Nikkō, Tochigi

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Nikkō
日光市
City
Nikko
Nikko
Flag of Nikkō
Flag
Location of Nikkō in Tochigi Prefecture
Location of Nikkō in Tochigi Prefecture
Nikkō is located in Japan
Nikkō
Nikkō
Location in Japan
Coordinates: 36°45′N 139°36′E / 36.750°N 139.600°E / 36.750; 139.600Coordinates: 36°45′N 139°36′E / 36.750°N 139.600°E / 36.750; 139.600
Country Japan
Region Kantō
Prefecture Tochigi Prefecture
Government
 • Mayor Fumio Saito
Area
 • Total 1,449.87 km2 (559.80 sq mi)
Population (March 1, 2012)
 • Total 90,071
 • Density 62/km2 (160/sq mi)
Time zone Japan Standard Time (UTC+9)
Symbols
- Tree Betula platyphylla, Autumn leaf color
- Flower Rhododendron, Hemerocallidoideae
- Bird Cettia diphone, Alcedo atthis
Address 1 Imaichi Honchō, Nikkō-shi, Tochigi-ken
321-1292
Phone number 0288-22-1111
Website www.city.nikko.lg.jp

Nikkō (日光市 Nikkō-shi?, literally "sunlight" or "sunshine") is a city in the mountains of Tochigi Prefecture, Japan. Approximately 140 km north of Tokyo and 35 km west of Utsunomiya, the capital of Tochigi Prefecture, it is a popular destination for Japanese and international tourists. Attractions include the mausoleum of shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu (Nikkō Tōshō-gū) and that of his grandson Iemitsu (Iemitsu-byō Taiyū-in), and the Futarasan Shrine, which dates to the year 767. There are also many famous hot springs (onsen) in the area. Elevations range from 200 to 2,000 m.[1] The mountains west of the main city are part of Nikkō National Park and contain some of the country's most spectacular waterfalls and scenic trails.

The Japanese saying "Never say 'kekko' until you've seen Nikko"kekko meaning beautiful, magnificent or "I am satisfied"—is a reflection of the beauty and sites in Nikkō.[2][3]

As of March 1, 2012, the city has an estimated population of 90,071, with 36,134 households and a population density of 62 persons per km². The total area is 1,449.87 km².[citation needed]

History[edit]

1901 map of the city.

Shōdō Shōnin (勝道上人?) established the temple of Rinnō-ji in 766, followed by the temple of Chūzen-ji in 784. The village of Nikkō developed around these temples. The shrine of Nikkō Tōshō-gū was completed in 1617 and became a major draw of visitors to the area during the Edo period. It is known as the burial place of the famous Japanese shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu. A number of new roads were built during this time to provide easier access to Nikkō from surrounding regions. Nikkō Tōshō-gū, Futarasan Shrine, and Rinnō-ji now form the UNESCO World Heritage Site Shrines and Temples of Nikkō.

During the Meiji period Nikkō developed as a mountain resort, and became particularly popular among foreign visitors to Japan. The Japanese National Railways began service to Nikkō in 1890 with the Nikkō Line, followed by Tobu Railway in 1929 with its Nikkō Line.

Nikkō was incorporated as a town in 1889, (part of Kamitsuga District). It was upgraded to city status in 1954 after merging with the neighboring village of Okorogawa.

On March 20, 2006, Nikkō absorbed the old city of Imaichi, the town of Ashio (from Kamitsuga District), the town of Fujihara, and the village of Kuriyama (both from Shioya District), to create what is officially the new and expanded city of Nikkō. The new city hall is located at the former Imaichi City Hall; the former Nikkō City Hall is now known as Nikkō City Hall-Nikkō Satellite Office.

Historical sites and attractions[edit]

Three wise monkeys.
(from left) Hear no evil, speak no evil, see no evil
True Light Church, built 1916

Geography[edit]

The post-merger city of Nikkō covers a large area (1,449.87 km²) of rural northwestern Tochigi. It is the third-largest city (by area) in Japan, behind Takayama and Hamamatsu.

Lake Chūzenji and the Kegon Falls lie in Nikkō, as does the Nikko Botanical Garden. The city's many mountains and waterfalls have made it an important source of hydroelectric power. The area has also been used for mining copper, aluminum and concrete.

The weather in Nikkō is fairly similar to that of Hokkaidō even though it is much closer to Tokyo than Hokkaidō. The elevation of Nikkō plays an important role in this fact. It will usually get cooler as one ascends the mountain. The average temperature of Nikkō is around 7°C (44°F) [4] with the warmest months reaching only about 22°C (72°F)[5] and the coldest reaching down to about -8°C (17°F).[6]

Climate[edit]

Nikkō experiences a humid continental climate (Köppen climate classification Dfb) with cold, snowy winters and predominantly mild, very wet summers. Nikkō is much cooler than nearby parts of Honshu because it is situated at an altitude of 1298m above sea level.

Climate data for Nikkō, Tochigi
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) −0.6
(30.9)
−0.5
(31.1)
2.8
(37)
9.8
(49.6)
14.7
(58.5)
17.3
(63.1)
21.1
(70)
22.4
(72.3)
18.1
(64.6)
12.7
(54.9)
8.0
(46.4)
2.7
(36.9)
10.71
(51.28)
Daily mean °C (°F) −4.4
(24.1)
−4.3
(24.3)
−1.4
(29.5)
4.9
(40.8)
9.8
(49.6)
13.4
(56.1)
17.4
(63.3)
18.5
(65.3)
14.5
(58.1)
8.5
(47.3)
3.7
(38.7)
−1.3
(29.7)
6.61
(43.9)
Average low °C (°F) −8.4
(16.9)
−8.2
(17.2)
−5.7
(21.7)
−0.1
(31.8)
4.7
(40.5)
9.7
(49.5)
14.0
(57.2)
15.1
(59.2)
11.2
(52.2)
4.5
(40.1)
−0.4
(31.3)
−5.2
(22.6)
2.6
(36.68)
Precipitation mm (inches) 47.9
(1.886)
68.2
(2.685)
94.4
(3.717)
151.5
(5.965)
167.1
(6.579)
245.3
(9.657)
249.8
(9.835)
382.2
(15.047)
336.6
(13.252)
184.3
(7.256)
101.9
(4.012)
45.4
(1.787)
1,824.8
(71.843)
Snowfall cm (inches) 44
(17.3)
57
(22.4)
62
(24.4)
15
(5.9)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
8
(3.1)
29
(11.4)
215
(84.5)
 % humidity 65 66 67 71 74 85 87 86 86 79 71 66 75.3
Mean monthly sunshine hours 178.5 162.1 194.1 175.9 184.1 109.9 114.5 136.7 98.6 134.1 155.0 174.7 1,818.2
Source: NOAA (1961-1990) [7]

Sports[edit]

Nikkō Kirifuri skate center

Nikkō is the home city to the Nikkō Ice Bucks in the Asia League Ice Hockey. Nikkō Kirifuri Ice Arena hosted the Women's Ice Hockey World Championships (Division I) in April 2007.

There's also a speed skating oval.

Sister cities[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]