Wednesday 1 November 2023

Frankston Delegation to Susono - October 2023

Frankston’s sister city relationship with Susono in Japan has been further strengthened after a very successful delegation visit held during early October – the first since 2018.

Yamanashi Prefectural Mount Fuji World Heritage Centre

Thirty-six excited delegates arrived at Mishima Station via bullet train from all parts of Japan and were warmly welcomed by members of the Susono Overseas Friendship Association (SOFA) on Thursday 5th October. The delegation included 16 students and 4 staff from Derinya Primary School who were hosted by families from Susono schools for the 4 nights.

Frankston Delegation at Susono City Hall

Delegates had the opportunity to experience a homestay with a Japanese family; a tour of the Mount Fuji area and visits to the Yamanashi Prefectural Mount Fuji World Heritage Centre, Arakura Fuji Sengen Shrine (with its 398 steps to the top and iconic view of Mount Fuji), Kitaguchi Hongu Fuji Sengen Shrine, Oshino Hakkai’s 8 springs sourced with the aquifer water from Mount Fuji and a delicious buffet lunch; Derinya Primary School’s day at Susono South Elementary School; the Welcome Dinner for adult delegates; plus the Australian Fair held on Sunday 8th October.

Adult delegates at the Friday night Welcome Party

The Frankston displays at the Australian Fair included the immensely popular virtual reality goggles showing a 3-minute 360° video of Frankston, the 15-minute Frankston Showcase video and sister city slideshow featuring images from over 5 decades, children’s colouring and activities tables, a pavlova making demonstration and other food tastings, plus giveaways of lanyards, badges, loom bands, tattoos and Aussie stickers.

Adult delegates ready for the Australian Fair

Delegates were presented on stage, the students presented their self-introductions and helped with our activities and displays, participated in dancing and singing plus a performance (and encore) by our Frankston Taiko Drumming group.

Derinya students performing at the Australian Fair

The formal ceremony included speeches on behalf of each city’s Mayor and by both sister city Chairpersons, plus the exchange of gifts. All too soon the Fair was over, pack up completed and it was time to spend a final night with host families before departing early Monday morning.

Hangin' with Susonon - Susono City's mascot

Leaving is always tinged with sadness, but we look forward to welcoming a delegation from Susono in 2024!

Susono and Frankston - friends forever!