Asahikawa, Hokkaidō


Asahikawa, Hokkaidō
Asahikawa
旭川
—  Core city  —
旭川市
Heiwa Street in Asahikawa

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Location of Asahikawa in Kamikawa, Hokkaidō
Asahikawa is located in Japan
Asahikawa
 
Coordinates: 43°46′N 142°22′E / 43.767°N 142.367°E / 43.767; 142.367Coordinates: 43°46′N 142°22′E / 43.767°N 142.367°E / 43.767; 142.367
Country Japan
Region Hokkaidō
Prefecture Hokkaidō
Government
 – Mayor Masahito Nishikawa
Area
 – Total 747.6 km2 (288.6 sq mi)
Population (July 30, 2011)
 – Total 352,105
 – Density 470.98/km2 (1,219.8/sq mi)
Time zone Japan Standard Time (UTC+9)
City symbols
- Tree Japanese Rowan
- Flower Azalea
- Bird Bohemian Waxwing
- Others Insect: Kantan (Oecanthus longicauda)
Phone number 0166-26-1111
Address 9-46 Rokujō-dōri, Asahikawa-shi, Hokkaido
070-8525
Website City of Asahikawa

Asahikawa (旭川市 Asahikawa-shi?) is a city in Kamikawa Subprefecture, Hokkaido, Japan. It is the capital of the subprefecture and the second-largest city in Hokkaido, after Sapporo. It has been a Core city since April 1, 2000. The city is currently well-known for the Asahiyama Zoo and Asahikawa ramen.

In July 31, 2011, the city had an estimated population of 352,105, with 173,961 households and a population density of 470.96 persons per km². The total area is 747.6 km².

Contents

Name

The Ainu called the Asahi River Chiu Pet meaning "River of Waves", but it was misunderstood as Chup Pet meaning "Sun River", and so it came to be called Asahi River in Japanese (Asahi meaning "morning sun").

Overview

On August 1, 1922, Asahikawa was founded as Asahikawa City. As the central city in northern Hokkaido, Asahikawa has been influential in industry and commerce. There are about 130 rivers and streams including the Ishikari River and Chūbetsu River, and over 740 bridges in the city.[1] Asahibashi, a bridge over Ishikari River, has been one of the symbols of Asahikawa since its completion in 1932, and it was also registered as one of the Hokkaido Heritage sites on October 22, 2001.[2]

Asahikawa Station
Asahikawa Airport

Asahikawa thrived as a military city before World War II, when the IJA 7th Division was posted there. Today, the second division of the northern army of the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force is headquartered in Asahikawa.

Every winter, the Asahikawa Winter Festival is held on the bank of the Ishikari River, making use of Asahikawa's cold climate and snow. On January 25, 1902, a weather station recorded -41°C, the lowest temperature in Japanese history.[3] Due to its climate and location surrounded by mountains, there are some ski resorts in the outskirts of the city.

Asahikawa is served by Asahikawa Airport which stretches over the outskirts of Asahikawa City and Higashikagura, Hokkaidō. It is a second class airport, and also a single-runway regional airport. It serves domestic destinations including Tokyo, but some airlines offer destinations in South Korea. Municipal buses also serve the city.

Asahibashi Bridge

History

  • 1890 Kamikawa District set up under Ishikari Province with the villages of Asahikawa, Nagayama and Kamui
  • 1900 Asahikawa Village becomes Asahikawa Town
  • 1914 Asahikawa Town becomes Asahikawa-ku
  • 1922 Asahikawa-ku becomes Asahikawa City
  • 1955 Kamui Village and Etanbetsu Village merge with Asahikawa
  • 1961 Nagayama Town merged
  • 1963 Higashi-Asahikawa Town merged
  • 1967 Asahiyama Zoo opened
  • 1968 Kagura Town merged
  • 1971 Higashi-Takasu Town merged
  • 1972 Japan's first permanent pedestrian mall Heiwadōri Shopping Park opened
  • April 1, 2000 Asahikawa becomes a Core city

Sister and friendship cities

Sister cities

Friendship cities

Education

Colleges and universities

Specialties

  • Asahikawa Ramen
  • Asahikawa furniture
  • Confectionery
  • Sake (Otokoyama, Takasago, Taisetsunokura)
  • Cocktail
  • Taisetsu Microbrew Beer "Taisetsu ji-beer"
  • Asahikawa mutton barbecue "Genghis Khan"
  • Pottery / Wooden handiwork (Arashiyama area)

Sightseeing

  • Arashiyama Pottery village
  • Asahibashi Bridge
  • Asahikawa Furniture Center
  • Asahikawa Museum of Sculpture in Honor of Teijiro Nakahara
  • Asahikawa Winter Festival / Illuminations (February)
  • Asahikawa Youth Science Museum "Saiparu"
  • Asahiyama Zoo (The most famous zoo in Japan)
  • Ayako Miura Memorial Literature Center
  • Hoppo Wild Flower Garden, famous for Erythronium japonicum (Dogtooth violet) that flower in May
  • Hokkaido Traditional Art Craft Village
  • Mount Tossho, also famous for Erythronium japonicum
  • Otokoyama Sake Brewing Museum
  • Romantic Road (tree tunnel and churches)
  • Ski Resorts (Kamui Ski Links, Santa Present Park, Pippu Ski Area, Canmore Ski Villiage etc.)
  • Sugai Amusement Factory
  • Yasushi Inoue Memorial Center

Notable people

Climate

According to the Koppen climate classification, Asahikawa features a humid continental climate (Dfb) with warm summers and very cold and snowy winters. Asahikawa winters are long and very cold, with average monthly temperatures from December through March failing to reach the freezing point. The city also sees an extraordinary amount of snowfall, averaging 760 cm (roughly 300 inches) of snow, per year. Summers are generally warm (but not hot) and humid in Asahikawa, with average high temperatures in the warmest months hovering around 26 degrees Celsius. Spring and fall are generally short and transitional in the city.

Climate data for Asahikawa, Japan(1971〜2000)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 11.7
(53.1)
9.7
(49.5)
18.8
(65.8)
29.6
(85.3)
32.8
(91.0)
34.6
(94.3)
35.0
(95.0)
36.0
(96.8)
32.4
(90.3)
25.0
(77.0)
22.0
(71.6)
14.7
(58.5)
36.0
(96.8)
Average high °C (°F) −4
(24.8)
−2.7
(27.1)
2.1
(35.8)
10.5
(50.9)
17.8
(64.0)
22.4
(72.3)
26.0
(78.8)
26.3
(79.3)
21.2
(70.2)
14.2
(57.6)
5.8
(42.4)
−0.8
(30.6)
11.6
Average low °C (°F) −12.6
(9.3)
−12.6
(9.3)
−7.5
(18.5)
0.1
(32.2)
5.8
(42.4)
11.3
(52.3)
16.0
(60.8)
16.7
(62.1)
10.9
(51.6)
4.0
(39.2)
−1.6
(29.1)
−7.9
(17.8)
1.9
Record low °C (°F) −41
(−41.8)
−38.3
(−36.9)
−34.1
(−29.4)
−19
(−2.2)
−7.1
(19.2)
−1.2
(29.8)
1.0
(33.8)
2.4
(36.3)
−1.8
(28.8)
−8
(17.6)
−25
(−13.0)
−30
(−22.0)
−41
(−41.8)
Precipitation mm (inches) 74.1
(2.917)
51.5
(2.028)
54.1
(2.13)
55.8
(2.197)
65.4
(2.575)
63.8
(2.512)
98.9
(3.894)
137.5
(5.413)
135.8
(5.346)
117.6
(4.63)
120.8
(4.756)
98.9
(3.894)
1,074.2
(42.291)
Snowfall cm (inches) 174
(68.5)
131
(51.6)
116
(45.7)
28
(11)
1
(0.4)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
4
(1.6)
114
(44.9)
191
(75.2)
759
(298.8)
humidity 80 79 69 67 66 74 78 79 77 78 81 82 75.8
Avg. snowy days 30.4 26.8 25.1 9.4 0.7 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 2.9 17.7 29.3 142.3
Sunshine hours 73.8 105.8 149.6 167.1 197.6 189.3 161.8 147.3 142.2 132.0 64.0 60.3 1,590.8
Source no. 1: Japan Meteorological Agency[4]
Source no. 2: Japan Meteorological Agency[5]

References

External links

Media related to Asahikawa, Hokkaido at Wikimedia Commons


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