After many years of searching for the perfect match, it has been decided that Machu Picchu will pair with the town of Otama in Japan. The twin town project which was first conceived after the Second World War to foster good relations between nations continues to promote trade and tourism, and more recently is used to help form international business links.
Otama is a small town in the Fukushima region of Japan which has a special link with Machu Picchu dating back nearly 100 years. In 1917, at the age of 20, Yokichi Nouchi arrived to Peru from Otama. He worked as a railroad employee installing paths to Machu Picchu, this became his lifelong work, as he continued to support and contribute to tourism in the area, including helping to build a water plant and a hotel, and he also acted as head of a remote village for two years. Yokichi continued this work and served the area until he died in 1969.
Organisers are excited to be able to make this connection between the towns and to honor the man who did so much for the region. The twinning ceremony will be held next October at Machu Picchu.