Wakkanai, Hokkaido

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Wakkanai
稚内市
City
View of Wakkanai from Wakkanai Park
View of Wakkanai from Wakkanai Park
Flag of Wakkanai
Flag
Location of Wakkanai
Wakkanai is located in Japan
Wakkanai
Wakkanai
 
Coordinates: 45°24′56.4″N 141°40′23″E / 45.415667°N 141.67306°E / 45.415667; 141.67306Coordinates: 45°24′56.4″N 141°40′23″E / 45.415667°N 141.67306°E / 45.415667; 141.67306
Country Japan
Region Hokkaido
Prefecture Hokkaido
Government
 • Mayor Hiroshi Kudo (since May 2011)
Area
 • Total 760.80 km2 (293.75 sq mi)
Population (October 2013)
 • Total 37,011
 • Density 48.65/km2 (126.0/sq mi)
Time zone Japan Standard Time (UTC+9)
- Tree Sakura, rowan
- Flower Rosa rugosa
Phone number 0162-23-6161
Address 3-13-15 Chūō, Wakkanai-shi, Hokkaido 097-8686
Website www.city.wakkanai.hokkaido.jp

Wakkanai (稚内市 Wakkanai-shi?, Ainu: ヤㇺワッカナイ Yam-wakka-nay meaning 'cold water river'[1]) is a city located in Sōya Subprefecture, Hokkaido, Japan. It is the capital of Sōya Subprefecture and the northernmost city in Japan. It contains Japan's northernmost point, Cape Soya, from which the Russian island of Sakhalin can be seen.

As of October 2013, the city has an estimated population of 37,011 and a population density of 48.65 persons per km² (126 persons per mi²). The total area is 760.80 km2 (293.75 sq mi).[2][3]

History[edit]

Wakkanai was originally home to an Ainu population. The first Japanese settlement was established in 1685.[4]

  • 1972 Sōya Subprefecture established.
  • 1879 The village of Wakkanai was founded.
  • 1901 Wakkanai village became Wakkanai town.
  • 1949 Wakkanai town became Wakkanai city.
  • 1955 Soya village was marged into Wakkanai city.
  • 1959 Wakkanai Airport opened.

Geography[edit]

Cape Soya is located near Wakkanai, which is on a peninsula jutting towards Sakhalin. There is Benten-jima by northwest of Cape Soya.

  • Rivers: Koetoi River
  • Lakes: Ōnuma

Surrounding municipalities[edit]

Climate[edit]

Wakkanai has the typical humid continental climate (Köppen Dfb) of Hokkaido, with cold winters, warm summers and generally heavy precipitation from the Aleutian Low, whose winds hit the city direct from the Sea of Japan. The mean annual temperature, at 6.5 °C (43.7 °F), is the second lowest for a significant population centre in Japan after Nemuro. Snowfall at 6.6 metres (260 in), the third highest for a big city in Japan after Asahikawa and Aomori and one of the highest anywhere in the world. For comparison, Nain in Canada receives 194 inches (4.9 m) of snow.

The Aleutian Low also makes the sunshine hours the lowest of Japan’s major population centres and in the winter the wind speeds are the highest in Japan with an average of 20.2 km/h (12.6 mph), which adds to the −4.7 °C (23.5 °F) cold of a typical winter day. The city's port is usually usable throughout the year, but does occasionally freeze in cold winters.

Climate data for Wakkanai (1981–2010)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) −2.7
(27.1)
−2.5
(27.5)
1.2
(34.2)
7.2
(45)
12.0
(53.6)
15.7
(60.3)
19.7
(67.5)
22.3
(72.1)
19.7
(67.5)
13.7
(56.7)
6.1
(43)
0.1
(32.2)
9.4
(48.9)
Average low °C (°F) −6.8
(19.8)
−7.1
(19.2)
−3.5
(25.7)
1.8
(35.2)
6.0
(42.8)
10.1
(50.2)
14.5
(58.1)
17.3
(63.1)
14.0
(57.2)
8.1
(46.6)
1.0
(33.8)
−4.2
(24.4)
4.3
(39.7)
Average precipitation mm (inches) 84.3
(3.319)
60.7
(2.39)
50.3
(1.98)
49.0
(1.929)
67.6
(2.661)
53.0
(2.087)
90.6
(3.567)
116.0
(4.567)
123.5
(4.862)
134.1
(5.28)
120.9
(4.76)
112.8
(4.441)
1,062.8
(41.843)
Average snowfall cm (inches) 173
(68.1)
143
(56.3)
102
(40.2)
21
(8.3)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
1
(0.4)
53
(20.9)
160
(63)
653
(257.2)
Avg. snowy days 26.2 24.2 9.2 1.2 0 0 0 0 0 3.4 17.7 28.2 110.1
Average relative humidity (%) 72 72 71 75 79 85 86 84 75 68 67 70 75.3
Mean monthly sunshine hours 45.6 80.3 138.6 171.8 185.6 166.3 146.8 148.5 177.1 135.9 57.6 30.1 1,484.2
Source: Japan Meteorological Agency

Transportation[edit]

Air[edit]

Wakkanai Airport is located in Wakkanai.

Rail[edit]

JR Hokkaido runs a diesel train service on the Sōya Main Line from Asahikawa to Sapporo.

Education[edit]

University[edit]

  • Wakkanai Hokusei Gakuen University

High Schools[edit]

Public[edit]

  • Hokkaido Wakkanai High School

Private[edit]

  • Wakkanai Otani High School

Tourist attractions[edit]

Shore of Wakkanai
Wakkanai lighthouse in 2006

The Daisuke Matsuzaka Museum, dedicated to the baseball pitcher "Dice-K" and opened in 2008, is located in Wakkanai, which is his father's hometown.[5]

Sister cities and friendship cities[edit]

Sister city[edit]

Friendship cities[edit]

Domestic[edit]

International[edit]

Sister ports[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ アイヌ語地名リスト [Ainu Language Place Name List] (PDF) (in Japanese). Office of Ainu Measures Promotion, Department of Environment and Lifestyle, Hokkaido Government. Retrieved January 29, 2015. 
  2. ^ 稚内市の概要 [Outline of Wakkanai] (in Japanese). Wakkanai, Hokkaido Prefecture, Japan: City of Wakkanai. 2013. Retrieved 2013-11-09. 
  3. ^ 稚内市の人口と世帯 [Population and Households of Wakkanai] (in Japanese). Wakkanai, Hokkaido Prefecture, Japan: City of Wakkanai. 2013. Retrieved 2013-11-09. 
  4. ^ History of Wakkanai
  5. ^ ESPN.com article
  6. ^ International interaction of Wakkanai
  7. ^ Domestic Interaction of Wakkanai

External links[edit]