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Location of Itoigawa in Niigata Prefecture
|Region||Chūbu (Kōshin'etsu) (Hokuriku)|
|• Mayor||Tōru Yoneda|
|• Total||746.24 km2 (288.12 sq mi)|
|Population (January 1, 2013)|
|• Density||63.12/km2 (163.5/sq mi)|
|• Tree||Sasayuri (Lilium japonicum)|
|Time zone||Japan Standard Time (UTC+9)|
|City Hall Address||1-2-5 Ichinomiya, Itoigawa-shi, Niigata-ken
As of January 1, 2013, the city has an estimated population of 47,102, with 17,672 households and a population density of 63.12 persons per km². The total area is 746.24 km².
The entire territory of Itoigawa is "Itoigawa Global Geopark" which is a member of the Japanese Geoparks Network and Global Geoparks Network on account of its outstanding geological heritage, educational programs and projects, and promotion of geotourism.
The city will become a stop on the new Hokuriku Shinkansen line, expected to begin service in 2015.
Historically, Itoigawa lies at the end of the famous shio no michi (salt road) that supplied salt to ancient Edo (Tokyo) via Nagano. Itoigawa is also famous for its jade which can be found on local beaches.
The city is known for its distinctive black-colored yakisoba. Itoigawa is also known for its unique bugaku, a variety of traditional Japanese performance art. Itoigawa Bugaku can be seen at festivals taking place at Hakusan Shrine and Amatsu Shrine, and has been nationally designated as an Important Intangible Cultural Asset.
The poet Ryokan (1758-1831) writes that Itoigawa is his former village.
- Itoigawa City official website (Japanese)
- Itoigawa Global Geopark
- My Mother is a Tractor - a book written by a former English teacher in the area