MEETING ‘MOMO’ – Sister City Group from Shizuoka, Japan Stayed in Shelbyville

Sister City group stayed from August 16th to 22nd. This year marks the 25th anniversary between Shelbyville and Shizuoka city (used to be Kambara).  The group was bigger than usual. 15 students and 3 adults came and stayed with each host family.

They arrived at Civic Center on 16th around 7:00 pm. It has 13 hours time difference between here and Japan. They looked a little bit tired because of a long flight and jet lag. Students met their host families and introduced each other. This is one of the most exciting moments during their stay.

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We had a pizza party together. 15 pizzas were ordered at Cagney’s for the party! Sometimes pizza makes a fight…

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Saturday and Sunday were free days with their host families. On Saturday, many students participated in Blue River Festival 5K Run/Walk. It was very nice day to arrive in Shelbyville for the students. They arrived at night and 5K started in the morning next day. They were very tough!


On Sunday, students and their host families came to Mayor’s Lunch Reception and Bears of Blue River Parade. In the evening, we had Welcome Party at Blue River Memorial Park. At first we took a picture of all together!


After that, students enjoyed eating with their host families and played together. Every host family was introduced in front of everyone and took pictures of each family with Mayor Tom and the SCIRC director, Linda. Some gifts were given to each student from SCIRC.

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On Monday, 19th, they had Welcome & donuts with Mayor Tom DeBaun at City Hall in the morning. They had a tour in City Hall by Mayor Tom. In Mayor’s office, there are some gifts given from sister city in Japan until today. They looked happy to see them.


They also visited Fire Station, Grover Museum, Not Just Popcorn in Edinburgh, Amber Meadow Farm that day. At Grover Museum, they enjoyed to see about 100 years before world of Shelbyville. They were surprised to see shoes of Sandy Allen who has Guinness World of Records of the tallest women from Shelbyville, IN.

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On Tuesday, 20th, they went to Indianapolis. They walked canal area, went to shopping at Circle Center Mall, and Duck Pin Bowling.

On Wednesday, 21st, it was very busy day. At first, they visited Ryobi. Ryobi has contributed sister city relationship so much. The group from Shizuoka visit Ryobi almost every year. After that they visited Shelbyville High School. At the lunch time, students separated some groups and had lunch with some students who just visited Shizuoka in June. They had a tour in High School and were surprised to see that students use their own devices like iPhone or iPad when they take a class. It is very flexible idea to allow students to use those devise through it depend on the class. Then they moved to Shelbyville Middle School. They came in some classes. Students asked about their schools each other. It was good to know about school lunch, classes, club activity and so on and find difference between both countries.

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They visited Mr. Finkel’s house that day. His house is like a museum. When I came to Shelbyville for the first time 10 years ago, we also visited his house. I was very glad to see him again.


On Thursday, 22nd in the morning, they left for the airport. Many students and host families were cried when they said good bye. But I think that showed they had a wonderful time together.

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This program is precious opportunity for students and also for the people who host students. Students can experience the real life while staying with their host families in a foreign country. And this is different compared to ordinary trips. Students enjoy spending time with their host families. After coming back their host families’ house, they had a very good time to have BBQ, play games and so on. A girl was surprised to see a huge yard of her host family’s house. Going abroad and communicating with other country’s people give them world view and make their view of future wide. Their stay is only for a week. But it brings lots of stimulation to them. It is wonderful. And it is great that our relationship has continued for 25years. I hope it continues for many years to come and many people have good experiences and memories through this relationship.




16日(金)の午後7時ごろグループはCivic Center に到着しました。シェルビービルと日本の間には13時間の時差があります。到着した時の学生たちは長旅と時差の影響か少し疲れて見えました。ここでホストファミリーたちと対面。この瞬間は最もどきどき、わくわくする瞬間の1つです。学生、ホストファミリー、姉妹都市のプログラムに関わっている方々でピザパーティーをしました。このパーティーの為にシェルビービルの元市長のスコットが経営するピザ屋さんCagney’sでピザを15枚注文しました。










  1. Trisha Tackett says:

    had a wonderfule time with everyone miss you Chizuru!!!!! Good article Momo!

    • Momoco Shiosaka says:

      Thank you for your comment, Trisha! I’m so glad that your family had a wonderful time with Chizuru. I think it was great for her to see such a wonderful host family. I also like your family very much. Thank you for reading!

  2. It’s so great that they got to do so many diverse and interesting things while they were here; things like the Bears of Blue River Festival 5K Run/Walk (excellent timing) and Duckpin bowling (Terrific idea! — Was it at Action & Atomic Duckpin Bowling in the Fountain Square Theatre Building? Love that place!). Yes indeed, it sounds like they had a full variety-filled stay and that it was no doubt an all-around fantastic experience for them, one that they will never forget.

What are your thoughts?