Nestled at the southernmost tip of Budd Inlet, Olympia has been lovingly called “The Pearl of Puget Sound”. Located 60 miles south of Seattle in the northern part of Thurston County, Olympia covers an area equivalent to 18.1 square miles with a population of approximately 48,000. Olympia’s climate is characterized by warm, generally dry summers and wet, mild winters.

Olympia received its name in the spring of 1850 in reference to the beautiful snowcapped Olympic Mountains that form the northward view. In 1853, when the Washington Territory was created, Olympia was named the Territorial Capital by Congress. Today, Olympia is the capital city of the State of Washington.





The City of Kato was founded on March 20, 2006 from the merger of the former towns of Takino, Tojo and Yashiro — all from Kato District.

Kato is located near the cities of Osaka and Himeji and lies about 18 miles northwest of Kobe, the capital of Hyogo Prefecture.

Kato has an estimated population of approximately 40,300. The city covers an area equivalent to 60 square miles in south central Hyogo Prefecture. Today it has become a local center, socially, politically, and economically.

The long history of Kato is reflected in its many cultural treasures, temples, and shrines.  The original town of Yashiro began as a medieval temple at the southern foot of the Chugoku Mountains. In 1978, the National Government completed the Hyogo College of Education in what was then the city of Yashiro.  The once tiny temple town now has become a sizable college town representing the educational activities of the entire prefecture. Also, part of a Prefectural Natural Park is located in Kato, which draws excursionists and weekenders during all seasons of the year.

Kato is basically an agricultural community, engaging in modern truck farming with strong advantage due to its nearness to the Kobe-Osaka areas.  Further, with its favorable location along the Trans-West Japan Express Way, modern industrial manufacturing is taking place there as well.