Seattle is perhaps one of the most well-known cities in the USA among Japanese people. As far as flying time is concerned, Seattle is the closest American city to Japan.
The city thrived with the aviation industry and in the 20th Century it was well-known as the city where Boeing was located. Recently, Seattle became known as the city where Starbucks started. Outdoor brands like Eddie Bauer are from Seattle. Amazon started in Seattle and so did Microsoft.
When Japanese people hear the name “Seattle”, many people think of the Seattle Mariners, where Ichiro Suzuki played for years. Another fascinating thing about Seattle is the nature surrounding the area. While the center of the city of Seattle is modern and busy, the city is surrounded by deep forests and faces the ocean. In the suburbs, there are three national parks - Mount Rainier, North Cascade and Olympic. Seattle is near the Canadian border. It is named after a chieftain of the Native American tribe in the area.
Perhaps the city of Seattle is also best known for its weather. It is like Japan: a rainy season all year around. It is common for rain to last one week. However, when the rains stops and the sky is clear, it is just gorgeous.
The city is located on the West Coast; therefore, it has had a strong relationship with Japan for many years. Seattle has a twin city agreement with the city of Kobe in Japan.
The Seattle area is famous for companies in the IT industry, and the area, together with Portland, Oregon, is sometimes called the “Silicon Forest”.
Having said that, the city is now known for: its IT industry, such as Microsoft; coffees such as Starbucks or Tully’s Coffee; and even Ichiro Suzuki playing for the Seattle Mariners. All these came about within the last two decades. A few decades ago, when people talked about Seattle they would have mentioned Pike Place Market, King Dome or the Space Needle.
International Airport in Seattle is located in the city of Tacoma, and the area is often called “Sea-Tac”. Access to the center of the city from Sea-Tac is about thirty minutes.