2017 is the 50th anniversary of Berkeley's sister city relationship with Sakai, Japan.  As part of our celebration of our sister city friendship, we had a 4-day Goodwill Visit to Sakai followed by a 12-day guided tour on Japan's main island of Honshu.

Arrangements for our itinerary were prepared by our friend and travel agents Victor and Kay Iwamoto (East & West Travel), who have arranged our goodwill tours since 1997.  Victor and Kay came out of retirement to do this wonderful goodwill tour for us, thus we had a wonderful tour guide, hotels and sites to visit, and wonderful meals.  Twenty four went on the full tour, with eight additional participants in Sakai only, including the Mayor of Berkeley and staff.

Below is a brief summary of the cities we  visited.

Sakai (4 nights), Nara (1 night), Kyoto (3 nights), Takayama (Onsen available) (1 night), Matsumoto (Onsen) (1 night), Minakami (Onsen) (2 nights),

Tokyo (3 nights).

It was a beautiful tour despite unseasonable rain and Typhoon Lan which reached Tokyo when we were in the mountains, but turned out to be less severe than predicted in Tokyo and resulted in only heavy rain and winds of about 35 mph where we were.

Click on photo for slide show.

2017 Goodwill to Japan photos