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Location of Nagaoka in Niigata Prefecture
|Region||Chūbu (Kōshin'etsu) (Hokuriku)|
|• Mayor||Tamio Mori (since November 1999)|
|• Total||890.91 km2 (343.98 sq mi)|
|Population (November 1, 2013)|
|• Density||317.65/km2 (822.7/sq mi)|
|Time zone||Japan Standard Time (UTC+9)|
|City hall address||2-1-1 Saiwai, Nagaoka-shi, Niigata-ken
Nagaoka (長岡市 Nagaoka-shi?) is a city located in the central part of Niigata Prefecture, Japan. It is the second largest city in the prefecture, after the capital city of Niigata. Nagaoka is located at longitude 138°E and latitude 37°N.
The size of Nagaoka increased on April 1, 2005, when the town of Oguni (from Kariwa District), the village of Yamakoshi (from Koshi District), the town of Nakanoshima (from Minamikanbara District), and the towns of Koshiji and Mishima (both from Santō District), were absorbed into Nagaoka. As of June 1, 2005, the city had an estimated population of 237,115 and a population density of 450.88 persons per km². The total area was 525.89 km².
And finally, one March 31, 2010, the town of Kawaguchi (from Kitauonuma District) was absorbed into Nagaoka. As of November 1, 2013, the city has an estimated population of 281,217 and a population density of 317.65 persons per km². The total area is 890.91 km².
Nagaoka is located in the center of Niigata prefecture and the surrounding Chūetsu region. It is 80 minutes from Tokyo by way of the Joetsu Shinkansen or 3 hours on the Kan-Etsu Expressway. Nagaoka was an inland city until January 1, 2006, when the city merged with four municipalities-two were touching the Sea of Japan. The current Nagaoka now touches the Sea of Japan on the north and after the merger, it is still considered a strategic traffic point in the region. The Shinano River flows through it from south to north and industrial development occurs on both banks of the river. The Higashiyama mountain range lies to the east.
From the north, following Nagaoka's border counterclockwise:
- Yahiko, Nishikanbara District
- Izumozaki, Santō District
However, Sado Island is connected by sea and air routes.
Nagaoka receives a high amount of precipitation throughout the year, with snowfall in winter, lasting usually from early December until late March or April. The temperature does not go below freezing, and for this reason, Tokamachi has benefited from shosetsu paippus.
|Climate data for Nagaoka, Niigata (1981-2010)|
|Average high °C (°F)||4.3
|Daily mean °C (°F)||1.3
|Average low °C (°F)||−1.2
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||299.7
|Average snowfall cm (inches)||236
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||47.3||65.8||109.0||166.2||184.7||144.7||143.7||192.4||131.3||129.7||89.2||57.7||1,461.7|
|Source: Japan Meteorological Agency|
The Tokugawa shogunate appointed Naoyori Hori lord of Nagaoka-han in 1616. Hori established the castle town of Nagaoka and built a castle in the Zaôdô area on the Shinano River. However, this area was prone to flooding and a new castle was built at the site of present-day Nagaoka Station by 1617.
Nagaoka flourished as a castle town under the reign of the 13 generations of the Makino clan of the Edo period. In the Boshin War of 1868 during the Meiji Restoration, clan military general Tsuginosuke Kawai lead the forces of Nagaoka against the Meiji Government. Nagaoka was defeated and the city was reduced to rubble. A gift of one hundred sacks of rice from a neighboring province was sold to finance a new school during the reconstruction of Nagaoka, from which the anecdote of Kome Hyappyo was born.
The town of Nagaoka and surrounding clan holdings became part of Kashiwazaki Prefecture (now Niigata Prefecture) at the beginning of the Meiji period. The modern municipality of Nagaoka was established on April 1, 1906.
- April 1, 1906: The municipality of Nagaoka is established.
- August 1, 1945: Nagaoka is reduced to rubble by 125 B-29 bombers in a late-evening air raid. 1,470 lives are lost.
- January 1963: A record-breaking heavy snowfall hits Nagaoka.
- November 15, 1982: Joetsu Shinkansen service arrives at Nagaoka Station.
- July 12–13, 2004: A heavy downpour causes extensive flooding in Nagaoka.
- October 23, 2004: The Chūetsu earthquake strikes, causing extensive damage in Nagaoka and surrounding areas.
- February 2005: Nagaoka experiences the heaviest snowfall in 19 years.
- April 1, 2005: The town of Oguni (from Kariwa District), the village of Yamakoshi (from Koshi District), the town of Nakanoshima (from Minamikanbara District), and the towns of Koshiji and Mishima (both from Santō District), were absorbed into Nagaoka. Prior to the merger, the size of Nagaoka was 262.45 km² and the population was 192,292.
- January 1, 2006: The city of Tochio, the towns of Teradomari and Yoita, and the village of Washima (all from Santō District) were absorbed into Nagaoka.
- March 31, 2010: The town of Kawaguchi (from Kitauonuma District) was absorbed into Nagaoka.
The manufacturing industry prospered in Nagaoka following the war, due in part to favorable location and good transportation infrastructure. Current industrial production includes precision instruments and the machine tools.
- Nippon Seiki, a manufacturer of automotive instruments, is headquartered in Nagaoka.
- TDK-Lambda, a manufacturer of switched-mode power supplies, has a plant in Nagaoka.
- Schlumberger, an oilfield services company has location in Nagaoka.
Nagaoka is twinned with the following four cities.
- Fort Worth, Texas, United States (November 9, 1987)
- Trier, Germany (April 1, 2006)
- Romainmôtier-Envy, Switzerland (April 1, 2006)
- Honolulu, Hawaii, United States (March 2, 2012)
It also has a "Friendship city" relationship with the following city.
- Bamberg, Germany (since 10 October 1995)
Privately owned cars are the primary means of civic transportation. The city has a wide network of bus routes, with Nagaoka Station as the hub.
East Japan Railway Company (JR East) serves the city of Nagaoka with the Joetsu Shinkansen as well as two traditional rail lines, the Joetsu Line and the Shinetsu Main Line. Nagaoka Station is the primary station in Nagaoka, and there are several smaller stations as well.
A private railway managed by Echigo Kotsu once served Nagaoka with two rail lines, but they have since been abandoned.
Local bus service in Nagaoka is managed by Echigo Kotsu. The bus terminal located at the east entrance of Nagaoka Station serves as the hub for the route network. Service extends to all parts of the city as well as many outlying suburban areas and villages.
A bus service connecting Nagaoka Station to Niigata, Niigata Station runs at intervals of approximately 30 minutes. Additionally, long-distance bus services are available to all major cities in the prefecture as well as Tokyo.
The Hokuriku National Expressway and the Kanetsu National Expressway pass through Nagaoka, as well as several smaller national highways.
A new regional highway called the Nagaoka East-and-West Road is currently being constructed. It will eventually include the longest bridge over the Shinano River.
Places of interest
- Kome Hyappyo Monument
- Tsuginosuke Kawai Monument in Yukyuzan Park
- Haibu Nagaoka Stadium
- The Niigata Prefectural Museum of Modern Art
- The Niigata Prefectural Museum of History
- Yukyuzan Park
- National Government Echigo Hillside Park
- Nagaoka Lyric Hall
- Nagaoka City Local Museum
Higher education institutions
- Nagaoka University of Technology
- Nagaoka National College of Technology
- Nagaoka University
- Nagaoka Institute of Design
- Nagaoka Festival and Grand Fireworks Festival (August)
- Nagaoka Aki Matsuri (Autumn Festival) and Kome Hyappyo Festival (October)
Notable people from Nagaoka
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- Ryō Hirohashi (voice actor)
- Tomoko Hoshino (actress)
- Etsu Inagaki Sugimoto (writer)
- Inoue Enryō (Buddhist philosopher and founder of Toyo University)
- Yuki Kondo (mixed martial artist)
- Jūshirō Konoe (actor)
- Koharu Kusumi (Morning Musume)
- Haruo Minami (Enka singer)
- Nobuhiro Watsuki (manga artist)
- Isoroku Yamamoto (Commander of the Japanese Navy during the first four years of World War II)
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