Ishioka (石岡市, Ishioka-shi) is a city located in Ibaraki Prefecture, Japan. As of 1 July 2020[update], the city had an estimated population of 72,351 in 28,291 households and a population density of 336 persons per km². The percentage of the population aged over 65 was 33.5%. The total area of the city is 215.53 square kilometres (83.22 sq mi).
Upper: Lake Kasumigaura, Mt Tsukuba
Middle: Ishioka festival, Mt Kabasan, lower: Ishioka street scene
Location of Ishioka in Ibaraki Prefecture
|• Total||215.53 km2 (83.22 sq mi)|
|• Density||340/km2 (870/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC+9 (Japan Standard Time)|
|- Bird||Eurasian skylark|
|Address||1-1-1 Ishioka, Ishioka-shi, Ibakaki-ken 315-8640|
Ishioka is located in central Ibaraki Prefecture, approximately 70 kilometers north of central Tokyo. It is bordered by Lake Kasumigaura to the south and by mountains on all other sides. The urban area of the city is in the east.
Ishioka has a Humid continental climate (Köppen Cfa) characterized by warm summers and cool winters with light snowfall. The average annual temperature in Ishioka is 13.8 °C. The average annual rainfall is 1331 mm with September as the wettest month. The temperatures are highest on average in August, at around 25.8 °C, and lowest in January, at around 2.8 °C.
Per Japanese census data, the population of Ishioka has remained relatively stable over the past 40 years.
During the Nara period, the provincial capital of Hitachi Province was located in what is now part of the city of Ishioka. The area was known as Hitachi-Fuchū (常陸府中), or simply as “Fuchū” for most of history and developed as a castle town during the Edo period for Hitachi-Fuchū Domain. The domain was renamed “Ishioka Domain” in 1869. With the establishment of the modern municipalities system on April 1, 1889 after the Meiji restoration, the town of Ishioka was created. Much of the town was destroyed in a fire of March 14, 1929.
Ishioka was raised to city status on February 11, 1954. The new city annexed the neighboring villages of Mi and Sekigawa on December 1, 1954. On October 1, 2005, the town of Yasato (from Niihari District) was merged into Ishioka.
Ishioka has a mayor-council form of government with a directly elected mayor and a unicameral city council of 22 members. Ishioka contributes two members to the Ibaraki Prefectural Assembly. In terms of national politics, the city is part of Ibaraki 1st district of the lower house of the Diet of Japan.
Ishioka has a diverse economy. Agriculture includes lotus roots, which are cultivated around Lake Kasumigaura, tobacco, and horticulture such as persimmons, mandarin oranges, and strawberries cultivated at the foot of Mount Tsukuba. In addition, the countryside is one of the leading rice areas in Ibaraki prefecture. Pig farming and chicken farming and dairy farming are also major agricultural contributors. The city has an industrial park, with factories owned by Panasonic and Toyo Seikan, among others. Sake brewing is a traditional local industry, as is the manufacturing of incense sticks.
Ishioka has 19 public elementary schools and eight public middle schools operated by the city government, and three public high schools operated by the Ibaraki Prefectural Board of Education. There is also one private middle school and one private high school.
National Historic MonumentsEdit
Notable people from IshiokaEdit
Media related to Ishioka, Ibaraki at Wikimedia Commons
- Official Website (in Japanese)