|First official recorded||1877|
|City Settled||August 1, 1922|
|• Mayor||Hirosuke Imazu|
|• Total||747.6 km2 (288.6 sq mi)|
(March 1, 2020)
|• Density||470.98/km2 (1,219.8/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC+09:00 (JST)|
|City hall address||9-46 Rokujō-dōri, Asahikawa-shi, Hokkaido|
|Mascot||Asappy (あさっぴー) and Yukkirin (ゆっきりん)|
Asahikawa (旭川市, Asahikawa-shi) is a city in Kamikawa Subprefecture, Hokkaido, Japan. It is the capital of the subprefecture, and the second-largest city in Hokkaido, after Sapporo. It has been a core city since April 1, 2000. The city is currently well known for the Asahiyama Zoo and Asahikawa ramen. On July 31, 2011, the city had an estimated population of 352,105, with 173,961 households, and a population density of 470.96 persons per km² (1,219.8 persons per sq. mi.). The total area is 747.6 km2 (288.6 sq mi).
On August 1, 1922, Asahikawa was founded as Asahikawa City. As the central city in northern Hokkaido, Asahikawa has been influential in industry and commerce. There are about 130 rivers and streams including the Ishikari River and Chūbetsu River, and over 740 bridges in the city. Asahibashi, a bridge over Ishikari River, has been one of the symbols of Asahikawa since its completion in 1932, and it was also registered as one of the Hokkaido Heritage sites on October 22, 2001.
Every winter, the Asahikawa Winter Festival is held on the bank of the Ishikari River, making use of Asahikawa's cold climate and snow. On January 25, 1902, a weather station recorded −41 °C (−41.8 °F), the lowest temperature in Japanese history. Due to its climate and location surrounded by mountains, there are some ski resorts in the outskirts of the city.
The Ainu called the Asahi River Chiu Pet meaning "River of Waves", but it was misunderstood as Chup Pet, meaning "Sun River", and so it came to be called Asahi River in Japanese (Asahi meaning "morning sun").
Asahikawa was elevated to city status in 1922.
Asahikawa thrived as a military city before World War II, when the IJA 7th Division was posted there. During the closing stages of the war, Asahikawa was bombed by American naval aircraft in July 1945. Today, the 2nd Division of the Northern Army of the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force is headquartered in Asahikawa.
- 1955 Kamui Village and Etanbetsu Village merge with Asahikawa
- 1961 Nagayama Town merged
- 1963 Higashi-Asahikawa Town merged
- 1967 Asahiyama Zoo opened
- 1968 Kagura Town merged
- 1971 Higashi-Takasu Town merged
- 1972 Japan's first permanent pedestrian mall Heiwadōri Shopping Park opened
- April 1, 2000 Asahikawa becomes a core city
The climate is hemiboreal humid continental (Dfb, according to Köppen classification). Asahikawa winters are long and cold, with below-freezing average monthly temperatures from November through March. The city also sees an extraordinary amount of snowfall, averaging just under 7.6 m (25 ft) of snow per year. Summers are generally warm and humid in Asahikawa, with average high temperatures in the warmest months hovering around 26 °C (79 °F). Spring and autumn are generally short and transitional in the city.
It is one of the coolest Japanese cities as well as one of the most "continental". Japan's lowest temperature ever (−41.0 °C (−41.8 °F)) was recorded in Asahikawa, colder than other cities registered in Hokkaido, but warmer in absolute numbers than Mount Fuji. On January 12, 1909 the temperature did not rise above −22.5 °C (−9 °F), being one of the coldest in history. Some sources consider it the coldest city in Japan.
|Climate data for Asahikawa (1991−2020 normals, extremes 1888−present)|
|Record high °C (°F)||11.7
|Average high °C (°F)||−3.3
|Daily mean °C (°F)||−7.0
|Average low °C (°F)||−11.7
|Record low °C (°F)||−41.0
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||66.9
|Average snowfall cm (inches)||125
|Average precipitation days (≥ 0.5 mm)||22.2||18.6||18.6||14.2||12.1||10.8||11.6||11.9||14.2||16.9||21.4||25.1||197.6|
|Average relative humidity (%)||82||78||73||66||67||73||77||79||79||79||80||83||76|
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||75.3||96.1||141.3||169.5||197.4||176.5||159.8||154.6||144.7||125.9||67.3||58.1||1,566.5|
|Source: Japan Meteorological Agency|
See or edit raw graph data.
- Asahikawa University
- Tokai University (Previously: the Asahikawa Campus of Hokkaido Tokai University)
- Asahikawa National College of Technology
- Hokkaido Asahikawa Higashi High school
- Hokkaido Asahikawa Kita High School
- Hokkaido Asahikawa Nishi High School
- Hokkaido Asahikawa Minami High School
- Hokkaido Asahikawa Eiryo High school
- Hokkaido Asahikawa Agricultural High School (Nogyo)
- Hokkaido Asahikawa Commercial High School (Shogyo)
- Hokkaido Asahikawa Technical High School (Kogyo)
- Asahikawa Ryukoku High School
- Asahikawa Fuji Girls' High School
- Asahikawa Jitsugyo High School
- Asahikawa Meisei High School
- Asahikawa University High School
- Ikegami Gakuen High School, Asahikawa Campus
- Asahikawa Tosei High School
Asahikawa is served by Asahikawa Airport which stretches over the outskirts of Asahikawa City and Higashikagura, Hokkaido. The airport was first proposed by the Asahikawa City Council in 1955, opened in 1961, and daily flights to Tokyo started in 1970. The present terminal of Asahikawa Airport opened in 2000. It is a second class airport, and also a single-runway regional airport. It serves domestic destinations including Tokyo, but some airlines offer destinations in South Korea. EVA Air added Asahikawa as a destination from Taipei on May 2, 2013.
Asahikawa is one of the major rail hubs of Hokkaido. The Hakodate Main Line connects Asahikawa to Hakodate in the south of Hokkaido, and the Sōya Main Line connects Asahikawa with Wakkanai at the north of Hokkaido. The Sekihoku Main Line connects the city with Abashiri on the Sea of Okhotsk. The Furano Line connects Abashiri with nearby Furano.
- Hakodate Main Line：- Asahikawa–Chikabumi
- Sōya Main Line：- Asahikawa–Asahikawa-Yojō–Shin-Asahikawa–Nagayama–Kita-Nagayama
- Sekihoku Main Line：- Shin-Asahikawa–Minami-Nagayama–Higashi-Asahikawa–Sakuraoka
- Furano Line: Asahikawa–Kaguraoka–Midorigaoka–Nishi-Goryō–Nishi-Mizuho–Nishi-Kagura–Nishi-Seiwa–Chiyogaoka
Municipal buses also serve the city.
- Asahikawa Ramen
- Asahikawa furniture
- Sake (Otokoyama, Takasago, Taisetsunokura)
- Taisetsu Microbrew Beer "Taisetsu ji-beer"
- Asahikawa mutton barbecue "Genghis Khan"
- Pottery/wooden handiwork (Arashiyama area)
- Arashiyama Pottery village
- Asahibashi Bridge
- Asahikawa Furniture Center
- Asahikawa Museum of Sculpture in Honor of Teijiro Nakahara
- Asahikawa Shrine
- Asahikawa Winter Festival/Illuminations (February)
- Asahikawa Youth Science Museum "Saiparu"
- Asahiyama Zoo
- Ayako Miura Memorial Literature Center
- Hoppo Wild Flower Garden, famous for Erythronium japonicum (Dogtooth violet) that flower in May
- Hokkaidō Gokoku Shrine
- Hokkaido Traditional Art Craft Village
- Kamikawa Shrine
- Kita-no-Mori Ice Pavilion
- Mount Tossho, also famous for Erythronium japonicum
- Otokoyama Sake Brewing Museum
- Romantic Road (tree tunnel and churches)
- Ski Resorts (Kamui Ski Links, Santa Present Park, Pippu Ski Area, Canmore Ski Village etc.)
- Sugai Amusement Factory
- Yasushi Inoue Memorial Center
Asahikawa's mascots are Asappy (あさっぴー, Asa~tsupi) and Yukkirin (ゆっきりん).
- Asappy is a mixture of a harbor seal and a polar bear. He wears a shirt designed after Daisetsuzan National Park with fringes that resembled ramen, his belt is designed after the Asahi Bridge and his pants were designed after the Ishikari River. His red scarf shows his status as a hero.
- Yukkirin is a strong but kind snow giraffe (technically a kirin). Her dress has an apple, a snowflake and a flower motif. She wears Etanbetsu boots with fringes. Her antenna resembles snowballs, she can use them to gather information.
Sister and friendship cities
- Bloomington, Illinois, United States
- Normal, Illinois, United States
- Suwon, Gyeonggi-do, South Korea
- Takeshi Aono, voice actor
- Miura Ayako, author
- Haruhisa Chiba, skier
- Yuko Emoto, judo wrestler
- Kazuhiro Fujita, manga artist
- Nanami Hashimoto, idol
- Yasushi Inoue, author
- Kiyomi Kato, wrestler
- Kitanofuji Katsuaki, sumo wrestler
- Shigeo Nakata, wrestler
- Ikumi Narita, volleyball player
- Victor Starffin, baseball player
- Taizō Sugimura, politician
- Bikki Sunazawa, sculptor and painter
- Kentaro Suzuki, football player
- Koyo Takahashi, basketball player
- Tomoka Takeuchi, snowboarder
- Kōji Tamaki, lead vocalist of Anzen Chitai
- Buichi Terasawa, manga artist
- Masae Ueno, judo wrestler
- Yoshie Ueno, judo wrestler
- Miho Yabe, actress
- Megumi Yabushita, mixed martial artist, kickboxer, professional wrestler and judoka
- Shōgō Yasumura, comedian
- "Asahikawa". Encyclopedia of Japan. Tokyo: Shogakukan. 2013. OCLC 56431036. Archived from the original on 2007-08-25. Retrieved 2013-11-19.
- 旭川市 [Asahikawa]. Nihon Rekishi Chimei Taikei (in Japanese). Tokyo: Shogakukan. 2013. OCLC 173191044. Archived from the original on 2007-08-25. Retrieved 2013-11-19.
- "UNESCO celebrates World Cities Day designating 66 new Creative Cities". UNESCO. 2019-10-30. Retrieved 2019-11-05.
- Asahikawa 8 Scenes (in Japanese)
- Hokkaido Heritage Website: 6, Asahibashi Bridge (in Japanese)
- Asahikawa City 7th General Scheme Gist[permanent dead link] (in Japanese)
- The Asahi Shimbun. "朝日新聞デジタル：空襲の記憶 風化させぬ - 北海道 - 地域". www.asahi.com (in Japanese). Archived from the original on 13 April 2022. Retrieved 2022-04-13.
- "Asahikawa, Japan Köppen Climate Classification (Weatherbase)". Weatherbase. Retrieved 2019-03-08.
- "Asahikawa Fact File - Location, Weather, Population and other information". www.asahikawa-tourism.com. Retrieved 2019-03-10.
- "Enjoying an Extremely Cold City – Asahikawa, Hokkaido | Welcome to Amazing Japan! | NHK WORLD RADIO JAPAN". NHK WORLD. Retrieved 2019-03-10.[permanent dead link]
- nbakki. "Top 10 Coldest Temperature Records in Japan". How much is it in Tokyo?. Retrieved 2019-03-10.
- "Seasons come and go - but when? - Wild Watch | Japan Nature Guides". www.japannatureguides.com. Retrieved 2019-03-10.
- "Hokkaido's cities". www.hisgo.com. Retrieved 2019-03-10.
- "日本で一番寒い場所はどこ？ - 日本の最低気温ランキング". www.tabi2ikitai.com. Retrieved 2019-03-10.
- "日本一寒い町！陸別町ってどんなところ！？". NAVER まとめ. Retrieved 2019-03-10.
- 気象庁 / 平年値（年・月ごとの値）. Japan Meteorological Agency. Retrieved May 19, 2021.
- 観測史上1～10位の値（年間を通じての値. Japan Meteorological Agency. Retrieved November 5, 2021.
- "DIRECTIONS TO HOKKAIDO TOKAI UNIVERSITY (HTU)" (). Hokkaido Tokai University. November 20, 2005. Retrieved on April 10, 2015. "5-1-1-1 Minami-sawa, Minami-ku, Sapporo 005-8601, Japan" and "224 Chuwa, Kamui-Cho, Asahikawa 070-8601, Hokkaido, Japan"
- 旭川空港 [Asahikawa Airport]. Nihon Rekishi Chimei Taikei (in Japanese). Tokyo: Shogakukan. 2013. OCLC 173191044. Archived from the original on 2007-08-25. Retrieved 2013-11-19.
- "あさっぴーのプロフィール". Asahikawa.
- "ゆっきりんのプロフィール". Asahikawa.
- "Interactive City Directory". Sister Cities International. Archived from the original on 14 July 2014. Retrieved 11 March 2014.
- Dubreuil, Chisato O. (2004). From the Playground of the Gods: The Life and Art of Bikky Sunazawa. Arctic Studies Center, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution. ISBN 9780967342986. Retrieved 22 April 2019.