central Owase City
Location of Owase in Mie Prefecture
|• Total||193.16 km2 (74.58 sq mi)|
|Population (September 2012)|
|• Density||99.3/km2 (257/sq mi)|
|Time zone||Japan Standard Time (UTC+9)|
|- Flower||Japanese camellia|
|- Bird||Grey heron|
|- Fish||Japanese amberjack|
|Address||10-43, Chūōchō, Owase-shi, Mie-ken 519-3696|
Owase has a humid subtropical climate (Köppen climate classification Cfa), with comfortable spring and autumn seasons, and warm winters with practically no snow. The warm Kuroshio Current makes its closest contact with the Japanese coast at Owase, and combined with the high mountains falling almost to the sea, this gives Owase an extremely heavy annual rainfall of 3,850 millimetres (150 in), which is the highest in the world at low altitudes in subtropical and warm temperate latitudes. Only certain parts of southern Chile, coastal British Columbia and the Adriatic Sea coast have as much rain at low elevations outside the tropics.
Despite the excessive wetness of the climate, summers are no more uncomfortable or humid than in the rest of southern Japan: indeed humidity is marginally lower than on cities close to the Seto Inland Sea or on the southern Sea of Japan.
|Climate data for Owase, Mie (1981～2010)|
|Record high °C (°F)||21.2
|Average high °C (°F)||11.3
|Average low °C (°F)||1.6
|Record low °C (°F)||−6.9
|Average rainfall mm (inches)||100.7
|Average rainy days (≥ 0.5 mm)||6.7||7.3||11.8||10.9||12.8||15.1||14.5||13.3||14.9||12.1||8.4||5.8||133.6|
|Average relative humidity (%)||60||60||64||68||74||81||82||80||79||75||70||64||71.4|
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||179.4||168.3||184.0||183.9||173.7||129.5||155.7||175.3||130.5||142.4||151.9||177.9||1,952.5|
|Source #1: Japan Meteorological Agency|
|Source #2: Japan Meteorological Agency (records)|
The area of present-day Owase was part of ancient Shima Province, but was transferred to Ise Province in the Edo period. During this time, large-scale forestry projects were begun. The town of Owase was established on April 1, 1889 within Kitamuro District of Mie Prefecture.
The modern city of Owase was established on June 20, 1954 by the merger of the town of Owase with the surrounding villages of Sugari and Kuki and the villages of Kitawauchi and Minamiwauchi (both from Minamimuro District).
Due to its location, Owase is mainly supported by its commercial fishery and forestry industries. Yellowtail, amberjack, Japanese horse mackerel, sauries, sea bream and bonito are among the fish landed at Owase. Japanese cypress and cryptomeria trees are found in abundance here in the mountains.
- Owase Port
- Nakamurayama Castle (中村山城?) – Sengoku period Japanese castle site, now a park.
- Magose Toge (馬越峠?) - a popular hiking trails on the Kumano Kodo - Ise-ji Route. There is a hiking trail which leads to Mt. Tengura, overlooking Owase City. For more information, visit 
- Kumano Kodo Centre - Constructed entirely from cypress wood, the Kumano Kodo Centre features the origins and history of the Kumano Kodo pilgrimage route. A playground, also made entirely from cypress, is located near the centre.
- Yume Kodo - an onsen located near the Kumano Kodo Centre. The facility features deep sea water onsen, which has healing properties, as well as sauna rooms.
- Owase Jinja ( 尾鷲神社?) – a Shinto shrine noted for an ancient, sacred tree over 1,000 years old and as the venue for the annual Ya Ya Matsuri.
- Kongobu-ji (金剛寺?) – Buddhist temple built during the Edo period with two fierce-looking deity statues guarding the entrance. It is located just adjacent to the Owase Jinja.
- Mikisato Beach (三木里ビーチ?) - A beautiful white sandy beach, with clear turquoise waters located near the Mikisato train station.
- Sugari (須賀利?) – a fishing village located in eastern Owase, best accessed by a 20 minute ferry ride from Owase
- Kuki (九鬼?) – a fishing village
Festivals & Events
- Itadaki Ichi (イタダキ市?) – farmers market held the first Saturday morning of every month, featuring stalls selling Owase's local produce such as fresh seafood, dried fish, sea salt, jam etc. along with special performances by the locals.
- Ya Ya Matsuri (ヤーヤ祭り?) – the largest festival in Owase, held annually on 1–5 February. In the evenings of 2-4 February, men parade around the streets, jostling each other and chanting "Ya Ya" while drinking sake before the "chosen" ones dive into the sea to purify themselves. The festival ends off with a day-long street parade on the 5th featuring dance performances and an archery contest at Owase Jinja.
- Owase Minato Matsuri (おわせ港まつり?) – a summer festival held on the first Saturday in August with a fireworks display.
- Hachiman Jinja Matsuri ( 八幡神社例祭?) – held on 15 September annually, beginning with a day-long parade culminating at the local Hachiman Jinja
Sister city relations
- – Prince Rupert, British Columbia, Canada, since September 26, 1968
- – Jinzhou District, Dalian, Liaoning, China, since July 8, 2007
- Hideo Fukuyama – professional racecar driver
- Records at Owase observatory, Japan Meteorological Agency (Japanese)
- "平年値（年・月ごとの値）". Japan Meteorological Agency. Retrieved 2010-03-06.
- "観測史上1～10位の値（年間を通じての値）". Japan Meteorological Agency. Retrieved 2010-03-06.
Media related to Owase, Mie at Wikimedia Commons
- Owase City official website (Japanese)
*Owase sightseeing page (Japanese)