Mayor Katsumaru Katsui of Ikeda addresses the crowd in the Ikeda Japanese Garden on Sept. 4. He and 16 other delegates are visiting Penticton to celebrate the 40th anniversary of their sister-city friendship. Jordyn Thomson/Western News

New garden plaque commemorates 40-year friendship with sister city Ikeda

The plaque was unveiled in the Penticton-Ikeda Japanese Garden on Sept. 4

The 17 visiting Japanese delegates from Penticton’s sister city of Ikeda spent the morning enjoying the garden they helped found.

“Through (Ikeda’s) initiative, a partnership has grown between our two cities and the outcome over 40 years is this most beautiful garden,” said Councillor Judy Sentes, at a special ceremony held on Tuesday. “Together, we have created this garden which is, in fact, a legacy for future generations.”

The Penticton-Ikeda Japanese Garden, located behind the Penticton Art Gallery, was opened in 2005 as a result of the partnership. It has been cared for over the years by the volunteers with the Japanese Garden Committee and on Sept. 4, a new plaque was revealed to commemorate the friendship.

Last year marked the 40th anniversary of the Ikeda and Penticton sister city friendship. More than 30 exchanges to and from Japan have taken place in that time. In May 2017, nine delegates representing Penticton toured to Japan to start the 40th year celebrations.

Related: Penticton renews an old friendship

Multiple delegates gave speeches at the unveiling on Tuesday, including former mayors of Penticton, current mayor of Ikeda, Katsumaru Katsui, and Sentes.

“This is our 15th visit to Penticton. I am so pleased to be greeted by (all of) you here, it has been two days and I have been treated so well,” said Katsui via a translator. “Looking at this park, I think that it is better than some parks in Japan.”

The chestnut wood sign hung above the entrance to the garden was sent from Ikeda in 2005 and the Japanese characters inscribed were designed by Katsui.

“I hope this sign not only welcomes but provides happiness to the garden visitors,” said Katsui. “I sincerely hope our long-lasting relationship will last into the future.”

The Japanese Garden Committee also presented the delegates with a painting as a thank you for inspiring the creation of a Japanese garden within the city.

Related: Mayor’s Minute: A visit to our sister-city Ikeda

According to Sue Harvey, a volunteer with the Japanese Garden Committee, each time the Ikeda delegates have visited Penticton since the garden was built, they bring volcanic stones from their home to place within it.

“It’s symbolic, and it’s kind of a fun thing as well. So I am so glad they brought some again,” said Harvey. “We’re going to place them around (the plaque).”

The delegates arrived on Sept. 2 and will enjoy three busy days of cultural and economic tourism in the South Okanagan thanks to the Penticton-Ikeda Sister City Society. Both cities are similar due to their flourishing industries based on wine, tourism and agriculture.

The civic dinner will take place Sept. 5 aboard the SS Sicamous, commencing at 6 p.m. A limited number of tickets to the dinner are available at Penticton City Hall.

It is anticipated that Katsui will be presenting their “city to city” gift at this dinner, at which point the City of Penticton will do the same.

For those interested in learning more about the Penticton-Ikeda Sister City Society, please contact

To report a typo, email:

Jordyn Thomson | Reporter


Send Jordyn Thomson an email.
Like the Western News on Facebook.
Follow us on Twitter.


Just Posted

UPDATE: Penticton resident’s dog found safe

Nicholas Bozak thanks the public for finding his 17 month old mastiff chow

Survivorship Dragon Boat Team wins in Vernon

Team takes top spot in A division at festival

RDOS contributes funds to arts centre workshop

South Okanagan Performing Arts Centre Society wants input into proposed facility

Great horned owls returned to the wild in the South Okanagan

Great horned owls plucked by crows from their nest last April have been released back into the wild

Youth Wellness Gathering aims to empower, educate South Okanagan youth

The event is hosted by a non-profit located on the Penticton Indian Band (PIB) reserve July 22 & 23

July showers wash out half of the Okanagan’s cherry crop

Cherry growers say this is the worst season they’ve seen in decades

Body, burning truck found near northern B.C. town

RCMP unsure if the two separate discoveries are related

Kelowna car thief’s sentencing delayed

Stanley Nickason pled guilty car theft charges in B.C. Supreme Court

Development gives Kelowna community garden the boot

Glen Valley residents given a few days to break it down before land development

Couple found dead along northern B.C. highway in double homicide

Woman from the U.S. and man from Australia found dead near Liard Hot Springs

World-famous sopranos to hold concert in Okanagan

Two Canadian sopranos are bringing their world-famous voices to the Okanagan for one night only

Kelowna RCMP release video of reckless theft out of Southwest Mission

“Their tactics were anything but subtle,” states Cpl. Jesse O’Donaghey

UPDATE: West Kelowna fawn euthanized, not claimed by sanctuary

Gilbert the deer has been euthanized after a suitable home was not found in time

BC Wildfire Service warns wet weather no reason to be complacent

Fire risk currently low for much of B.C. compared to same time over last two years.

Most Read