market, they were looking for the best place to build a firm in the U.S. RYOBI officials met with community leaders in Shelbyville at the end of July, 1985.  On September 20th, 1985, RYOBI announced that it would invest $25 million to locate their new plant in Shelbyville.

Based on this new relationship, City Officials began talking with their counterparts in Kambara, Japan about establishing an official Sister City relationship.  On November 3rd, 1989 the partnership was officially established.

Since 1989 Shelbyville has been sending students and adults to Shizuoka City for a cultural exchange.  The students stay with a host family and learn about what life is like in a typical Japanese household.  During the day the students will tour various locations in Shizuoka City and Shizuoka Prefecture.  They will often meet the Mayor of Shizuoka and test their skills at introducing themselves in Japanese.  They also visit the local schools and eat traditional Japanese Cuisine.

These cultural exchanges have changed lives in a positive way and has opened our students eyes to a much larger world.  The relationships they create on this trip truly last a lifetime and students will often visit their host families again and again.

Every year, Shizuoka sends a student delegation to Shelbyville.  Their students stay with families here in Shelbyville and get to experience life in a typical American household.  They also spend time touring Shelbyville, visiting our schools and eating amazing American cuisine.

Many of the American host families continue to have relationships with their Japanese guest, some even after 25 years.

Shelbyville is proud of our Sister City relationship with Shizuoka, Japan.  It is unusual for a city, the size of Shelbyville, to have a sister city.  But through strong and thoughtful leadership in the late 80’s, we have achieved this dream.

We encourage anyone who is interested (students and adults) in visiting our Sister City to contact us.  Annual visits typically occur in June.  Students must submit an application and everyone must have a valid Passport.

If you are interested, please send an email to Rob Nolley (rnolley@cityofshelbyvillein.com).