About Washington State

Among the fifty states, there is none quite like Washington. Although it’s sometimes viewed as a small and unassuming state, Washington has a distinct history and culture, and is also a significant contributor to the economy and many US industries. The state’s name is taken from the first president of the US, George Washington, whose portrait is also featured on the state’s flag.


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Washington is located in the northwestern corner of the mainland United States. It is known as the “Evergreen State” due to its abundance of evergreen forests in the western part of the state. The state is split into west and east by the Cascade Mountains, with the west being more wet, mountainous, and green, and the east being more dry due to being in a rain shadow.


Famous Landmarks: Some of the United State’s most recognizable landmarks are in Washington. The Space Needle, built for the 1962 World Fair, resides in Seattle. Mt. Rainier is also near Seattle and is one of the most well-known mountains in the US.


Coffee: For multiple years, Seattle has been named the US city where the most coffee is consumed. It’s hard to overstate the importance and presence of coffee in Washington, where you can find a coffee shop on nearly every street corner. To add to Washington’s coffee obsession, Seattle is the location of the first ever Starbucks store.


Seafood: In addition to coffee, Washington is known for its seafood. With the Pacific Ocean to the west and an abundance of rivers and lakes, Washington has a big seafood industry. Salmon, Dungeness crab, razor clams, and albacore tuna are some of its most popular and sought-out seafood.


Education: Ranking in the top for state education and with over 40 higher education institutions, Washington State has a lot to offer in the realm of education.

Image by Andrea Leopardi
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Washington is one of the wealthiest states and serves a number of important industries. 

Lumber: Historically, lumber production has been a major industry in the state, and it remains so today, making Washington one of the largest lumber producers in the country.

Tech: Seattle is one of the greatest tech hubs in the US and is the center for tech giants like Amazon and Microsoft. The University of Washington, the state school in Seattle, has one of the most well-regarded computer science programs in the world.

Aerospace: Washington is also known for its aerospace industry, housing the most aerospace companies in the nation and being the largest supplier of aerospace technology in the US.

Agriculture: Compared to the western part of the state, the east consists mostly of agriculture and is one of the nation’s biggest providers of produce such as apples, hops, asparagus, and potatoes. Also, in recent years, Walla Walla in eastern Washington and Columbia Valley in southern Washington, both of which are close to the same latitude as Bordeaux, France, are producing wine which boasts number 2 in quantity in the US, after California.


Washington is a place of great significance in US history, being the location of important events like Lewis and Clark’s journey. However, it’s also the location of one of the first influxes of immigrants from East Asia to the US.

Ties to Japan: Many of the first-generation Japanese immigrants who came to the US in the late-1800s came to Seattle. Throughout the years, the Japanese immigrant community experienced a lot of discrimination and injustice, particularly around the time of WWII. In spite of its challenges, Japanese immigrants established a Nihonmachi (“Japan Town”) in Seattle’s International District, which by the early 1900s had become the heart of the Pacific Northwest Japanese community.



Today there are a number of Japanese institutions and events in Seattle, a result of the rich Japanese immigrant community living here and the friendship between Seattle and Japan - particularly Seattle and Kobe, which became sister cities in 1957. Just a few of these organizations and events are the Japanese Cultural and Community Center of Washington (JCCCW), the Seattle Japanese School, the annual Seattle Cherry Blossom Festival and the Japanese Cultural Festival, and of course the Hyogo Business and Cultural Center (HBCC).