Saitama (city)

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Saitama

さいたま市
Saitama City
Saitama city montage.jpg
From top left: Saitama Stadium 2002, Urawa Parco, Gyokuzouin, Hikawa Shrine, Saitama New City Center, Saitama Super Arena, Musashi urawa
Flag of Saitama, Saitama.svg
Flag
Saitama (city)
Saitama in Saitama Prefecture Ja.svg
Location of Saitama in Saitama Prefecture
Japan location map with side map of the Ryukyu Islands.svg
Red pog.svg
Saitama
Coordinates: 35°51′41″N139°38′44″E / 35.86139°N 139.64556°E / 35.86139; 139.64556 Coordinates: 35°51′41″N139°38′44″E / 35.86139°N 139.64556°E / 35.86139; 139.64556
CountryJapan
Region Kantō
Prefecture Saitama
Area
  Total217.43 km2 (83.95 sq mi)
Population
 (March 1, 2021)
  Total1,324,854
  Density6,100/km2 (16,000/sq mi)
Time zone UTC+9 (Japan Standard Time)
- Tree Zelkova serrata
- Flower Primula sieboldii
Phone number048-829-1111
Address6-4-4 Tokiwa, Urawa-ku, Saitama-shi, Saitama-ken 330-9588
Website Official website
Saitama City Hall Saitama-City-Hall.jpg
Saitama City Hall

Saitama (さいたま市, Saitama-shi, Japanese:  [saꜜitama] ) is the capital and the most populous city of Saitama Prefecture, Japan. Its area incorporates the former cities of Urawa, Ōmiya, Yono and Iwatsuki. It is a city designated by government ordinance. Being in the Greater Tokyo Area and lying 15 to 30 kilometres north of central Tokyo, many of its residents commute into Tokyo. As of 1 February 2021, the city had an estimated population of 1,324,854, and a population density of 6,100 persons per km². Its total area is 217.43 square kilometres (83.95 sq mi). [1]

Contents

Name

The name "Saitama" originally comes from the Sakitama District (埼玉郡) of what is now the city of Gyōda in the northern part of what is now known as Saitama Prefecture. "Sakitama" has an ancient history and is mentioned in the famous 8th century poetry anthology Man'yōshū . The pronunciation has changed from Sakitama to Saitama over the years.

With the merger of Urawa, Ōmiya, and Yono it was decided that a new name, one fitting for this newly created prefectural capital, was needed. The prefectural name "Saitama" (埼玉県) was changed from kanji into hiragana , thus Saitama City (さいたま市) was born. It is the only prefectural capital in Japan whose name is always written in hiragana, and belongs to the list of hiragana cities.

However, Saitama written in hiragana (さいたま市) actually finished in second place in public polling to Saitama written in kanji (埼玉市). Despite this, government officials decided to name the new city Saitama in hiragana, not kanji. In third place in the poll was Ōmiya (大宮市). In fourth was Saitama (彩玉市), written with an alternative kanji for "sai" ( ) which means "colorful". The "sai" ( ) used in the prefectural name is a rare form of a common character () that means 'cape' or 'promontory'.

Geography

The city is located 20 to 30 km north of central Tokyo, roughly at the center of the Kantō Plain. Situated in the southeast of Saitama Prefecture, the city is topographically comprised by lowlands and plateaus, at mostly less than 20 m above sea level, with no mountain ranges or hills within the city boundaries. The western portion of the city lies on the lowland created by the Arakawa River along with those created by small rivers such as the Moto-Arakawa River, Shiba River, and Ayase River. The rest of the area mostly resides on the Ōmiya Plateau lying in the north-south direction. Dispersed in this region, major rivers flow southward, almost paralleling to one another.

Surrounding municipalities

Saitama Prefecture

Climate

Saitama has a Humid subtropical climate (Köppen Cfa) characterized by warm summers and cool winters with light to no snowfall. The average annual temperature in Saitama is 14.6 °C. The average annual rainfall is 1408 mm with September as the wettest month. The temperatures are highest on average in August, at around 26.4 °C, and lowest in January, at around 2.9 °C. [2]

Climate data for Saitama (1991−2020 normals, extremes 1976−present)
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDecYear
Record high °C (°F)18.7
(65.7)
25.5
(77.9)
26.9
(80.4)
31.2
(88.2)
34.2
(93.6)
35.9
(96.6)
39.3
(102.7)
38.7
(101.7)
37.4
(99.3)
33.1
(91.6)
25.6
(78.1)
25.1
(77.2)
39.3
(102.7)
Average high °C (°F)9.4
(48.9)
10.3
(50.5)
13.7
(56.7)
19.2
(66.6)
23.8
(74.8)
26.5
(79.7)
30.5
(86.9)
31.8
(89.2)
27.7
(81.9)
21.9
(71.4)
16.5
(61.7)
11.7
(53.1)
20.3
(68.5)
Daily mean °C (°F)3.9
(39.0)
4.9
(40.8)
8.4
(47.1)
13.7
(56.7)
18.6
(65.5)
22.0
(71.6)
25.9
(78.6)
27.0
(80.6)
23.2
(73.8)
17.5
(63.5)
11.4
(52.5)
6.2
(43.2)
15.2
(59.4)
Average low °C (°F)−1.1
(30.0)
−0.2
(31.6)
3.3
(37.9)
8.4
(47.1)
13.9
(57.0)
18.3
(64.9)
22.2
(72.0)
23.2
(73.8)
19.5
(67.1)
13.5
(56.3)
6.8
(44.2)
1.2
(34.2)
10.8
(51.4)
Record low °C (°F)−9.8
(14.4)
−8.8
(16.2)
−5.0
(23.0)
−2.0
(28.4)
4.8
(40.6)
11.5
(52.7)
14.7
(58.5)
16.3
(61.3)
9.5
(49.1)
3.6
(38.5)
−2.4
(27.7)
−6.7
(19.9)
−9.8
(14.4)
Average precipitation mm (inches)42.4
(1.67)
39.6
(1.56)
88.0
(3.46)
101.9
(4.01)
121.4
(4.78)
144.8
(5.70)
148.0
(5.83)
164.0
(6.46)
202.8
(7.98)
196.8
(7.75)
70.9
(2.79)
45.2
(1.78)
1,371.3
(53.99)
Average precipitation days (≥ 1.0 mm)3.84.68.79.010.011.611.88.810.810.06.74.4100.8
Mean monthly sunshine hours 201.4186.4186.6187.1185.3128.4152.5181.9135.6135.1156.6181.12,018
Source: Japan Meteorological Agency [3]

Historical population

Historical population
YearPop.±%
1960 420,442    
1970 657,425+56.4%
1980 879,291+33.7%
1990 1,007,569+14.6%
2000 1,133,300+12.5%
2010 1,222,910+7.9%

Wards

Saitama has ten wards (ku), which were assigned official colors as of April 2005:

Wards of Saitama
Place NameMap of Saitama
Rōmaji Kanji ColorArea (km2)
1 Chūō-ku 中央区 (Rose red)8.39
A map of Saitama's Wards Map of wards of Saitama city with numbers.svg
A map of Saitama's Wards
2 Iwatsuki-ku 岩槻区 (Ochre)49.17
3 Kita-ku 北区 (Dark green)16.86
4 Midori-ku 緑区 (Green)26.44
5 Minami-ku 南区 (Lemon yellow)13.82
6 Minuma-ku 見沼区 (Sky blue)30.69
7 Nishi-ku 西区 (Blue)29.12
8 Ōmiya-ku 大宮区 (Orange)12.80
9 Sakura-ku 桜区 (Cherry blossom pink)18.64
10 Urawa-ku 浦和区 (Red) - administrative center11.51

History

The city was founded on May 1, 2001, and was designated on April 1, 2003 as a government ordinance. For the histories of Urawa, Ōmiya and Yono before the merger, see:

On April 1, 2005, Saitama absorbed the city of Iwatsuki to its east, which became a new ward, Iwatsuki-ku.

Government

Saitama has a mayor-council form of government with a directly elected mayor and a unicameral city council of 64 members. Saitama contributes 14 members to the Saitama Prefectural Assembly. In terms of national politics, the city is divided between the Saitama 1st district, Saitama 5th district and Saitama 15th districts of the lower house of the Diet of Japan.

Elections

The executive mayor, who is directly elected, is Sōichi Aikawa, an independent backed by the Liberal Democratic Party and Komeito. On May 24, 2009, Aikawa lost his bid for reelection against Hayato Shimizu, who was backed by the opposition DPJ. [4]

Economy

Saitama's economy is principally constituted by commercial business. The city is one of many commercial centers of the Greater Tokyo area and serves Saitama Prefecture, North Kanto, and northeast Honshu.

Saitama is also home to various manufacturers, exporting automotive (Honda manufactures the Honda Legend at Sayama Plant), food, optical, precision and pharmaceutical products. Calsonic Kansei, a global automotive company is headquartered in the city. [5] Iwatsuki is famous for manufacturing of hinamatsuri dolls and ornate kabuto (samurai helmets).

Transportation

Omiya Station, a major railway hub in Saitama JRE Omiya Station west exit.jpg
Omiya Station, a major railway hub in Saitama

Representative station is Urawa Station. Saitama is a regional transportation hub for both passengers and freight train lines. Ōmiya Station, part of the Shinkansen high-speed train network, serves as the biggest railway hub in the prefecture.

The closest major airports are Haneda Airport and Narita International Airport, both about two hours away. [6] Honda Airport in Okegawa is for general aviation and offers no scheduled transport services. Commuter helicopter flights to Narita Airport are offered from Kawajima. [7]

Railway stations

JR logo (east).svg JR East
Tōhoku, Akita, Yamagata, Jōetsu and Hokuriku Shinkansen
Utsunomiya Line
Takasaki Line
  • (<<Through to the Utsunomiya Line<<) - Ōmiya - Miyahara
Keihin-Tōhoku Line
Saikyō Line
Musashino Line
Kawagoe Line
Saitama Railway Logo.svg Saitama Rapid Railway Line
Tobu Tetsudo Logo.svg Tōbu Railway - Tōbu Urban Park Line
Saitama New Urban Transit Logomark.svg Saitama New Urban Transit ("New Shuttle") - Ina Line

Highways

Culture

Education

Universities

Junior Colleges

Professional Graduate School

Sports

Saitama was one of the host cities for the playoffs and the final of the official 2006 Basketball World Championship.

It is home to two J. League football (soccer) teams: the Urawa Red Diamonds, formerly owned by Mitsubishi, and Omiya Ardija, formerly owned by NTT.

The city and Tokorozawa are home to the Japan Professional Basketball League team the Saitama Broncos.

Since 2013, the city has hosted the Saitama Criterium cycling race sponsored by the Tour de France, held at the end of October.

Mass media

Most of Saitama Prefecture's mass media presence is concentrated in this city. See Mass media in Saitama Prefecture for details.

Sister cities

Saitama has six sister cities. [8]

Visitor attractions

Saitama Museum of Modern Art Museum of Modern Art Saitama 2010.jpg
Saitama Museum of Modern Art

Related Research Articles

Saitama Prefecture Prefecture of Japan

Saitama Prefecture is a landlocked prefecture of Japan located in the Kantō region of Honshu. Saitama Prefecture has a population of 7,338,536 and has a geographic area of 3,797 km². Saitama Prefecture borders Tochigi Prefecture and Gunma Prefecture to the north, Nagano Prefecture to the west, Yamanashi Prefecture to the southwest, Tokyo to the south, Chiba Prefecture to the southeast, and Ibaraki Prefecture to the northeast.

Kawaguchi, Saitama Core city in Kantō, Japan

Kawaguchi is a city located in Saitama Prefecture, Japan. As of 1 January 2021, the city had an estimated population of 607,373 in 293,582 households and a population density of 9800 persons per km². The total area of the city is 61.95 square kilometres (23.92 sq mi). It is the Greater Tokyo Area's 8th most populated city, and second largest in Saitama Prefecture.

Saikyō Line Railway line in Japan

The Saikyō Line(Japanese: 埼京線, Japanese pronunciation: [Saikyō-sen]) is a Japanese railway line operated by the East Japan Railway Company. It connects Ōsaki Station in Shinagawa, Tokyo, and Ōmiya Station in Saitama Prefecture. The line's name is an abbreviation of the two areas the line connects: Saitama(Japanese: ) and Tōkyō(Japanese: ).

Saitama-Shintoshin Station Railway station in Saitama, Japan

Saitama-Shintoshin Station is a passenger railway station located in Ōmiya-ku, Saitama, Saitama Prefecture, Japan, operated by East Japan Railway Company.

Urawa-ku, Saitama Ward in Kantō, Japan

Urawa is one of ten wards of the city of Saitama, in Saitama Prefecture, Japan, and is located in the northeastern part of the city. As of 1 March 2021, the ward had an estimated population of 166,322 and a population density of 14,000 persons per km². Its total area was 11.51 square kilometres (4.44 sq mi). Urawa-ku is the governmental center of Saitama City and houses most of the city's administrative offices including the city hall, as well as the offices of Saitama Prefectural government. Also, there are several newspaper branch offices and three broadcasting stations.

Ōmiya-ku, Saitama Ward in Kantō, Japan

Ōmiya is one of ten wards of the city of Saitama, in Saitama Prefecture, Japan, and is located in the northeastern part of the city. As of 1 March 2021, the ward had an estimated population of 119,298 and a population density of 9,300 persons per km². Its total area was 12.80 square kilometres (4.94 sq mi). Although Urawa-ku is the governmental center of Saitama City, Ōmiya-ku is the most active commercial and business centre in both Saitama City and Saitama Prefecture thanks to its transport infrastructure, especially railways connected at Ōmiya Station.

Saitama University

Saitama University is a Japanese national university located in a suburban area of Sakura-ku, Saitama City capital of Saitama Prefecture in Tokyo Metropolitan Area.

Saitama may refer to:

Urawa was a city located in Saitama Prefecture, Japan.

Kumagaya Special city in Kantō, Japan

Kumagaya is a city located in Saitama Prefecture, Japan. As of 1 February 2021, the city had an estimated population of 195,277 in 87,827 households and a population density of 1200 persons per km². The total area of the city is 159.82 square kilometres (61.71 sq mi).

Kita-ku, Saitama Ward in Kantō, Japan

Kita-ku is one of ten wards of the city of Saitama, in Saitama Prefecture, Japan, and is located in the northwestern part of the city. As of 1 March 2021, the ward had an estimated population of 148,935 and a population density of 8800 persons per km². Its total area was 16.86 square kilometres (6.51 sq mi).

Chūō-ku, Saitama Ward in Kantō, Japan

Chūō-ku is one of ten wards of the city of Saitama, in Saitama Prefecture, Japan, and is located in the northern part of the city. As of 1 March 2021, the ward had an estimated population of 102,364 and a population density of 12,000 persons per km2. Its total area is 8.39 square kilometres (3.24 sq mi). Despite its name, it is not the administrative or the commercial centre of the city, roles which are designated to Urawa-ku and Ōmiya-ku respectively.

This article lists and describes the features of mass media based in Saitama Prefecture of Japan. Most are based in the capital and most populous city Saitama City's Urawa ward. Unless mentioned otherwise the language is Japanese.

Minuma-ku, Saitama Ward in Kantō, Japan

Minuma-ku is one of ten wards of the city of Saitama, in Saitama Prefecture, Japan, and is located in the northern part of the city. As of 1 March 2021, the ward had an estimated population of 163,869 and a population density of 5300 persons per km². Its total area was 29.14 square kilometres (11.25 sq mi).

Ōmiya was a city located in Saitama Prefecture, Japan.

Minami-ku, Saitama Ward in Kantō, Japan

Minami-ku is one of ten wards of the city of Saitama, in Saitama Prefecture, Japan, and is located in the southern part of the city. As of 1 March 2021, the ward had an estimated population of 192,143 and a population density of 14,000 persons per km². Its total area was 13.82 square kilometres (5.34 sq mi).

Midori-ku, Saitama Ward in Kantō, Japan

Midori-ku is one of ten wards of the city of Saitama, in Saitama Prefecture, Japan, and is located in the southeastern part of the city. As of 1 March 2021, the ward had an estimated population of 129,705 and a population density of 4,900 persons per km². Its total area was 26.44 square kilometres (10.21 sq mi).

Shimōsa (train)

The Shimōsa (しもうさ) is an all-stations train service in Japan operated by the East Japan Railway Company between Kaihimmakuhari in Chiba Prefecture and Ōmiya in Saitama Prefecture.

Ōmiya Route expressway in the Greater Tokyo area

The Ōmiya Route, signed as Route S5, is one of the five routes of the Shuto Expressway system serving the Greater Tokyo Area that are located within Saitama Prefecture. The 8.2-kilometer (5.1 mi) long radial highway runs north from Bijogi Junction in Toda to Yono Junction in the city of Saitama. It primarily connects the northwestern part of Tokyo and the Tokyo Gaikan Expressway to Saitama and the Saitama Shintoshin Route which serves the central part of that city.

The Saitama Shintoshin Route, signed as Route S2, is one of the five routes of the Shuto Expressway system serving the Greater Tokyo Area that are located within Saitama Prefecture. The 5.8-kilometer (3.6 mi) long radial highway runs east from Yono Junction in the western part of the city of Saitama to Saitama-minuma in the central part of the city. It primarily connects the central part of Saitama to the Ōmiya Route and, by extension, the Ikebukuro Route which connects it to the rest of the Shuto Expressway system and central Tokyo.

References

  1. "Saitama city official statistics" (in Japanese). Japan.
  2. Saitama climate data
  3. 気象庁 / 平年値(年・月ごとの値). Japan Meteorological Agency . Retrieved May 19, 2021.
  4. "DPJ Triumphs in Saitama Election", The Japan Times, 25 May 2009.
  5. "Company Profile." Calsonic Kansei. Retrieved on January 29, 2015.
  6. Haneda bus and Narita bus
  7. Connecting TOKYO and Narita Int'l Airport - NARITA HELI EXPRESS
  8. 姉妹友好都市 [Sister Cities] (in Japanese). Saitama Tourism and International Relations Bureau. Retrieved 12 May 2013.