Yokote City Hall
Location of Yokote in Akita Prefecture
|• Total||692.80 km2 (267.49 sq mi)|
|• Density||130/km2 (330/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC+9 (Japan Standard Time)|
|Address||1-1 Jōri 1chome, Yokote-shi, Akita-ken 013-8601|
Yokote (横手市, Yokote-shi) is a city located in Akita Prefecture, Japan. As of 31 December 2019[update], the city had an estimated population of 89,574 in 34,240 households, and a population density of 130 persons per km². The total area of the city is 693.04 km2 (267.58 sq mi).
Per Japanese census data, the population of Yokote has been in decline for the past 70 years.
Yokote has a Humid continental climate (Köppen climate classification Cfa) with large seasonal temperature differences, with warm to hot (and often humid) summers and cold (sometimes severely cold) winters. Precipitation is significant throughout the year, but is heaviest from August to October. The average annual temperature in Yokote is 10.7 °C. The average annual rainfall is 1666 mm with September as the wettest month. The temperatures are highest on average in August, at around 25.1 °C, and lowest in January, at around -2.0 °C.
The area of present-day Yokote was part of ancient Dewa Province and was the homeland of the Kiyohara clan of the Heian period Gosannen War. At the end of the Sengoku period, the area came under the control of the Onodera clan, who ruled from Yokote Castle. However, the Onodera sided against Tokugawa Ieyasu at the Battle of Sekigahara and the area came under the control of the Satake clan, who had been relocated to Kubota Domain from their former holdings in Hitachi Province. Kubota Domain was uncommon in that it contained more than one castle, despite the Tokugawa shogunate's "one castle per domain" rule, and Yokote remained a secondary castle town under the Kubota clan until the Meiji restoration.
On October 1, 2005, the towns of Hiraka, Jūmonji, Masuda, Omonogawa and Ōmori, and the villages of Sannai, and Taiyū (all from Hiraka District) were merged into Yokote, which now occupies all of former Hiraka District, plus the villages of Meiji and Nishinarusei (formerly from Ogachi District), and the village of Kanazawa (formerly from Senboku District).
Yokote has a mayor-council form of government with a directly elected mayor and a unicameral city legislature of 25 members. The city contributes four members to the Akita Prefectural Assembly. In terms of national politics, the city is part of Akita District 3 of the lower house of the Diet of Japan.
The economy of Yokote is based on agriculture.
Yokote has seventeen public elementary schools and six public middle schools operated by the city government and five public high schools operated by the Akita Prefectural Board of Education. The prefecture also operates one combined middle/high school and one special education school for the handicapped.
- Yuzawa-Yokote Road
- Akita Expressway
- National Route 13
- National Route 107
- National Route 342
- National Route 397
Yokote is known for its Kamakura Festival, a midwinter festival in which igloo-like snow houses are made throughout the town. It is held in the days leading to the Bonden Festival (mid February) and its location is focused around the city hall area. Children and others sit in the kamakura and serve amazake and mochi to visitors. In addition, several stalls are situated around town serving other types of typical Japanese festival food, including the town's own meibutsu "Yokote yakisoba".
An altar for the water deity is carved into the rear of the room inside each kamakura, where people pray for abundant harvests, the safety of their family members, protection against fire and for academic success. In addition to the large igloos, there are mini-kamakura which are spread throughout the city. There are candles Inside the tiny snow domes. Some of the regular kamakura and the mini-kamakura are sponsored by local businesses and can sometimes look like an advertisement for a product (like a cell phone). The kamakura can be experienced year round in a building adjacent to Yokote City Hall called the Kamakura-kan. Inside, there are a few kamakura kept at a temperature of 10 °C (50 °F) and are open to visitors.
Twin towns/Sister cities
Yokote is twinned with:
Noted people from Yokote
- Keishi Handa, basketball player
- Makoto Hasegawa, basketball head coach
- Tatsuzō Ishikawa, author
- Kiyonomori Masao, sumo wrestler
- Yasushi Sasaki, movie director.
- Sayuri Sugawara, musician
- Yu Takahashi, musician
- Manabu Terata, politician
- Daisuke Usami, volleyball player
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