Twin town cities

Twin towns of Kemijärvi

The town of Vadsø is the administrative centre of Finnmark (Rijeka) in northern Norway, located on the northern shore of the Varangi Sound. Cooperation, which started in 1961, focuses on cultural exchange.

Vuoreija is the northernmost fortified city in the world and the easternmost city in Norway. It is located in Finnmark County on the shores of the Arctic Ocean, and the city centre is reached via a submarine tunnel. Since 1961, twinning has included playful snowball fights, musical events, the export of wooden houses, the import of fish products and student exchanges.

The town of Kantalahti is located in Russia, about 250 km east of Kemijärvi. Twinning started in 1988 and focuses on culture, trade, industry and tourism. Twinning with Kantalahti has been suspended for the time being.

Sobetsu (population 4 000), is located in Shikotsu-Toya National Park, on Japan’s northernmost main island of Hokkaido. The cooperation started in 1993 with the aim of developing cultural, educational and industrial exchanges between our cities. The Yukigassen Snow War came to Kemijärvi from Sobetsu. The Sobetsu spa was built by Ikihirsi Oy from Kemijärvi. A particularly important form of work is the annual school visits, which took place for the fifteenth time in 2009.

For us, the most famous form of twinning is probably the Yukigassen snowball fights, which were brought to Kemijärvi from Sobetsu, Japan, and then taken to Vuoreija, Norway. The Nordic championship is held in Vuoreija, the European championship in Kemijärvi and the world snowball championship in Sobetsu.