HOT SPRINGS -- Hanamaki, Japan, and Hot Springs celebrated 30 years of friendship through the Hot Springs Sister City Program on Jan. 15. The event took place at Origami Sake.
The two cities connected as sister cities in 1993 and have since held many educational and cultural exchanges as well as student and citizen exchanges.
The event began with Origami Sake owners Ben Bell and Matt Bell (no relation) talking about how they came to start a sake brewery followed by group tours of the brewery, which uses Hot Springs water and Arkansas grown rice in its sake. Afterward, guests got a chance to taste three of the sake that will be available from Origami Sake.
The final event of the evening was a video call with a delegation from Hanamaki to toast the 30th anniversary of signing the Sister City agreement.
-- Story and photos by Cary Jenkins