Penticton woman finds a taste of home in rural Japan | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Penticton woman finds a taste of home in rural Japan

Chelsea Ishizuka found Penticton in rural Japan, offering some homestyle comfort.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/Chelsea Ishizuka
March 08, 2021 - 6:30 PM

If you ever find yourself in a small Japanese ski town called Iiyama, a roughly a three-hour train ride from Tokyo, you may find a taste of home.

That’s what happened to Chelsea Ishizuka, a Pentictonite who’s now living in Tokyo.

She’d heard there was a restaurant that shared her hometown’s name, so she ventured into the mountains to see it in person. Her first view offered an instant connection.

“The font on their sign leading to the restaurant looked very similar to the font Penticton uses on their signs, so that's kinda fun,” she said, when asked if there were any discernible ties.

“The interior and exterior of the restaurant had a strong B.C. ski lodge kind of feel to it.”

Once she got inside and settled in for a curry, she got a better picture of the tie between the two cities.

Ishizuka asked the owner why the restaurant had the name Penticton and realized that it wasn’t a coincidence.

It turned out he visited Penticton, and loved it there. He particularly liked the meaning of the word Penticton itself, or snpintktn, as it's spelled in the Interior Salish language. It is commonly translated as "a place to stay forever," or more accurately, “a place where people live year-round.”

Later they met up again by chance and discussed it further, and took a photo.

It was an encounter that struck a chord with both Ishizuka and the restaurant owner of Penticton.

Ishizuka took a photo of her encounter to the city’s community Facebook page, and told locals about her experience.

The owner of the Penticton restaurant did the same with his clientele.    

On the Japanese Penticton’s Facebook page, he wrote he visited the city after opening his restaurant and reflected on it being a “calm and happy” place, with a lake and many wineries while Ishizuka found it good cause to send "positive vibes from the other side of the world."

All in all, it showed what a small world it is, even in a pandemic.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Kathy Michaels or call 250-718-0428 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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News from © iNFOnews, 2021

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