Australian elementary students travel to their “Arigato” Host Town, Kamaishi City in Iwate, northern Japan

International Exchange

Australian elementary students travel to their “Arigato” Host Town, Kamaishi City in Iwate, northern Japan

Iwate Prefecture

From November 14 – 19, 2019, Kamaishi City in Iwate Prefecture, northern Japan, will welcome seven Australian elementary students to their city. This is part of the “Arigato” Host Town project, as Austalia is partnered with Kamaishi. As Kamaishi hosted one of the Rugby World Cup 2019 ™ games, the students will participate in a huge competition of tag rugby along with elementary schools of Kamaishi!

【Main events】

○ Exchange between the seven Australian students, and the 6th grade class of Futaba Elementary School (around 50 students)

①Date and time: November 15, 2019 (Fri) 13:50-15:50
②Venue: – Cultural exchange in the Futaba Elementary School gymnasium from 13:50-14:50
     – Rugby exchange on the Futaba Elementary School grounds from 14;50-15:50
     (Google maps:
③Participants: Australian elementary school students (7 students), Futaba Elementary School 6th grade class (50 students)

○ Kamaishi Elementary School Tag Rugby Competition (Kamaishi East Rotary Cup)

①Date and time: November 17, 2019 (Sun) 8:45-13:00
②Venue: Kamaishi Unosumai Memorial Stadium
     (Google maps:
③Participants: Australian elementary school students (7 students, one team), Odawara City, Kanagawa Prefecture* (10 people, two teams), Kamaishi elementary schools (17 teams)
* Odawara City is a Tokyo 2020 Host Town to Australia.

The students will also visit places within the city (Kamaishi Daikannon Statue, the Iron Museum), as well as learn more about the 2011 earthquake and tsunami at memorial facilities.

【About Australia and Kamaishi, Iwate】

– Australia, Kamaishi, and rugby: Scott Fardy is an Australian rugby player who was playing for the Kamaishi Seawaves rugby club when the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami struck in 2011. He refused to heed the evacuation advisory released by the Australian embassy in order to volunteer with his teammates to haul relief supplies to people in need.

– School exchange: Through the help of Tokai City, Aichi Prefecture (twinned with Australia), the city of Macedon Ranges in Victoria, Australia has been hosting middle school students from Kamaishi City since 2014.
(Source: “About the “Arigato” Host Towns,” Secretariat of the Headquarters for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games, Cabinet Secretariat)




Lifelong Learning, Culture, and Sports Division
Kamaishi City Government
TEL: 0193-22-8835
(Japanese language inquiries only)


Office of International Affairs
Iwate Prefectural Government
TEL: 019-629-5764
(English or Japanese language inquiries)


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