Utsunomiya

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Utsunomiya

宇都宮市
Utsunomiya montage.jpg
Utsunomiya Castle, Statue of gyoza
Futaarasan Shrine, Oya Stone Museum
Utsunomiya Tower, City view from the tower
Flag of Utsunomiya, Tochigi.svg
Flag
Emblem of Utsunomiya, Tochigi.svg
Seal
Utsunomiya in Tochigi Prefecture Ja.svg
Location of Utsunomiya in Tochigi Prefecture
Japan location map with side map of the Ryukyu Islands.svg
Red pog.svg
Utsunomiya
 
Coordinates: 36°33′18.4″N139°52′57.2″E / 36.555111°N 139.882556°E / 36.555111; 139.882556 Coordinates: 36°33′18.4″N139°52′57.2″E / 36.555111°N 139.882556°E / 36.555111; 139.882556
CountryJapan
Region Kantō
Prefecture Tochigi
First official recorded353 AD
City SettledApril 1, 1896
Government
  Mayor Eiichi Sato
Area
   Core city 416.85 km2 (160.95 sq mi)
Population
 (January 1, 2020)
   Core city 519,223
  Density1,200/km2 (3,200/sq mi)
   Metro
[1] (2015)
1,103,745 (15th)
Time zone UTC+9 (Japan Standard Time)
- Tree Ginkgo biloba
- Flower Satsuki azalea
Phone number028-632-2222
Address1-1-5, Asahi, Utsunomiya-shi, Tochigi-ken 320-8540
Website Official website
Utsunomiya City Hall Utsunomiya city hall ac (2).JPG
Utsunomiya City Hall

Utsunomiya (宇都宮市, Utsunomiya-shi, Japanese:  [ɯᵝt͡sɯ̃ᵝno̞mija̠] ) is the prefectural capital city of Tochigi Prefecture in the northern Kantō region of Japan. As of 1 January 2020, the city had an estimated population of 519,223, and a population density of 1,246 persons per square kilometre (3,230/sq mi). The total area of the city is 416.85 km2 (160.95 sq mi). [2] Utsunomiya is famous for its gyoza (pan fried dumplings). There are more than two hundred gyoza restaurants in Utsunomiya. [3]

Contents

Greater Utsunomiya (宇都宮都市圏, Utsunomiya Toshi-ken) had a population of 888,005 in the 2000 census. The nearby city of Oyama is included in Greater Tokyo, but Greater Utsunomiya is not, despite the two areas amalgamating somewhat. It is the 10th most populated city in the Kantō region.

Geography

Utsunomiya is located in south-central Tochigi Prefecture in the northern Kantō plains. It is approximately 100 km (60 mi) north of Tokyo. The historic town of Nikkō is approximately 25 km (15 mi) northwest of Utsunomiya. The average altitude of the city is 100 metres (330 ft).

Surrounding municipalities

Tochigi Prefecture

Climate

Utsunomiya has a humid subtropical climate (Köppen climate classification Cfa) with hot and humid summers and cool winters. The average annual temperature in Utsunomiya is 13.3 °C (55.9 °F). The average annual rainfall is 1,454 mm (57.2 in) with September as the wettest month. The temperatures are highest on average in August, at around 25.7 °C (78.3 °F), and lowest in January, at around −1.8 °C (28.8 °F). [4]

Climate data for Utsunomiya (1991−2020 normals, extremes 1890−present)
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDecYear
Record high °C (°F)21.0
(69.8)
24.6
(76.3)
27.2
(81.0)
30.4
(86.7)
34.4
(93.9)
37.5
(99.5)
38.7
(101.7)
37.5
(99.5)
36.5
(97.7)
33.5
(92.3)
25.1
(77.2)
24.7
(76.5)
38.7
(101.7)
Average high °C (°F)8.6
(47.5)
9.7
(49.5)
13.4
(56.1)
18.8
(65.8)
23.3
(73.9)
25.9
(78.6)
29.5
(85.1)
30.9
(87.6)
27.0
(80.6)
21.4
(70.5)
15.9
(60.6)
10.8
(51.4)
19.6
(67.3)
Daily mean °C (°F)2.8
(37.0)
3.8
(38.8)
7.4
(45.3)
12.8
(55.0)
17.8
(64.0)
21.2
(70.2)
24.8
(76.6)
26.0
(78.8)
22.4
(72.3)
16.7
(62.1)
10.6
(51.1)
5.1
(41.2)
14.3
(57.7)
Average low °C (°F)−2.2
(28.0)
−1.3
(29.7)
2.1
(35.8)
7.4
(45.3)
13.0
(55.4)
17.4
(63.3)
21.4
(70.5)
22.5
(72.5)
18.8
(65.8)
12.6
(54.7)
5.7
(42.3)
0.2
(32.4)
9.8
(49.6)
Record low °C (°F)−14.8
(5.4)
−13.3
(8.1)
−12.4
(9.7)
−6.4
(20.5)
−0.8
(30.6)
4.7
(40.5)
10.3
(50.5)
11.4
(52.5)
5.5
(41.9)
−2.7
(27.1)
−6.7
(19.9)
−10.9
(12.4)
−14.8
(5.4)
Average precipitation mm (inches)37.5
(1.48)
38.5
(1.52)
87.7
(3.45)
121.5
(4.78)
149.2
(5.87)
175.2
(6.90)
215.4
(8.48)
198.5
(7.81)
217.2
(8.55)
174.4
(6.87)
71.1
(2.80)
38.5
(1.52)
1,524.7
(60.03)
Average snowfall cm (inches)7
(2.8)
8
(3.1)
2
(0.8)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
1
(0.4)
18
(7.1)
Average precipitation days (≥ 0.5 mm)4.35.59.611.212.414.916.013.813.611.47.14.7124.4
Average relative humidity (%)61596064697679787774716670
Mean monthly sunshine hours 211.7193.3194.2184.9175.4118.5118.9140.9119.8140.3165.9197.41,961.1
Source: Japan Meteorological Agency [5]

Demographics

Per Japanese census data, [6] the population of Utsunomiya has increased rapidly over the past 50 years.

Historical population
YearPop.±%
1950 235,516    
1960 261,964+11.2%
1970 324,216+23.8%
1980 408,908+26.1%
1990 465,162+13.8%
2000 487,560+4.8%
2010 511,296+4.9%

History

Archaeologists have uncovered evidence that the area of Utsunomiya has been continuously settled since the Japanese Paleolithic period onwards, and numerous burial mounds from the Kofun period are found within its borders. The Utsunomiya Futarasan Shrine (宇都宮二荒山神社), which is the Ichinomiya of Shimotsuke Province claims to have been founded in 353 AD. The town of Utsunomiya developed around this shrine, and the area was under the control of the Utsunomiya clan, an offshoot of the Fujiwara clan from the Heian through Sengoku periods, and was destroyed by Toyotomi Hideyoshi.

During the Edo period, the Utsunomiya area was ruled by a succession of daimyō clans under Utsunomiya Domain, and prospered from its location at the junction of the Nikkō Kaidō and the Ōshū Kaidō. During the Bakumatsu period Boshin War, the Battle of Utsunomiya Castle was a major conflict in the northern Kantō area. Following the Meiji restoration, Utsunomiya was briefly (1871–1873) part of Utsunomiya Prefecture, which was then merged into the new Tochigi Prefecture, and became capital of the prefecture in 1884. Utsunomiya became an important garrison for the Imperial Japanese Army.

With the establishment of the municipalities system on April 1, 1889, the town of Utsunomiya was officially established. At the end of the 1889, Utsunomiya had a population of 30,698 making it the third most populous municipality in the Kantō area, after Tokyo and Yokohama. Utsunomiya was raised to city status on April 1, 1896. On July 12, 1945 much of Utsunomiya and the surrounding areas were destroyed in the American Bombing of Utsunomiya during World War II.

The city limits were expanded from 1951 to 1955 by annexing neighboring Suzumenomiya town and Hiraishi, Yokokawa, Mizuhono, Kunimoto, Shiroyama, Tomiya, Toyosato, and Sugatagawa villages and the part of Shinoi village from Kawachi District and Kiyohara village from Haga District. In 1996, Utsunomiya was designated a core city within increased autonomy. On March 31, 2007, Utsunomiya absorbed the towns of Kamikawachi and Kawachi (both from Kawachi District), pushing the population of Utsunomiya City over 500,000.

Government

Utsunomiya has a mayor-council form of government with a directly elected mayor and a unicameral city legislature of 45 members. Utsunomiya, together with the town of Kamikawa collectively contributes 13 members to the Tochigi Prefectural Assembly. In terms of national politics, the city is divided between the Tochigi 1st district and Tochigi 2nd district of the lower house of the Diet of Japan.

Economy

Utsunomiya is the commercial and industrial center of Tochigi Prefecture. Utsunomiya is home to a Canon optical manufacturing plant, a Japan Tobacco plant, Honda design centers, and various other industrial concerns in the Kiyohara Industrial Park. In addition, one of the largest malls in the north Kantō region, Bell Mall is located near central Utsunomiya.

Education

Transportation

Railway

Utsunomiya is served by the high-speed Tohoku Shinkansen line from Tokyo, as well as a number of suburban lines operated by East Japan Railway Company (JR East) and the private railway operator Tobu Railway.

JR logo (east).svg JR EastTohoku Shinkansen

JR logo (east).svg JR EastTohoku Main Line (Utsunomiya Line/Shōnan-Shinjuku Line/Ueno-Tokyo Line)

JR logo (east).svg JR EastNikkō Line

JR logo (east).svg JR EastKarasuyama Line

Tobu Tetsudo Logo.svg Tobu Railway - Tobu Utsunomiya Line

Construction of a light rapid transit system connecting Utsunomiya railway station with the neighbouring town of Haga was approved in 2016, with completion scheduled for December 2019. [7] [8]

Highways

Local attractions

Sports

Utsunomiya's famous dumplings

History of Gyoza

Following the Second World War, Japanese soldiers who returned from Manchuria brought home to Utsunomiya gyoza recipes which originated from China. Soon after, the soldiers began to open dumpling (gyoza) restaurants around Utsunomiya. After the Utsunomiya city officials started to apprehend the gyoza popularity in 1990, the Utsunomiya Gyoza Association was created. The creation of this association only grew the gyoza's popularity in the city. The gyoza's popularity attracts many tourists, as well as brings in a significant amount of revenue into the city. [9]

Popularity of Gyoza

The city has 30 restaurants that specialize in serving gyoza. Utsunomiya is allegedly the highest consumer city of gyoza in Japan. There is also a 1.5-metre (5 ft) statue in the shape of the gyoza outside of Utsunomiya's JR station. [10]

The Gyoza Festival

Utsunomiya's annual Gyoza Dumplings Festival occurs at the Castle Ruins Park. Visitors are able to taste different types of gyozas served by various gyoza-making restaurants. Festival attendees can also watch various bands and comedians nearby the festival grounds. [11]

Sister cities

Notable people

Related Research Articles

Tochigi Prefecture Prefecture of Japan

Tochigi Prefecture is a prefecture of Japan located in the Kantō region of Honshu. Tochigi Prefecture has a population of 1,943,886 and has a geographic area of 6,408 km2. Tochigi Prefecture borders Fukushima Prefecture to the north, Gunma Prefecture to the west, Saitama Prefecture to the south, and Ibaraki Prefecture to the southeast.

Tochigi (city) City in Kantō, Japan

Tochigi is a city located in Tochigi Prefecture, in the northern Kantō region of Japan. As of 1 August 2020, the city had an estimated population of 159,056 in 66,018 households, and a population density of 480 persons per km². The total area of the city is 331.50 square kilometres (127.99 sq mi). Because the city escaped war damage during World War II, many historical temples, traditional shops and kura remain in the city center. The city was awarded the "Utsukushii-machinami Taisho" prize from the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism in 2009.

Kanuma, Tochigi City in Kantō, Japan

Kanuma is a city located in Tochigi Prefecture, Japan. As of 1 August 2020, the city had an estimated population of 94,926 in 36,795 households, and a population density of 190 persons per km². The total area of the town is 490.64 km2 (189.44 sq mi).

Nikkō City in Kantō, Japan

Nikkō is a city located in Tochigi Prefecture, Japan. As of 2 December 2020, the city had an estimated population of 80,239 in 36,531 households, and a population density of 55 persons per km2. The total area of the city is 1,449.83 square kilometres (559.78 sq mi). It is a popular destination for Japanese and international tourists. Attractions include the mausoleum of shōgun Tokugawa Ieyasu and that of his grandson Iemitsu, and the Futarasan Shrine, which dates to the year 767 AD. There are also many famous hot springs (onsen) in the area. Elevations range from 200 to 2,000 meters. The Japanese saying 【日光を見ずして結構と言うなかれ】 "Never say 'kekkō' until you've seen Nikkō"—kekkō meaning beautiful, magnificent or "I am satisfied"—is a reflection of the beauty and sites in Nikkō.

Kuki, Saitama City in Kantō, Japan

Kuki is a city located in Saitama Prefecture, Japan. As of 1 December 2020, the city had an estimated population of 152,569 in 67,339 households and a population density of 1900 persons per km². The total area of the city is 82.41 square kilometres (31.82 sq mi).

Ōta, Gunma Special city in Kantō, Japan

Ōta is a city located in Gunma Prefecture, Japan. As of 31 August 2020, the city had an estimated population of 224,358 in 109,541 households, and a population density of 1300 persons per km². The total area of the city is 60.97 square kilometres (23.54 sq mi).

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.

Tōhoku Main Line

The Tōhoku Main Line is a 575.7 km long railway line in Japan operated by the East Japan Railway Company. The line starts from Tokyo Station in Chiyoda, Tokyo and passes through such cities as Saitama, Utsunomiya, Fukushima, and Sendai, before reaching the end of the line in Morioka. The line originally extended to Aomori, but was truncated upon the extension of the Tōhoku Shinkansen beyond Morioka, which mostly parallels the Tōhoku Main Line. A portion of the Tōhoku Main Line is also shared with the Keihin–Tōhoku Line and the Saikyō Line.

Mibu, Tochigi Town in Kantō, Japan

Mibu is a town located in Tochigi Prefecture, Japan. As of 1 August 2020, the town had an estimated population of 39,158 in 16,149 households, and a population density of 640 persons per km². The total area of the town is 61.06 square kilometres (23.58 sq mi).

Nogi, Tochigi Town in Kantō, Japan

Nogi is a town located in Tochigi Prefecture, Japan. As of 1 April 2020, the town had an estimated population of 25,050 in 10,153 households, and a population density of 830 persons per km². The total area of the town is 30.26 square kilometres (11.68 sq mi).

Utsunomiya Line Railway line in Japan

The Utsunomiya Line(Japanese: 宇都宮線, Japanese pronunciation: [Utsunomiya-sen]) is the name given to a 163.5 kilometer section of the Tōhoku Main Line between Tokyo Station in Tokyo and Kuroiso Station in Nasushiobara, Tochigi, Japan. It is part of the East Japan Railway Company network.

Utsunomiya Station Railway station in Utsunomiya, Tochigi Prefecture, Japan

Utsunomiya Station is a railway station in the city of Utsunomiya, Tochigi, Japan, operated by the East Japan Railway Company. The station also is a freight depot for the Japan Freight Railway Company.

Oyama, Tochigi City in Kantō, Japan

Oyama is a city located in Tochigi Prefecture, Japan. As of 1 August 2020, the city had an estimated population of 167,647 in 70,928 households, and a population density of 980 persons per km². The total area of the city is 171.76 square kilometres (66.32 sq mi). In 2006, Oyama became the second most populous city in Tochigi Prefecture, with the capital Utsunomiya retaining the number one spot.

Suzumenomiya Station Railway station in Utsunomiya, Tochigi Prefecture, Japan

Suzumenomiya Station is a railway station in the city of Utsunomiya, Tochigi, Japan, operated by the East Japan Railway Company.

Tōbu-Utsunomiya Station Railway station in Utsunomiya, Tochigi Prefecture, Japan

Tōbu-Utsunomiya Station is a railway station in the city of Utsunomiya, Tochigi, Japan, operated by the private railway operator Tobu Railway. The station is numbered "TN-40".

Tōbu Utsunomiya Line

The Tōbu Utsunomiya Line is a 24.3 kilometres (15.1 mi) railway line in Tochigi Prefecture, Japan, owned and operated by the private railway operator Tobu Railway. It connects Shin-Tochigi Station in Tochigi with Tobu Utsunomiya Station in Utsunomiya.

Nikkō Kaidō

The Nikkō Kaidō (日光街道) was one of the five routes of the Edo period and it was built to connect Edo with the temple-shrine complex of the Mangan-ji and Tōshōsha, which are located in the present-day city of Nikkō, Tochigi Prefecture, Japan. It was an ancient path that became formalised when power moved to Edo, and was established fully in 1617 by Tokugawa Hidetada, to give safer access to the temple-shrine mausoleum of his father, the first shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu, who was buried there that year. With only twenty-one stations, the Nikkō Kaidō was the shortest of the five routes, and it shares seventeen stations with the Ōshū Kaidō. Its route can be traced with Japan's National Route 4 and National Route 119.

Nikkō Utsunomiya Road

The Nikkō Utsunomiya Road is a toll road in Tochigi Prefecture, Japan. It is signed E81 under the "2016 Proposal for Realization of Expressway Numbering."

National Route 119 is a national highway located entirely within Tochigi Prefecture, Japan. It connects the city of Nikkō to Utsunomiya, the prefecture's capital, and has a total length of 63.9 kilometers (39.7 mi). The present-day highway largely follows the path of the Nikkō Kaidō, an Edo period road that linked Edo and the Shrines and Temples of Nikkō.

Ueno–Tokyo Line JR East railway that runs in Tokyo, Japan

The Ueno–Tokyo Line, formerly known as the Tōhoku Through Line is a railway line in Tokyo, Japan, operated by the East Japan Railway Company, linking the Ueno Station and the Tokyo Station, extending the services of the Utsunomiya Line, the Takasaki Line, and the Joban Line southward and onto the Tokaido Main Line and vice versa. The project began on May 2008. The line opened with the 14 March 2015 timetable revision, with the project costing about JPY 40 billion.

References

  1. "UEA Code Tables". Center for Spatial Information Science, University of Tokyo. Retrieved January 26, 2019.
  2. "Utsunomiya City official home page" (in Japanese). Japan.
  3. Szymanski, Andrew (2009-09-21). "Welcome to Utsunomiya - gyoza town | CNN Travel". Cnngo.com. Retrieved 2014-02-10.
  4. Utsunomiya climate data
  5. 気象庁 / 平年値(年・月ごとの値). Japan Meteorological Agency . Retrieved May 19, 2021.
  6. Utsunomiya population statistics
  7. "Utsunomiya light rail line approved". Railway Gazette International . 7 October 2016. Retrieved 4 June 2018.
  8. 宇都宮市などが国交省に申請 /栃木. Mainichi Shimbun (in Japanese). 23 January 2016. Retrieved 23 January 2016.
  9. Szymanski, Andrew. "Welcome to Utsunomiya -- gyoza town". CNN Travel. Retrieved 23 February 2017.
  10. Gilhooly, Rob. "Utsunomiya brings 'gyoza' lovers into fold". The Japan Times. Retrieved 23 February 2017.
  11. Osumi, Magdalena. "Good time to visit the dumpling capital of Japan". The Japan Times. Retrieved 23 February 2017.
  12. Manukau City Council - Sister City Archived 2007-09-27 at the Wayback Machine . Retrieved on 11 October 2008
  13. Sister Cities International
  14. Qiqihar Official site
  15. Orleans Department of Tourism