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A poster designed by the French Government Tourism Bureau in 2008. The two world heritage sites on the sea, Itsukushima Shrine’s Otorii Gate and France’s Mont Saint-Michel, are having a conversation: “Did you go?” “Yes, I did!”

A courtesy visit was paid to Mont Saint-Michel in October 2008.

2008 marks the 150th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Japan and France. Thus the year was positioned as Japan-France Year of Tourism and Exchange, and various tourism campaigns were implemented between the two countries.

To promote such events, the French Government Tourism Bureau (currently the French Government Tourist Office) and the Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO) jointly developed posters, which included an image of Otorii Gate at Itsukushima Shrine as well as Mont Saint-Michel, a world heritage site in France. Further, Miyajima was selected by JNTO as one of the best tourist destinations in Japan that it wants to introduce to French people, and as a result, in October 2008 the city of Hatsukaichi together with eight tourist business owners in Miyajima participated in the Tourism and Exchange Seminar held in Paris by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport. They used the opportunity to promote Miyajima as a tourist destination.

At that time, we received an invitation from the Mayor of Mont Saint-Michel and paid a courtesy visit to cultivate a relationship between the two cities. Although it was only a short stay, it turned out to be an extremely fruitful occasion to promote exchange, during which the city of Mont Saint-Michel proposed that we become Tourism and Friendship Cities.

Mont Saint-Michel and Miyajima have much in common. They are both world heritage sites on the sea, have over a thousand years of history as places of faith, and are one of the most famous tourist destinations in their respective nations.

We in the city of Hatsukaichi saw the benefits and significance of forming the Tourism and Friendship City Agreement with Mont Saint-Michel, and on May 16th, 2009, held the Signing Ceremony for the Tourism and Friendship City Agreement between Hatsukaichi City and Mont Saint-Michel at Itsukushima Shrine. The Mayor of Mont Saint-Michel Eric Vannier attended the ceremony.

From now on, Hatsukaichi and Mont Saint-Michel will promote each other as tourist destinations, hold events on common themes, and deepen cultural exchange.

Currently, Hatsukaichi City is working on the preparation of Miyajima and Mont Saint Michel promotion corner, which will be set up in Miyajima Pier’s passenger terminal.

Conclusion and Signing of Tourism and Friendship City AgreementWorld Heritage Site – Mont Saint-Michel

Miyajima, an Island
where People and Gods
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