Unusual picnic marks a great friendship

Kawasaki Youth Friendship Ambassadors (from left) Kohei Ukisu, Noa Noguchi, Saki Hirano and Kirara Kuromiya enjoy the unusual culinary spread at Wollongong City Council. The council is celebrating 24 years of friendship with Kawasaki City. Picture: GREG TOTMANMeat pies and sushi may seem an unorthodox food pairing, but both played a starring role yesterday in welcoming a delegation of Japanese visitors to Wollongong.

The unusual culinary spread, which also included sausage rolls, mini hamburgers, rice paper rolls and Tim Tams, was part of a Wollongong City Council civic reception in honour of six visitors from Wollongong’s sister city Kawasaki.

The group included four primary school children, who won the trip to Australia after beating more than 5000 entrants in an annual essay and painting competition run by the Kawasaki Shinkin Bank.

Two bank delegates accompanied the students to Wollongong.

The group visited Symbio Wildlife Park on Monday, Wollongong Botanic Garden yesterday, and will go horse-riding at Darkes Forest today.

Year 6 student Kohei Ukisu, who lists his interests as bird watching, origami and stencilling, said he had been overwhelmed by the whirlwind visit, but had been impressed with Wollongong’s natural beauty.

“Everything has passed so quickly,” he said.

“Feeding an emu was the best part.

“I also liked seeing all the colourful parrots, and the kookaburra.”

Wollongong Lord Mayor Gordon Bradbery said it was a pleasure to welcome the youngsters.

“The children are ambassadors and will present essays and paintings to the city as a gesture of friendship between our two cultures,” he said.

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