The friendship has been nurtured between the calm village in Lavaux-Oron District and the town in Chiba, ever since the early 1970s when the most renowned person in Japan visited Switzerland.
Nagara Town is located in the center of the Boso Peninsula, about 50km to the southeast of Tokyo, and is a typical small town in the suburbs of Japan. Tucked away within the 3.3㎢ area of forest resort in the rich nature, Furusato Village, Nagara Town is a perfect place to escape from the bustle of the city. Switzerland is closely related to the history of this Furusato village.
In the fall of 1971, the Showa Emperor and Empress made a visit abroad, which was unprecedented as a public activity at that time. They visited 7 countries in Europe for 18 days.
On October 19, 1971, during their stay in Switzerland, they had a brief stopover in Clos Saint-Amour to see a vineyard by the Lake Geneva, where they were treated with the white wine of the finest quality. Samuel Porta, the owner of the vineyard, was a mayor of Grandvaux, an attractive village of neighbor.
Grandvaux sits on the northeast coast of Lake Geneva and produces wine in its 60 hectares of vineyards. Although the area is relatively small-scale, compared to other villages' vineyards in Grandvaux listed on the UNESCO World Heritage, the outstanding quality is well-known among experts. The village, as it sits by the lake, allows grapes to absorb the sun, reflected light of the lake, and the heat retained in the terraced vineyards, producing fragrant, dry wine.
After the Imperial visit, Grandvaux has maintained a strong bond with Japan. Eight years later in July 1979, the authorities of Furusato Village, Nagara Town, who had shown a keen interest in Grandvaux, and the Grandvaux Town Hall contacted each other to sign a sisterhood agreement. Since then, not only the delegation but also many wine exchanges are held. The Swiss Embassy in Japan promoted the realization of the sisterhood tie-up by donating the building of the former Swiss Embassy to this resort village in Chiba Prefecture. Though Grandvaux was integrated into Bourg-en-Lavaux in 2011, the exchange between the two continues.
In July 2020, 'Grandvaux Spa Village' has opened in RESOL NO MORI. Jean-François Parot, the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Swiss Confederation to Japan, joined the opening ceremony, celebrating a brand-new representation of the friendly relationship between Switzerland and Japan. A new chapter has opened in the history of the friendship between Grandvaux and Furusato Village.