Updated at 2023-05-08
Over the past seven years, Taoyuan City has continued to strengthen its international exchanges, raise its international visibility, and gradually enhance the international perspective of the public and private sectors to create business opportunities. To date, it has forged alliances with 33 cities around the world, laying a solid foundation for city diplomacy. In addition to sharing governance expertise, it also maintains ties through various exchange activities.
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, international cities have only been able to communicate with each other online through video conferencing. The "Meet Our Friendship Cities in Taoyuan" Exhibition had participation from 14 sister cities and friendly cities from five countries in Asia, the Americas and Europe. Commemorative gifts and wonderful products from various countries were on display, enabling visitors to the Taoyuan exhibition to enjoy a taste of cities overseas and feel the glow of warmth and friendship from afar.
Kaga is a city located in Japan's Hokuriku region, which has abundant natural charm. The 1,300-year-old hot springs include the Yamanaka Onsen, Yamashiro Onsen, and Katayamazu Onsen, all of which have different qualities and health-giving properties. The Kaga Onsenkyo Marathon is held every spring during cherry blossom season, and the traditional craft town famous for Kutani-yaki (painted porcelain) and Yamanaka lacquerware are also essential stops on tourist itineraries.
After Taoyuan was upgraded to a special municipality, Kaga City was the first to sign a friendship-city alliance with it. The two sides forged the alliance on May 19, 2016. The exchange programs are extensive, covering areas such as tourism, economy, and education. The Kaga City Marching Band was invited to participate in the opening performance at the 2017 Taoyuan Band Festival. When COVID-19 was raging around the world, Taoyuan City spared no effort to help its friendship cities—donating masks, hand sanitizer, goggles, gloves, protective gowns and other anti-COVID materials—to show its international friends that Taoyuan cares.
It is said that kutaniyaki originated in the hot spring region of Yamanaka. Today, it represents the colorful ceramics of Kanazawa, Komatsu, Kaga, and Nomi. Famed for its color, there is a saying that "lacquerware without color is not Kutani." Kutani lacquerware comes in various Japanese hard colors, including green, yellow, red, purple, and indigo. Pieces are first glazed and baked in a kiln. Then, they are painted over and rebaked, creating lacquerware with intricate yet bold colors.
Kutani ware, a traditional Japanese craft, originated in Kaga City in the early Edo period (1655). It is painted with the classical five colors known as gosai-de: red, yellow, green, purple, and blue.
Yamanaka lacquerware was born about 450 years ago in the Yamanaka Onsen area in Kaga City. Since ancient times, Kaga City has had many kijishi (master craftsmen who grind and treat wood before it is lacquered), and the area boasts the foremost traditional craft products in the country. In modern times, lacquerware is mainly used to produce creative works.
The Kaga Onsenkyou Marathon is held every year in mid-April. Runners come from all over Japan to experience the Kaga Onsen. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, runners from Taoyuan also participated annually.
The mascot Kamoyann lives in Shibayama Lagoon in Katayamazu Onsen. He likes the roofed boats cruising on Shibayama Lagoon and cherishes the boat-shaped hat his mother made him.
According to legend, the creature that discovered Yamashiro Onsen was a three-legged crow who would bathe in the large pool every morning. The crow is now the mascot of Yamashiro Onsen.