The Hot Springs National Park Sister City Foundation promotes good will and understanding between cities through, among other programs, its teacher scholarship program. Each year, area teachers are chosen to spend a week in Hanamaki. They share their rich cultural and educational experiences and lessons learned with their students upon their return.
The City of Hot Springs partners with the Sister City Foundation to strengthen its ties with Hanamaki through continuous student and citizen exchanges. In 2003, the Hot Springs Board of Directors approved a part-time position to help further the progress made in the first 10 years.
The Sister City Program coordinator's activities include:
Coordinating all communications between Hanamaki and Hot Springs
Overseeing delegation visits and other special events
Promoting the program to schools and civic clubs
Publishing and distributing the quarterly Sister City Journal
Recent activities such as art, music and dance exhibitions, needlepoint and dollmaking classes, cooking demonstrations, language classes, and a Japanese tea ceremony have brought the program to a level where many Hot Springs citizens can participate more fully in the program.
The Hanamaki website contains a Japanese page which offers basic information on Hot Springs and encourages visitors to consider a trip to its sister city.