Thursday, August 25, 2016

Living the Dream

It is with gratitude that we offer this guest post from Fred Nelson, a stalwart supporter of the Eureka-Kamisu Sister City relationship. Fred, along with several locals, hosted, drove and toured with a Japanese family as they realized a man's long-time dream to visit the redwoods of Northern California.

Prairie Creek State Park / Redwood National and State Parks
This month I had the pleasure of being part of a group that entertained some out of town guests. I drove a family of four on a sightseeing trip of Eureka and Humboldt County for three days. The family of four consisted of an elderly grandfather who lives in Kamisu, Japan, his daughter and son-in-law and his eleven year old granddaughter who live in Tokyo, Japan. Mr. Nishijima had dreamed for a number of years of making a trip to our area and found that he could make it a reality this year although he is in ill health. Being involved in such a visitation was an honor and a privilege for me. 
 In 2008 I had been the driver for a delegation of officials from Kamisu, Japan who came here on an official visit as members of the Kamisu International Friendship Association (KIFA), the driving force behind the Kamisu-Eureka Sister City program. Although Mr. Nishijima is a retired director of KIFA, his visit was not in an official capacity but as a family pleasure trip. Mr. Nishijima had been in touch with a friend and associate whom I had become acquainted with at the time of the 2008 KIFA official visits to Eureka. She had given him my name as a possible contact. With the family’s permission, I set up a three day itinerary which had to be changed a number of times. Unexpected flight delays and our local McKinleyville fog saw to that. The big disappointment was the cancelation of a one hour tour of Humboldt State University. The family was able to meet two of the people who were responsible for arranging the tour, but only for a brief period.
During the three day stay the family was able to enjoy Eureka’s Sequoia Park and Zoo, our Redwoods to the North and South of us along with our amazing scenery plus they were able to taste some of our local cuisine. One of the challenges that faced all parties during the stay was the language barrier. I must say that the Japanese try much harder to understand the English language that we do the Japanese. Did I find the language barrier a bit much? Not really! Naturally it does slow down the conversation somewhat but it does make you pay closer attention to the subject matter that is being conveyed.
Hosting a Japanese family is most rewarding and helps build our Japanese/United States relations. Those locals that have visited Japan over the past number of years have been very warmly received. This should be a ‘two way street’. I would ask you that the next time a Japanese visitor is announced locally, feel free to contact the City of Eureka and volunteer your services even though they might be limited to a friendly “welcome and hello.”
— Fred Nelson

Fred Nelson was stationed in Japan during his time in military service. He is retired and lives in Eureka, California.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Cha-no-yu at HSU

Horai Center is offering a presentation of Cha-no-yu, Wednesday, July 27 from 1 to 2 p.m. in the Humboldt State University Library Fishbowl meeting room.

This demonstration is free and open to the public, but seating is limited.Visit for reservations and information, or email

HSU parking regulations apply. Visit for details.

Read about our 2015 presentation here:

Thursday, April 7, 2016

I'm a Little Tea Bowl

Add a tea bowl emoji to your next text or email. Find them here at Emojipedia:

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

New Eureka-Kamisu Sister City Website Launched

Behold the brand-spankin' new Eureka-Kamisu Sister City website:

And a big round of applause to developer Johnson Tilghman!

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Horai Center Attends Sister City Celebration

Ten years ago, the modern city of Kamisu was formed by a merger of the former town of Kamisu and the neighboring town of Hasaki. The city planned to commemorate this event with a ceremony in August, and invited its Sister City Eureka to attend. Harvey II and Holly Harvey of the DreamMaker program Horai Center were appointed as representatives to attend the ceremony.

After becoming Sister Cities, Kamisu and Eureka enjoyed a lively relationship in the 1990s but exchanges tapered off in recent years. As part of a campaign to re-invigorate the relationship, Kamisu city staff introduced us to cultural, political and industrial features of the city and surrounding region in the days prior to its anniversary ceremony, many of which have ties to Eureka and Humboldt County. Here are just a few highlights.

The 10th Anniversary Ceremony was held on Aug. 1, 2015 at the Kamisu Cultural Center. We met and spoke with people at an an information booth in the lobby prior to the ceremony. Kamisu city staff organized the booth with pamphlets, posters and a slide show contributed by the City of Eureka and the Humboldt County Convention and Visitors Bureau. We also visited the small grove of redwood trees planted on the grounds of the Cultural Center, a gift from the City of Eureka in the 1990s.

Harvey II at the Eureka City information booth

Harvey II at the Eureka City information booth

The booth featured posters, maps, pamphlets and
a computer slideshow about Eureka and Humboldt County. 
Redwood Grove adjacent to the Kamisu Cultural Center

Harvey II (left) and Holly Harvey at the Redwood Grove
adjacent to the Kamisu Cultural Center

Behind the Kamisu Cultural Center is Kaminoike Ryokuchi (Gonoike) Park. Its main feature is a long pond crossed by a long foot bridge. On the opposite side stands a redwood gazebo built and installed in the park by Eric Hollenbeck of Blue Ox Millworks. It was recently refinished.

The gazebo is opposite the Cultural Center across a large pond

A gazebo "For friendship between Eureka and Kamisu,
presented by Mr. Eric Hollenbeck, 1994.9.19"

Gazebo detail

A shady seat on a hot summer day

Kamisu is port city with a population of 93,550 about 55 miles northeast of Tokyo. We were given a tour of Kamisu’s harbor and international shipping port from aboard the boat Eureka, cruising past 300-foot-long cargo ships, grain silos, a natural gas power plant, wind-energy turbines and an iron smelting factory among other industries.

The tour boat Eureka

Aboard the Eureka

International shipping

Wind turbines and construction along the waterfront

300-foot-tall observation tower
offers a bird's eye view of the port

Horai Center will address the Eureka City Council on October 15. Anyone interested in getting involved with the Sister City association, student exchanges or home stays may contact us at

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Horai Center to Represent Eureka at Kamisu Celebration

Horai Center will represent the City of Eureka, California, at a ceremony celebrating its Sister City of Kamisu, Japan on Aug. 1, 2015 as it celebrates the 10th anniversary of incorporation. 

Below is a video produced by Eureka television station News Channel 3, with a look back to the beginnings of the Sister City relationship begun in 1991 with then-mayor Nancy Flemming.

We look forward to sharing this celebration with our fellow Eurekans and all of Humboldt County. If you haven't already, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.