Buffalo celebrates 50th anniversary of sister city relationship with Kanazawa, Japan

Tea ceremony at the Japanese Garden

Tea ceremony at the Japanese Garden

In April, Buffalo, New York celebrated its 50th anniversary with sister city Kanazawa, Japan. The relationship, established in 1962, has seen several successful cultural, academic, business and youth exchanges.

The extensive celebrations, hosted by the Buffalo Kanazawa Sister City Committee, included a banquet, attended by over 100 guests, including Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown and Sister Cities International President and CEO Mary D. Kane. The celebrations, conducted in a variety of locations across the city, also included performances by visiting Japanese Noh (classical Japanese mask theater) actors and young Jazz musicians as well as members of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra. An official ceremony at the Japanese Garden, a gift from Kanazawa, in the Olmsted Delaware Park, commemorated its creation.

The celebrations involved members of the community, both from Buffalo and Kanazawa. Takako Michii, President of the Buffalo Kanazawa Sister City Committee states, “We all feel that we marked our memorable 50th anniversary very successfully to give a momentum to nurture the program into future!”

Over the years, the sister city relationship has achieved several milestones and continues to remain strong. The Japanese Garden has become a beloved landmark in the city. Many students have gained from high school exchange programs with Kanazawa. A new exchange program has been initiated between Kanazawa College of Arts and Buffalo State College, Fine Arts Division. Additionally, the University of Buffalo now conducts scholar exchanges with University of Kanazawa. Mark Lazzara of Buffalo says, “We have had the honor of hosting thousands of Japanese adults and students, bring opportunities for economic development and giving them authentic cultural experiences.”


Next in line for the program is an art exhibition in Kanazawa of the works of Charles Burchfied, famed American water colorist. A Buffalo delegation is set to visit Kanazawa soon to mark celebrations in Japan.

Buffalo has several other sister cities including: Abeadze State, Ghana; Bursa, Turkey; Cape Coast, Ghana; Changzhou, China; Dortmund, Germany; Drohobych, Ukraine; Horlivika, Ukraine; Kiryat Gat, Israel; Lille, France; Rzeszow, Poland; Siena, Italy; St. Ann, Jamaica; Torremaggiore, Italy; and Tver, Russia.