The Sister City agreement with Otari Village was signed in 1991.
Otari is a small town of approximately 5,000 people located in the Japanese Alps, directly east from Tokyo on the main Japanese island of Honshu. It is a holiday resort town catering for the ski season with numerous ski runs and chair lifts supplemented by hotels and restaurants.
The first contact regarding this Sister City relationship arose through friendships made in the Outward Bound movement (Otari is home to an Outward Bound School).
Following the signing of the Otari Sister City Agreement in 1991 the Otari Village Council approached Marlborough requesting assistance of young people from Marlborough to work in Otari during the ski season.
As a consequence, an agreement was signed with Otari allowing for young people between the ages of 18 and 25 to work in Otari on the ski slopes, accommodation houses and restaurants for the period mid December to late March each year.
This programme was discontinued by mutual consent in 1997. The Nagano prefecture where Otari is situated hosted the 1998 Winter Olympics.
There is also a student exchange with Otari. Four students and a teacher visit Marlborough in March. The reciprocal visit by the Marlborough group to Tendo (as above) also visit Otari.
A number of delegations have either visited Otari or conversely Marlborough.