Hiratsuka, is located in the Kanagawa Prefecture of Japan, some about 40 miles southwest of Tokyo, and 40 miles east of Mt. Fuji. It can be reached by railroad in about an hour from Tokyo, or about two hours from Narita International Airport. With a population of approximately 260,000, it serves as a suburban residential city as well as serving as a bedroom community for Yokohama and Tokyo commuters. Hiratsuka is noted for its popular annual summertime Tanabata Festival
A enduring symbol of the relationship between Hiratsuka and Lawrence is the existence of the Japanese Friendship Garden which was built in 2000.
Hiratsuka Youth Exchange
Each summer about 20 Lawrence youth in 7th to 12 grades participate in an exchange with Hiratsuka youth. Lawrence students visit Hiratsuka for approximately ten days, and then host Hiratsuka youth in their family homes to reciprocate.
Some limited scholarship support is available for students on a need basis.