Richmond-Shimada Ambassador Program

Richmond-Shimada Ambassador Program

Experience Japan through the Richmond-Shimada Friendship Commission's Ambassador Program. Student and teacher ambassadors live with host families, attend language and/or cultural classes, visit schools, speak to community groups and participate in local events. Upon returning to Richmond, all Ambassadors are required to take part in local Friendship Commission activities and are encouraged to host youth ambassadors from Shimada, Japan.

The Richmond Shimada Commission also coordinates visits from youth in Shimada, Japan. While the Shimada Youth Ambassadors are in Richmond, they attend conversational English classes, attend civic activities, visit Richmond schools and local attractions. Friends and supporters of the Richmond Shimada Sister City program graciously contribute by opening their homes to our visitors.  If you are interested in becoming a host to give the Shimada youth an experience of living with an American family, please contact the Richmond Shimada Friendship Commission for details.

Host families provide transportation, food and lodging for their guest. During the visit, the commission coordinates cultural activities that offer a touch of American life to our visitors. The excursions include visits to local high schools, youth programs, tourist attractions, recreational activities and meetings/special events at City Hall.

The Richmond Shimada Commission hosts youth from Shimada, Japan, in March of every year for 10 days. If you are interested in hosting one of our guests in your home, please contact a member of the Commission for details. You may access the host family flyer and application by clicking the following links.
 Host Families Needed                                        Host Family Application

If you need additional information about the Youth Ambassador Program, please phone Marilyn Alford at 510-823-3613 or email  or email  
 Student Ambassador Application                       Adult Chaperon Application
Youth from Richmond high schools travel to Shimada, Japan in late June of each year to experience Japanese culture first hand for four weeks. Applications for the following year are posted in December. If you are interested in the program, please contact us.

Shimada is a city located in Shizuoka Prefecture of central Japan. It distributes lumber products, manufactures machinery and produces food products. Tea and mandarin oranges are cultivated on the plateau near the city. During the Edo Period (1600-1868), Shimada was a crossing point for the Oi River and was a prosperous post-station town on the Tokaido highway. Because of its importance in cross-Japan travel, Shimada has been depicted in woodblock prints by Utagawa Hiroshige and in poetry by Matsuo Basho, a 17th century poet who helped perfect the art of haiku.