Kokura Castle - 1602
burned 1865 - fully restored 1990
Kitakyushu, Japan and Norfolk, VA have have been affiliated since 1959. The affiliation began with Moji, one of the five towns that merged in 1963 to form the present-day Kitakyushu.
Located in northern Kyushu, Japan's southernmost island, this city of over 1,000,000 is a commericial port and industrial center situated halfway between Tokyo and Shanghai. It is surrounded by beautiful mountain regions where ancient crafts of pottery, weaving and glasswork are still practiced today. Kitakyushu boasts numerous museums, universities, and parks.



Norfolk Sister City Association oversees multiple programs with counterparts in Kitakyushu, including but not limited to:

  • Summer Educational Cultural Program with Kitakyushu since 1987
  • U.S.-Japan Teachers' Conference and Educational Symposium since 1989
  • Exchanges of Norfolk Public School teachers and university professors with counterparts in Kitakyushu
  • International Engineering Design Challenge competitions between Old Dominion University and Kyushu Institute of Technology in 1996
  • Intensive summer courses at Old Dominion University's English Language Center for Kitakyushu University students
  • Participation of Norfolk city development officials and business leaders in biennial Nishi Nippon Trade Fair in Kitakyushu
  • Cultural exchanges of performing arts groups, including musicians, dancers, drummers, and martial artists
  • Cultural visit and concert tour of "Voices of Virginia" from the Governor's Magnet School for the Arts to Kitakyushu in 1994, 1997, 1999, 2002, 2006, 2009, and 2013


Norfolk Sister City Association