Kawanishi, Yamagata

Kawanishi (川西町, Kawanishi-machi, IPA: [ka̠ɰᵝa̠ɲ̟iɕima̠t͡ɕi]) is a town located in Yamagata Prefecture, Japan. As of 1 January 2020, the town had an estimated population of 14,967 in 5052 households,[1] and a population density of 90 persons per km². The total area of the town is 166.46 square kilometres (64 sq mi).


Kawanishi Town Hall
Kawanishi Town Hall
Flag of Kawanishi
Official seal of Kawanishi
Location of Kawanishi in Yamagata Prefecture
Location of Kawanishi in Yamagata Prefecture
Kawanishi is located in Japan
Coordinates: 38°00′16.2″N 140°02′44.9″E / 38.004500°N 140.045806°E / 38.004500; 140.045806Coordinates: 38°00′16.2″N 140°02′44.9″E / 38.004500°N 140.045806°E / 38.004500; 140.045806
 • Total166.46 km2 (64.27 sq mi)
 (February 2020)
 • Total14,967
 • Density90/km2 (230/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+9 (Japan Standard Time)
- TreePine
- FlowerDahlia
Phone number0238-42-2111
Address1567 Kamikomatsu, Kawanishi-machi, Higashiokitama-gun, Yamagata-ken 999-0193
WebsiteOfficial website
Kawanishi Dahlia Park


Kawanishi is located in the southwest of the Yonezawa Basin. There are two major rivers, the Mogami River and the Omonogawa River, running along the town's borders. The literal meaning of Kawanishi is "west of the river", which refers to its location west of the Mogami River. Also, there are two minor rivers, the Inukawa and the Kurokawa, running through the town.

Neighboring municipalitiesEdit


Per Japanese census data,[2] the population of Kawanishi peaked around the year 1950, and has gradually been decreasing over the past 70 years. It is now considerably less than it was a hundred years ago.

Historical population
1920 23,608—    
1930 25,581+8.4%
1940 26,498+3.6%
1950 30,645+15.7%
1960 28,506−7.0%
1970 23,769−16.6%
1980 22,423−5.7%
1990 21,548−3.9%
2000 19,688−8.6%
2010 17,308−12.1%


Kawanishi has a Humid continental climate (Köppen climate classification Cfa) with large seasonal temperature differences, with warm to hot (and often humid) summers and cold (sometimes severely cold) winters. Precipitation is significant throughout the year, but is heaviest from August to October. The average annual temperature in Kawanishi is 11.2 °C. The average annual rainfall is 1555 mm with September as the wettest month. The temperatures are highest on average in August, at around 25.0 °C, and lowest in January, at around -1.5 °C.[3]


The area of present-day Kawanishi was part of ancient Dewa Province. After the start of the Meiji period, the area became part of Higashiokitama District, Yamagata Prefecture. The nineteenth-century English traveler, Isabella Bird, stayed in the town, and noted the Yonezawa Basin area "as a 'Garden of Eden,' ground that smiles fruitfully, and Arcadia in Asia."[4] The town of Kawanishi was established on January 1, 1955 by the merger of the villages of Otsuka, Inukawa, Komatsu and Chugun from Meiji period]], the area became part of Higashiokitama District and the village of Tamaniwa from Minamiokitama District. The village of Yoshijima from Higashiokitama District joined the town on February 1, 1955.


The abundance of water makes the town ideal for farming, mostly rice. The town also produces the famous Yonezawa beef since the Meiji era.


Kawanishi has six public elementary schools and one public middle school operated by the town government, and one public high school operated by the Yamagata Prefectural Board of Education.



  East Japan Railway Company - Yonesaka Line

  Yamagata Railway - Flower Nagai Line


Local attractionsEdit

  • Kawanishi Dahlia Park

Noted People from KawanishiEdit

Film LocationsEdit

  • Warabi no kō (2003)
  • Swing Girls (2004)- The competition scene filmed particularly at the town's library and Theater complex called Kawanishi-machi Friendly Plaza.


External linksEdit

  Media related to Kawanishi, Yamagata at Wikimedia Commons