Motomiya, Fukushima

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Motomiya City Hall
Motomiya City Hall
Flag of Motomiya
Official seal of Motomiya
Location of Motomiya in Fukushima Prefecture
Location of Motomiya in Fukushima Prefecture
Motomiya is located in Japan
Coordinates: 37°30′47.5″N 140°23′37.8″E / 37.513194°N 140.393833°E / 37.513194; 140.393833Coordinates: 37°30′47.5″N 140°23′37.8″E / 37.513194°N 140.393833°E / 37.513194; 140.393833
Country Japan
Region Tōhoku
Prefecture Fukushima Prefecture
 • - Mayor Kajū Satō
 • Total 87.94 km2 (33.95 sq mi)
Population (December 1, 2014)
 • Total 30,505
 • Density 347/km2 (900/sq mi)
Time zone Japan Standard Time (UTC+9)
- Tree Hamilton's Spindle Tree (Euonymus hamiltonianus)
- Flower Peony
- Bird Japanese bush warbler
Phone number 0243-33-1111
Address 212 aza Bansei, Motomiya, Motomiya-shi, Fukushima-ken 969-1192

Motomiya (本宮市, Motomiya-shi) is a city situated in the middle of Nakadōri region of Fukushima Prefecture, Japan.

As of December 2014, the city had an estimated population of 30,505 and a population density of 347 persons per km².[1] The total area was 87.94 km². It is the smallest city in Fukushima, both in terms of population and size.

The modern city of Motomiya was established on January 1, 2007, by the merger of the former town of Motomiya absorbing the village of Shirasawa (both from Adachi District). The city became the first new municipality to form under the New Merger Law, in effect since April 2005.

Located conveniently in the middle of Fukushima Prefecture, Motomiya has easy access to national transportation route including the Tohoku Expressway, Japan National Route 4, and Tohoku JR East rail lines via Motomiya Station.


Conveniently located in the center of Fukushima Prefecture, Motomiya possesses a wide range of geographic features from the hills in the east, to the plains in the west, and the Abukuma River.

Running through Motomiya, the Abukuma River divides the city in two. On the former Motomiya Town side, bordered by the Ou (奥羽) Mountain Range (including Mount Adatara) in the west, and the Abukuma River in the east, flat plains run north to south extending into the Kōriyama Basin. The mountains to the north in Otama Village and Kōriyama serve as the sources for several rivers and streams including the Hyakunichi River (百日川), Adatara River (安達太良川), Seto River (瀬戸川), and Gohyaku River (五百川). The Hyakunichi River and Adatara River share the same source but diverge downstream.

On the former Shirasawa Village side, there are gentle rolling hills, and it is said that the Shirasawa Village side is locked in the hills.

The average elevation is about 200 meter above sea level, but it can be as high as 400 to 500 meters in some areas.

Surrounding municipalities[edit]


According to 2005 census data, Motomiya lost population for the first time in 25 years, falling to 31,367 residents.

  • 1980 – 27,732
  • 1985 – 28,351
  • 1990 – 29,144
  • 1995 – 30,682
  • 2000 – 31,541
  • 2005 – 31,367


The oldest known record refers to the area of Motomiya as Honmoku (本牧). Later in the Nara Era, the characters for Honmoku were rewritten as (本目), also pronounceable as Motome. Motome was then rewritten as (木目). Then in the 11th century, it became the current Motomiya (本宮). The origins of the name Motomiya, literally meaning "Central Shrine," refer to the Adatara Jinja (安達太良神社), a Shinto shrine in the city's northern district which was devoted to the Southern Adachi's Shinto deity.

As a starting point for roads to Aizu, Miharu, Soma, and many other destinations, Motomiya became well known as an inn town. In addition, with the growth of lesser roads to Aizu, Adachi no Umaya (安達駅), a government-maintained rest stop and messenger station, was established in Motomiya. Currently, the stone marker indicating the start of the Aizu road is preserved for all to see at the Motomiya City Historical Folk Museum. Date Masamune (伊達政宗) famously used Motomiya as a base during the Battle of Hitotoribashi (人取橋の戦い), where his army of 7000 faced off against an army of Aizu clans 30,000 strong. Afterwards in the Edo Era, Motomiya was placed under the control of the Nihonmatsu Domain.

During the Boshin War, intense battles spread through the countryside and even now scars from these battles can be seen in locations within the city limits.

During the Meiji and Taisho eras, the Motomiya Electric Corporation was established and constructed a power plant in present Otama Village's Tamanoi district which provided electricity to the area. From this point many glamorous industries were born in the area. During the Showa era, Gunze, a Japanese textiles company, opened a factory and began operations in Motomiya. During World War II, Allied bombers attacked Motomiya, because the Gunze factories manufactured cloth used to cover the wings of Japanese Mitsubishi Zero fighters. In the attack, known to locals as, "the Motomiya air raids," 4 people were killed.

After the war, Japan entered a time of rapid economic growth, and industrial parks were zoned and constructed in Motomiya, Arai, Nukazawa, and Shiraiwa districts. Soon after, Asahi Beer was enticed to construct a brewery in the city limits.

In the 1980s, mid-size housing developments such as the Northern Kōriyama New Town and Hikari ga Oka developments were begun as an influx of workers to Kōriyama and Fukushima created a demand for bedroom communities.

In 1889, with the establishment of the municipalities system, Motomiya Town was created within Adachi District. January 1, 2007 – Motomiya Town and Shirasawa Village, also from Adachi District merged. January 4, 2007 – City Hall is opened (the former Motomiya Town Hall), City Mayoral duties are given to former Mayor of Shirasawa and Provisional Mayor of Motomiya City, Mr. Zengi Okabe ??? (岡部善宣) until elections can be held.

February 4, 2007 – Former Mayor of Motomiya Town, Mr. Kaju Sato (佐藤嘉重) defeats Prefectural legislator Mr. Shigeo Watanabe (渡辺重夫) by 1500 votes to become the first mayor of Motomiya City.


  • Mayor: Kaju Sato, 佐藤嘉重

Inaugurated on February 4, 2007, Mayor Sato was first elected Mayor of former Motomiya Town in 1994. Continuing without elections 4 times, he is currently serving his 5th term. He is an in-law of the former Governor of Fukushima, Eisaku Sato, 佐藤栄佐久.

City districts[edit]

  • Residences without "Oaza"
  • Motomiya, 本宮

This is the original Motomiya area since before the Showa era. Most city departments including City Hall are located in this district. Now, portions of the former agricultural northern area are being converted to industrial and residential use.

  • Aota, 青田

This district is a typical farming area. While the eastern half is undergoing rapid development thanks to its proximity to National Route 4, the western half remains largely agricultural.

  • Arai, 荒井

This district has well-developed retail and industrial areas. Many large shopping centers and factories are located in this area.

  • Niita, 仁井田

This is a geographically narrow district. Because of its shape, homes and businesses line the roads giving it an appearance reminiscent of the Showa era.

  • Iwane, 岩根

The northern part of this district is mountainous, while the southern part is farmland. The origin of the district's name comes from the large instances of peculiarly shaped rocks. Even now, specimens can still be seen. A rise in the district's population can be attributed to the Mizuki ga Oka housing development.

  • Sekishita, 関下

This district is a farming area following the Abukuma River with large belts of worked arable land.

  • Takagi, 高木

This is the downtown district. Like Niita District, homes and shops line the road as in the Showa era. Constructed above in the hills, Kita Koriyama New Town has contributed to a population increase in this district.

  • Shiraiwa, 白岩

This was the nucleus of the former Shirasawa Village, and still contains the Shirasawa gymnasium, Yume Library, Village Sports Grounds, Community Center, Culture Center and many other civic buildings. Nestled in the hills, farmers have taken to growing rice and crops in small fields between the slopes.

  • Nukazawa, 糠沢

A quiet farming area on the western part of former Shirasawa Village, the opening of Hikari ga Oka housing development makes this district one of the most populous in the former Shirasawa Village.

  • Wada, 和田

This district is a farming area on the northern part of former Shirasawa Village. It is home to the Wanda Spring.

  • Inazawa, 稲沢

Having won prizes for demonstrating "what a farming village should be," this district is the very paradigm of a Japanese farming community.

  • Nagaya, 長屋

This district is another mountainous farming district with farming practices similar to Shiraiwa.

  • Matsuzawa, 松沢

Changes to the municipality[edit]

  • 1871 - Motomiya Village (本宮村)、Aota Village (青田村)、Arai Village (荒井村)、Niita Village(仁井田村)、Inashirota Village (苗代田村)、Haneseishi Village(羽瀬石村)、Sagehi Village (下樋村)、Sekishita Village (関下村)、Takagi Village (高木村)、Wada Village (和田村)、Nukazawa Village (糠沢村)、Shiraiwa Village (白岩村)、Nagaya Village (長屋村)、Inazawa Village (稲沢村)、Matsuzawa Village (松沢村) were formed.
  • On April 1, 1889 - Motomiya Town, Aota Village, Arai Village, Niita Village、Iwane Village (岩根村, formed from Inashirota, Haneseishi, Sagehi Villages and later Sekishita Village), Wagisawa Village (和木沢村, formed from Wada, Takagi and Nukazawa Village), and Shiraiwa Village(白岩村, formed from Shiraiwa, Nagaya, Inazawa, and Matsuzawa Villages) were formed.
  • On April 1, 1954 - a new Motomiya Town was formed from Aota, Arai, Niita Villages and Motomiya Town.
  • On April 30, 1955 - Wagisawa Village was dissolved with Takagi District being added to Motomiya Town, and Wada and Nukazawa Districts being added to Shiraiwa Village to create Shirasawa Village.
  • On March 31, 1956 - Motomiya Town absorbed Iwane Village.
  • On January 1, 2007 - Motomiya absorbed the village of Shirasawa (also from Adachi District) to create the city of Motomiya.

Motomiya City civic centers[edit]

  • Motomiya City Hall, 本宮市役所(Formerly Motomiya Town Offices, 本宮町役場)
  • Shirasawa Consolidated District Offices, 白沢総合支所(Formerly Shirasawa Village Offices, 白沢村役場)
    • Iwane District Offices, 岩根支所
    • Shiraiwa District Offices, 白岩支所
  • Discussions regarding the relocation of the Shirasawa Consolidated District Offices from Nukazawa district to Shiraiwa district have been completed, and the move will be begun soon.

Police department[edit]

  • Motomiya Police Station (Currently slated to be abolished due to budget cuts with duties being divided between Nihonmatsu and Northern Kōriyama Police Stations)
    • Iwane Police Home/Offices, 岩根駐在所
    • Shiraiwa Police Home/Offices, 白岩駐在所
    • Shirasawa Police Home/Offices, 白沢駐在所

Post office branches[edit]

  • Motomiya Branch
  • Motomiya Northern Branch
  • Iwane Branch
  • Arai Japan Post Insurance Branch
  • Shirasawa Branch

Fire department[edit]

  • Adachi Administrative District Combined Southern Fire Station



Farming Revenue: In 2002, rice paddies produced superior quality rice (Koshi hikari type) worth 1.6 billion yen

  • The former Wagisawa Village was a pure farming village. Even at present, agriculture is very active. The former Motomiya Town still is heavily invested in the cultivation of rice, fruits and produce and poultry. In the former Shirasawa Village, sericulture is still active. Of these, the sericulture industry's equipment has been designated as National (treasures???) (国の有形記念物).


Shipping Revenues: 290.5 billion yen (2002)

  • National Expressway (Tohoku and Ban-etsu Expressways)
  • Expansion of Industrial parks
  • Asahi Beer's Fukushima Plant
  • Dedicated water purification plant (planned)

City Specialties[edit]

  • Motomiya natto
  • Motomiya special poultry
  • Tororo Imo (A specialty of the former Shirasawa Village, it is still marketed as "Motomiya City, Shirasawa grown" even though there is no official Motomiya City, Shirasawa area)


  • Mizuiro Park
  • Takagi Athletics Field, 高木総合運動公園
  • Hebi no Hana Playground, 蛇の鼻遊園

Education (Motomiya City School District)][2][edit]

High Schools (Ages 16-18)[edit]

Junior High Schools (Ages 13-15)[edit]

Elementary Schools (Ages 7-12)[edit]

Kindergarten and Preschools (Ages 4-6)[edit]

  • Motomiya 1st Preschool
  • Motomiya 2nd Preschool
  • Motomiya 3rd Preschool
  • Motomiya 4th Preschool
  • Shirasawa Preschool
  • Gohyakugawa Kindergarten
  • Iwane Kindergarten
  • Nukazawa Kindergarten
  • Shiraiwa Kindergarten
  • Wada Kindergarten
  • Gakko Honin Motomiya Kindergarten
  • Komei Preschool
  • Donguri Preschool
  • Motomiya Children's House


With the early construction of Motomiya Station on the Japanese rail network, Motomiya was an early departure point for people leaving for Tokyo. It is said that when Inawashiro's famous Dr. Hideyo Noguchi left for the capital, he came by carriage to Motomiya to board a train for Tokyo.

However, predating rail links, roads leading to towns all over Fukushima including Aizu City, Soma City, and Miharu City converged here, making Motomiya a hub for transportation. Even though it had only gravel roads, the transportation industry quickly grew, and with it, the bus and taxi services as well. Since these times, much of the traffic has been diverted to nearby Kōriyama City and Nihonmatsu City. But even now, roads to Aizu from National Route 4 (Prefectural Route 8, Motomiya-Atami line), and roads to the Tosaki(戸崎) traffic circle such as Prefectural Route 118 from Obama (小浜) (Nihonmatsu City) and Route 146 from Ishimushiro(石筵) (Kōriyama City) converge in Motomiya, still making it an important hub for transportation and large numbers of freight trucks still pass through.



  • Fukushima Public Transportation
  • Motomiya City Bus


National Expressway[edit]

National Routes[edit]

Prefectural Routes[edit]

  • Fukushima Prefectural Route 8 (Motomiya to Atami)
  • Fukushima Prefectural Route 28 (Motomiya to Miharu)
  • Fukushima Prefectural Route 30 (Motomiya to Tsuchiyu)
  • Fukushima Prefectural Route 73 (Nihonmatsu to Kaneya)
  • Fukushima Prefectural Route 40 (Iino to Miharu to Ishikawa)

Noted people from Motomiya[edit]


  1. ^ [1] City of Motomiya home page (in Japanese)
  2. ^ Motomiya Schools Page

External links[edit]