Itoigawa, Niigata

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Flag of Itoigawa
Location of Itoigawa in Niigata Prefecture
Location of Itoigawa in Niigata Prefecture
Itoigawa is located in Japan
Location in Japan
Coordinates: 37°2′N 137°52′E / 37.033°N 137.867°E / 37.033; 137.867Coordinates: 37°2′N 137°52′E / 37.033°N 137.867°E / 37.033; 137.867
Country Japan
Region Chūbu (Kōshin'etsu) (Hokuriku)
Prefecture Niigata Prefecture
 • Mayor Tōru Yoneda
 • Total 746.24 km2 (288.12 sq mi)
Population (January 1, 2013)
 • Total 47,102
 • Density 63.12/km2 (163.5/sq mi)
 • Tree Sasayuri (Lilium japonicum)
 • Flower Ume
Time zone Japan Standard Time (UTC+9)
City Hall Address 1-2-5 Ichinomiya, Itoigawa-shi, Niigata-ken

Itoigawa (糸魚川市 Itoigawa-shi?) is a city in southern Niigata Prefecture, Japan. The city was founded on June 1, 1954.

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.[citation needed] The total area is 746.24 km².[citation needed]

On April 1, 2005, the towns of and Ōmi (both from Nishikubiki District) were merged into Itoigawa.

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.[1]

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.[2] 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.[3]


  1. ^ Itoigawa Global Geopark
  2. ^ Trautlein, Steve, "The chow-down tour of Kanto's local dishes", Japan Times, 24 August 2012, p. 15
  3. ^ One Robe, One Bowl; the Zen poetry of Ryokan. transl. John Stevens. 9th Ed. John Weatherhill, Inc., Tokyo. 1988.

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