Utsunomiya Castle, Statue of gyoza
Futaarasan Shrine, Oya Stone Museum
Utsunomiya Tower, City view from the tower
Location of Utsunomiya in Tochigi Prefecture
|First official recorded||353 AD|
|City Settled||April 1, 1896|
|• Mayor||Eiichi Sato|
|• Core city||416.85 km2 (160.95 sq mi)|
(January 1, 2020)
|• Core city||519,223|
|• Density||1,200/km2 (3,200/sq mi)|
|• Metro||1,103,745 (15th)|
|Time zone||UTC+9 (Japan Standard Time)|
|- Tree||Ginkgo biloba|
|- Flower||Satsuki azalea|
|Address||1-1-5, Asahi, Utsunomiya-shi, Tochigi-ken 320-8540|
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 [update] , 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). Utsunomiya is famous for its gyoza (pan fried dumplings). There are more than two hundred gyoza restaurants in Utsunomiya.
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.
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).
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).
|Climate data for Utsunomiya (1991−2020 normals, extremes 1890−present)|
|Record high °C (°F)||21.0|
|Average high °C (°F)||8.6|
|Daily mean °C (°F)||2.8|
|Average low °C (°F)||−2.2|
|Record low °C (°F)||−14.8|
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||37.5|
|Average snowfall cm (inches)||7|
|Average precipitation days (≥ 0.5 mm)||4.3||5.5||9.6||11.2||12.4||14.9||16.0||13.8||13.6||11.4||7.1||4.7||124.4|
|Average relative humidity (%)||61||59||60||64||69||76||79||78||77||74||71||66||70|
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||211.7||193.3||194.2||184.9||175.4||118.5||118.9||140.9||119.8||140.3||165.9||197.4||1,961.1|
|Source: Japan Meteorological Agency|
Per Japanese census data,the population of Utsunomiya has increased rapidly over the past 50 years.
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.
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.
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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.
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 East – Tohoku Shinkansen
JR East – Tohoku Main Line (Utsunomiya Line/Shōnan-Shinjuku Line/Ueno-Tokyo Line)
JR East – Nikkō Line
JR East – Karasuyama Line
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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.
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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 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 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).
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 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.
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Suzumenomiya Station is a railway station in the city of Utsunomiya, Tochigi, Japan, operated by the East Japan Railway Company.
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".
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.
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.
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.
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.
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