Ebetsu and Gresham

The Gresham Sister City Association was formed in 1977 between Gresham, Oregon, and Ebetsu, Japan. 

Mission statement: “To foster friendships with our sister city that promote and strengthen our educational, economic, and cultural ties to enrich the lives of our citizens.

This association has resulted in a contingent of Gresham folks visiting Ebetsu on a somewhat regular basis with return visits to Gresham from the people of Ebetsu. This association has fostered friendship and trade between our cities. 

Like Gresham, one of the highlights of the city is its proximity to nature, as it abuts the extensive Nopporo Forest State Park — the world’s largest park of virgin forest on level ground. Ebetsu also is known for having year-round wind, something Gresham residents can understand with the Columbia River Gorge often funneling the East Wind through the city.

Further strengthening the bond is that Portland also is in a Sister City program with Sapporo, Japan, Ebetsu’s larger neighboring city.

Tourist Infomation

Ebri Shopping Mall

The Ebri Shopping Mall was reconstructed from an old brick factory and was made entirely from 100% Ebetsu brick. This small one-floor building has a lot of character with its red brick, wrought iron, and wood veneer and reflects on the town of Ebetsu, which is famous for its brick-making industry.

In March 2016, the stylish Ebri Shopping Mall was opened. Ebri Shopping Mall contains a supermarket, a coffee, and a sweets shop, a local grocery, and a delicious wood fire Italian restaurant. A lot of local produce from the surrounding areas are sold here.

Ebetsu “Yakimonoichi” Ceramic Art Fair

The Ebetsu “Yakimonoichi” Ceramic Art Fair is an annual festival held in the heart of Ebetsu. The ceramic art fair sees hundreds of artists and craftspeople congregate to sell their wares over the summer weekend. Stalls and tents are set up throughout the streets, where customers can peruse at their leisure looking for a bargain out of the thousands of handcrafted items.

The main event of the festival is the domino topple. About 2000 red bricks are set up on one of the streets and toppled over domino-style. The festival ranges over half a dozen streets, so there are a lot of shops to see. In the summer heat, there are plenty of places to sit and rest. As with all the festivals, there are food stalls and vans set up to serve tasty lunches. Local food and more exotic curries are available.

The Ebetsu Yakimonoichi Festival is a great place to buy some handcrafted ceramics, walk around, or to grab a beer and sit in the summer sun.

Ishikari River

A large river with a total length of 253 km. It is a mother river in which the history and culture of Hokkaido are engraved. It flows from the northeastern part of Ebetsu city to the northwestern part and merges with tributary rivers such as Yubari River and Chitose River. About 18.4 km is flowing.
In late autumn, you can see migratory birds flying to rest their wings.

Old Town Farm

Mr. Takaki Machimura, a pioneer of dairy farming in Hokkaido, moved the farm from Ishikari-gun (Ishikari city) to the current location. The building is now open as a museum.
The building is a “King-style cowshed” in the early Showa era, where materials related to dairy farming such as Mr. Machimura’s materials and agricultural machinery at the time are displayed.

Ebetsu City Museum

Furusato Ebetsu, ancient Ebetsu, beginning of pioneering, town development, industrial history, and five themes of the Ebetsu Archaeological Site, an important cultural property, showcases the history and cultural assets of Ebetsu from 8500 years ago to today, Is open to the public.

There is also a corner where more than 500 world butterflies are displayed

Going to Ebetsu was a ton of fun! It was scary at first, but as I learned from my host family and the friends I made at school, they made life really fun and easy. They helped me out with getting settled and took me out to interesting and fun places which allowed me to learn more about Japan! If you have the chance to go on an exchange, definitely apply to go!


Exchange Student 2018