|• Mayor||Yasumasa Sakakibara (since July 2009)|
|• Total||160.34 km2 (61.91 sq mi)|
|Population (September 1, 2012)|
|• Density||1,030/km2 (2,700/sq mi)|
|Time zone||Japan Standard Time (UTC+9)|
|- Tree||Camphor laurel|
|Address||22 Yorizumichō Shimoda, Nishio-shi, Aichi-ken 445-8501|
Nishio (西尾市 Nishio-shi ) is a city located in Aichi Prefecture, in the Chūbu region of Japan. It is a regional commercial and manufacturing center and the country's leading producer of powdered green tea.
- 1 History
- 2 Geography
- 3 Culture
- 4 Economy
- 5 Public Services
- 6 Transportation
- 7 Sister Cities
- 8 Notable Events
- 9 Noted People from Nishio
- 10 References
- 11 External links
The Mikawa area has been inhabited since prehistoric times, as attested by finds of pottery shards from the Jōmon period and the megalithic Kofun tomb in Kira, the oldest in the Mikawa Province. The fertile plains along the Yahagi River have been used for rice-farming as well as the production of tea and cotton since ancient times. Shell mounds dating to the late stone age and found in what is today the town center also point to fish and seafood as important early local produce. In Hazu, a shrine from the Nara period is evidence of an early cultural connection to the Japanese capital at the time.
During the 15th century Sengoku period, Nishio was the home territory for the Sakai clan, based at Nishio Castle. The area eventually came under the control of the Tokugawa clan, and during the Edo period, most of the area was ruled as the Nishio Domain, a minor fudai feudal domain of the Tokugawa shogunate. The area prospered as a fishing port, and due to its location on the Tōkaidō highway connecting Edo with Kyoto, although the town itself suffered heavy damage due to a tsunami in the 1707 Hōei earthquake.
Early in the Meiji period, Nishio was proclaimed a village in Hazu District in 1871. Following the 1891 Mino-Owari earthquake, a tsunami killed over 60 people. Nishio was elevated to town status on May 1, 1906. The town suffered damage in the 1944 Tōnankai earthquake, which killed 32 people, and the 1945 Mikawa earthquake, which killed 765.
After the end of the second World War, Nishio attracted many workers from the rural south of Japan and its population increased. In 1953, Nishio became a city with the annexation of neighboring Heisaka and Terazu towns and Fukuchi and Muroba villages; followed by Miwa and Meiji villages in 1955. In 1959, Typhoon Vera caused considerable damage to the area, with 20 people killed.
Nishio is situated on the northern coast of Mikawa Bay on the Pacific Ocean in southern Aichi Prefecture. The city lies along the eastern bank of the Yahagi River. Sheltered by Chita Peninsula and Atsumi Peninsula, the local climate is mild. Parts of the city lie within the borders of the Mikawa Wan Quasi-National Park
- Hirahara Waterfall and nature-trail, located in Hirahara-cho.
- Kira Waikiki Beach: A series of sheltered sandy coves, open for bathing and watersports from June to September.
- Sakushima: A small inhabited island with many traditional wooden buildings in Mikawa Bay, popular for fishing trips. Can be reached by ferry from Isshiki Harbor.
- Sanganesan Skyline, a spectacular forested mountain range overlooking Mikawa Bay, suitable for hiking and bird-watching.
- Yatsuomote-yama, a hillside park in central Nishio, offering a good view of the surrounding cities, mountains and waterfront.
|Mikawa Bay||Mikawa Bay||Gamagōri|
Gamagōri, Aichi is the closest point that measures climate information.
|Climate data for Gamagōri, Aichi (1971–2000)|
|Average high °C (°F)||9.2
|Daily mean °C (°F)||5.3
|Average low °C (°F)||2.0
|Precipitation mm (inches)||47.9
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||169.3||173.6||192.9||196.4||190.9||137.0||163.9||215.4||150.4||168.3||169.2||183.9||2,110.7|
Nishio's sightseeing highlight is Ushitora Yagura Castle Keep in the downtown Yamashita-cho area. It features a full reconstruction of the wooden central tower, gates and central compound of Nishio Castle, built by the Matsudaira Clan in 1221 and used until 1601.
Museums and Performing Arts
The Nishio City Museum is located on the grounds of Nishio Castle. It has an extensive collection of items relating to local history and culture, dating from the ancient Jōmon period to the late Edo period.
The Iwase Bunko Library, next to the city library, is home to a collection of more than 80.000 rare books and ancient Buddhist manuscripts. It features an exposition hall and rooms for study and reading.
The Culture Center in Yamashita-cho provides a venue for concerts, theatre performances, exhibitions and lectures.
A number of popular events and festivals are held in Nishio, most of them during the summer months.
Toba Fire Festival: On the 2nd Sunday in February two teams of local men from Hazu and Kira vie to pull bamboo poles from a huge bonfire, a traditional rite meant to ensure a good harvest.
Nishio Gion Festival：On the third weekend of July, a few days before the beginning of the school's summer holidays, Nishio celebrates a two-day city festival in the downtown Honmachi area, the main attraction of Nishio's festival season. Groups of residents parade through the streets performing choreographed dances called “odorocha” and yatai stalls sell sweets and snacks.
Yonezu River Fireworks Festival: On August 15th, more than 3000 fireworks are set off alongside the river near Yonezu Bridge, one of the most extravagant displays of pyrotechnics in the region.
Smaller local fireworks festivals are also held in Kira and Hazu in the month of August.
Isshiki Lantern Festival: On the 26th and 27th of August, large paper lanterns are on display amid food stalls selling local Unagi eel and other treats.
Hawaiian Festival: At the end of August, Hawaiian and local groups perform traditional Polynesian dances on a stage at Kira Waikiki Beach.
White Wave sports center in Nishio Hazu Fureai Square features a 25m lap-pool, wave pool, waterslides and outdoor swimming areas. It is open year-round.
Public outdoor sporting grounds are found in Nishio Park, Yatsuomote Park, Yahagi River Park, Zenmyo Community Sports Park and Furukawa Green Park. The City, Tsurushiro and Chuo gymnasiums are available for private sport clubs and host a number of minor league teams for baseball, soccer, volleyball, basketball and other sports.
Nishio is a regional commercial center and fishing port, with a mixed economy of light manufacturing and agriculture. It is also the largest producer of powdered green tea in Japan and one of the leading producers of Unagi eels. There is a public fish market at the fishing port in Isshiki. Numerous suppliers to the Japanese automotive industry such as Denso and Aishin have production plants in and around Nishio.
Nishio's City Hall is located in Chodacho, about half a mile to the south-east of Nishio Station. Its foreign residents section offers assistance in Chinese, Korean, Portuguese, Spanish and English.
The city has 26 elementary schools, 10 junior high schools and five high schools. Public libraries and community centers are maintained in central Nishio, Hazu, Isshiki, Kira and Terazu.
The Nishio International Association offers Japanese Language Classes as well as instruction in foreign languages; most of these are held at the Fukushi (Welfare) Center in Hananoki-Cho.
The Clean Center recycling plant in Kenjoda accepts all kinds of garbage, including bulky items and hazardous waste.
Nishio's main hospital is the Nishio Shimin Byouin in central Nishio, near Yatsuomote-yama.
South-eastward, the Meitetsu Gamagōri Line links Nishio with Gamagōri. Local stations in this direction are:
In 2006, the city entered the Guinness Book of Records for having the largest simultaneous tea ceremony in the world at any one time with 14,718 participants. This record was later beaten by a tea party in Indore, India in 2008.
Noted People from Nishio
- Jitsuo Inagaki – politician
- Toshio Iwai – video game artist and musician
- Hitoki Iwase – professional baseball player
- Oguri Jukichi – Edo period castaway
- Koen Kondo – actor
- Mami Koyama – voice actress
- Tetsuya Makita – actor
- Katsuya Takasu – plastic surgeon
Media related to Nishio, Aichi at Wikimedia Commons
- Nishio City official website (Japanese)