Okaya, Nagano

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Official seal of Okaya
Location of Okaya in Nagano Prefecture
Location of Okaya in Nagano Prefecture
Okaya is located in Japan
Location in Japan
Coordinates: 36°03′50″N 138°03′09″E / 36.06389°N 138.05250°E / 36.06389; 138.05250Coordinates: 36°03′50″N 138°03′09″E / 36.06389°N 138.05250°E / 36.06389; 138.05250
Country Japan
Region Chūbu (Kōshin'etsu)
Prefecture Nagano Prefecture
 • Mayor Ryugo Imai (since September 2007)
 • Total 85.19 km2 (32.89 sq mi)
Population (May 1, 2011)
 • Total 52,556
 • Density 616.93/km2 (1,597.8/sq mi)
 • Tree Taxus cuspidata
 • Flower Rhododendron
Time zone Japan Standard Time (UTC+9)
City hall address Saiwaichō 8-1, Okaya City, Nagano Prefecture (長野県岡谷市幸町8番1号)

Okaya (岡谷市 Okaya-shi?) is a city on Lake Suwa in Nagano Prefecture, Japan. The Tenryū River begins its course in Okaya, flowing from its headwaters in Lake Suwa.


From the Meiji period through the start of the 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.[citation needed] The city was founded on April 1, 1936.

After the World War II, Okaya established itself as a manufacturing city of precision machinery, focusing on producing products such as watches and cameras.


As of May 1, 2011, the city of Okaya had an estimated population of 52,556, with 19,536 households and a population density of 616.93 persons per km². The total area is 85.19 km².

The region's local industry is predominantly made up of medium- and small-size businesses, but some big-name businesses such as Seiko Epson, Olympus and Kyocera.

View of Okaya
Tenryū River flowing out of Lake Suwa in Okaya

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.[1]

The city is known for its Onbashira and Taiko festivals, and unagi (eel) dishes. It claims itself the birthplace of modern-day skating, perhaps in Japan.[citation needed]

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.[2][3]


International schools[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Celebrating 40 Years as Sister Cities". Okaya International Exchange Association. Archived from the original on January 3, 2007. Retrieved 2008-02-24. 
  2. ^ "The Okaya Silk Museum". Kimonogeisha.com. 2015-01-28. Retrieved 2015-09-02. 
  3. ^ "生糸をつくる" (in Japanese). Miyasaka Silk Reeling Co. 2014-01-01. Retrieved 2015-09-02. 
  4. ^ "Escolas Brasileiras Homologadas no Japão" (Archived February 7, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.). Embassy of Brazil in Tokyo. Retrieved on October 13, 2015.
  5. ^ "Escolas Brasileiras Homologadas no Japão" (Archive). Embassy of Brazil in Tokyo. February 7, 2008. Retrieved on October 13, 2015.

External links[edit]