Iiyama, Nagano

Iiyama (飯山市, Iiyama-shi) is a city located in Nagano Prefecture, Japan. As of 1 February 2019, the city had an estimated population of 20,118 in 7372 households,[1] and a population density of 99 persons per km². The total area of the city is 202.43 square kilometres (78.16 sq mi). It markets itself as "Japan's Hometown" and is known as the "Little Kyoto of Snow Country".


Iiyama City Hall
Iiyama City Hall
Flag of Iiyama
Official seal of Iiyama
Location of Iiyama in Nagano
Location of Iiyama in Nagano
Iiyama is located in Japan
Coordinates: 36°51′5.9″N 138°21′55.9″E / 36.851639°N 138.365528°E / 36.851639; 138.365528Coordinates: 36°51′5.9″N 138°21′55.9″E / 36.851639°N 138.365528°E / 36.851639; 138.365528
RegionChūbu (Kōshin'etsu)
 • MayorMasanori Adachi
 • Total202.43 km2 (78.16 sq mi)
 (February 2019)
 • Total20,118
 • Density99/km2 (260/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+9 (Japan Standard Time)
• TreeSiebold's beech
• FlowerCamellia
• BirdMandarin duck
• InsectLuehdorfia japonica
Phone number0269-62-3111
Address1110-1, Ōaza Iiyama, Iiyama-shi, Nagano-ken 389-2292
Website[Official website


Iiyama is located in the mountainous far northern portion of Nagano Prefecture, and is bordered by Niigata Prefecture to the north. The area is known for severe winters with heavy snowfall. The Chikuma River (the longest river in Japan) runs through the centre of the area and becomes known as the Shinano River when it passes into Niigata Prefecture.

Surrounding municipalitiesEdit


Per Japanese census data,[2] the population of Iiyama has declined over the past 40 years.

Historical population
1940 35,156—    
1950 41,395+17.7%
1960 37,592−9.2%
1970 32,159−14.5%
1980 30,073−6.5%
1990 28,114−6.5%
2000 26,420−6.0%
2010 23,548−10.9%


The city has a climate characterized by characterized by hot and humid summers, and relatively mild winters (Köppen climate classification Cfa). The average annual temperature in Iiyama is 12.2 °C. The average annual rainfall is 1674 mm with September as the wettest month. The temperatures are highest on average in August, at around 25.4 °C, and lowest in January, at around -0.1 °C.[3] All of the city is considered part of the snow country of Japan, with heavy accumulations of snow in winter.


The area of present-day Iiyama was part of ancient Shinano Province. The area was part of the holdings of Iiyama Domain during the Edo period, and the core of the city was the jōkamachi surrounding Iiyama Castle, held by a cadet branch of the Honda clan. The modern town of Iiyama was established within Shimominochi District, Nagano with the establishment of the municipalities system on April 1, 1889. It was raised to city status on August 1, 1954 by the merger of the town of Iiyama with neighboring villages of Akitsu, Tokiwa, Yanagihara, Tozama, Kijima and Zuiho. The villages of Ōta and Okayama were also annexed in 1955.


Iiyama has a mayor-council form of government with a directly elected mayor and a unicameral city legislature of 16 members.


The economy of Iiyama is primarily agricultural with emphasis on rice, asparagus, mushrooms and potatoes. Manufacturing includes production of Butsudan, skis and electronics. Seasonal tourism to ski resorts and hot springs also make a major contribution.[4]

The TV and electronics manufacturer Iiyama was founded in the city in 1972, although, after a series of mergers, the company is no longer headquartered there. The old office continues to be used as a manufacturing centre for Iiyama's parent company, Mouse Computer.[5][6]


Iiyama has seven public elementary schools and two public middle schools operated by the city government. The city has one public high school operated by the Nagano Prefectural Board of Education.




International relationsEdit

Local attractionsEdit

  • There are many well known ski resorts in the area. These include Nozawa Onsen Snow Resort, Madarao Sympathique (now closed), Madarao Kogen, Tangram Ski Circus, Togari Onsen, and Hokuryuko [7]
  • The Cultural Landscape of Kosuge Village and Mt. Kosuge (小菅の里及び小菅山の文化的景観, kosuge no sato oyobi kosugeyama no bunkateki keikan)[8][9] is a Designated Cultural Landscape of Japan.
  • Iiyama also hosts a number of popular festivals such as the Iiyama Snow Festival and Kamakura Snow Hut Festival in February and Iiyama Dontokoi in August.[10]
  • The Shinetsu Trail, that runs through Iiyama along the border between Nagano prefecture and Niigata prefecture, is a popular hiking spot in summer.[11]
  • In February 2015, Guinness World Records confirmed that the city had officially broken the record for 'most snowmen built in an hour.' [12]

Notable people from IiyamaEdit


  1. ^ [http://www.city.iiyama.nagano.jp/soshiki/shiminkankyou/shimin/toukei/jyuuminkihon Iiyama city official statistics(in Japanese)
  2. ^ Iiyama population statistics
  3. ^ Iiyama climate data
  4. ^ Campbell, Allen; Nobel, David S (1993). Japan: An Illustrated Encyclopedia. Kodansha. p. 585. ISBN 406205938X.
  5. ^ Notice on the merger of affiliate companies and group reorganisation (Japanese)
  6. ^ "Iiyama, Nagano to offer Iiyama LED displays and Mouse Computer PCs as part of the Furusato tax reward scheme (Japanese)". Archived from the original on 2015-01-21. Retrieved 2015-01-21.
  7. ^ Destination Madarao Kogen
  8. ^ 小菅の里及び小菅山の文化的景観 [Cultural Landscape of Kosuge Village and Mt. Kosuge] (in Japanese). Iiyama. Retrieved 27 April 2016.
  9. ^ 小菅の里及び小菅山の文化的景観 [Cultural Landscape of Kosuge Village and Mt. Kosuge] (PDF) (in Japanese). Nara National Research Institute for Cultural Properties. Retrieved 27 April 2016.
  10. ^ Destination Madarao Kogen - Things to Do
  11. ^ http://www.s-trail.net/english/trail.html
  12. ^ https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/blogs-news-from-elsewhere-31487894

External linksEdit

  Media related to Iiyama, Nagano at Wikimedia Commons