Okushiri, Hokkaido

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Flag of Okushiri
Official seal of Okushiri
Location of Okushiri in Hokkaido (Hiyama Subprefecture)
Location of Okushiri in Hokkaido (Hiyama Subprefecture)
Okushiri is located in Japan
Location in Japan
Coordinates: 42°10′N 139°31′E / 42.167°N 139.517°E / 42.167; 139.517Coordinates: 42°10′N 139°31′E / 42.167°N 139.517°E / 42.167; 139.517
PrefectureHokkaido (Hiyama Subprefecture)
DistrictOkushiri District, Hokkaido
 • MayorTakumi Shimmura
 • Total142.98 km2 (55.20 sq mi)
(30 September 2016)
 • Total2,812
 • Density20/km2 (51/sq mi)
 • TreeJapanese Yew
 • FlowerRugosa Rose
Time zoneUTC+9 (JST)
City hall address806 Okushiri, Okushiri-chō, Okushiri-gun, Hokkaidō

Okushiri (奥尻町, Okushiri-chō) is a town on Okushiri Island, located in Hiyama Subprefecture, Hokkaido, Japan.

As of September 2016, the town has an estimated population of 2,812, and a density of 20 persons per km². The total area is 142.98 km².

Hiyama Prefectural Natural Park encompasses the entire island and town.


The name Okushiri comes from the Ainu name Ikusyun-shiri. Iku means other side and shiri means island.[1] However, the Japanese meaning of the two kanji used for the name mean "wife's hips" or "wife's buttocks."


On July 12, 1993,[2] the Southwest Hokkaido Open Sea earthquake (北海道南西沖地震) of magnitude 7.8[2] in the Sea of Japan off southwest Hokkaido created a devastating tsunami. This tsunami killed 198[2] people in the town, despite a tsunami warning system and a seawall, and also caused landslides on the hills above. Another 32 people were missing, including 3 in Russia and 129 were injured. The subsequent fire burned down much of what remained. The island was reshaped by the tsunami, which was 10 meters high in town. The tsunami struck within five minutes of the earthquake, leaving residents absolutely no warning.

  • 1906: The village of Okushiri was founded.
  • 1966: Okushiri Village became Okushiri Town.
  • 1993: Southwest Hokkaido Open Sea earthquake occurred.


Okushiri Island is accessible by air or sea. Okushiri Airport serves the island with daily flights to and from Hakodate Airport. Regular ferry services to and from Esashi (2 hours and 20 minutes) and Setana (1 hour and 40 minutes) are provided by Heartland Ferry, and time timetable changes seasonally[3].

A local bus service operates year round.


  • High schools
    • Hokkaido Okushiri High School[4]
  • Junior high schools
    • Okushiri Junior High School
    • Aonae Junior High School (closed in 2017 to merge with Okushiri Junior High School)
  • Elementary schools
    • Okushiri Elementary School
    • Aonae Elementary School

Sister city[edit]


  1. ^ "About location and geography of Okushiri-cho". Official Home Page of Okushiri Town. Okushiri Town. Retrieved 2009-07-01.
  2. ^ a b c HIRATA, YUZUKI; MASAKAZU MURAKAMI (Nov 16, 2006). "Island hit by 1993 killer tsunami remains vigilant". Japan Times. The Japan Times Ltd. Retrieved 2009-06-25.
  3. ^ http://www.heartlandferry.jp/english/e-esashi-time/
  4. ^ Hokkaido Okushiri High School Archived 2006-07-16 at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ Okushiri:Links

External links[edit]