Kurashiki

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Kurashiki
倉敷市
Bikan district of Kurashiki
Bikan district of Kurashiki
Flag of Kurashiki
Official seal of Kurashiki
Location of Kurashiki in Okayama Prefecture
Location of Kurashiki in Okayama Prefecture
Kurashiki is located in Japan
Kurashiki
Kurashiki
Location in Japan
Coordinates: 34°35′N 133°46′E / 34.583°N 133.767°E / 34.583; 133.767Coordinates: 34°35′N 133°46′E / 34.583°N 133.767°E / 34.583; 133.767
CountryJapan
RegionChūgoku (San'yō)
PrefectureOkayama Prefecture
Government
 • MayorKaori Itō
Area
 • Total355.63 km2 (137.31 sq mi)
Population
 (March 31, 2017)
 • Total483,576
 • Density1,400/km2 (3,500/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+09:00 (JST)
City hall address640 Nishinakashinden, Kurashiki-shi, Okayama-ken
710-8565
ClimateCfa
Websitewww.city.kurashiki.okayama.jp
Symbols
BirdKingfisher
FlowerWysteria
TreeCamphor

Kurashiki (倉敷市, Kurashiki-shi) is a historic city located in western Okayama Prefecture, Japan, sitting on the Takahashi River, on the coast of the Inland Sea. As of March 31, 2017, the city has an estimated population of 483,576 and a population density of 1,400 persons per km². The total area is 355.63 km².[1]

History[edit]

The modern city of Kurashiki was founded on April 1, 1928. Previously, it was the site of clashes between the Taira and Minamoto clans during the Heian period. It gradually developed as a river port. During the Edo period, it became an area directly controlled by the shogunate. Distinctive white-walled, black-tiled warehouses were built to store goods. During the Meiji Restoration (Japan's Industrial Revolution period), factories were built, including the Ohara Spinning Mill, which still stands as the nostalgic tourist attraction Ivy Square.[2]

On August 1, 2005, the town of Mabi (from Kibi District), and the town of Funao (from Asakuchi District) were merged with Kurashiki.

Geography[edit]

Climate[edit]

Kurashiki has a humid subtropical climate (Köppen climate classification Cfa). The average annual temperature in Kurashiki is 15.8 °C (60.4 °F). The average annual rainfall is 1,042.2 mm (41.03 in) with September as the wettest month. The temperatures are highest on average in August, at around 27.9 °C (82.2 °F), and lowest in January, at around 4.6 °C (40.3 °F).[3] The highest temperature ever recorded in Kurashiki was 37.1 °C (98.8 °F) on 8 August 1994; the coldest temperature ever recorded was −8.0 °C (17.6 °F) on 27 February 1981.[4]

Climate data for Kurashiki (1991−2020 normals, extremes 1979−present)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 16.1
(61.0)
22.5
(72.5)
23.5
(74.3)
30.5
(86.9)
32.6
(90.7)
35.2
(95.4)
36.8
(98.2)
37.1
(98.8)
36.0
(96.8)
32.4
(90.3)
25.4
(77.7)
19.9
(67.8)
37.1
(98.8)
Average high °C (°F) 9.2
(48.6)
10.0
(50.0)
13.6
(56.5)
19.3
(66.7)
24.4
(75.9)
27.3
(81.1)
30.9
(87.6)
32.2
(90.0)
28.4
(83.1)
23.1
(73.6)
17.1
(62.8)
11.5
(52.7)
20.6
(69.1)
Daily mean °C (°F) 4.6
(40.3)
5.2
(41.4)
8.5
(47.3)
13.9
(57.0)
19.1
(66.4)
22.9
(73.2)
26.9
(80.4)
27.9
(82.2)
23.9
(75.0)
18.0
(64.4)
12.0
(53.6)
6.7
(44.1)
15.8
(60.4)
Average low °C (°F) 0.3
(32.5)
0.6
(33.1)
3.5
(38.3)
8.6
(47.5)
14.0
(57.2)
19.1
(66.4)
23.6
(74.5)
24.4
(75.9)
20.1
(68.2)
13.5
(56.3)
7.3
(45.1)
2.4
(36.3)
11.5
(52.6)
Record low °C (°F) −5.4
(22.3)
−8.0
(17.6)
−3.5
(25.7)
−0.8
(30.6)
3.1
(37.6)
9.8
(49.6)
16.0
(60.8)
17.1
(62.8)
8.9
(48.0)
2.7
(36.9)
−0.9
(30.4)
−4.1
(24.6)
−8.0
(17.6)
Average precipitation mm (inches) 34.4
(1.35)
42.4
(1.67)
78.2
(3.08)
82.5
(3.25)
101.9
(4.01)
149.8
(5.90)
154.1
(6.07)
81.3
(3.20)
133.0
(5.24)
93.6
(3.69)
51.2
(2.02)
40.4
(1.59)
1,042.2
(41.03)
Average precipitation days (≥ 1.0 mm) 4.8 6.1 8.6 9.0 8.8 10.6 9.9 6.8 8.8 7.1 5.8 5.2 91.5
Mean monthly sunshine hours 152.5 144.5 175.7 189.8 199.2 143.1 173.0 206.5 155.2 166.7 149.7 145.8 2,001.3
Source: Japan Meteorological Agency[4][3]

Demographics[edit]

Per Japanese census data, the population of Kurashiki in 2020 is 474,592 people.[5] Kurashiki has been conducting censuses since 1960.

Historical population
YearPop.±%
1960 286,902—    
1965 308,908+7.7%
1970 374,385+21.2%
1975 417,750+11.6%
1980 432,171+3.5%
1985 443,721+2.7%
1990 445,059+0.3%
1995 453,618+1.9%
2000 460,869+1.6%
2005 469,377+1.8%
2010 475,421+1.3%
2015 477,118+0.4%
2020 474,592−0.5%
Kurashiki population statistics[5]

Attractions[edit]

19th-century warehouses in the Bikan district of Kurashiki
Great Seto Bridge (Seto-Ohashi Bridge) seen from Shimotsui, Kurashiki
Kurashiki Canal Area

Kurashiki is the home of Japan's first museum for Western art, the Ohara Museum of Art. Established in 1930 by Magosaburō Ōhara, it contains paintings by El Greco, Monet, Matisse, Gauguin, and Renoir. The collection also presents fine examples of Asian and contemporary art. The main building is designed in the style of Neoclassicism.

The old merchant quarter is called the Bikan historical area. It contains many fine examples of 17th century wooden warehouses (kura, 倉) painted white with traditional black tiles, along a canal framed with weeping willows and filled with koi. The area has no electric poles in order to make it more closely resemble the look of the Meiji period. One of the city's former town halls was located in the Kurashiki Kan, a European style building constructed in 1917.

In 1997 a theme park called Tivoli (after the park of the same name in Copenhagen) opened near Kurashiki Station. After ten years of operation it was closed in 2008, with a massive debt.

The Great Seto Bridge connects the city to Sakaide in Kagawa Prefecture across the Inland Sea.

Kenzo Tange, winner of the 1987 Pritzker Prize for architecture, designed the former Kurashiki City Hall in 1960.

Education[edit]

Colleges and universities[edit]

The city is home to several private universities and one public university.

Primary and secondary schools[edit]

The city has a North Korean school, Okayama Korean Elementary and Junior High School (岡山朝鮮初中級学校).[6]

Sports[edit]

Kurashiki has a variety of sports clubs, including former Japan Football League side Mitsubishi Mizushima.

Kurashiki was also the place where current J. League sides Vissel Kobe and Fagiano Okayama had their origins before moving.

Sister and friendship cities[edit]

Kurashiki maintains the following sister and friendship cities:[7]

Notable people[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Official website of Kurashiki city" (in Japanese). Japan: Kurashiki City. Retrieved 12 April 2017.
  2. ^ "Kurashiki's History". City of Kurashiki. August 7, 2006. Archived from the original on January 19, 2007. Retrieved August 8, 2006.
  3. ^ a b 気象庁 / 平年値(年・月ごとの値). JMA. Retrieved May 2, 2022.
  4. ^ a b 観測史上1~10位の値(年間を通じての値). JMA. Retrieved May 2, 2022.
  5. ^ a b Kurashiki population statistics
  6. ^ "Archived copy" ウリハッキョ一覧. Archived from the original on December 19, 2015. Retrieved October 14, 2015.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)" ().
  7. ^ Kurashiki's Sister/Friendship Cities[permanent dead link]
  8. ^ Silvey, Jennifer (July 28, 2019). "Learn more about Kansas City's sister cities and possible travel destinations". Fox 4 KC. Retrieved January 19, 2021.
  9. ^ "Japanese Tea Room and Garden". Kansas City Parks. Retrieved October 18, 2017.
  10. ^ 星野仙一記念館 [Hoshino Senichi Memorial Hall] (in Japanese). Kurashiki Convention & Visitors Bureau. Retrieved 2 October 2014.
  11. ^ 大原孫三郎から現代まで [From Magosaburo Ohara to the present] (in Japanese). Ohara Museum. Retrieved 2 October 2014.
  12. ^ 7 大山名人記念館(倉敷市芸文館内 (in Japanese). Kurashiki City. Retrieved 30 September 2014.
  13. ^ 棋士紹介:物故棋士一覧 (in Japanese). Japan Shogi Association. Archived from the original on 23 September 2014. Retrieved 30 September 2014.
  14. ^ "Daisuke TAKAHASHI Biography". International Skating Union. Retrieved February 20, 2018.
  15. ^ "Biography". International Skating Union. Retrieved February 20, 2018.

External links[edit]