Students from Nago, Japan visit the island of Hawaii

photo courtesy of Hawaii County

  • Twelve students from Nago City, Japan recently traveled to Hawaiʻi, where they visited various unique locations around the island and met with local officials.
  • The students came to the island through the county’s Sister Cities program

From Hawaii County:

Twelve college students from Nago City, Japan have returned home safely after a busy week on the island of Hawaii. The students came to the island through the county’s Sister Cities program, which aims to strengthen ties between Hawaii County and other cities around the world. Students were selected from four colleges in the city of Nago and came on an ongoing exchange to hone their English skills with the opportunity to speak to native English speakers and learn about Hawaiian culture .

“We are delighted to have had the opportunity to join Hui Okinawa in welcoming such enthusiastic learners to Nago City,” said Mayor Mitch Roth. “It’s always great to share our island with guests, and it’s even better when it comes to students who show a genuine interest in our rich host culture. Mahalo to all the people and organizations that have come together to help make this exchange between the county and our sister city a great success.

The program was created in partnership with Hui Okinawa, who has helped organize these student visits since 2012, including finding the families to host them. This year, six local families in Hilo hosted the students for a weekend homestay experience. While there, the students participated in a variety of activities, including interacting with students from Hilo High School and West Hawaiʻi Explorations Academy Middle School, visiting ʻImiloa, Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park, Parker Ranch, Amy Greenwell Botanical Garden , Huliheʻe Palace and coffee picking. at the UCC farm.

“Hui Okinawa has supported this Nago Study Abroad program since its inception in 2012 and appreciates everyone who has coordinated the program, including Hawaii Community College, Tours by Charlie, and now Hawaii County,” said Robert Kaneshiro. , chairman of Hui Okinawa. “We would also like to thank the many host families, teachers, volunteers and organizations that have supported Nago’s program.”

Plus, they learned the basics of hula dancing with Kumu Keala Ching and were treated to a canoe paddling activity hosted by Kona Paddling Clubs. The Kona Okinawa Kenjenkai also served them a Kona dinner, and the Kona Japanese Cultural Center hosted a farewell dinner for the group on Saturday, August 27. The group returned to Japan yesterday, August 28.