Dubbo leaves lasting impression

First-time delegates from the Japanese city of Minokamo have been amazed by Dubbo's flat landscape and big blue sky.

But repeat visitors have noticed Dubbo's growth and how colourful the city looks in the warmer months.

The 11-member delegation from Minokamo had a four-night stay in their Australian sister city before leaving yesterday.

Interpreter Keiko McLennan said those seeing Dubbo for the first time said it was a beautiful city and they were impressed by the nature and the friendly people.

Other members of the delegation remarked on the city's growth and that there were more shops than when they had last visited.

The Archibald Prize and Westhaven's ugg boot factory had made a good impression on everyone, Ms McLennan said.

They had also taken note of the bar at Dubbo Regional Theatre and Convention Centre because in Japan, theatres did not have bars, she said.

"That is a good idea from Dubbo," she said.

"This visit is a good opportunity because they are thinking about what they might change in Japan."

The delegation also found a contrast from their lifestyle in Japan, which was "work, work, work".

In Dubbo people had more time to relax and enjoy the facilities, Ms McLennan said.

But both lifestyles had positives and negatives, she said.

Dubbo City Council's Kylie Sutherland was struck by how returning visitors held their memories of Dubbo with "warmth and affection".

They loved to reconnect with people they had met, either at Dubbo or at Minokamo during the visit of a delegation from Dubbo, the sister city officer said.

In the 10 years since the gift of the Shoyoen garden, the Minokamo citizens had maintained their interest and passion for the tangible sign of the sister-city relationship, Ms Sutherland said.

Minokamo held a small celebration for the 10th anniversary that mirrored the one at Shoyoen on Saturday night, which showed how far the relationship had advanced, she said.

"The sister-city relationship is more highly visible in Dubbo now and more people have been touched by it," Ms Sutherland said.

faye.wheeler@ruralpress.com

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