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The 19th America-Japan Grassroots Summit 2009 will be held in Miyagi, Japan from July27 to August 3

March 25, 2009

Prime Minister Fukuda meeting with President Bush

Already planned your summer vacation?
If not, how about a once in a lifetime trip to Japan?

The America-Japan Grassroots Summit in Miyagi will be held this summer in north-eastern Japan, and offers you the opportunity to know the real Japan that cannot be experienced through regular tours and vacations.

Anybody can participate in Grassroots Summits, regardless of their age, sex or native language. The program includes a homestay in a rural area, where you can experience true Japan for yourself - from the culture to the hospitality of Japanese people and make lifelong friends. This exchange is a true grassroots, citizen to citizen program between Japan and America. The participation fee is rather reasonable as the Summit is organized by a non-profit organization and a local volunteer committee.

The Grassroots Summit in Miyagi starts with an Opening Ceremony and Welcome Party on July 28, in Matsushima.

Prime Minister Fukuda meeting with President Bush

Matsushima is one of the top 3 most beautiful areas of Japan and was awarded 3 stars by the Michelin Travel Guide. You will stay 2 nights at the famous Hotel Taikanso, which sits atop a hill, offering stunning views of the pine tree island lined bay. The Local Session (Homestay Program) is 3 nights and 4 days long, and will take place in one of the 15 specially chosen areas in Miyagi prefecture. On the last night, the Closing Ceremony and Farewell Party will be held in Sendai, the capital city of Miyagi.

During the Summit period, many unique local summer festivals will be held throughout Miyagi. If you want to experience the breathtaking Japanese summer festivals even more, a post-Summit optional program will be held in Northern Japan, offering you the opportunity to visit the Nebuta festival in Aomori prefecture, with lantern floats and fancing, the Sansa festival in Iwate prefecture that features a lively and artistic drum and dancing street parade and Tanabata festival in Sendai that is famous for the thousands of stunning streamers that decorate the streets.

Homestay programs in Kyoto and Noto, and hotel-stay programs in Tokyo and Hokkaido are also offered, amongst others.

If you would like the opportunity to experience true Japan - its beauty, its culture and its people - then this is the program for you.

Prime Minister Fukuda meeting with President Bush

For more detailed information, please visit the following homepage:



The John Manjiro - Whitfield Commemorative Center for International Exchange is a foundation that promotes grassroots exchange between Japan and America, commemorating the near 170 year long friendship between the Manjiro Nakahama and Captain Whitfield families.


In 1841, Captain Whitfield saved Manjiro, then a 14 year old boy when he was shipwrecked in the Pacific Ocean. Captain Whitfield took Manjiro to his home in Fairhaven and educated him at the local school. 10 years later Manjiro returned to his homeland and made a great contribution to the opening of Japan to other countries.


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