Australia and Japan have a large number of sister city relationships, including those at the prefectural and state level. Some have a long history, like the 30-year relationship between Adelaide and Himeji. These relationships have played an important role, not only in exchanging culture but also in developing business and the quality of life in cities. You may be surprised to discover which familiar cities have a relationship with each other. Enjoy reading more about the cities!
Australian Capital Territory
Canberra – Nara City, Nara Prefecture
Nara is the capital city of Nara prefecture, located in the Kansai region of Japan. Due to its past as the first permanent capital (established in 710), the city is rich in culture, heritage and contemporary arts, including eight sites listed on the United Nations World Heritage Site list: the temples Todai-ji, Kofuku-ji, Gango-ji, Yakushi-ji, Toshodai-ji, the Kasuga Grand Shrine, Kasugayama Hill Primeval Forest, and the Heijo Palace Site. Also, Nara has many beautiful parks and gardens, such as Nara Park. Nara Park is famous for its deer, which have learned to ask for food by bowing to visitors. Nara is located less than one hour from Kyoto and Osaka by rail.
New South Wales
Sydney – Tokyo (Partnership City)
Tokyo is the capital city of Japan, and is located in central Japan on the main island of Honshu.
Tokyo prefecture is one of the most populous areas in the world, and over 13 million people live there. Tokyo is not only the political and economic centre of Japan, but has also emerged as a centre of the global economy and a centre of culture. There are numerous attractions in Tokyo, including sleepless cities like Shinjuku and Shibuya. You can also find Asakusa, which retains traditional sites of Tokyo, and Tsukiji, an open air wholesale food market. There are also large-scale downtown areas such as Ginza, where you can find famous shops from all over the world, and Akihabara, which has numerous electronics stores.
Sydney – Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture
Nagoya is the largest city in the Chubu region of Japan. Nagoya’s two most famous sightseeing spots are Atsuta Shrine and Nagoya Castle. Atsuta Shrine is known as the second most venerable shrine in Japan, after Ise Grand Shrine. The shrine is believed to have been established during the reign of Emperor Keiko (71 – 130). Nagoya Castle was built in 1612. A large part of the castle burned out in a fire during World War II, and it was restored in 1959. The castle is also famous for its golden tiger–headed carp (Kin no Shachihoko) on the roof, which is often used as a symbol of Nagoya. Nagoya is also famous for its distinctive food culture. Tonkatsu (pork cutlet with miso based sauce) and tebasaki (chicken wings) are essential eating.
Bankstown – Suita, Osaka Prefecture
Bathurst – Okuma, Fukushima Prefecture
Blue Mountains – Sanda, Hyogo Prefecture
Clarence Valley – Izunokuni, Shizuoka Prefecture
Camden – Kashiwa, Chiba Prefecture
Campbelltown – Koshigaya, Saitama Prefecture
Coffs Harbour – Sasebo, Nagasaki Prefecture
Cooma Monaro –Yamaga, Kumamoto Prefecture
Corowa – Miki, Hyogo Prefecture
Dubbo – Minokamo, Gifu Prefecture
Goulburn Mulwaree – Shibetsu, Hokkaido
Gosford – Edogawa, Tokyo
Hurstville – Shiroishi, Miyagi Prefecture
Hawkesbury – Kyotamba Town, Kyoto Prefecture
Lake Macquarie – Hakodate, Hokkaido
Lake Macquarie – Tanakura, Fukushima Prefecture
Liverpool – Toda, Saitama Prefecture
Lismore – Yamatotakada, Nara Prefecture
Manly – Taito, Tokyo
Newcastle – Ube, Yamaguchi Prefecture
Orange – Ushiku, Ibaraki Prefecture
Port Stephens – Yugawara, Kanagawa Prefecture
Port Stephens - Kanzan, Chiba Prefecture
Penrith – Hakusan, Ishikawa Prefecture
Penrith – Fujieda, Shizuoka Prefecture
Pittwater – Tadaoka, Osaka Prefecture
Port Macquarie – Handa, Aichi Prefecture
Queanbeyan – Minami Alps, Yamanashi Prefecture
Rockdale - Yamatsuri, Fukishima Prefecture
Singleton - Takahata, Yamagata Prefecture
Snowy River – Kusatsu, Gunma Prefecture
Sunshine Coast – Tatebayashi, Gunma Prefecture
Sutherland - Chuo, Tokyo
Tamworth – Sannohe, Aomori Prefecture
Temora – Izumizaki, Fukushima Prefecture
Warringah, Chichibu, Saitama Prefecture
Wellington – Toyama, Toyama Prefecture
Willoughby – Suginami, Tokyo
Wollongong – Kawasaki, Kanagawa Prefecture
State of Queensland – Saitama Prefecture
Saitama Prefecture is located in the Kanto region of the main island of Honshu, and is bordered by Tokyo, Chiba, Ibaraki, Tochigi, Gunma, Nagano and Yamanashi Prefectures. The geographic location is advantageous for business, living, and for cultural events. Saitama celebrates the Chichibu – Yomatsuri (night festival) where six floats, mounted with a decorative halberd, march with lively and soul striking Chichibu Yatai-Bayashi music. There are also a number of other must-see scenic sights in Saitama Prefecture, such as Nagatoro, which has rock formations along the river, the solemn Kuroyama Santaki Falls (Three Falls of Kuroyama), and the castle town Kawagoe.
State of Queensland – Osaka Prefecture
Osaka is located in the Kansai region and in the approximate geographical centre of Japan. Osaka Prefecture is the second smallest prefecture. However, it has a population of 8.8 million, or roughly 7% of the entire population, making it the third most populous prefecture after Tokyo and Kanagawa prefectures. Osaka is not only a powerful economic city, but also a major entertainment city. There are many attractions such as Universal Studios Japan, Namba (a famous shopping and dining area) and Osaka Aquarium. Furthermore, Osaka has been called “Kuidaore”, which means “bringing ruin upon oneself by extravagance in food”, and is known for its food culture.
Brisbane – Kobe, Hyogo Prefecture
Kobe is the sixth-largest city in Japan and is the capital city of Hyogo Prefecture. The city is located on the southern side of the main island of Honshu, and is approximately 30km west of Osaka. Kobe is known as a city with unique style and an exotic atmosphere, which has been shaped by its long-held status as an international port. Also, Mount Rokko overlooks Kobe at an elevation of 931 meters. Kobe is famous for its forests, which feature rich colour changes in the autumn. Access to Kobe from Kansai International Airport by ferry takes about 30 mins. Also, the railway network services Shin-Kobe station, providing optimal access from every direction, and domestic routes operate from Kobe Airport.
Brisbane – Nerima, Tokyo
Nerima is located at the north-western edge of the 23 special wards of Tokyo. The city is famous for being the birthplace of ‘anime’ in Japan. Many well-known anime (animations), such as Astro Boy and Candy Candy, are produced in this city. A large number of anime productions are also located in Nerima, including Toei Animation, Studio Gallop, Mushi Production and AIC.
Bundaberg – Settsu, Osaka Prefecture
Cairns – Minami, Tokushima Prefecture
Cairns – Oyama, Tochigi Prefecture
Central Highlands – Ichinoseki, Iwate Prefecture
Fraser Coast – Kasukabe, Saitama Prefecture
Fraser Coast – Otsuki, Yamanashi Prefecture
Gladstone – Saiki, Oita Prefecture
Gold Coast City – Kanagawa Prefecture
Gold Coast City – Takasu, Hokkaido
Logan – Shibukawa, Gunma Prefecture
Logan – Hirakata, Osaka Prefecture
Mackay – Matsuura, Nagasaki Prefecture
Whitsunday – Saikai, Nagasaki Prefecture
Redcliffe City – Sanyo-Onoda, Yamaguchi Prefecture
Rockhampton – Ibusuki, Kagoshima Prefecture
Southern Downs – Shiwa, Iwate Prefecture
Sunshine Coast – Tatebayashi, Gunma Prefecture
Toowoomba – Takatsuki, Osaka Prefecture
Townsville – Shunan, Yamaguchi Prefecture
Townsville – Iwaki, Fukushima Prefecture
Darwin – Aridagawa-cho, Wakayama Prefecture
Palmerston – Aridagawa-cho, Wakayama Prefecture
The State of Victoria – Aichi Prefecture
Aichi is a prefecture of Japan located in the Chubu region. For centuries it has been a centre for traffic between western and eastern Japan, and has developed as an industrial hub. The major industries of this prefecture are ceramics in Seto and Tokoname, automobile manufacturing in Toyota, and the woollen textile industry in Ichinomiya. The prefecture is also the birthplace of three military leaders who shaped Japanese pre-modern history: Nobunaga Oda, Hideyoshi Toyotomi and Ieyasu Tokugawa. Aichi prefecture was also home to many of Japan’s leading castle towns during the Edo period. Hence, many historical assets remain today.
Melbourne – Osaka, Osaka Prefecture
Osaka city is located in the Kansai region of the main island of Japan, Honshu. The capital city of Osaka Prefecture, Osaka is an economic and cultural hub and is Japan’s third most populous city after Tokyo and Yokohama. There are abundant cultural highlights in the way of traditional performing arts, such as Noh and Kyogen, as well as modern amusements such as the American Village, known as a mecca of young casual fashion. Also, the Tenjin Festival in Osaka is ranked as one of Japan’s top three festivals, alongside the Gion Matsuri in Kyoto and the Kanda Matsuri in Tokyo. The festival began in the 10th century, and today it takes place on the 24th and 25th July every year.
Ballarat – Inagawa, Hyogo Prefecture
Campaspe – Shiroi, Chiba Prefecture
Frankston – Susono, Shizuoka Prefecture
Geelong – Izumiotsu, Osaka Prefecture
Greater Shepparton – Oshu, Iwate Prefecture
Greater Shepparton – Toyoake, Aichi Prefecture
Hobsons Bay – Anjo, Aichi Prefecture
Latrobe – Takasago, Hyogo Prefecture
Mitchell – Honbetsu, Hokkaido
Mildura – Kumatori, Osaka Prefecture
Port Phillip – Obu, Aichi Prefecture
Swan Hill – Yamagata, Yamagata Prefecture
Warrnambool – Miura, Kanagawa Prefecture
Whitehorse – Matsudo, Chiba Prefecture
Wyndham – Chiryu, Aichi Prefecture
State of South Australia – Okayama Prefecture
Okayama Prefecture is located at the centre of the Sanyo Highway area in Japan, with Hyogo Prefecture to the east and Hiroshima Prefecture adjoining to the west. Okayama has a wide range of cityscapes, which are both historically and artistically important. “The Kurashiki Bikan Area” and “Okayama Korakuen Garden and Okayama Castle” are two major sights in Okayama Prefecture. The town and the garden display the history of Okayama and create a sense of nostalgic Japanese culture, providing colourful scenery that changes with the season. Also, the prefecture is known as the “Land of Sunshine” because it has more sunny days and fewer rainy days than most other prefectures in Japan.
Adelaide – Himeji, Hyogo Prefecture
Himeji is a city located in Hyogo Prefecture in the Kansai region of Japan. Himeji is well known as the home of Himeji Castle, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Himeji Castle is the finest surviving example of early 17th-century (Shogunate period) Japan. The castle has retained its elegant appearance, unified by the white plastered earthen walls and multiple roof layers, despite extensive bombing in World War II and natural disasters such as the Great Hanshin earthquake in 1995 and various typhoons. Access to Himeji city takes approximately 1 hour from Osaka by JR rapid trains, and takes approximately 3 hours from Tokyo by Nozomi (bullet trains). You can walk to Himeji castle from JR Himeji station in 15-20 min.
Barossa – Kumenan-cho, Okayama
Clare & Gilbert Valleys – Bizen, Okayama Prefecture
Holdfast Bay – Hayama, Kanagawa Prefecture
Marion – Kokubunji, Tokyo
Port Lincoln – Muroto, Kochi Prefecture
Salisbury – Mobara, Chiba Prefecture
Tea Tree Gully – Asakuchi, Okayama Prefecture
Victor Harbour – Maniwa, Okayama Prefecture
State of Western Australia– Hyogo Prefecture
Hyogo Prefecture is located in the Kansai region and faces the Japan Sea in the north and the Pacific Ocean via the Seto Inland Sea in the south. In Japan, 135 degrees east longitude determines Japan Standard Time, and this standard meridian runs through the central part of Hyogo Prefecture. Popular tourist spots in Hyogo are Himeji Castle, Mt. Rokko and hot springs such as Arima, Kinosaki and Yumura. Kobe beef, Izushi soba and local sake are some other representatives. Hyogo is easy to access by land and air. The bullet train (Shinkansen) stops in Shin-Kobe, Nishi-Akashi, Himeji and Aioi. Travelling from Kansai International Airport to Kobe city takes about one hour by limousine bus.
Perth – Kagoshima, Kagoshima Prefecture
Kagoshima city is the capital city of Kagoshima Prefecture, located at the south-western tip of the island of Kyushu in Japan. The city is often compared to its Italian sister city Naples as a similarly mild climate. The city is also well-known for its neighbouring active volcano, and historic sites that remain from the Meiji Restoration. One of the best things to see in Kagoshima city is the view from the Amuran Ferris wheel on top of Amu Plaza Kagoshima, the shopping centre at the main Kagoshima-Chuo Station. Travelling to Kagoshima takes 1h 50 mins from Haneda (Tokyo) airport to Kagoshima airport or 1h 10 mins from Itami (Osaka) airport, then 40 min from Kagoshima airport to JR Kagoshima-Chuo station.
Albany – Tomioka, Gunma Prefecture
Albany – Nichinan, Miyazaki Prefecture
Belmont – Adachi, Tokyo Prefecture
Broome – Taiji, Wakayama Prefecture
Busselton – Sugito, Saitama Prefecture
Bunbury – Setagaya, Tokyo Prefecture
Fremantle – Yokosuka, Kanagawa Prefecture
Geraldton–Greenough – Kosai, Shizuoka Prefecture
Rockingham – Ako, Hyogo Prefecture
Hobart – Yaizu, Shizuoka Prefecture
Yaizu is a harbour city, located in the central part of Shizuoka Prefecture. It affords a breathtaking view of Mt. Fuji and the long shoreline that borders Suruga Bay, which is connected to the Pacific Ocean. The economy of Yaizu is dominated by the commercial fishing industry and food processing products such as katsuobushi, shiokara, tsukudani and kamaboko. Green tea, melons, tangerines and tomatoes are major agricultural products of Yaizu. Its nearest major airports are Chubu International Airport in Nagoya and Haneda Airport in Tokyo. It takes approximately two and half hours to reach Yaizu city from both of these airports via the fastest train services.
Clarence – Akkeshi-cho, Hokkaido
Launceston – Ikeda, Osaka Prefecture
Devonport – Minamata, Kumamoto Prefecture