Renton and Nishiwaki to celebrate 50 years as Sister Cities!

There will be a delegation from Nishiwaki visiting Renton on October 16th-19th to celebrate the occasion.

Sister Cities

The Renton Sister Cities Association (RSCA) is a nonprofit organization working in partnership with the City of Renton to enhance citizen understanding and appreciation for other cultures and promote international goodwill and cooperation through people to people relationships world-wide.

Programming provides opportunities which engage Renton residents, organizations, groups, government, and businesses through social, cultural, humanitarian, arts, health, economic, and educational activities, events, and exchanges.

Renton’s Sister Cities are Nishiwaki, Japan (established 1969), and Cuautla, Mexico (established 2001).

Involvement and participation with the two sister cities enhances cultural awareness and mutual appreciation, creates lasting community friendships, provides opportunities for professional exchanges, and strengthens international relationships.

Sister city programs and activities:

  • Expanding citizen understanding of other cultures by promoting an awareness of cultural diversity
  • Providing opportunities for social, cultural and educational enrichment
  • Supporting humanitarian efforts
  • Exchanging public art
  • Encouraging opportunities for tourist promotion
  • Sharing expertise in municipal problem-solving
  • Coordinating official delegation visits

This sister city relationship pairs two cities with strikingly similar characteristics:

  • Both are located in a valley with a river running through the center of town in Hyogo, Japan
  • The climates are very similar
  • Both cities are industrial based
  • Nishiwaki is known internationally for its production of textiles and also fly-fishing hooks.
  • Nishiwaki is located near the city of Kobe, which is one of Seattle’s sister cities. West of the city of Nishiwaki lies Kent’s sister city, and west of there lies Auburn’s sister city.
  • Nishiwaki population was about 40,000, at the time of the relationship, which was comparable to Renton’s.

The city of Nishiwaki is a textile-district known for a type of fabric called banshu-ori.

Nishiwaki is a city in Hyōgo Prefecture, Japan. It was founded on April 1, 1952. The city calls itself “The Navel of Japan.”

The history of Nishiwaki’s textiles has been celebrated by residents in a new festival that had its debut last year. From the city of Nishiwaki’s website, “The 1st Banshu Textile Expo” (commonly known as “Banpaku / Banpaku”) was held in [a] former residential area to create a bustling city centered on the theme of “Fabrics in the city of textiles!” The video below takes you into the process of planning this festival and introduces us to the residents and buildings in the city. They focused on activating old houses and vacant storefronts to host their “Banpaku” event.

Check out the event in this video! This event was held on May 27, 2018.

The city of Nishiwaki has their own mascots!

Nishi is the original mascot, she is dressed in blue banshu-ori fabric. Her sister is named Sakura and is wearing a matching pink outfit.

They have their own character profiles and Special Resident Cards, which can be found here:

Nishi Special Resident Card

Nishi Profile

Sakura Special Resident Card

We look forward to meeting representatives from our sister city! Thank you for your plans to visit Renton!