July 9, 2024

Southlake Sister Cities Student Delegation Returns from Tome

The Southlake Sister Cities Student delegation returned from their annual trip to Tome, Japan.

The Southlake Sister Cities Student delegation returned from their annual trip to Tome, Japan in mid-June after an exciting ten-day excursion abroad. With their suitcases unpacked and jet lag finally wearing off, it’s time to relive their once-in-a-lifetime experience.

This year’s delegation is the second group Southlake Sister Cities sent to Japan following a brief pause from 2020 to 2022. Six exceptional students, and their chaperone Lauren LaNeave—Deputy Director of Public Works, were selected to represent the City of Southlake in Tome, Japan for the 2024 delegation.

During their time in Japan, the group was busy integrating with their host families, touring Tome City Hall, learning about the Japanese culture, and making life-long memories. This year’s trip also included a special two-day guided tour of Tokyo before returning to Southlake. While in the capital, the group visited TeamLab Planets and the Tokyo SkyTree, the world’s tallest tower!

Here’s what this year’s students had to say:

“It was truly an honor to immerse myself in Japanese traditions and continue linking our communities together. Last year, my family and I visited Japan's bustling cities, Tokyo and Osaka. I enjoyed experiencing the city life of Japan. However, this year, I found myself being more fond of the rural nature of Tome. In Tome, I was able to make profound bonds with my host family and truly connect with the local community. I learned the importance of embracing cultural diversity and cherishing the moments of stillness in a fast-paced world. I am grateful for this experience offered through Southlake Sister Cities.”


“A couple of my favorite parts about the trip were learning calligraphy at the temple in Tome and going to Futopia Park. I also loved spending time with my host family. I feel like getting to live with and get to know them helped me learn a lot about Japanese culture and customs.”


“My favorite part of the trip was learning about the Japanese customs while living with the host families. I learned how to eat using Japanese customs such as saying itadakemasu before eating and drinking lots of delicious miso soup. I’m so thankful I was able to bond so well with my host family and learn about Japanese culture.”


Southlake and Tome established a Sister City partnership in 1991 and have consistently sent student and adult delegations between the two cities to strengthen their relationship and promote citizen diplomacy.

Southlake Sister Cities is proud to have two sister city partnerships. The organization looks forward to continuing to send Southlake’s youth to our sister cities to represent our community overseas.

Learn more about Southlake Sister Cities and how you can get involved by visiting their website.

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