Mitsukaido Exchange

Mitsukaido Rotary Club website:

View Mitsukaido Exchange photo gallery

Some Mitsukaido Exchangees


The Mitsukaido Rotary members were all so welcoming and generous. I enjoyed talking to them about their life in Japan and what they knew about Australia. The highlight of the trip for myself was visiting the Nikko Temple in the snow. It was a great experience. I enjoyed trying the different Japanese foods, as they are very different to Australian food. In the future, once I finish University and get a job, I plan on coming back to Japan for a ski trip with my brother (who was also a Mitsukaido exchange). Hopefully we'll be able to meet up with some of the Mitsukaido Rotary members we met whilst on our Rotary International exchange. I believe this trip to Japan has equipped me with the skills to be able to travel to Japan again easily. (Ryan Cork, 2015) 

The time that I spent in Japan was absolutely amazing! Everyone in the Mitsukaido Rotary Club was so welcoming and made me feel so comfortable in their community. The highlight of the trip for me was going to Nikko and seeing the snow, it was amazing. I would like to sincerely thank all the Rotary members for making this experience so enjoyable for me as well as my host family who I was very lucky to stay with. They were great to stay with and I learnt so much about Japanese culture and their lifestyle off them. It was an incredible experience and I will never forget it. (Kaitlyn Lynch, 2015)

My experience to Mitsukaido, Japan, was an amazing one. The beautiful places we visited, the fun we had and most importantly the compassionate people we met, contributed to this incredible experience. For me the most unique experience was living in the grounds of a Buddhist Temple, the Japanese culture was so vastly different to that back home and made for not one dull moment. Every person whom we met in Mitsukaido, the Rotarians, past exchange students, high school students and teachers all greeted us with such kindness and generosity. The nature of all the Japanese people we met was truly a huge highlight of my trip. This trip was truly once in a lifetime and I am so grateful to all those who put in their own time and effort in order to make it possible. I absolutely believe this exchange is truly special and I implore you to continue it well into the future. (Georgia Wicks, 2015)


The Mitsukaido Exchange is an international exchange program for family and friends of Rotarians from the Rotary Club of Toowoomba and the Rotary Club of Mitsukaido, Japan. Participants experience other culture and build friendships by staying in the homes of Rotary club members of the reciprocating Rotary Club. 

The Rotary Club of Toowoomba's happy association with the Mitsukaido Club began on the 16th August 1981 when our inbound twelve month exchange student, Chiharu Iitska, arrived. Her exchange was so successful that close contact was maintained between our two Clubs, and in 1984 the enthusiastic, then Mitsukaido President, Mr Sumiya and his charming wife visited Toowoomba. China's parents and other Rotarians were also early visitors, and over the years since we have been delighted to welcome further Mitsukaido visitors.

Mr Sumiya suggested a short term student exchange between our two Clubs and, following our successful discussions, the exchange commenced in 1986 and has happily occurred nearly every year since.

The exchange has been for approximately seven days, Toowoomba in August and Mitsukaido in January.  Over a hundred and twenty-five students from Mitsukaido and Toowoomba have been involved, usually aged between 15 and 22, although our Bryant twins made history when they went to Mitsukaido aged only 11!  They did very well.  One of our first two students in 1986 was Akko Kitamura.  Twenty-four years later, Sawako, her daughter, and the following year her son, Hiroki, were our exchangees.

More than thirty Rotarians and family members have also visited either Mitsukaido or Toowoomba over the years, and we have found the hospitality, fellowship, care and organisation in Mitsukaido to be outstanding.  Many happy long term friendships have resulted.

In August each year 3-4 inbound students from Mitsukaido arrive in Toowoomba. These students are hosted by Rotarians from our Club and spend seven days experiencing much that Toowoomba and south-east Queensland has to offer. In January each year the Rotary Club of Mitsukaido reciprocates, hosting 3-4 of our outbound students for seven days in Japan.

In May 2013 our Rotarians PP Shane Doyle, PP Tim Davis and Sandra Searston visited the Rotary Club of Mitsukaido to participate in the Mitsukaido Club’s 50th Anniversary Celebrations. They were very warmly welcomed, hosted and looked after by their Japanese counterparts.

Rotary Club of Mitsukaido 50th Anniversary Celebrations

Some Mitsukaido Exchangees: 

Year  Outbound Inbound
2020 Sarah Coggan, Lucy Norman  
2019   Manami Nakajima, Matsumoto Syunsuke, Taku Wagatsuma
2017 Georgina Mullin, Tim Stark, Katlin Tilly
2015 Ryan Cork, Kaitlyn Lynch, Georgia Wicks Kazuma Osawa, Yuki Osawa
2014 Nikora Ruhe-Bennett, Elana Wilson, Emma Wilson Furuya Mayu, Shiori Nakagawa, Saki Someya
2013  Brent Cork, Max Gibson, Hamish Wicks
Momoko Nagaoka, Kaori Sato
2012  Mairead Davis, Molly Gibson, Maddie Wicks
Seika Furuya, Hidemaru Muto, Yumiko Someya, Momoka Tosaka
2011  Roisin Davis, Georgia Howe
Bronwyn Knee, David Searston Namiko Nohara, Moyuru Sumiya, Yuko Yamane
  Masashi Fujimura, Mayumi Nakano, Naoko Ojima
1999 Rebecca Capuzzo, Laura Jones, Zoe Gibson Mami, Misuzu, Mozomi, Rie, Yuki
1998   Noriko Kobayashi, Ayako Moriizumi, Mika Oshima, Reiko Seki,
Mika Yamazaki,
1997 Kate Bower, Amy O'Callaghan, Amy Watson,
Kylie Watson
Hiromi, Masato, Satomi, Sayaka, Shiori
1996   Masako Akita, Kyoko Akita, Yuya Yamazaki
1995   Yoko Ebihara, Tadashi Iwasaki, Yoshito Terada
1994 Bridget Bovill, Lian Keel Naoaki Hanai, Incko Iitsuka, Mariko Iitsuka, Mitsuo Iitsuka,
Atsushi Ochiai
1993 David Franzmann, Rebecca Parkinson,
Lauren Prendigh
Satoka Someya, Hirokazu Sunanaga, Noriko Suzuki,
Kin Hiroko Yamada
1992 Penny Litzow, Belinda Smith, Kenneth Walker,
Natalie Winfield
Hideharu Choutou, Takashi Kizawa, Mai Sasaki, Hideaki Shirai,
Yuko Yamanaka
1990 Elizabeth Fleming, Sandra Smart, Georgina Smith,
Sharon Taylor
Satomi Okuski, Hidekatzu Sumanaga, Yukari Suzuki
1986   Akko Kitamura