Asahikawa, Hokkaido

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Asahikawa
旭川市
Core city
Flag of Asahikawa
Flag
Location of Asahikawa in Kamikawa Subprefecture, Hokkaido
Location of Asahikawa in Kamikawa Subprefecture, Hokkaido
Asahikawa is located in Japan
Asahikawa
Asahikawa
Location in Japan
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 Hokkaido
Prefecture Hokkaido
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)
Symbols
- Tree Japanese Rowan
- Flower Azalea
- Bird Bohemian Waxwing
- Others Insect: Kantan (Oecanthus longicauda)
Address 9-46 Rokujō-dōri, Asahikawa-shi, Hokkaido
070-8525
Phone number 0166-26-1111
Website www.city.asahikawa.hokkaido.jp

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.[1][2] It has been a core city since April 1, 2000. The city is currently well known for the Asahiyama Zoo and Asahikawa ramen.

On 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 (1,219.8 persons per sq. mi.). The total area is 747.6 km2 (288.6 sq mi).[2]

Name[edit]

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[edit]

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.[3] 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.[4]

Heiwa Street 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 (−41.8 °F), the lowest temperature in Japanese history.[5] Due to its climate and location surrounded by mountains, there are some ski resorts in the outskirts of the city.

Asahibashi Bridge

History[edit]

Asahikawa was populated by mainland Japanese in the Meiji period (1868 – July 1912) as a tondenhei, or state-sponsored farmer-militia settlement.[1]

Kamikawa District set up under Ishikari Province with the villages of Asahikawa, Nagayama and Kamui in 1890.

  • 1900 Asahikawa Village becomes Asahikawa Town
  • 1914 Asahikawa Town becomes Asahikawa-ku

Asahikawa was elevated to city status in 1922.[2]

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.

  • 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

Climate[edit]

According to the Köppen climate classification, Asahikawa features a humid continental climate (Dfb) with warm summers and cold and extremely snowy winters. Asahikawa winters are long 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 just under 7.6 m (25 ft) of snow per year. Summers are generally warm 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, Hokkaido (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)
34.6
(94.3)
35.0
(95)
36.0
(96.8)
32.4
(90.3)
25.0
(77)
22.0
(71.6)
14.7
(58.5)
36.0
(96.8)
Average high °C (°F) −4
(25)
−2.7
(27.1)
2.1
(35.8)
10.5
(50.9)
17.8
(64)
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
(52.8)
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
(35.4)
Record low °C (°F) −41
(−42)
−38.3
(−36.9)
−34.1
(−29.4)
−19
(−2)
−7.1
(19.2)
−1.2
(29.8)
1.0
(33.8)
2.4
(36.3)
−1.8
(28.8)
−8
(18)
−25
(−13)
−30
(−22)
−41
(−42)
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
(42.292)
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)
756
(297.6)
Avg. snowy days 30.4 26.8 25.1 9.4 0.7 0 0 0 0 2.9 17.7 29.3 142.3
 % humidity 80 79 69 67 66 74 78 79 77 78 81 82 75.8
Mean monthly 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 #1: Japan Meteorological Agency[6]
Source #2: Japan Meteorological Agency[7]

Economy[edit]

Asahikawa developed as an industrial center in Hokkaido after World War II. The city is noted for its lumber and brewing industries, as well as the production of furniture and paper pulp.[1]

Education[edit]

Universities[edit]

National[edit]

Private[edit]

Colleges[edit]

  • Asahikawa National College of Technology

High schools[edit]

Public[edit]

  • Hokkaido Asahikawa Higashi High school
  • Hokkaido Asahikawa Kita High School

Private[edit]

  • Asahikawa Fuji Girls' High School

Transportation[edit]

Asahikawa Airport

Airport[edit]

Asahikawa is served by Asahikawa Airport which stretches over the outskirts of Asahikawa City and Higshikagura, Hokkaido. The airport was first proposed by the Asahikawa City Council in 1955, opened in 1961, and daily flights to Tokyo started in 1970. The present terminal of Asahikawa Airport opened in 2000. 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. [8] EVA Air added Asahikawa as a destination from Taipei on May 2, 2013.

Rail[edit]

Asahikawa Station

Asahikawa is one of the major rail hubs of Hokkaido. The Hakodate Main Line connects Asahikawa to Hakodate in the south of Hokkaido, and the Sōya Main Line connects Asahikawa with Wakkanai at the north of Hokkaido. The Sekihoku Main Line connects the city with Abashiri on the Sea of Okhotsk. The Furano Line connects Abashiri with nearby Furano[2]

Municipal buses also serve the city.

Specialties[edit]

  • 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[edit]

Sister and friendship cities[edit]

Sister cities[edit]

Friendship cities[edit]

Notable people[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Asahikawa". Encyclopedia of Japan. Tokyo: Shogakukan. 2013. OCLC 56431036. Retrieved 2013-11-19. 
  2. ^ a b c d "旭川市" [Asahikawa]. Nihon Rekishi Chimei Taikei (in Japanese). Tokyo: Shogakukan. 2013. OCLC 173191044. Retrieved 2013-11-19. 
  3. ^ Asahikawa 8 Scenes (Japanese)
  4. ^ Hokkaido Heritage Website: 6, Asahibashi Bridge (Japanese)
  5. ^ Asahikawa City 7th General Scheme Gist (Japanese)
  6. ^ "平年値(年・月ごとの値)". Japan Meteorological Agency. Retrieved 2010-02-22. 
  7. ^ "観測史上1〜10位の値(年間を通じての値)". Japan Meteorological Agency. Retrieved 2010-02-22. 
  8. ^ "旭川空港" [Asahikawa Airport]. Nihon Rekishi Chimei Taikei (in Japanese). Tokyo: Shogakukan. 2013. OCLC 173191044. Retrieved 2013-11-19. 
  9. ^ "Interactive City Directory". Sister Cities International. Retrieved 11 March 2014. 

External links[edit]