Takasago City, Japan | Latrobe Sister City Relationships

Takasago City, Japan

Takasago City, with a population of approximately 100,000 and an area of 34 square kilometres, is located in the middle-south part of Hyogo Prefecture. In terms of population Takasago is the tenth largest local government area in Hyogo Prefecture.

Takasago is a cultural showcase with shrines, temples and especially the Oshiko Floating Stone and the pine trees in Takasago Shrine. It is a major industrial area in the region, including paper, food, iron, steel, machinery, ceramics, chemicals and power generation. Takasago is well known as the birth place of the classical song “Youkyuku Takasago”, which is a famous wedding song that is sung at Shinto weddings throughout Japan.  Takasago declared the city as “The Bridal City Takasago” in 1988 – hoping for peace and happiness for all human beings and a healthy, bright and lively city.

Takasago and Latrobe

Our relationship with Takasago was born out of a multi million-dollar economic development project undertaken in Latrobe Valley by Japanese Company Kobe Steel in the 1980s.  Over 200 families from the Takasago area resided in Latrobe Valley during this time and had a significant economic impact on the region.  At the request of Kobe Steel and Takasago City, the former City of Morwell (now part of Latrobe City) commenced the process of establishing a relationship with Takasago City in the early 1990s.  This ultimately led to Latrobe City Council entering into a formal relationship with Takasago City in October 2000.  The agreement was signed by the then Mayor Tony Hanning and Mr Hirokazu Tamura, Mayor of Takasago. In 2010, re-affirmation of the Sister Cities agreement was signed which demonstrates the strength and commitment between the two cities.

Past Exchanges

Student Visit Program

  • 2001 April - 10 Latrobe students visited Takasago City
  • 2002 August - 10 Takasago students visited Latrobe City
  • 2004 August - 10 Takasago students visited Latrobe City
  • 2006 August - 10 Takasago students visited Latrobe City 
  • 2008 August - Takasago Jazz Band visited Latrobe City

Sports Exchange

2006 January - 12 female basketball players and 14 male soccer players with seven accompanying adults visited Takasago City.

Artists Exchange

2010 March/June - To celebrate the ten year anniversary of our sister city agreement, four emerging artists visited Takasago City for two weeks and  four Takasago artists visited Latrobe City for one week. The artworks were exchanged as gifts to commemorate the anniversary.

Latrobe City Youth Band

  • 2002 Establishment of Latrobe City Youth Band
  • 2004 January - Latrobe City Youth Band Tour to Takasago City and Taizhou City
  • 2005 - Tour of Central Victoria
  • 2008 January - Latrobe City Youth Band Tour to Takasago City and Taizhou City

Mayoral Led Delegations and Community Members Visits

  • 2002 August - Members of Latrobe Friendly Society from Takasago visited Latrobe City for 1 week
  • 2002 December - Members of Takasago Friendly Society visited Takasago City
  • 2005 September - 30 Members of Latrobe Friendly Society participated in the Japanese Day and the Australian Sister City Association National Conference in Latrobe City
  • 2009 October - Latrobe City business delegation to Takasago
  • 2010 October - Celebration 10 year anniversary, Takasago Mayor led a delegation, participated in the Japanese day
ALT (Assistant Language Teacher)

The following Latrobe City residents have participated in the ALT program, assisting our sister city Takasago in teaching English at junior high schools and primary schools in Takasago for 12 months:

  • 2001/2002 - Janine Edbrooke
  • 2002/2003 - Simone Fenech
  • 2003/2004 - Fabian Rutherford
  • 2004/2005 - Rebecca Stait
  • 2005/2006 - Joelene Thompson
  • 2006/2007 - Catherine Reid
  • 2007/2008 - Catherine Reid
  • 2010/2011 - Katrina Steel

Takasago Friendly Society

Latrobe City established the Takasago Friendly Society (TFS) in 2001, comprising those people who are interested in assisting with the hospitality of International visitors within the community.  The primary purpose of the TFS is to help Latrobe City host its visitors from Takasago City.  Members of the Society play a key role in hosting international visitors and showing its visitors around the region, being a host family for a few nights and/or any other activities. 

Cherry Blossom Avenue

On 4 June 1991, fifteen Mount Fuji Flowering Cherry Blossom Trees were planted by Japanese staff of Brown Coal Liquefaction Victoria (BCLV) to serve as a constant reminder of the lasting friendships made between Japanese staff of the pilot Coal to Oil Plant and the residents of the then City of Morwell. These Flowering Cherry Blossom Trees were planted at Kernot Hall, Morwell and continue to blossom throughout spring each year bringing Kernot Hall alive with a real Japanese feel.

Latrobe Friendly Society

Based in Takasago, the Latrobe Friendly Society was established in February 2003 to promote friendly ties between the people of Takasago City and the people of Latrobe City.  It is comprised of enthusiastic members, with various and unique talents in the community.  The members of the Society play a role in the organisation of visits from Latrobe City, including organising an itinerary, escorting the visitors around the City, assistance of Assistant Language Teacher and any other activities.

Japanese Day

Since its inception in 2004, Japanese Day has proven to be a successful community event where people get together to celebrate their sister city’s culture and appreciate the sister city relationship with Takasago City. This event is held annually in October and continues to attract over 3,000 people annually.