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Location of Ainan in Ehime Prefecture
|• Mayor||Masafumi Shimizu (清水雅文?)|
|• Total||239.58 km2 (92.50 sq mi)|
|Population (August, 2006)|
|• Density||49.05/km2 (127.0/sq mi)|
|• Tree||Quercus phillyraeoides (姥目樫 Ubamegashi?)|
|• Flower||Akebono azalea (曙躑躅 Akebono tsusuji?)|
|• Bird||Japanese white-eye (目白 Mejiro?)|
|Time zone||Japan Standard Time (UTC+9)|
|City Hall Address||2420 Kō, Jōhen, Ainan-chō, Minamiuwa-gun, Ehime-ken
Ainan is known for its fishing and agriculture industries which produce a variety of products, including bonito, red snapper, squid, and mikan oranges. In addition, Kanjizaiji is located in Ainan. Kanjizaiji is a Shingon Buddhist temple and one of the 88 temples on the Shikoku Pilgrimage.
Geography and climate
Ainan is located between the mountains of southern Ehime and the Pacific Ocean, on the border with Kochi prefecture. As a result, winters in Ainan are relatively mild. It's rare to see snow in most parts of the town, though flurries may be seen several times a year. The rainy season runs from June to July, with some yearly variation. The rest of summer is hot and humid, with infrequent rain showers.
The Sozu river runs though Ainan and is often a site for fishing, bike rides, and picnics for the local residents.
Due to its rural location, Ainan is home to several nature parks and offers scuba diving and glass-bottom boat rides to nearby Kashima island. However, there are no train lines that run to the city, making it a difficult place for tourists to visit.
During the Obon festival, Japan's equivalent of All Souls' Day, family members from all over Japan return to their family homes in Ainan to remember the souls of the dead. The festival is celebrated all over town, from the larger parts of Misho to the smallest villages in Nishiumi. In the evening, torches and lanterns can be seen along the seashore where the towns are gathering.
Aki Matsuri (fall festival) is a major event throughout the town. Townspeople gather and celebrate by drinking and watching mikoshi, heavy portable shrines which are carried by townsmen. Ainan's fall festivals often feature an ushi-oni, or cow demon, a large float which is pitted against other mikoshi in shrine fights.
Travel to Ainan is hindered by the lack of train lines, though Johen bus center offers express buses to Uwajima and Matsuyama. The nearest trains lines are to the north, in Uwajima, or to the south, in Sukumo. For travel to further destinations, Johen bus center offers a limited selection of overnight buses to Osaka and Tokyo.
In addition, Ainan can be reached by Japanese route 56, which runs around the island of Shikoku and through the cities of Matsuyama and Kochi.
- "Chōchō shitsu/Sōgō annai" 町長室／総合案内 [Office of the Town Mayor/Comprehensive Guide] (in Japanese). Ainan Town. Retrieved September 5, 2012.
- Carro, María (August 1, 2011). "Molinaseca se hermana con una villa nipona" [Molinaseca becomes twinned with a Japanese village] (in Spanish). El Norte de Castilla. Retrieved June 1, 2012.