The city calls itself "The Navel of Japan (Nihon no Heso)." Located at the crossing of the 135° East meridian and the 35° North parallel, the city's Nihon no Heso Park marks the center of the nation. JR West operates Nihon Heso Station on the Kakogawa Line (in addition to other stations in Nishiwaki).
Nishiwaki, Japan and Renton, WA, became sister cities in 1969 (). Since then there have been mutual exchanges between the two cities, most notably the annual middle school exchange program which began in 1989 (The US delegation was in Japan from October 3 - 13th, 1989). The initial delegation from the US included (future) actress Casey Strand.
Street sign in Renton, WA commemorating its sister city