Mishima (mee-shee-mah) became the second sister city of Pasadena in 1957. We were the fourth city in the U.S.A. to have a sister city in Japan. There are now more than 400. Mishima is located in eastern Shizuoka Prefecture, about 75 miles (120 km) southwest of Tokyo.
Trains run frequently from Tokyo to Mishima. The fastest take less than an hour. Mishima’s geographical location at the foot of Mount Fuji and at the top of the Izu Peninsula is between two parts of the FujiHakoneIzu National Park, one of the most popular resort areas in Japan. Mount Fuji itself is venerated by the Japanese. Because of its sacred nature, thousands make summer treks up its 12,388-ft (3,776-m) snow-capped peak. This mountain provides a beautiful year-round backdrop as one of the worlds most famous and often photographed scenes. The mountain can be seen towering over Mishima when not shrouded in clouds or fog. Its symmetrical cone-shaped form rises straight up to the heavens from the seacoast. Mishima is also known as one of the 53 stations along the Tokaido Road. These stations might be analogous to the 21 missions established along the coast of California during the early 1800s. Parts of this famous pathway between Tokyo and Kyoto are over 400 years old.
About 110,000 people call Mishima their home. We have had many exchanges, home stays, and visits with Mishimans over our years of being sister cities. Pasadenans return extolling the joys of their experiences with the Japanese people. Both cities are especially proud of our annual summer exchanges for students from 18 to 24 years of age.
The largest annual event in Mishima is its three-day Summer Festival taking place in mid-August. Its most famous tourist attraction is Mishima Taisha, a Shinto shrine built over 800 years ago. The city is the site of the internationally renowned National Institute of Genetics. Mishimas greatest attraction, however, is its wonderful citizens who have made possible our long relationship.