About the club
Our club was founded in Taketa City (population 28,000 at that time) in March 1988. Most of the 90 families with membership in the Friendship Force of Oita live in Taketa City and its neighboring towns and villages. Although our club is a small one in a small community, the people are friendly and warm-hearted. Our real treasure is the people with open hearts and minds. We would like all of you to appreciate “Oita hospitality” at home, as well as the beauty of real Japanese customs and traditions still preserved here. Our primary aim is to “Open hearts of Oita to the world” to build friendship, offering our compassion, respect and interest.
About the region
Taketa and its neighboring communities are nearly in the center of Kyushu, the southernmost of Japan’s four main islands. Taketa is surrounded by lush green valleys, mountains, and majestic bamboo groves with fresh air and water. In our town we have some quite spectacular festivals throughout the year. The areas surrounding the town provide hot spring baths or “Onsen,” which are good for all kinds of ailments and generally beneficial to your health. Our club is able host 20 ambassadors at most.
About the Journey
We provide a variety of attractive activities for the Journey. Mt. Aso with the world’s largest calderas and one of the world’s most active volcanoes is an hour drive. Kumamoto Castle, one of the Japan’s greatest fortresses, is also in the area. Unfortunately, the castle and the road to this beautiful castle were so damaged by the big earthquake in 2016. So at the moment, it is a little difficult for us to take ambassadors there as a tour.
We make a day bus trip to Beppu and some places this year. Ambassadors can enjoy downtown touring and shopping during their stay. The small shops and stores provide you a lot of interesting things and a warm welcome to the visitors. Our welcome and/or farewell party is a lot of fun and exciting. It is a “potluck party,” where people bring their own foods and drinks. It is interesting to see and enjoy so many local dishes as well as the ones from different cultures. Another high light of the party is performing Shinto sacred dance and music together with professional performers. Iaido, the samurai performing, is also performed at the party.
During your stay, you visit junior high schools or high schools and try calligraphy with the students and exchange cultures with the students. Experiencing a Tea Ceremony is also planned. Participating in our activities is like falling in love at first sight.
Updated February 2019