Location of Shiogama City in Miyagi Prefecture
|• Mayor||Akira Satō|
|• Total||17.86 km2 (6.90 sq mi)|
|• Density||3,200/km2 (8,000/sq mi)|
|Time zone||Japan Standard Time (UTC+9)|
|- Tree||Shiogama cherry|
|- Flower||White Japanese camellia|
|Address||Sendai-shi, Aoba-ku, Kokubun-cho 3-7-1
As of 2005, the city has an estimated population of 59,429 and a population density of 3,329 persons per km², making it the most densely populated conurbation in Tōhoku (northern Japan). The total area is 17.85 km².
Shiogama's name means "salt cauldron", and this refers to an ancient Shinto ritual involving the making of salt from sea water that is still performed every July at the Okama Jinja Shrine.
The city is located about 15 km away from Sendai, and about 10 km away from Matsushima, regarded as one of the three finest coastal views in Japan. Its main industry is still fishing, and the city unloads more fresh tuna than anywhere else in Japan. Accordingly, Shiogama is also famous for its seafood, especially its sushi – the city boasts the most sushi restaurants per square kilometer of any city in the country.
The city is also home to one of the most important Shinto shrines in Tohoku, Shiogama Jinja, which is accessible up a rather tiring flight of 201 steps and has an interesting museum on the feudal and economic history of the city, including some fascinating exhibits relating to whaling.
Visitors to the city might also like to take the chance to see some of the festivals that take place each year. As befits one of the oldest shrines in Tohoku, there are a variety of different rituals carried out throughout the year. Primary among these are the Hote Matsuri (10 March) for protection against fire, the Salt-Making ritual (6 July) and the main event, Shiogama's Port Festival, held on the 3rd Sunday in July. The latter is particularly worth seeing as the portable shrines containing the Jinja's tutelary deity are paraded through the city streets and around the harbour.
- April 1, 1889: Shiogama Town was founded
- September 1, 1938: Parts of Tagajō and Shichigahama were incorporated into Shiogama
- November 23, 1941: Shiogama Town became a city (187th, nationally; 3rd in Miyagi)
- December 1, 1949: Tagajō Village Gyūchi-ku was merged
- April 1, 1950: Urato Village was merged
"塩竈", "塩釜" or "鹽竈"
Some people write "Shiogama" as "塩釜" rather than "塩竈". As 竈 is a furnace that a kettle (釜) is placed upon, the two kanji, although similar, are not interchangeable in regular usage. However, while "塩竈" is used in place names under the jurisdiction of the city, other places typically use "塩釜", such as JR Shiogama Station.
Although "塩竈" is the correct way of writing "Shiogama", both ways are accepted.
Although much more rarely used, there is also a third form of 'Shiogama', taking as its first kanji the old character for salt "鹽". The only incidence of this form in contemporary use is at Shiogama Jinja "鹽竈神社".
- National Highways
- Miyagi Prefectural Highways
- 3 Shiogama—Yoshioka
- 10 Shiogama—Watari
- 11 Shiogama-kō (Shiogama—Shiogama-kō)
- 23 Sendai—Shiogama
- 35 Izumi—Shigoama
- 58 Shiogama—Shichigahama—Tagajō
- Shiogama 'Hote' festival (10 March)
- Shiogama Flower festival and Shiogama Citizens Festival (late April)
- Shiogama Harbor festival (Eve: before Marine Day/festival: Marine Day July)
Specialties and crafts
Notable people from Shiogama
- Kōnosuke Fuji (Lyricist)
- Miyuki Hatanaka (Mogul skiier)
- Itaru Hirama (Photographer)
- Tomokazu Hirama (Association football player)
- Masao Maruyama (Anime producer)
- Takemasa Moriya (Defense vice president)
- Katsuichi Nagai (First editor-in-chief of Garo)
- Makoto Nakahara (Japanese chess player)
- Masashi Nakano (Politician)
- Hisao Nishiwaka (Member of vocal group "BONNY JACKS")
- Kōhei Ōtomo (Musician for "HOUND DOG")
- Tadashi Satō (Manga artist)
- Hitomi Takahashi (Singer)
- Sū Wakai (Author)
- Kōichi Yamadera (Voice actor, actor, tarento)
- Koichi Saura (President of The Sake Samurai Association)
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Shiogama, Miyagi.|
- Shiogama City official website (Japanese)
- Shiogama tourism and industry association (Japanese)
- Shiogama tourism and industry association (English)
- Shiwahiko Shrine & Shiogama Shrine official website (Japanese)
- The Shiogama Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Japanese)
- ShioNavi-Shiogama Navigation (English)