I visited Boulder’s sister city of Yamagata in Japan for a week in 1998, staying with a group of people from Boulder, Colorado who were taking part in a festival presenting aspects of Boulder’s culture to a Japanese audience. We also spent time learning about Japanese culture. I was hosted by two different families, Kenji Tamatsu and his mother Kikuko Tamatsu, and Mr. Yuichi Misawa. Prior to arriving in Japan I shipped over several boxes filled with notecards, t-shirts and CD’s of my musical project ‘Hut Trip’ to sell during the festival, which also featured buffalo burgers, Boulder Beer and indian music. I also played my banjo to a Japanese audience during a dinner celebration at Yamagata’s Grand Hotel at the end of the week. With the proceeds of the sale from my t-shirts and music, I was able to travel for another week, sketching and staying in youth hostels. These drawings were all done on location. I drank deeply of the culture and art of this ancient and beautiful country, and was appreciative for the sister-city connection.