Stay informed on the latest news and updates from the Bloomington Sister City Organization.

Taste of Japan 2016 Details Announced

posted Dec 31, 2015, 11:29 AM by Bloomington Sister City

Here are the details on the 2016 Taste of Japan!

Calling All Marathon Runners!

posted Nov 10, 2015, 5:54 PM by Bloomington Sister City

Izumi City has issued a call for two marathon runners who live or work in Bloomington to participate in next February's Senshu Marathon. The two runners selected for this opportunity will have the chance to spend a week in Izumi City, stay with host families, and experience Japanese language and culture firsthand. These two individuals will be representatives of the city of Bloomington and will have travel and lodging expenses paid by the BSCO and IIEA. 

No Japanese language skills required!

Interested? Contact us via e-mail at   Runners will be selected by mid-November, so get in touch soon if you're interested in running a marathon in Japan!

Year In Review

posted Dec 8, 2014, 1:54 PM by migliaci   [ updated Dec 8, 2014, 1:56 PM ]

Izumi Delegation in August

The delegation of 10 high school and college students and 2 chaperones stayed in Bloomington from August 4th through the 17th, 2014

Host families spent time with students on weeknights and weekends.


2014 Taste of Japan dinner: a big success
The Bloomington Sister City Organization's largest and most important fundraiser, Taste of Japan, took place Saturday, March 22, 2014 at 6:00 p.m. at the Hilton Minneapolis/Bloomington, 3900 American Boulevard West.

We were very pleased by the turnout, it was fun to see everyone take part in the auction, heads-and-tails game and the entertainment.

Longtime supporter and board member Kodo Kawamura has passed away
Kodo was involved with the Bloomington Sister City Organization from the very beginning back in 1993.  His humor and enthusiasm will be missed, as will his photographic skills. 

Per the  obituary: "In lieu of flowers, memorials preferred to the Bloomington Sister City Organization"  If you would like to donate to the Bloomington Sister City Organization, you may mail a check to the BSCO at 1800 West Old Shakopee Road, Bloomington, MN 55431

2 Marathon runners from Japan this year
To commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Sister City relationship with Izumi, the BSCO hosted 2 runners from Japan this year as they compete in the Twin Cities Marathon on Sunday October 6th.   

New student board members

posted Feb 20, 2013, 9:12 AM by Bloomington Sister City

Welcome to new Student Delegates from Jefferson High School, Christine Ha and Kyle Johnson.  They join Ben Paul, Student Delegate from Kennedy High School.
With the focus the BSCO has always had on student exchanges, the Board ratified a change in the by-laws to allow for a 3rd Student Delegate on the board. 

Bloomington runners competed in marathon

posted Feb 20, 2013, 9:08 AM by Bloomington Sister City   [ updated Feb 20, 2013, 9:09 AM ]

The Izumi International Exchange Association (IIEA--our sister organization in Japan) hosted four runners who competed in the Senshu Marathon held in Izumi City, Japan on Sunday, Feb. 17, 2013.
Congratulations to Jennifer Johnson, Jaclyn Swords, Brian Melendez and Kelly Brinkman.  Check out pictures and race results here.

BSCO searches for student delegates

posted Jan 31, 2013, 9:54 AM by Jaclyn Swords

The Bloomington Sister City Organization is currently accepting applications for the upcoming student delegation trip to Izumi City, Japan this summer. Ten students will be selected who will travel with two chaperones from June 18 - July 2, 2013. 

The student delegation to Japan is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to experience Japanese culture first hand. Students will stay with host families, visit historic sites, and tour high schools and colleges.

Students who live in Bloomington or attend high school or college in Bloomington are eligible to apply. The deadline to apply is Feb. 15, 2013. The trip is estimated to cost each student $1,500.

Visit the Student Delegations web page for more information.

2013 Taste of Japan is approaching

posted Jan 31, 2013, 9:53 AM by Jaclyn Swords

The Bloomington Sister City Organization will host its annual Taste of Japan fundraiser on Saturday, March 2, 2013 at 6 p.m. at the Hilton Minneapolis/Bloomington, 3900 American Blvd. W. 

The event will feature a silent auction and Japanese themed dinner with live entertainment by Leo Hansen – an authentic Japanese flute player, Sansei Yonsei Kai dance group and St. Olaf College’s Taiko Drum group.

Proceeds from the Taste of Japan fundraiser will help sponsor student and marathon runner delegates traveling to Izumi City, Japan. These experiences have helped foster life-long connections to Japan and the promotion of peace through mutual respect, understanding, and cooperation.

Tickets are $50 for adults and $25 for students (22 yrs. & under). Tickets can be reserved or purchased online at:

New Board Members

posted Sep 25, 2012, 8:48 AM by Jaclyn Swords

The Bloomington Sister City Organization has recently appointed three new board members: Steven Hage, Sara Sengpanya and Gary Mattson. For more details about these new members visit the Board Members web page on our site.

BSCO would also like to extend a great ‘Thank You’ to outgoing Board Members: 
Alison Abrams, Steve Hill and Josh Ramirez. Their leadership and knowledge will be missed. The Board wishes them well in their future endeavors.

Japan one year later

posted Mar 13, 2012, 12:25 PM by Jaclyn Swords

A year ago this week, a tsunami wave crashed over a seawall in the city of Miyako, Japan, shortly after a devastating magnitude 9.0 earthquake struck the region.

Sunday, March 11, 2012 marked the first anniversary of the devastating quake, which triggered a monster tsunami that left many of Japan's coastal towns in ruins and sparked a nuclear disaster at the country's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

The twin disasters claimed more than 19,000 lives, and thousands of victims are still unaccounted for.

See National Geographic News's complete Japan earthquake and tsunami coverage.

Overseas Brats donates to Japan relief efforts

posted Mar 13, 2012, 12:17 PM by Jaclyn Swords

The Overseas Brats organization convened their Silver Anniversary Gathering in Bloomington this October and graciously raised over $2,000 for the disaster relief in Japan. The funds raised were donated to the BSCO, who in turn, forwarded the donation on to the Japanese Red Cross.

Overseas Brats is an organization of former students and educators who attended school abroad.

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