Shiogama, Miyagi

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Flag of Shiogama
Location of Shiogama in Miyagi Prefecture
Location of Shiogama in Miyagi Prefecture
Shiogama is located in Japan
Location in Japan
Coordinates: 38°18′53″N 141°1′20″E / 38.31472°N 141.02222°E / 38.31472; 141.02222Coordinates: 38°18′53″N 141°1′20″E / 38.31472°N 141.02222°E / 38.31472; 141.02222
Country Japan
Region Tōhoku
Prefecture Miyagi Prefecture
 • Mayor Akira Satō
 • Total 17.86 km2 (6.90 sq mi)
Population (2009)
 • Total 57,238
 • 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
Phone number 022-261-1111

Shiogama (塩竈市 Shiogama-shi?) is a city located in Miyagi Prefecture, Japan.

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.

Shiogama Jinja in the spring

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.

The city was affected by the tsunami caused by the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake,[1] although damage to its fishing industry turned out to be light.[2]


Aerial view of Sendai (left) and Shiogama (right)
  • 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"[edit]

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".


Train stations[edit]

Major roads[edit]

  • 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



Specialties and crafts[edit]

Visitor attractions[edit]

Notable people from Shiogama[edit]


  1. ^ a tsunami wave engulfing vehicles and houses in Shiogama
  2. ^ Aoki, Mizuho, "Fish processors rise to challenge", Japan Times, 9 April 2011, p. 3.

External links[edit]