The sister city legacy between Hot Springs and Hanamaki began in 1993 and is an important international tie for the community.
“It [sister city] is an opportunity to break down barriers for our residents, especially for our children so that when they grow
up they are not intimidated to go to the other side of the state, the other side of the country or the other side of the world,” said program director Mary Neilson in a KTHV interview.
Hot Springs helped with relief efforts after an 8.9-magnitude earthquake ( the most powerful to hit the country) struck Japan
this March. Hanamaki is about 50 miles from Sendai, which was one of the hardest hit areas.
surrounded by rolling hills and a low mountain range. Hanamaki also has a vibrant art culture and is home to many artists including the late Miyazawa Kenji, Japan’s most illustrious poet.
influence in the Garden of the Pine Wind, which the Japanese named and provided design input. They also helped name and dedicate the Sunrise Bridge, and presented a pagoda sculpture for the gardens.