By Jeffery Smith email@example.com
CORNING - Seven Kakegawa, Japan, High School students enjoyed visiting the Corning Museum of Glass Thursday on the Corning Sister Cities group’s first day in the Crystal City.
Fifteen-year-old Mana Saito, a Kakegawa High School student, called Corning a beautiful city.
“I can’t wait to go to local supermarkets and local shops on Market Street,” Saito said. “It will be fun.”
The Kakegawa students, two chaperones and a translator arrived at the Elmira-Corning Regional Airport at about 9 p.m. Wednesday night. A welcome breakfast was held Thursday morning at the First Congregational United Church, off Pulteney Street.
Mary Woollatt, member of the Kakegawa, Japan, Sister Cities, said Kakegawa High School students visit Corning every August.
“It’s a lot of fun,” Woollatt said. “The entire trip will be.”
Mayor Rich Negri welcomed the Kakegawa students, ages 15-17, two adults and a translator to Corning Thursday morning at a breakfast at the church.
“This is a great relationship between Kakegawa and the City of Corning,” Negri said to the students through a translator. “I welcome (the students) to Corning. I’m very proud of our Sister Cities programs. It brings us all together.”
The Sister Cities group will travel to Niagara Falls, Canada, today, enjoy an entire day with host families Saturday and a farewell barbeque will be 1-5 p.m. Sunday at Margaret Smyers Park, Caton, before traveling to New York City and Washington D.C. next week.
Kakegawa students include Ayu Okada, Nanami Ito, Hina Nishyama, Ichike Sato, Shihomi Nakano, Maruyama Honoka and Mana Saito. The chaperons are Hideaki Okayama and Chiyuki Yamashita.
The Corning Sister Cities Association was established in 1987 to “promote peace through mutual respect, understanding, and cooperation – one individual, one community at a time.”
Corning currently has three sister cities: Lviv, Ukraine; Kakegawa, Japan; and San Giovanni Valdarno, Italy.