Toshizo Ido
Governor of Hyogo Prefecture

The 29th Japan-America Grassroots Summit will be held in Hyogo Prefecture, following the 28th in Washington, the state Hyogo has fostered 55 years of friendship with. I would like to extend my heartfelt welcome to all those coming to the Summit.
Hyogo Prefecture faces the Sea of Japan in the north, and the Seto Inland Sea and the Pacific Ocean in the south. It is composed of various types of places, such as urban cities, agricultural regions, mountainous areas, and remote islands. Due to its diverse climate and culture, Hyogo Prefecture is often called “a Japan in Miniature.” As such, diversity is the greatest charm of Hyogo. With many foreign residents playing active roles in local communities, proactive attitudes toward creating a multicultural society have taken root within the citizens of Hyogo.
The Summit in Hyogo-Himeji will start at the World Heritage site Himeji Castle, followed by local sessions elsewhere that feature diverse regional characteristics and resources. The final venue is Awaji Island, the stage of Japan’s creation myth. I hope many will come and directly experience the many charms of Hyogo Prefecture. I am sincerely looking forward to welcoming you in Hyogo.

Toshikatsu Iwami
Mayor of Himeji City

On behalf of the City of Himeji, it is with pleasure that I extend my warmest greetings and welcome to our incoming guests for the 29th Japan-America Grassroots Summit.

Himeji boasts a proud heritage not only of nationally treasured sites such as the Himeji Castle—Japan’s very first UNESCO World Heritage Site—and Engyo-ji Temple, but also the rich culture and history of a castle town. Blessed additionally with a moderate climate and an abundance of natural beauty and resources, our city’s wealth of charisma draws visitors in from all parts of the world.

It is our honor to provide the opening stage for this summit, from which deeper understanding, along with new friendships between individual Japanese and American citizens will surely take root.

I am looking forward to meeting everyone at the Opening Ceremony and Reception.

Motoi Oyama
Chairman, Japan-America Society of Kobe
Chairman and CEO, ASICS Corporation

As chairman of the Japan-America Society of Kobe, I am very pleased that the 29thJapan – America Grassroots Summit 2019 will be held in Hyogo – Himeji.
Since the opening of Kobe Port to the world in 1868, Hyogo has enjoyed relationships with a great many countries and seen a wide range of cross-cultural exchange. It has become the nation’s leader in terms of its enterprising spirit and its multiculturalism.

This Grassroots Summit in Hyogo – Himeji will be fascinating. You will have the chance to visit the world heritage site of Himeji Castle, experience wonderful culture, cuisine the sights of a selection of different locations. I hope you will to come to know Hyogo, to love Hyogo and that this Summit will promote friendship between Japan and America.
I am truly looking forward to meeting you all when you arrive here.

What is the Japan - America Grassroots Summit?

The Japan-America Grassroots Summit is an annual large-scale meeting of Japanese and American citizens, held alternately in Japan and America. It celebrates the historic friendship between Nakahama Manjiro and Captain William Whitfield.
Whitfield rescued the marooned Manjiro in 1841 and shared his own home.
Later, Manjiro’s rare command of English and salutary experience in America became pivotal to the Japan/US relationship after Perry’s arrival in 1853.
Each year, Japanese prefectures and American states alternate as hosts for about a week, sharing their homes and the unique features of their communities. More than 100 people usually participate as guests, enjoying sight-seeing, cultural activities, welcome and closing ceremonies, and staying with a host family.

The Grassroots Summit Consists of the Three Exchange Events
People of all ages and backgrounds participate in the Summit, but they all have on thing in common: a desire to create stronger ties and greater understanding between the people of Japan and America.

The Grassroots Summit starts with Opening Ceremony and Welcome Reception. Welcome speeches and local cuisines is offered at the ceremony and the reception. This convivial party is the first opportunity for participants to meet the people of their host region, including volunteers and dignitaries.

During this program, participants will experience the unique culture of the local area through the four days and three nights homestay. The local town leaders and host families work together to share the best features of their town. This person-to-person exchange is the essence of the Japan-America Grassroots Summit.

The Closing Ceremony and Farewell Reception are the final events, allowing everyone to reflect on, and celebrate their experiences. There are attended not only by the participants but also by host families, volunteers and others connected in the Summit. True grassroots exchange builds on this depature point.


June 24(Mon.) Depart USA
June 25(Tue.) Arrive Itami Airport via Narita/Haneda
Move to Himeji by bus
[ Stay at Hotel Monterey Himeji ]
June 26(Wed.) Optional Local Tour
Opening Ceremony
Welcome Reception
[ Stay at Hotel Monterey Himeji ]
June 27(Thu.) To Local Session Area
[ Home-stay ]
June 28(Fri.) Local Session
[ Home-stay ]
June 29(Sat.) Local Session or spend whole day with host family
[ Home-stay ]
June 30(Sun.) Depart Local Session area for Awaji
Closing Ceremony and Farewell Reception at Awaji Yumebutai International Conference Center
[ Stay at The Westin Awaji Island Resort & Conference Center ]
July 1(Mon.) Leave for Itami airport by bus
Fly back to USA via Narita/Haneda
Extend stay in Japan, joining one of the Post Summit Optional Programs or on your own plan

* The program schedule may change due to unforeseen circumstances.

Opening Ceremony & Welcome Reception

I-Messae Hall

The multi-purpose “I-Messae Hall” is located inside of “Egret Himeji” which is in front of the Cultural World Heritage site of Himeji Castle which is also designated a National Treasure. With its sound and interpretation systems and a 350-person capacity, the hall provides a venue for international conventions as well… not to mention Egret Himeji’s breathtaking view of the Castle.

Seiko Club

A 7-minute walk to the east of Himeji Castle, designated as a world cultural heritage and a national treasure, will bring you to the Seiko Club. It has served as a venue for wedding receptions, as a site to host award ceremonies, anniversaries, and other occasions with heartfelt hospitality.

Closing Ceremony & Farewell Reception

Closing Ceremony and Farewell Reception will be held at Awaji Yumebutai, the majestic look of this unique complex which is designed by internationally acclaimed architect Tadao Ando, holds a high quality conference center and the Westin Awaji. The world’s longest suspension bridge leads you to “Yumebutai – A stage of Dreams” on beautiful Awaji Island.

Awaji Yumebutai
International Conference Center

Address: 1 Yumebutai, Awaji City, Hyogo 656-2306 Japan
Tel: +1-799-74-1020

Hotel information

Hotel Monterey Himeji
Hotel Monterey Himeji offers chic and elegant guest rooms that blend Art Deco designs with accented Japanese elements, making for a pleasant and relaxing stay for both business and leisure travelers.


Address: 670-0927 60 Ekimae-cho, Himeji, Hyogo, Japan
Tel: +81-79-224-7111

The Westin Awaji
Overlooking tranquil Awaji Garden City, a short drive from Kobe, The Westin Awaji’s rooms elevating comforts promise wellness and rejuvenation. The cozy room offer superb the view of both the lush greenery of the surrounding park and of the Inland Sea.


Address: 656-2301 Hyogo, Awaji, Yumebutai 2, Japan
Tel: +81-799-74-1111