Riverside’s Sister Cities

The city of Riverside has had International Connections since we established our first sister city relationship with Sendai, Japan over 60 years ago.  Riverside has been a leader in Sister City programs ever since. Sister Cities are not unique to Riverside, cities throughout the world have been partnering together since President Eisenhower created the Sister Cities International organization in 1956 which he envisioned being a “hub of peace and prosperity by creating bonds between people from different cities around the world.”

This Sister City sign is in front of White Park Downtown

Riverside was one of the first cities to participate with our relationship with Sendai which started in 1957and is the second longest sister city relationship in the United States. Since then, we have established relationships with 8 additional cities which are Cuautla, Mexico (1968), Ensenada, Mexico (1976), Jiangmen, People’s Republic of China (1997), Gangnam, Republic of Korea (1998), Hyderabad, India (2000), Obuasi, Ghana (2008), Erlangen, Germany (2011), and Can Tho, Vietnam (2015).

Through our sister city relationships, the City of Riverside has shared ideas, experiences, and exchanges. Everything from Art Exchange programs with Ensenada, Student exchanges with Erlangen, and marathon runner exchanges with Sendai have been offered through the sister city program. In fact, one of our popular downtown festivals, The Long Night of Arts and Innovation was inspired by a similar festival in Erlangen.

One of our favorite sister city projects is the Yuishin Tei Japanese garden in White Park. This traditional Japanese garden was designed and installed by Japanese master gardeners from Sendai with help of local volunteers from Riverside.

Yuishin Tei Garden Gate

The garden is a wonderful reminder of the strong ties our city has with other countries around the world. The International Relations Council of Riverside, which oversees our sister city relationships, is a great way to get involved and be a part of Riverside’s international connections. For more details, check out ircriverside.org where you can join the IRC as an individual member, or become a corporate sponsor of the programs.

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