New Zealand’s Alert Levels changed at 12 noon on Wednesday, 12 August. Learn more

Miyazu, Japan

Miyazu City is situated in the north of Kyoto Prefecture on the main island of Honshu. With a population of approximately 30,000, Miyazu shares many of Nelson's characteristics. Its principal activities are a fishing base, tourism, a trading port and an administrative and political centre. Its industries include seafood processing, metal work and textiles.

There are three high schools/colleges and nine primary schools, also a number of kindergartens.

Two million tourists

Every year more than two million people visit Miyazu to enjoy the beautiful beaches and natural beauty and historic interest of the city.

The Amanohashidate is a narrow sandbar which extends 3.6km across Miyazu Bay, and is planted with pine trees, so is a popular place for walking, cycling or swimming, as it faces the Japan Sea. The old legend tells that Amanohashidate is the bridge to heaven and is known as one of the three natural wonders of Japan.

In the surrounding mountains, many superb vantage points can be found to view the white sand, and the green pine trees reflected on the Bay.

Sister City success story

In 1996, a New Zealand-wide survey of Sister City programmes, done as part of an initiative by Asia 2000 and undertaken by Massey University, showed that the Nelson-Miyazu link was the most-focused and built on a solid base of people-to-people interaction. The Nelson Miyazu affiliation was cited as a model to follow in setting up successful Sister City relationships, including these features:

  • Festivals
  • Fashion show
  • Cultural events, concerts, performances and demonstrations
  • Art exhibition and educational tuition
  • Girl Guide mini jamboree
  • Support from Miyazu for "Sudden Laughter"
  • Anti-nuclear visit to Mururoa
  • Trade exposition
  • Financial support for Nelson's Miyazu Garden - on-going
  • Cherry Blossom festival
  • Celebration of childrens' day with Japanese community
  • School and college exchanges
  • Numerous student and young people's work experience
  • Tourism

Find out more

You can learn more about Miyazu through these resources: