Okaya City Hall
Location of Okaya in Nagano
|• - Mayor||Munehiro Miyazawa|
|• Total||85.10 km2 (32.86 sq mi)|
|Population (October 2016)|
|• Density||585/km2 (1,520/sq mi)|
|Time zone||Japan Standard Time (UTC+9)|
|• Tree||Taxus cuspidata|
|Address||Saiwaichō 8-1, Okaya-shi, Nagano-ken 394-8510|
Okaya (岡谷市? Okaya-shi) is a city located in central Nagano Prefecture, in the Chūbu region of Japan. As of 1 October 2016[update], the city had an estimated population of 49,758 and a population density of 585 persons per km². Its total area was 85.10 square kilometres (32.86 sq mi).
The area of present-day Okaya was part of ancient Shinano Province. The village of Hirano was created with the establishment of the municipalities system on April 1, 1889. Hirano was raised to directly city status on April 1, 1936, and is one of the eleven villages in Japan which have skipped the intermediate town stage to directly become a city. Okay annexed neighbouring Shijiri town and Chikumaji village on January 1, 1951, followed by Minato village on January 1, 1955, Kawagishi village on February 1, 1955 and Osachi village on March 25, 1957.
From the Meiji period through the early Shōwa period (1868-1930), the Okaya area was one of Japan's largest producers of export-quality silk, due to the introduction of a new silk-reeling machine from overseas.
After the World War II, Okaya established itself as a manufacturing city of precision machinery, focusing on producing products such as watches and cameras.
Okaya has seven public elementary schools and four public middle schools. The city has three public high schools operated by the Nagano Prefectural Board of Education.
- - The city is twinned with Mount Pleasant, Michigan, United States. In 2005 it donated forty trees to Mount Pleasant, honoring forty years of association between the two cities.
- Okaya is known for its Onbashira and Taiko festivals, and unagi (eel) dishes.
- To remember the importance for the Japanese silk industry, the Okaya Silk Museum opened its doors in 1964. Besides pictures of the old manufacturing techniques and people working in the silk reeling manufactures, there is old machinery and a full-functioning manufacture that is run by the Miyasaka Silk Reeling Co. in the museum.
Noted people from Okaya
- Watanabe Kunitake, former Deputy Prime Minister
- "Celebrating 40 Years as Sister Cities". Okaya International Exchange Association. Archived from the original on January 3, 2007. Retrieved 2008-02-24.
- "The Okaya Silk Museum". Kimonogeisha.com. 2015-01-28. Retrieved 2015-09-02.
- "生糸をつくる" (in Japanese). Miyasaka Silk Reeling Co. 2014-01-01. Retrieved 2015-09-02.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Okaya, Nagano.|
- Official website (Japanese)
- Okaya City official website (English)
- Okaya City official website (Portuguese)
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