Shinhidaka, Japan

Shinhidaka, Japan and Lexington have been Sister Cities since 1988. When first twinned, the tow in Japan was called Shizunai. In 2006, Japan merged many of it's smaller cities into larger ones; this combined Shizunai with Mitshuishi, forming Shinhidaka. Shinhidaka is located on the island of Hokkaido, with a population of around 30,000. Shinhidaka sits between the Hidaka Mountain Range and the Pacific Ocean, making its views and surroundings breathaking. 

Shinhidaka is home to the largest sales pavilion for auctioning horses in Japan, as well as many thoroughbred farms surrounding the cit. One of these, Big Red Farm, is home to 2012 Kentucky Derby Winner, "I'll Have Another". 

Cherry blossom trees are a popular attraction in Shinhidaka, and the city hosts a Cherry Blossom Festival every May on Nijikken Road. In Shinhidaka, you will also expierence the scenic beauty of mountains, sea, rolling meadows, and lakes. 

Lexington and Shinhidaka celebrated 25 years of their Sister City relationship in 2013. The Mayor of Shinhidaka was made a Kentucky Colonel during the celebration events. 

lexington and shinhidaka

Goals of Lexington-Shinhidaka Sister Cities Relationship

  • Build a strong bond of friendship between the people and communities of Lexington and Shinhidaka.
  • Build upon the love of the thoroughbred horse and horse industry already shared between the two cities.
  • For both cities to benefit from exchanges in the following areas: youth and education, arts and culture, municipal, professional, and tourism/business

Annual Youth Exchange 

  • High School Student Exchange -- Encourages international relations and diplomacy in young people by providing a cultural experience for both Lexington and Shinhidaka students as well as their families.