Kitakata, Fukushima

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Kitakata City Hall
Kitakata City Hall
Flag of Kitakata
Official seal of Kitakata
Location of Kitakata in Fukushima Prefecture
Location of Kitakata in Fukushima Prefecture
Kitakata is located in Japan
Coordinates: 37°39′4.1″N 139°52′29.1″E / 37.651139°N 139.874750°E / 37.651139; 139.874750Coordinates: 37°39′4.1″N 139°52′29.1″E / 37.651139°N 139.874750°E / 37.651139; 139.874750
 • MayorChuichi Endo
 • Total554.63 km2 (214.14 sq mi)
(November 1, 2017)
 • Total47,184
 • Density85/km2 (220/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+9 (Japan Standard Time)
• TreeCryptomeria
• FlowerHimesayuri (Lilium rubellum)
• BirdWagtail
• FishThree-spined stickleback
• InsectFirefly
Phone number0241-24-5211
Address7244-2 Oshimizuhigashi, Kitakata-shi, Fukushima-ken 966-8601
WebsiteOfficial website
Kitakata ramen
old sake kura in Kitakata

Kitakata (喜多方市, Kitakata-shi) is a city located in Fukushima Prefecture, Japan. As of 1 November 2018, the city had an estimated population of 47,184 in 16,668 households[1], and a population density of 85 persons per km2. The total area of the city was 554.63 square kilometres (214.14 sq mi). . Kitakata was once written '北方', which meant 'northern place'.[2]


Kitakami is located at the far northern Aizu region of Fukushima Prefecture, bordered by Yamagata Prefecture to the north and Niigata Prefecture to the west.

Neighboring municipalities[edit]

Fukushima Prefecture

Yamagata Prefecture

Niigata Prefecture


Kitakata has a Humid continental climate (Köppen Dfb) characterized by warm summers and cold winters with heavy snowfall. The average annual temperature in Kitakata is 11.6 °C. The average annual rainfall is 1426 mm with September as the wettest month.The temperatures are highest on average in August, at around 25.5 °C, and lowest in January, at around -1.1 °C.[3]


Per Japanese census data,[4] the population of Kitakata has declined over the past 40 years.

Census Year Population
1970 64,177
1980 60,456
1990 59,817
2000 58,571
2010 52,373


The area of present-day Kitakata was part of ancient Mutsu Province, and formed part of the holdings of Aizu Domain during the Edo period. The town developed as a local administrative center and market town, noted for its lacquerware and brewing of sake. After the Meiji Restoration, it was organized as part of Yama District, Fukushima Prefecture. The town of Kitakami was created with the establishment of the modern municipalities system on April 1, 1889.

In 1882, more than 3,000 peasants gathered at the Danjo-ga-hara Field in Shiokawa and then marched on the Kitakata Police Station to rebel against the oppression of the prefectural government. Known as the Kitakata Incident of 1882, it was the first public expression of the Freedom and People's Rights Movement in the Tohoku area.[2]

Kitakata Town was raised to city status on March 31, 1954. On January 4, 2006, the towns of Shiokawa and Yamato, and the villages of Atsushiokanō and Takasato (all from Yama District) were merged into Kitakata.


Kitakata has a mayor-council form of government with a directly elected mayor and a unicameral city legislature of 25 members.


Kitakata is a local commercial center. Agricultural products include rice and hops. The area is traditionally noted for sake brewing and lacquerware. Modern industries include aluminum smelting,


Kitakata has 17 public elementary school and seven public junior high schools operated by the city government, and four public high schools operated by the Fukushima Prefectural Board of Education. The prefecture also operates a vocational training school.



JR logo (east).svg JR EastBan'etsu West Line


Sister city relations[edit]

Local attractions[edit]

Kitakata is well known for its distinctive ramen. The area within its former city boundaries has the highest per-capita number of ramen establishments in Japan. Ramen has such prominence in the region that locally, the word soba usually refers to ramen, and not to actual soba which is referred to as nihon soba ("Japanese soba"). Kitakata's ramen consists of rather thick, flat, curly noodles served in a pork and niboshi broth.

The city has over 2,600 kura storehouses which are now typically used as sake breweries, living quarters and workshops.[5]

Noted people from Kitakata[edit]

External links[edit]

Media related to Kitakata, Fukushima at Wikimedia Commons


  1. ^ Kitakata city official statistics(in Japanese)
  2. ^ a b Takeda, Toru; Hishinuma, Tomio; Oguma, Chiyoichi; Takiguchi, R. (December 20, 1991), Fukushima Today & Tomorrow (1st ed.), Tokyo: Kenkyusha, p. 18, ISBN 4-327-76309-8
  3. ^ Kitakata climate data
  4. ^ Kitakata population statistics
  5. ^ Japan, Lonely Planet (2007) p505.