Okutama, Tokyo

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Okutama
奥多摩町
Town
Okutama Town Hall
Okutama Town Hall
Flag of Okutama
Flag
Official seal of Okutama
Seal
Location of Okutama in Tokyo
Location of Okutama in Tokyo
Okutama is located in Japan
Okutama
Okutama
 
Coordinates: 35°48′34.4″N 139°5′46.3″E / 35.809556°N 139.096194°E / 35.809556; 139.096194Coordinates: 35°48′34.4″N 139°5′46.3″E / 35.809556°N 139.096194°E / 35.809556; 139.096194
Country Japan
Region Kantō
Prefecture Tokyo
District Nishitama
Area
 • Total 225.53 km2 (87.08 sq mi)
Population (February 2016)
 • Total 5,177
 • Density 23/km2 (60/sq mi)
Time zone Japan Standard Time (UTC+9)
Symbols  
• Tree Cryptomeria
• Flower Azalea
• Bird Copper pheasant
Phone number 042-557-0501
Address 215-6 Hikawa, Okutama-machi, Nishitama-gun, Tokyo 198-0212
Website www.town.okutama.tokyo.jp/index00.html
Fishing is popular in Okutama.

Okutama (奥多摩町 Okutama-machi?) is a town located in the western portion of Tokyo Metropolis, in the central Kantō region of Japan. As of 1 February 2016, the town had an estimated population of 5,177 and a population density of 23 persons per km². Its total area was 225.53 square kilometres (87.08 sq mi). [1] With an area of 225.63 km2

Geography[edit]

Okutama is located in the Okutama Mountains of far western Tokyo. It is geographically the largest municipality in Tokyo. [Mount Kumotori]], Tokyo's highest peak at 2017 m, divides Okutama from the Okuchichibu region of the neighboring Saitama and Yamanashi Prefectures. Tokyo's northernmost and westernmost points lie in Okutama, as does Lake Okutama, an important source of water for Tokyo, situated above the Ogōchi Dam in the town.[2]

Mountains[edit]

  • Mount Kumotori
    Mount Kumotori, at 2017 m is the highest mountain in Tokyo and the westernmost place of Tokyo. Many plants grow here during the summer, most notably the tsuga. From the summit, there is a clear view of Mount Fuji and the Okuchichibu Mountains.[3]
  • Mount Mitō
    Because it was forbidden to enter Mount Mitō during the Edo Period, there are still many forests of enormous beech trees. Mount Fuji and Mount Kumotori can be seen from the summit, and it attracts many visitors especially during autumn. It is one of the Three Mountains of Okutama.[4]
  • Mount Ōdake
    Mount Ōdake is one of the Three Mountains of Okutama. From the summit at 1266 m, Mount Fuji can be seen to the south and Mount Gozen to the west.[5]
  • Mount Kawanori
    From Mount Kawanori, all mountains in Okutama can be seen. Also, the Hyakuhiro Waterfall is located here.[6]
  • Mount Gozen
    Mount Gozen is well known for its oddly perfectly triangular shape. Like Mount Mitō, it attracts visitors in the fall.

Rivers[edit]

  • Tama River
    The Tama River, with a length of 138 km, is the longest river in the prefecture. It flows through the entire prefecture, and the upstream of the river is located in Okutama.
  • Hinohara River
    The Hinohara River is a rather short and small river located in the western portion of Tokyo.

Lakes[edit]

  • Lake Okutama
  • Lake Shiromaru
    Lake Shiromaru is a rather infamous dam on the Tama River. It has a height of 30.3 m, a length of 61 m, and a volume of 14,161 m3.

Surrounding municipalities[edit]

Climate[edit]

Climate data for Lake Okutama (1981 - 2010)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 17.8
(64)
20.9
(69.6)
22.5
(72.5)
30.6
(87.1)
33.0
(91.4)
34.3
(93.7)
35.8
(96.4)
36.4
(97.5)
35.0
(95)
29.1
(84.4)
23.8
(74.8)
22.1
(71.8)
36.4
(97.5)
Average high °C (°F) 6.7
(44.1)
7.1
(44.8)
10.3
(50.5)
16.3
(61.3)
20.5
(68.9)
23.0
(73.4)
26.8
(80.2)
28.2
(82.8)
23.9
(75)
18.4
(65.1)
13.8
(56.8)
9.3
(48.7)
17.1
(62.8)
Daily mean °C (°F) 1.3
(34.3)
1.8
(35.2)
5.0
(41)
10.6
(51.1)
15.1
(59.2)
18.5
(65.3)
22.0
(71.6)
23.2
(73.8)
19.5
(67.1)
13.8
(56.8)
8.5
(47.3)
3.8
(38.8)
11.9
(53.4)
Average low °C (°F) −2.7
(27.1)
−2.3
(27.9)
0.6
(33.1)
5.6
(42.1)
10.5
(50.9)
14.8
(58.6)
18.7
(65.7)
19.7
(67.5)
16.3
(61.3)
10.3
(50.5)
4.6
(40.3)
−0.1
(31.8)
8.19
(46.74)
Record low °C (°F) −9.3
(15.3)
−11.6
(11.1)
−8.1
(17.4)
−3.8
(25.2)
0.7
(33.3)
8.8
(47.8)
12.4
(54.3)
14.2
(57.6)
6.2
(43.2)
1.0
(33.8)
−2.1
(28.2)
−6.2
(20.8)
−11.6
(11.1)
Average precipitation mm (inches) 44.1
(1.736)
50.0
(1.969)
92.5
(3.642)
109.6
(4.315)
120.3
(4.736)
155.7
(6.13)
195.4
(7.693)
280.6
(11.047)
271.3
(10.681)
172.4
(6.787)
76.7
(3.02)
39.9
(1.571)
1,623.5
(63.917)
Average precipitation days (≥ 1.0 mm) 4.8 5.9 10.6 10.2 11.2 13.8 15.4 12.5 13.9 10.6 6.9 4.0 119.8
Mean monthly sunshine hours 147.1 127.7 132.2 161.8 154.9 109.8 127.6 148.3 99.1 94.5 122.1 145.6 1,570.7
Source #1: 気象庁
Source #2: 観測史上1〜10位の値(年間を通じての値)

History[edit]

Prehistory[edit]

People began settling in Okutama from before the Jomon Period and many archaeological sites have been found with ancient pottery. During during the Yayoi Period, rice cultivation began in the flatter lands of present-day Okutama, but most of the area remained. covered by forests and only small flat lands existed.[7]

Premodern period[edit]

During the Edo Period, the area included in present-day Okutama was divided into 16 villages within Musashi Province. In each village, there was one person who served as the mayor, another who served as the leader of a particular group, and another who served as a representative for the farmers. Also, entering Mount Takanosu was forbidden for people of low rank during this time. This was because the people of high rank (government officials and such) hunted with hawks at the mountain, and the officials wanted to keep the hunting grounds for themselves.[7]

Modern Times[edit]

With the start of the Meiji period, the area of Okutama became part of Nirayama Prefecture except for Kotaba village, which was merged into Maebashi Domain, which then became part of Gunma Prefecture. While Kotaba village was turned into part of Maebashi city, the Okutama area was divided into three villages of Hikawa, Kori, and Ogouchi with the establishment of the municipalities system on April 1, 1889. In 1940, Hikawa was elevated to town status. In 1955, Hikawa town, Ogouchi village and Kori village were united, forming the town of Okutama.[7]

Economy[edit]

Seasonal tourism, forestry and charcoal production are mainstays of the local economy.

Education[edit]

Okutama has two elementary and two middle schools. The town does not have a high school.

Transportation[edit]

Okutama Station

Railway[edit]

The East Japan Railway Company serves the town. The Ōme line, which connects the town with Tachikawa, terminates at Okutama Station.

Bus[edit]

The Nishi Tokyo Bus Co. carries passengers to Lake Okutama, the Nippara Limestone Cave, Tabayama village and Kosuge village (both in Yamanashi Prefecture) from Okutama Station.

Highway[edit]

  • Prefectural Roads
    • Tokyo Prefectural Road 184 Okutama-Akiruno
    • Tokyo Prefectural Road 204 Nippara Limestone Cave
    • Tokyo Prefectural Road 205
    • Tokyo Prefectural Road 206 Kawano-Kamikawa

Sister city relations[edit]

Local attractions[edit]

A forest in the Okuchichibu Mountains

All of the town is located in Chichibu-Tama-Kai National Park.

  • Lake Okutama
    Lake Okutama plays a major role in providing drinking water for the people of Tokyo. The largest lake in Tokyo, it also has a large dam.[8]
  • Mount Takanosu
    During the Edo Period, the people of low rank were forbidden to enter Mount Takanosu, because it was a hawk hunting ground for the government and military officials. Now, it is open to hikers, and has an elevation of 1736.6 m.
  • Tsurunoyu Onsen
    Until the construction of Ogouchi Dam, there was a spa town for Tsurunoyu Onsen. (It is now in the depths of the dam.) Now, there are a few inns that use the hot water from the hot spring for their spas. The hot spring is located about 20 minutes by bus from Okutama Station.
  • Hyakuhiro Waterfall
View of Mount Kumotori from Mount Nanatsuishi
  • Hyakuhiro Waterfall, with a height of 40 m, is a famous waterfall in the Okutama area. Located in Mount Kawanori, it is part of the Nippara River.
  • Nippara Cave
    Nippara Cave is the second largest limestone cave in the Kantō region after the Fujido Cave in Gunma Prefecture, and attracts many visitors from around Japan.[9]
  • Okuchichibu Mountains
    The Okuchichibu Mountains stretch from Nagano's Nobeyama region to Okutama and a portion of Saitama Prefecture and Yamanashi Prefecture. The highest mountain is Mount Kurogane (Yamanashi Prefecture), at 2232 m, and the lowest is Mount Azumaya (Saitama Prefecture), at 772 m.
  • Okutama Onsen
    Okutama Onsen is a hot spring located in the town.

References[edit]

External links[edit]