Bellevue and Yao’s Enduring Signs of Friendship!


【Photo courtesy of Yao City】
Bellevue, Washington has shared a sister city relationship with Yao, Osaka, Japan for over half a century.  Two years ago, at the 50th anniversary celebration in Bellevue, among the tokens of friendship exchanged between mayors of both cities were metal signs that read, “Yao City Drive (八尾市通り)”.  To mark 50 years of friendship, the City of Bellevue re-named a street near the Yao Garden in the Bellevue Botanical Garden, in honor of their “sister” in Japan. 
This gesture of friendship was reciprocated as the City of Yao dedicated part of a street near the newly renamed International Garden as “Bellevue Street (ベルビュー通り)” to further reflect the strong ties between the two cities. In November 2020, Yao installed seven of the new signs along the specially designated stretch of the street. These signs are tangible reminders for people visiting the park of the enduring friendship that Yao shares with Bellevue.
【Photo courtesy of Yao City】

【Photo courtesy of City of Bellevue】
Despite a delay due to the pandemic, at the beginning of May 2021, the new Yao City Drive street signs were unveiled and installed!  Even during the challenging times brought on by COVID-19, the strength of international friendships like that between Bellevue and Yao remind us to continue moving forward. If you have the opportunity to visit either location, please look for these signs and enjoy the gardens!