Do you know Setagaya City in Tokyo?

It’s the largest city in Tokyo and has some connections and many things in common with Arlington.

Both have similar geographical size, are near the national capitol, have unique, great neighborhoods, and a good reputation for education. Also, the Arlington Career Center (Arlington Tech HS) is the sister school of Tokyo Metropolitan Engei High School in Setagaya. That school, with beautiful gardens on former castle grounds, has many working horticulture, food science and animal husbandry programs. The only one original dogwood tree, which was given by President Taft to the Tokyo government as a return gift for the Cherry Blossom trees in DC, is on the campus of Engei HS. Setagaya City is also the host town of Team USA, American athletes, for Tokyo Olympics to be held now in 2021.

We’ve started an online culture and language exchange among youth in Arlington and Setagaya during the pandemic and continue to hold it once a month. It includes showing sites and making quizzes about our respective communities and major holidays and customs.

Source: Prefectures Grading Research and other websites.

Language and Culture Exchange

Join us at this monthly free event: Language and culture Exchange with Setagaya, Tokyo, by Zoom. You can practice Japanese and help Japanese to practice English.

“It was fun! I’ve learned that “candy” in America includes all kinds of small sweets in wrapping, including chocolates. I was surprised and thought it’s interesting.”

「お菓子の話になった時に、アメリカでは小さなつつみのお菓子は飴じゃなくてもキャンディっていうんだよとやさしく教えてもらいました。びっくりしたけど面白いなと思いました。」

— M.T. (Japanese participant)

I really enjoy being able to discuss with native Japanese speakers, as it has helped me practice and gain confidence in my speaking ability. And, since they are students just like me, the conversations are low stress and fun!

「ネイティブの日本人とお話できてとても楽しいです。日本語の会話の練習にもなり、自信に繋がっています。相手も私と同じ高校生なのでストレスもなくて楽しんでます。」

— A.F. (APS Student)

About Setagaya

Have you heard about Setagaya before? Intrigued by the beckoning cats (maneki-neko)? Find out more about their birthplace and more enchanting charms of Setagaya.

About Arlington

How much do you know about Arlington, VA? Did you know that Arlington is ranked the No. 1 best city to live in the U.S. (according to 2020 rankings from Niche.com)? Can you name a famous landmark located in the county? Can you guess how many universities are there?

Sister Schools

Arlington Career Center (ACC) and Tokyo Metropolitan Engei High School in Japan have affirmed a Sister School Agreement in 2018 to promote understanding, friendship, global education, and international exchange programs between the two schools. Engei High School representatives also came to participate in SJA’s Japan Day on March 31, 2019.

Sakura and Hanamizuki -Cherries and Dogwoods

As you know, the cherry trees were given from Tokyo to Washington, DC in 1912. But did you know that the dogwood, which is the state flower of Virginia, was sent to Tokyo by President Taft three years later in reciprocation? Currently, only one of the original dogwoods is still surviving on the grounds of Tokyo Metropolitan Engei High School in Setagaya.  At the centennial celebration in 2015,  the US ambassador to Japan, Caroline Kennedy, planted additional dogwoods as a gift. 

Fun Fact! Japan and US Postal service collaborated in making the commemorative postage stamps, which is the first design collaboration between the two countries.

Photo and source: nippon.com