The City of Blue Mountains has Sister City Relationship with Sanda City, Japan.

Meetings: The Blue Mountains Sister Cities Committee holds a public meeting on the foutth (4th) Wednesday of each month at the Catholic Care Social Services Office, Shop 3, 163 Macquarie Road, Springwood. 

Enquiries: For local call cost from Upper Mountains (02) 4780 5000 or Lower Mountains (02) 4723 5000 or Email: sistercities@bmcc.nsw.gov.au

Background

The Committee operates by the Terms of Reference set out by the Blue Mountains City Council.

In 1991 the Committee in its current form was appointed under section 527 of the Local Government Act 1991. In 1993 the Act was repealed and the Committee became an Advisory Committee of Council under Section 355 of the Local Government Act 1003.

Purpose and Scope

The Committee’s purpose is to act in an advisory capacity to the Council and assist the Council to perform its role as contributor to the relationship between the city of the Blue Mountains and its Sister City. This will include making recommendations to Council on how best to allocate budget funds to assist in supporting the Sister City relationship.

Committee Vision and Mission Statements

Vision –To promote the affiliation of Sister Cities by helping towns and cities to motivate communities to extend the hand of friendship nationally and internationally.

Mission – To provide a forum for cultural, educational and economic interchange between communities and encourage friendship, co-operation and understanding to improve the quality of life worldwide.

Membership

The Committee shall include the Mayor by right of office, two (2) Councillors appointed by Council or such number as Council may determine from time to time. The Committee will have a minimum of 5 and a maximum of 12, two of whom are Councillors. Volunteer members participate in specific relationships, functions and events under supervision of core committee members and under the Council Volunteer Policy. The Annual General Meeting of the Committee shall be held during the month of October for the purpose of electing the officers of the Committee as may be required, and to receive the Annual Report and Financial Statement.

Activities of the Sister City Committee

  • The Committee signed an agreement with the Council in 2011 to improve the gardens in a designated area of Buttenshaw Park. The Committee and volunteers meet monthly to maintain the gardens.
  • Runners from Sanda visit to take part annually in the Woodford to Glenbrook Classic.
  • Runners from the Blue Mountains visit Sanda in December annually to take part in the Sanda Marathon.
  • A two week Junior Ambassador Student Exchange program between Sanda and the Blue Mountains takes place annually. Ages between 15yrs – 17yrs can apply.
  • A Junior Art Exchange for students aged 12 to 15 years is an annual exchange between Sanda and Blue Mountains with local schools taking part.
  • Bi-annually 11 year old Rugby teams from Sanda visit to the Blue Mountains.
  • There are two Sister Schools. Winmalee High School, sister school, Arima High Sanda.
  • St Columbas College Springwood, sister school, Hokusetsu High School, Sanda.
  • The Blue Mountains Committee can help organize sports, music, craft, cultural and educational groups of any kind that would like to visit Sanda City, Japan.

Sanda City History

Sanda has a long history and rich culture.

People have resided in the Sanda area for almost 30 thousand years.

The origin of the Sanda City name can be traced back approximately 1300 years. In an old wooden statue of the “sitting Miroku Budda” housed in the old Konshinji Temple in Sanda, the following inscription is found, “This land known as the Matsuyama country will henceforth be called Sanda”.

The Chinese characters for Sanda represent three fields of Paddies: “The Paddy of Kindness, of Mercy and Respect to the Konshinji Temple”.

The Sanda symbol is derived from the ‘Sa’ of Sanda, symbolising Unity and Harmony. Sanda was established as the 20th city of the Hyogo Prefecture in July 1958.

Sanda City Today 

Sanda City is an historical city, surrounded by abundant natural beauty, greenery and mountains. Sanda City is located in the south-eastern region of the Hyogo Prefecture, it lies north of the Rokko Mountains and is 25km north-west of Osaka City.

The population of Sanda, as at the end of June 2021, was 110,087.

Sanda extends 20km east to west and 18km north to south with a total area of 210.22 sq km and is the third largest of 21 cities in the Hyogo Prefecture behind Kobe and Himeji.

Sanda enjoys a mild climate with temperatures of -7 to 35c degrees. The annual rainfall is 1500ml.

Some natural features of Sanda are the Muko River, which runs through the City, and Mount Arima Fuji which, at 374 metres in height, is a much loved symbol of Sanda. Mount Arima Fuji is named after Mount Fuji as they are both the same shape.

The azalea is the Sanda City Flower. The azalea represents affection, simplicity and purity and reflects Sanda’s goal of creating a green, clean, cheerful environment.
The Sanda tree is the Japanese Red Pine which grows abundantly in the region.

The pheasant, an elegant native bird often seen in the mountains of Sanda, is now a stylised animation of a pheasant known as “KIPPY”, which has become the Sanda City Mascot.