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Monbetsu, Hokkaido

Monbetsu (紋別市, Monbetsu-shi) is a city located in Okhotsk Subprefecture, Hokkaido, Japan; on the Sea of Okhotsk. The name comes from Ainu Mopet (Quiet River), Ainu "-pet" would be interpreted "-betsu" in Japanese as well of other city names in Hokkaido.

Monbetsu

紋別市
The city viewed from Mount Monbetsu
The city viewed from Mount Monbetsu
Flag of Monbetsu
Flag
Official seal of Monbetsu
Emblem
Location of Monbetsu in Hokkaido (Okhotsk Subprefecture)
Location of Monbetsu in Hokkaido (Okhotsk Subprefecture)
Monbetsu is located in Japan
Monbetsu
Monbetsu
Location in Japan
Coordinates: 44°21′N 143°21′E / 44.350°N 143.350°E / 44.350; 143.350Coordinates: 44°21′N 143°21′E / 44.350°N 143.350°E / 44.350; 143.350
CountryJapan
RegionHokkaido
PrefectureHokkaido (Okhotsk Subprefecture)
Government
 • MayorYoshikazu Miyakawa
Area
 • Total830.70 km2 (320.74 sq mi)
Population
 (September 30, 2016)
 • Total22,983
 • Density27.67/km2 (71.7/sq mi)
Symbols
 • TreeJapanese Rowan
 • FlowerRugosa Rose
Time zoneUTC+9 (JST)
City hall address2-1-18, Saiwaichō, Monbetsu-shi, Hokkaidō
094-8707
Websitemombetsu.jp

As of September 30, 2016, the city has an estimated population of 22,983 and a population density of 27.67 persons per km². The total area is 830.70 km2 (320.74 sq mi).

Most of Monbetsu's economy is dedicated to fishing for cold-water species such as crab. The crab from Monbetsu is reputably the best in Japan, and is such a source of town pride that a sculpture of a crab claw nearly 10 m tall was built on the waterfront.

HistoryEdit

  • 1889: Village office established in Monbetsu[1]
  • 1909: Mobetsu Village (藻鼈村) and Monbetsu Village merge to form Monbetsu Village
  • 1919: Monbetsu Village becomes Monbetsu Town
  • July 1, 1954: Shokotsu Village (渚滑村) and Kamishokotsu Village (上渚滑村) merge with Monbetsu to form the city of Monbetsu

GeographyEdit

Shokotsu River flows through the city.

ClimateEdit

Monbetsu has a humid continental climate (Köppen climate classification Dfb) with warm summers and cold winters. Precipitation falls throughout the year, but is heaviest from July to September.

Climate data for Monbetsu (1981–2010)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) −2.6
(27.3)
−2.5
(27.5)
1.6
(34.9)
8.8
(47.8)
13.9
(57.0)
16.3
(61.3)
20.0
(68.0)
23.0
(73.4)
20.2
(68.4)
14.7
(58.5)
7.0
(44.6)
0.4
(32.7)
10.1
(50.1)
Daily mean °C (°F) −5.6
(21.9)
−5.9
(21.4)
−1.8
(28.8)
4.5
(40.1)
9.4
(48.9)
12.6
(54.7)
16.6
(61.9)
19.4
(66.9)
16.1
(61.0)
10.3
(50.5)
3.4
(38.1)
−2.5
(27.5)
6.4
(43.5)
Average low °C (°F) −9.3
(15.3)
−9.9
(14.2)
−5.4
(22.3)
0.6
(33.1)
5.2
(41.4)
9.5
(49.1)
13.9
(57.0)
16.4
(61.5)
12.3
(54.1)
5.9
(42.6)
−0.3
(31.5)
−5.9
(21.4)
2.8
(37.0)
Average precipitation mm (inches) 45.3
(1.78)
30.5
(1.20)
39.0
(1.54)
46.7
(1.84)
59.8
(2.35)
64.7
(2.55)
99.8
(3.93)
112.5
(4.43)
127.5
(5.02)
74.7
(2.94)
56.4
(2.22)
53.3
(2.10)
810.2
(31.9)
Average snowfall cm (inches) 128
(50)
102
(40)
92
(36)
29
(11)
2
(0.8)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
30
(12)
104
(41)
487
(190.8)
Average relative humidity (%) 73 73 70 68 72 82 85 83 76 70 69 71 74
Mean monthly sunshine hours 102.1 119.8 162.4 174.3 183.2 158.9 146.6 154.8 162.1 156.5 108.1 98.0 1,726.8
Source: Japan Meteorological Agency

TransportationEdit

Monbetsu does not have passenger rail service. There are buses to Sapporo and Asahikawa, as well as a daily flight to Tokyo from Monbetsu Airport.

Shokotsu Line and Nayoro Main Line used to run in the city.

EducationEdit

High schoolEdit

  • Hokkaido Monbetsu High School

SightseeingEdit

Monbetsu is famous for drift ice, a yearly phenomenon which reaches the city every January or February from the northern Sea of Okhotsk. As such, the city has taken on the drift ice as its symbol and has become a center for research on sea ice generally, with an international conference held in February (usually the time of peak sea ice) each year. There is also a yearly Drift Ice Festival that coincides with the Sapporo Snow Festival. The festival features impressive sculptures built out of drift ice along with a large ice maze. Additionally, the Okhotsk Tower is a facility where one can observe sea ice from both high above, and from below the ocean. It is complete with an information center and aquarium. An icebreaker, the Garinko II, departs from nearby and makes regular sightseeing cruises through the drift ice during the winter. Mombetsu is also home to the Okhotsk Sea Ice Museum of Hokkaido,[2] which covers all aspects of sea ice and features a sub-zero room and "frozen aquarium" of various fish preserved in ice.

During the summertime, when the sea ice melts, sailors from Russia are a common sight in the city. Some local businesses have banned Russian visitors for their supposed "unruly" behavior, which has led some activists to criticize Monbetsu as a hotbed of racial discrimination.[3] (See also: Ethnic issues in Japan.)

Sister cityEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ http://mombetsu.jp/english/index.html
  2. ^ "How climate change is triggering a chain reaction that threatens the heart of the Pacific". Washington Post. Retrieved 2019-11-14.
  3. ^ "LETTER FROM ASIA; Foreigners Try to Melt an Inhospitable Japanese City," The New York Times
  4. ^ Introduction of sister cities

External linksEdit