A Bridge between the U.S. and Japan: ~ A visit by Representatives from the City of Salida from Colorado, U.S.A. to Higashi Naruse village in Japan ~

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Approximately 150 miles from the city of Denver, less than 3-hour drive through beautiful roads in Rocky Mountains, nestled and hidden in beautiful mountains, the city of Salida, known as the “Heart of the Rockies”, is a hole-in-the-wall like tourist destination that offers various river leisure activities in summer and skiing and other winter sports during winter months. The city of Salida saw its prosperous years from silver mining. Today, the city is well-known for its rivers that flow through scenic valleys where Olympic kayak tryouts are regularly held along with other river sports for all levels of leisure-seekers.

For the past 30 years, as part of its international exchange programs, Nippon Kan has been promoting, hosting and sponsoring various initiatives and exchange programs between the city of Salida and Higashi Naruse village located in northern Japan, less than 2-hour drive from Mt. Kurikoma, one of the 200 most beautiful mountains in Japan, to the NNW.

Higashi Naruse village has been working on a vision to bolster its rivers and other natural resources to further attract and promote more sports tourism to the village and its surrounding region, and the city of Salida and Higashi Naruse village, after years of cultural exchange programs, have decided to elevate their relationship to each other to the next level, and Homma Kancho accompanied a group of delegates from the city of Salida to visit Higashi Naruse village in Japan.

The group from the city of Salida comprised of 6 representatives, including Vice-Mayor and other city officials in charge of Environmental Protections, Development of River Tourism, and not only did they visit make onsite visits in the village with village council members, the Salida city and the Higashi Naruse village officials discussed a range of topics from environmental protections from development activities, the importance of preparing adequate means to manage an increased amount of garbage from increased tourism to the region and the critical nature of winning support from local communities, just to name a few. Additionally, public facilities in the village such as education facilities and elderly welfare/care facilities were also visited. and On the last day of the visit, the group of delegates held a roundtable discussion to reassure their mutual support for the village’s future vision.

The support for this initiative was provided as a cultural exchange project by a non-profit organization Nippon Kan. Aikido Nippon Kan is a division of a non-profit organization Nippon Kan.

Gaku Homma
Founder and Kancho of Nippon Kan