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Yurihonjō City Hall
Location of Yurihonjō in Akita Prefecture
|• Total||1,209.60 km2 (467.03 sq mi)|
|Population (May 2015)|
|• Density||66.1/km2 (171/sq mi)|
|Time zone||Japan Standard Time (UTC+9)|
|- Tree||Zelkova serrata|
|Address||17 Ozaki Yurihonjō-shi, Akita-ken 015-8501|
- 1 Geography
- 2 Climate
- 3 History
- 4 Economy
- 5 Education
- 6 Transportation
- 7 Local attractions
- 8 Honjō Marina & Koyoshi River
- 9 Local events
- 10 Mount Chōkai
- 11 Sister city relations
- 12 Noted people from Yurihonjō
- 13 Notes
- 14 External links
Yurihonjō is located in southwest corner of Akita Prefecture, bordered by the Sea of Japan to the west, and by Yamagata Prefecture to the south. It is the largest municipality in Akita Prefecture in terms of area. Part of the city is within the borders of the Chōkai Quasi-National Park.
Yurihonjō 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 area of present-day Yurihonjō was part of ancient Dewa Province, dominated by the Mogami clan during the Sengoku period. Under the Tokugawa shogunate, part of the area came under the control of Honjō Domain, Kameda Domain and Yashima Domain, with a very small portion under direct rule by the shogunate (tenryō).
The modern city of Yurihonjō was established on March 22, 2005, from the merger of the city of Honjō, and the towns of Chōkai, Higashiyuri, Iwaki, Nishime, Ōuchi, Yashima and Yuri (all from Yuri District). Just after the merger, the new city of Yurihonjō had 126 representatives in its new city assembly, more than the whole of Tokyo.
The economy of Yurihonjō is based on agriculture and commercial fishing.
Companies headquartered in Yurihonjo
- TDK Yurihonjo
Yurihonjō has 15 elementary schools, 10 middle schools and five high schools, as well as one special education school. Akita Prefectural University also has a campus in the city.
- JR East - Uetsu Main Line
- Yuri Kōgen Railway – Chōkai Sanroku Line
- Nihonkai-Tōhoku Expressway
- Japan National Route 7
- Japan National Route 105
- Japan National Route 107
- Japan National Route 108
- Japan National Route 341
- Japan National Route 398
- Amasagi Village (天鷺村 Amasagi-mura)
- Amasagi Village is a complete tourist center in the town of Iwaki, northern Yurihonjō. It is centered on an historical facility, and it contains the samurai residence of the Unuma family (transferred from its original site), and a museum with collections of furniture and samurai armor.
- Akata Giant Buddha Statue (赤田大仏 Akata Daibutsu)
- A large standing Buddha statue.
- Honjō Park (本荘公園 Honjō Kōen)
- Each year a large cherry blossom festival (April) and Azalea festival (May) take place here.
- Yashio Park (八塩いこいの森 Yashio Ikoi no Mori)
- This park is famous for its yellow cherry blossom trees and it holds a firework display in May during full bloom.
- Hottai Falls (法体の滝 Hottai no Taki)
- One of Japan's Top 100 Waterfalls, grassy park, and hiking trails in the mountains near Mt. Chōkai.
- One Thousand Jizō (千体地蔵 Sentai Jizō)
- One thousand stone statues line the side of a hill in Oriwatari, Ōuchi. These statues wear a red bib, representing jizō.
- Yashima Ski Area (矢島スキー場 Yashima Sukī-jō)
- A small but popular ski area on the lower slopes of the Mount Chōkai. It is especially popular with snowboarders.
- Minami Yurihara Highland (南由利原高原 Minami Yurihara Kōgen)
- A large plateau of outstanding natural beauty on the Akita side of Mount Chōkai. It includes numerous rental cottages and an amusement area.
- Taki Hot Spring (滝温泉 Taki Onsen) in the Ōuchi area is reputed to cure minor pains and many sufferers stay there long-term.
- Yurihonjo Arena
Honjō Marina & Koyoshi River
- There are 500 metre & 1000 metre rowing courses at the mouth of the Koyoshi River. A major public regatta takes place here each year in September. Three high schools in Yurihonjō have their own rowing clubs with a history of success in national rowing championships.
- Marina, Sailing
- Honjō has a wide beach with an adjacent yachting harbour.
- A fireworks festival is held every summer near the mouth of the Koyoshi River.
- Naked Festival (裸参り Hadaka Matsuri)
- This religious event takes place in January in which a group of men and boys walk up the Shinzan mountain through the snow to Shinzan Shrine. They wear only loincloths and thin shoes.
- Yurihonjō Hinakaidō (由利本荘ひな街道)
- In March each year visitors can follow a map of public displays of the traditional Hina dolls at over 50 different locations around the city.
Mount Chōkai (鳥海山 Chōkai-san) is an inactive volcano that stands alone on the border between Akita Prefecture and Yamagata Prefecture. It is 2,236m high and is the second highest mountain in the Tohoku area. It is popular with skiers, hikers and climbers.
There are two main trails for climbing Mount Chōkai from the Akita side. One trailhead is in Nikaho, south of Yurihonjō. The other, in Yurihonjō, starts at the Haraikawa (秡川) Parking Area. A one-way hike from the Haraikawa commonly takes 3 hours and there are bungalows and camping sites on the lower slopes of this trail.
The mountain has its own unique Alpine plants and vegetation such as Chōkai Thistle (チョウカイアザミ) and Chōkai Fusuma (チョウカイフスマ).
Local crafts, arts, and food
- Sake (Rice wine)
- There are four independent sake breweries in Yurihonjō: Akita Homare, Yuri Masamune, Tenju, and Dewanofuji.
- Honjō Udon (本荘うどん)
- Dried noodles which are eaten hot or cold. The texture of Honjō Udon is tough.
- Gotenmari ball (ごてんまり Gotenmari)
- These elaborate decorative balls are made from silk thread and are a popular souvenir of Yurihonjō.
- Honjō Lacquer (本荘塗り Honjō-nuri)
- A number of craftsmen in Yurihonjō produce traditional lacquerware.
- Honjō Oiwake (本荘追分)
- This is a traditional folk song, known as min'yō, which is reputed to be one of the most difficult for singers to master. A national Honjō Oiwake competition is held in Yurihonjō every year over 2 days in September.
- Mountain vegetables (山菜 sansai)
- The foothills of Mount Chōkai produce many varieties of wild mountain vegetables and in spring and autumn it is common to see cars parked on the side of the road as people stop to pick them. Popular mountain vegetables are yamaudo (山ウド), bamboo shoots (笹タケノコ sasa takenoko) and warabi (ワラビ).
Sister city relations
- - Vác, Hungary,  since September 25, 1996
- - Yangsan, South Korea, since October 10, 1998
- - Wuxi, China, since July 6, 2001
Noted people from Yurihonjō
- Akira Endo – biochemist
- Mika Yamauchi – Olympic volleyball player
- Natsuki Katō – model, actress and TV celebrity.
- Toshiyuki Igarashi – professional wrestler
- Shu Watanabe (actor) – actor
- Rina Ikoma – idol singer, a member of the girl group Nogizaka46
- Hiromitsu Ochiai - baseball player, manager, and executive
- (PDF) http://www.pref.akita.lg.jp/www/contents/1260411310720/files/22_p.pdf. Missing or empty
- "鳥海山登山ガイド". Mt. Chokai WEB. Retrieved 13 January 2014.
- "International Exchange". List of Affiliation Partners within Prefectures. Council of Local Authorities for International Relations (CLAIR). Retrieved 21 November 2015.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Yurihonjo, Akita.|
|Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Yurihonjo.|
- Yurihonjō City official website (in Japanese)