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Arao City hall
Location of Arao in Kumamoto Prefecture
|• Mayor||Jyunji Maehata (since January 2003)|
|• Total||57.15 km2 (22.07 sq mi)|
|Population (April 30, 2011)|
|• Density||980/km2 (2,500/sq mi)|
|Time zone||Japan Standard Time (UTC+9)|
|City hall address||390 Kunai-Deme, Arao-shi, Kumamoto-ken
Arao was once a large coal mining town, but it has since lost a great deal of its population, due to the closing of the mine 11 years ago. Some schools that once housed 1,500 children have now been looking at declining enrollments down 1,000 students or more. Arao's political concentration is on tourism, to try to lure people back to this once heavily populated land. Recent hopes to pull in tourists are in its two big amusement parks, Mitsui Greenland and Ultraman Land.
One notable aspect of this city includes Shōdai ware, an art form almost completely exclusive to Arao, involving slow kilning and under glazing.
Also, the Arao nashi pear is a fruit product grown widely in this town. The pear is round, brown and about the size of a bowling ball.
Media related to Arao, Kumamoto at Wikimedia Commons
- Official website (Japanese)
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