Location of Aioi in Hyōgo Prefecture
|• Mayor||Yoshiki Taniguchi (since May 2000)|
|• Total||90.43 km2 (34.92 sq mi)|
|• Density||369.14/km2 (956.1/sq mi)|
|Time zone||Japan Standard Time (UTC+9)|
|Address||Asahi 1-1-3, Aioi City, Hyogo Prefecture (兵庫県相生市旭１丁目１番３号)
Aioi City was founded on October 1, 1942, and was enlarged to its present size on August 1, 1955. The city's name comes from the name of one of the villages that were merged to create the city. (Curiously, the name of the village was pronounced "Au", but used the same kanji characters as the present-day city.) During the Edo period, these villages were part of the Akō han (fiefdom of feudal lords) of Harima Province.
The main industry in Aioi is shipbuilding, which, despite many years of decline, still maintains a strong presence through Ishikawajima-Harima Heavy Industries (IHI).
Aioi is known for the annual dragon boat races held during the Aioi Peron Festival （相生ペーロン祭）, which takes place on the last weekend of May each year. In 1655, the dragon boat races were brought from China to Nagasaki. Later in 1922, some Nagasaki IHI workers were transferred to Aioi. They brought the dragon boat races with them.
Aioi is well connected with transportation. Aioi has two train stations and several major expressways and roads.
The two train stations in Aioi are: Aioi Station （相生駅） and Nishi-Aioi Station (West Aioi Station) （西相生駅）. Two train lines run though Aioi Station: Sanyō line (山陽本線, Sanyō-honsen) and the Akō Line (赤穂線 Akō-sen). The Sanyō line is the main train line running west and east along the Seto Inland Sea (瀬戸内海, Seto Naikai). The Akō line begins in Aioi and runs west through Nishi Aioi Station and Akō City and continues into Okayama Prefecture to Okayama City.
The city has a shinkansen station. It is commonly asserted that this was due to the influence of Toshio Kōmoto （河本敏夫）, a Diet member from the area when the Sanyo Shinkansen line was approved in the 1960s. Today, Aioi Station serves as a gateway to Harima Science Garden City, which hosts SPring-8, the largest synchrotron in the world, among other scientifically-oriented institutes and companies.
- Sanyo Expressway （山陽自動車道） (the connection is just outside Aioi in Tatsuno City)
- Harima Expressway （播磨自動車道） (there is no connection in Aioi, however)
- National Route
- Route 2 （国道2号）
- Route 250 （国道250号）
- Prefectural road
- Road 44 （兵庫県道44号相生宍粟線） (connects to the Harima Science Garden City)
- Road 568 （兵庫県道568号相生壷根公園線）
High School （高校学校 kōtōgakkō）
- Aioi High School （相生高校学校）
- Aioi Industrial High School （相生産業高校学校）
Junior High School （中学校 chūgakkō）
- Aioi Junior High School （相生中学校）
- Naba Junior High School （那波中学校）
- Futaba Junior High School （双葉中学校）
- Yanogawa Junior High School （矢野川中学校）
Elementary School （小学校 shōgakkō）
- Aioi Elementary School （相生小学校）
- Aobadai Elementary School （青葉台小学校）
- Chūō Elementary School （中央小学校）
- Naba Elementary School （那波小学校）
- Futaba Elementary School （双葉小学校）
- Yano Elementary School （矢野小学校）
- Wakasano Elementary School （若狭野小学校）
On November 2005, the city was mentioned in world news reports after a large daikon radish that grew though the pavement was found slashed. According to a city spokesperson, the radish was seen as an inspiration due to "its tenacity and strong will to live." The tenacious daikon, nicknamed "Daichan," has since been celebrated in a children's book. In 2006, a special firework representing the daikon was set off at the annual firework display preceding the dragon boat races.
- (Japanese) Wikipedia Japan: Toshio Kōmoto
- Wikipedia Japan: 赤穂郡
- Wikipedia Japan: 赤穂藩
- 27 May 2007: Date of the annual Aioi 'Peron' festival which includes boat racing for the whole of that day. Fireworks the previous night in Aioi.
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