Hikone, Shiga

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Hikone
彦根市
City
Genkyu-en garden and Hikone castle
Genkyu-en garden and Hikone castle
Flag of Hikone
Flag
Location of Hikone in Shiga Prefecture
Location of Hikone in Shiga Prefecture
Hikone is located in Japan
Hikone
Hikone
Location in Japan
Coordinates: 35°16′N 136°16′E / 35.267°N 136.267°E / 35.267; 136.267Coordinates: 35°16′N 136°16′E / 35.267°N 136.267°E / 35.267; 136.267
Country Japan
Region Kansai
Prefecture Shiga Prefecture
Government
 • Mayor Takashi Okubo (since May 2013)
Area
 • Total 196.84 km2 (76.00 sq mi)
Population (October 1, 2010)
 • Total 111,799
 • Density 567.97/km2 (1,471.0/sq mi)
Time zone Japan Standard Time (UTC+9)
Symbols
- Tree Tachibana Orange
- Flower Iris
Address 4-2 Motomachi, Hikone-shi, Shiga-ken
522-8501
Phone number 0749-22-1411
Website www.city.hikone.shiga.jp

Hikone (彦根市 Hikone-shi?) is a city located in Shiga Prefecture, Japan. It is on the eastern shore of the Lake Biwa. The city was incorporated on February 11, 1937.

As of October 1, 2010, the city has an estimated population of 111,777 and a population density of 567.97 persons per km². The total area is 196.84 km².

The key industries of Hikone are the manufacturing of butsudan, textiles, and valves. Bridgestone has a tire manufacturing plant here. Fujitec, Ohmi Railway, and Heiwadō (the largest supermarket chain in Shiga) are headquartered in Hikone.

In 2003, meetings were held to discuss the merger of Hikone with the towns of Toyosato, Kōra, and Taga (all from Inukami District). However, a survey conducted by the city in February 2004, revealed that most of the citizens opposed the merger, leading the city government to shelve the proposal for the time being[citation needed].

History[edit]

Hikone's most famous historical site is Hikone Castle. Its construction was begun in 1603 by Ii Naokatsu, son of the former lord, Ii Naomasa, but was not completed until 1622. Naokatsu's lands had been taken from him in the interval by the Tokugawa shogunate, and when his brother Naotake assumed control of Ōmi Province, he was able to complete the castle by collecting stones from the former Sawayama Castle.

When the Meiji period began in 1868, many castles were scheduled to be dismantled and only a request from the Emperor Meiji himself, touring the area, kept Hikone Castle intact. Today it remains one of the oldest original-construction castles in Japan. In 1999, a small area south of the castle, called the Yume Kyōbashi Castle Road, was built in the old style and attracts visitors keen to see modern construction fused with traditional looks. Even the Kansai Urban Bank in this district has remodeled itself to fit in with the surrounding structures.

The Chōsenjin Kaidō and the Nakasendō were passed through Hikone. The Nakasendo was one of the most important trading routes during the Edo period, and is home to two former post stations, Toriimoto-juku and Takamiya-juku.

Climate[edit]

Hikone has a humid subtropical climate (Köppen climate classification Cfa) with hot, humid summers and cool winters. Precipitation is significant throughout the year, but is somewhat lower in winter.

Climate data for Hikone, Shiga
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 6.5
(43.7)
6.8
(44.2)
10.4
(50.7)
17.0
(62.6)
22.0
(71.6)
25.3
(77.5)
29.5
(85.1)
31.3
(88.3)
26.8
(80.2)
20.8
(69.4)
15.1
(59.2)
9.5
(49.1)
18.42
(65.13)
Daily mean °C (°F) 3.1
(37.6)
3.4
(38.1)
6.1
(43)
11.9
(53.4)
16.8
(62.2)
21.0
(69.8)
25.2
(77.4)
26.6
(79.9)
22.5
(72.5)
16.3
(61.3)
10.8
(51.4)
5.7
(42.3)
14.12
(57.41)
Average low °C (°F) 0.0
(32)
0.3
(32.5)
2.3
(36.1)
7.6
(45.7)
12.5
(54.5)
17.4
(63.3)
21.8
(71.2)
22.9
(73.2)
19.0
(66.2)
12.2
(54)
6.7
(44.1)
2.1
(35.8)
10.4
(50.72)
Precipitation mm (inches) 101.9
(4.012)
103.2
(4.063)
122.3
(4.815)
144.5
(5.689)
143.6
(5.654)
230.8
(9.087)
215.6
(8.488)
121.8
(4.795)
193.5
(7.618)
114.2
(4.496)
81.3
(3.201)
80.9
(3.185)
1,653.6
(65.103)
Snowfall cm (inches) 59
(23.2)
52
(20.5)
15
(5.9)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
16
(6.3)
142
(55.9)
 % humidity 75 75 73 73 73 77 79 75 77 75 76 75 75.3
Mean monthly sunshine hours 99.4 105.7 156.3 172.2 202.5 154.0 174.5 206.9 151.0 162.8 131.1 108.3 1,824.7
Source: NOAA (1961-1990) [1]

Education[edit]

There are three universities in Hikone: Seisen University, Shiga University, and The University of Shiga Prefecture (USP). USP is known for its award winning[citation needed] Schools of Engineering, Environmental Science, and Human Cultures. Recently, USP has begun its Department of Intercultural Communication where most students can study abroad for up to a year as their graduation requirement. Hikone is also the home of the Japan Center for Michigan Universities (JCMU), a facility operated jointly by a consortium of the fifteen public universities in the State of Michigan and the government of Shiga Prefecture (in coordination with USP) that offers programs for American university students and scholars for the study of Japanese language and culture, as well as courses in English for the citizens of Shiga Prefecture. The Michigan Center, as it is known, was founded in 1989, under the auspices of the Michigan-Shiga Sister State Agreement, the oldest such relationship between a US state and Japanese prefecture.

Sister cities[edit]

Hikone is twinned with the following two cities.[2]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]