Toba City is a beautiful coastal port city located 200 miles southwest of Tokyo. Like Santa Barbara, its economy revolves around the ocean and tourism, it is a center for nautical recreation with beaches, boating, and water sports of all kinds. Toba is the gateway to Ise-Shima National Park, a pristine woodland with deep significance to the history of Japan.
Presently, visitors enjoy such attractions as a 140-foot-tall observation tower and a large public aquarium. The observation tower provides views of a bay inlaid with gem-like islets. The aquarium houses a large variety of dolphins, whales, penguins, seals, and tropical fish in salt- and fresh-water tanks. Toba is perhaps best known as the home of Mikimoto pearls. It was here that the art of culturing pearls, and mariculture in general, was invented.
The Toba City/Santa Barbara affiliation was begun on March 8, 1966, and there have been several visits by citizens and officials of both cities. The city of Toba and the Toba Rotary Club have a Dolphin Friendship Fountain similar to the one in Santa Barbara. The fountain, as a joint effort of the two cities, symbolizes our lasting friendship.
View a video of Toba City, Japan.