Location of Iwanai in Hokkaido (Shiribeshi Subprefecture)
|Prefecture||Hokkaido (Shiribeshi Subprefecture)|
|• Mayor||Yuji Kamioka|
|• Total||70.64 km2 (27.27 sq mi)|
|• Density||220/km2 (580/sq mi)|
|Time zone||Japan Standard Time (UTC+9)|
|- Tree||Sorbus commixta|
|Address||134-1 Takadai, Iwanai, Iwanai-gun, Hokkaido
As of 2008, the town has an estimated population of 15,700. The total area is 70.64 km².
Iwanai is one of the oldest towns in the region. Unlike many Hokkaido towns, it predates the Meiji Restoration, having started as a seasonal fishing location c. 1450, and developing into a year-round village in the mid-18th century. (Its official founding date is 1751.) Citizens of Iwanai whose families have been native for many generations have a peculiar "fisherman" accent to their Japanese, distinct to others living in the region. (Most Hokkaido citizens speak Kanto, or Tokyo region, dialect; their ancestors emigrated from the Kanto region in the late 19th century.)
Unfortunately, a massive fire in 1954 destroyed most of the traditional buildings, as they were mostly wooden structures. Modern Iwanai is much more Western in style, although there are still extensive Shinto shrines and Buddhist temples intact or rebuilt in the traditional fashion. The town also has a large shrine festival every July.
- 1897 Iwanai Subprefecture was established.
- 1900 Iwanai Town became a First Class Town.
- 1910 Iwanai Subprefecture was abolished and Shiribeshi Subprefecture was established in Kutchan.
- 1954 A massive fire was occurred.
- 1955 Iwanai Town was merged with Shimano Village to form the new town of Iwanai.
- 1985 Iwanai Line was abolished.
Today Iwanai still has a heavy fishing industry, along with farming in the local region. It also has skiing in winter. Although the local slopes are rougher than those of nearby Kutchan, the bay is visible from the slopes. The town is also well known in the region for its sushi restaurants.
- High school
- Hokkaido Iwanai High School
- Junior high school
- Iwanai Daiichi Junior High School
- Iwanai Daini Junior High School
- Elementary school
- Iwanai Nishi Elementary School
- Iwanai Higashi Elementary School
Media related to Iwanai, Hokkaidō at Wikimedia Commons
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