Previous Youth Delegations

Commemorating 45 Years of Friendship.
Mayor Oguchi and Shiojiri Superintendent of Schools received a framed copy of a letter of the first correspondence from Shiojiri to Mishawaka stating the intention to officially become sister-City's.

From the moment I met my Mama-san I loved her. Riding on the train to Kyoto I keep thinking about how much I miss her and my sisters, Hina and Rinka. With all my heart I hope to see them all again. I loved every minute we spent together. Mama-san went above and beyond to take care of her sick host daughter.  I was extremely grateful when she took the time to take me to a billion drug stores to find me the right medicine. I don’t think I’ll ever forget how welcome I felt living with them. I felt like a part of their family. No experience I’ve had or will have in Japan will ever be even close to how amazing it was living with my Japanese family.  Anna Hauck

At first I was nervous staying with a family I didn’t know and didn’t know if they knew English or not. But after unpacking my suit case and setting up my bed, I was comfortable in their house. Then making sushi with Hina was soo much fun!! I felt like I was at home. Then going back with the group on the last day I bawled my eyes out, and anna was there to comfort me thank goodness! The bath house is so much fun even though there are boobs everywhere lmao. I love the party in sensei’s room. Dani Sivak

So the homestay it went great. I will never forget my time with my family. About to go get breakfast with kolt. Gonna have a great day with my new bestfriend…bubbles!!!-Joey Sanchez

The homestay is over but was sooooo much fun. Kyoto has lots of good temples and amazing scenery that’s great. But I must say that seeing lots of foreigners is something I don’t like to see. Also everyone is having a great time so that makes this trip just perfect. –Brendan Shawhan

So much has happened in the last week from meeting an amazing family and leaving them to seeing some of the most spiritual temples I’ll ever see in my life. I’m at a loss for words right now so I’ll just leave it at that.   –Tyler W 

The home stay was awesome my home stay treated me like I was family and they gave us so much stuff. The first thing im going to do back in the us is email them. I got to climb a mountain and took a lot of pics I love the sister city- Chris Thornton.

When the home stay started was the most nerve racking thing at first. At the end of every day I was liking it more and more. When it was time to say goodbye I didn’t even want to leave. The home stay was by far the best part of this trip. I will always think of them as family. –Andrew

Japanese barbecue’s are really yummy I love their rice balls, My family was a great experience for me and Andrew. I wish it would never ended but they said they would come to America and would want to stay at my house. I hope it will come true.  Michael

I miss my home-stay family. The Takizawa’s were nice. They taught us a Japanese game. We learned many things while staying with them. It was much more fun with the host-family than in Kyoto.  Andy

The homestay was a big highlight of my trip. I have stayed with them before and it was great to see how much they had all changed.On our first day we went straight to the elementary school and I was put in the fifth grade class(it was actually my host sister,Miyuki's, class.) We ate lunch and cleaned in the classroom. After cleaning was more classes.The class I got to participate in was "friendship meeting"...I was supposed to be the friend. They sat me in a chair in the front of the class and all the chairs and students were surrounding me.We played a couple rounds of "Funky Fruit Basket" the kids would use their best English to call out either a color you were wearing or a fruit you like. I thought I was having fun then but quickly realized there was more to come. Ayu (my older host sister) is in highschool and lives 3 hours away from her house. I was told that she would be coming to visit us. I was excited that she would come all that way and that I would be able to see her again.This time I actually got to see my host brother,Yuta, he had a baseball game so he was gone almost all weekend I was happy that I got to meet him though.. I had a great rime overall whether we were playing board games, traveling around, or even just sitting around talking.. When I am with them I feel like family. I really hope they come to visit us. -Natalie

So arriving in Shiojiri it was absolutely beautiful. I was so glad to finally be back there. My host mother from 2 years ago met us at the train station. I wanted to cry because I was so happy, but I didn’t. Seeing her after 2 years and seeing the reassurance on her face that it wouldn’t be the last time I saw her was indescribable. We left the train station and went to the elementary school. Jocelyn and I were put in the 1st grade class. They were the cutest kids, ever. We played with them and ate lunch. Sensei tried to take a picture of us and Jocelyn and I ended up getting mauled by the little kids. After the school we met with Yumiko, our host mom. Staying with her was an amazing experience. I don’t think I’ve ever eaten so well before. The next day we went to do karaoke and to visit the highschool. Karaoke was an amazing adventure. People that we didn’t think would sing, had a blast! After that we went to the highschool. I was in the English Club. I gave the girls my email address after it was over to keep in touch. It rained a lot on Saturday, literally all day. Despite the rain, the reception was beautiful and everyone had a lot of fun. On Sunday, we spent all day with the family. Yumiko taught us to bake carrot bread, waffles, and cream puffs. We ate soba for lunch (yum!). This morning, Monday, we said goodbye to them, but they know we will come back and see them. My host family from two years ago came on Sunday to say goodbye. It was a happy goodbye because they too know we will meet again. I absolutely loved Shiojiri and I encourage everyone to visit there someday. They definitely will not regret it.–Kati

So we just left Shiojiri after spending 4 nights and 5 days with our host families. I was alone in my host family and when I met them I was pretty freaked out. They spoke close to no English and I was staying with a 71 year old lady and her 76 year old husband. However, once in their house and getting to know them it was obvious that language didn’t matter. Across the street from my family lived their son’s family consisting of the son (41), his wife (37), and their two daughters (7 & 13). During my stay they welcomed me into their family and treated me as such. I had a real connection with their granddaughter, Mihoku (7), who was insanely shy at first but who opened up and thought of me like her older brother by the end of my stay. I’m definitely going to miss my family like crazy, but someday I hope to see them again whether in Japan or the U.S.



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