Location of Usuki in Ōita Prefecture
|• Mayor||Goro Nakano (since January 2009)|
|• Total||291.08 km2 (112.39 sq mi)|
|Population (January 1, 2012)|
|• Density||140/km2 (360/sq mi)|
|• Flower||Salvia splendens|
|Time zone||Japan Standard Time (UTC+9)|
|City hall address||Oji Usuki 72-1, Usuki City, Oita Prefecture (大分県臼杵市大字臼杵72番１号)
Usuki (臼杵市 Usuki-shi) is a city located on the east coast of Ōita Prefecture, Japan. It is famous for its Usuki Stone Buddhas, a national treasure, and its soy sauce production. Recently it has become known for having the look and feel of a Japanese castle town. It is part of Ōita City's metropolitan area through economics and thus has strong ties to Ōita City.
Demographics and geography
The city is bordered by Ōita City, Saiki, Tsukumi, and Bungo-ōno. The city looks upon the Bungo Channel in the east. The city surrounds the Bay of Usuki with the Saganoseki Peninsula in the north and the Nagame Peninsula in the south. Within the bay are Kuroshima Island and Tsukumi Island. Water from the bay flows into Usuki River, around whose flat lands town areas have been built. The northern part of the city has gently-sloping hills while the southern part has mountain ranges that are 500m to 600m above sea level.
The city was founded on April 1, 1950. On March 31, 1954, multiple towns were merged into Usuki.
Agriculture and fishing are the primary industries, however the production of soy sauce and miso paste are also popular. Many people come from abroad to work at Usuki shipyards. The city is well known for its kabosu fruits.
Historical and Sightseeing Sites
- Usuki Stone Buddhas, a national treasure and special historical landmark
- Usuki Castle
- Nioza Historical Road
- Inaba-Family Villa, a former samurai residence
- Furen Limestone Caves, a national monument
- Meiji Era Bridge
- Nogami Yaeko Memorial Museum
- Fugen Temple, burial site of Kicchomu
Major festivals in Usuki include the Gion Festival (mid July), Stone Buddhas Fire Festival (late August), and Bamboo Lantern Festival (early November). There are also festivities and celebrations during the cherry blossom blooming period in April, for example at Usuki Castle.
The city is on the Nippō Main Railway Line and it can be reached by local and limited express trains.
The city is accessible by car from the Higashi Kyushu Expressway with an exit at Usuki Interchange. The national highways number 10, 217, and 502 and the Oita Prefecture roads number 21, 25, 33, and 53 also run through the city.
The Ōita Bus Company offers inter-city buses to Usuki as well as buses within the city.
Excluding closed schools, Usuki City has 15 elementary schools and 6 junior high schools, all of which are city-run. There is also a prefectural school specifically for handicapped children.
- Prefectural High Schools
- Usuki High School
- Usuki Shougyou High School (for Commerce)
- Usuki Kaiyou Kagaku High School (for Marine Science)
- Notsu High School
Famous People from Usuki
- Tatsuo Yamamoto, politician
- Tadatomo Yoshida, politician
- Yaeko Nogami, novelist
- Jun Hirose, baseball player
- Hiromi Wada, baseball player and commentator
- Masako Miura, voice actress
- Maiko Itai, model and Miss Universe 2010
- Keiko Komuro, singer
Movies set in Usuki
- Kandy, Sri Lanka (February 27, 1967): sister city
- Dunhuang, China (September 27, 1994): friendship city
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This article incorporates information translated from the article 臼杵市 (Usuki-shi) in the Japanese Wikipedia, retrieved before September 28, 2011.