Kitakami City Hall
Location of Kitakami in Iwate Prefecture
|• -Mayor||Toshihiko Takahashi (since May 2011)|
|• Total||437.55 km2 (168.94 sq mi)|
|Population (September 2015)|
|• Density||213/km2 (550/sq mi)|
|Time zone||Japan Standard Time (UTC+9)|
|• Flower||White lily|
|• Bird||Grey wagtail|
|Address||1-1 Yoshi-cho, Kitakami-shi, Iwate-ken 024-8501|
Kitakami (北上市 Kitakami-shi?) is a city located in Iwate Prefecture, Japan. As of September 2015, the city had an estimated population of 93,345 and a population density of 213 persons per km2. The total area was 437.55 square kilometres (168.94 sq mi). The city is famous for the sakura that bloom in Tenshochi Park.
Kitakami is located in south-central Iwate Prefecture, in the Kitakami River valley.
The area of present-day Kitakami was part of ancient Mutsu Province, and has been settled since at least the Jomon period by the Emishi people. During the later portion of the Heian period, the area was ruled by the Northern Fujiwara. During the Sengoku period, the area was contested by various samurai clans before being divided between the Nambu clan of Morioka Domain and the Date clan of Sendai Domain during the Edo period, under the Tokugawa shogunate.
The modern city of Kitakami was founded on April 1, 1954, by the merger of the villages of Kurosawajiri, Iitoyo, Futako, Saraki, Oniyanai, Aisari and Fukuoka. On April 1, 1991, Kitakami absorbed the neighboring village of Ezuriko and town of Waga (both from Waga District).
The economy of Kitakami was traditionally agricultural; however, due to its ease of access with Sendai and Morioka via the Tohoku Expressway, the area has rapidly developed into a kight manufacturing and transshipment center.
Kitakami has 17 elementary schools, nine middle schools and five high schools.
- East Japan Railway Company (JR East) – Tōhoku Shinkansen
- East Japan Railway Company (JR East) – Tōhoku Main Line
- East Japan Railway Company (JR East) – Kitakami Line
- Tōhoku Expressway – Kitakami-Kanegasaki IC, Kitakami-Ezuriko IC
- Akita Expressway – Kitakami IC, Kitakami-Nishi IC
- Japan National Route 4
- Japan National Route 107
- Japan National Route 456
The city is famous for the sakura that bloom in Tenshochi Park, which is regarded as one of the hundred best places in Japan to view cherry blossoms.
- USA – Concord, California, United States, since October 25, 1974
- China – Sanmenxia, Henan Province, China, friendship cities since May 25, 1985 
Noted people from Kitakami
- Tamaki Saitō – psychologist
- Hiroki Suzuki – actor
- Saori Takahashi – professional women’s volleyball player
- Tatsuo Hirano – politician
- Yoshiaki Fujiwara – professional wrestler
- Akira Yaegashi – professional boxer
Media related to Kitakami, Iwate at Wikimedia Commons