Nakanojō, Gunma

Nakanojō (中之条町, Nakanojō-machi) is a town located in Gunma Prefecture, Japan. As of 1 August 2020, the town had an estimated population of 15,571 in 6737 households,[1] and a population density of 35 persons per km². The total area of the town is 439.28 square kilometres (169.61 sq mi).

Nakanojō
中之条町
Nakanojō town office
Nakanojō town office
Flag of Nakanojō
Official seal of Nakanojō
Location of Nakanojō in Gunma Prefecture
Location of Nakanojō in Gunma Prefecture
Nakanojō is located in Japan
Nakanojō
Nakanojō
 
Coordinates: 36°35′23.4″N 138°50′27.6″E / 36.589833°N 138.841000°E / 36.589833; 138.841000Coordinates: 36°35′23.4″N 138°50′27.6″E / 36.589833°N 138.841000°E / 36.589833; 138.841000
CountryJapan
RegionKantō
PrefectureGunma
DistrictAgatsuma
Area
 • Total439.28 km2 (169.61 sq mi)
Population
 (August 2020)
 • Total15,571
 • Density35/km2 (92/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+9 (Japan Standard Time)
Symbols 
• TreeKeyaki
• FlowerMountain lily
• BirdJapanese bush warbler
Phone number0279-75-2111
Address1091 Nakanojō, Nakanojō-machi, Agatsuma-gun, Gunma-ken 377-0404
WebsiteOfficial website
Shima Onsen

GeographyEdit

Located in the northwestern portion of Gunma Prefecture, Nakanojō is surrounded by high peaks of over 1000 m in height, with the Agatsuma River passing through the center of town from west to east. The town has a mean elevation of 400 meters above sea level. The town's area is 83% mountains and forests (197 km2).

Surrounding municipalitiesEdit

Gunma Prefecture

Nagano Prefecture

Niigata Prefecture

ClimateEdit

Nakanojō has a humid subtropical climate (Köppen Cfa) characterized by hot summers and cold winters with heavy snowfall. The average annual temperature in Nakanojō is 8.5 °C. The average annual rainfall is 1489 mm with September as the wettest month. The temperatures are highest on average in August, at around 24.4 °C, and lowest in January, at around 0.2 °C.[2]

Climate data for Nakanojō (1981-2010)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 18.5
(65.3)
22.6
(72.7)
25.1
(77.2)
30.5
(86.9)
34.0
(93.2)
35.9
(96.6)
37.3
(99.1)
37.2
(99.0)
37.5
(99.5)
31.8
(89.2)
24.9
(76.8)
21.3
(70.3)
37.5
(99.5)
Average high °C (°F) 6.8
(44.2)
7.3
(45.1)
10.8
(51.4)
17.2
(63.0)
22.0
(71.6)
24.9
(76.8)
28.6
(83.5)
30.2
(86.4)
25.5
(77.9)
19.9
(67.8)
14.7
(58.5)
9.8
(49.6)
18.2
(64.8)
Daily mean °C (°F) 0.2
(32.4)
0.9
(33.6)
4.3
(39.7)
10.5
(50.9)
15.5
(59.9)
19.5
(67.1)
23.2
(73.8)
24.4
(75.9)
20.1
(68.2)
13.6
(56.5)
7.5
(45.5)
2.6
(36.7)
11.9
(53.4)
Average low °C (°F) −5.0
(23.0)
−4.5
(23.9)
−1.3
(29.7)
4.0
(39.2)
9.4
(48.9)
14.9
(58.8)
19.1
(66.4)
20.3
(68.5)
16.2
(61.2)
8.8
(47.8)
2.1
(35.8)
−2.6
(27.3)
6.8
(44.2)
Record low °C (°F) −11.9
(10.6)
−12.5
(9.5)
−12.1
(10.2)
−6.4
(20.5)
−0.7
(30.7)
5.2
(41.4)
11.8
(53.2)
10.8
(51.4)
5.3
(41.5)
−1.8
(28.8)
−5.7
(21.7)
−10.0
(14.0)
−12.5
(9.5)
Average precipitation mm (inches) 30.9
(1.22)
37.7
(1.48)
66.2
(2.61)
83.2
(3.28)
112.3
(4.42)
159.0
(6.26)
184.9
(7.28)
215.2
(8.47)
213.0
(8.39)
111.6
(4.39)
51.4
(2.02)
28.3
(1.11)
1,290.8
(50.82)
Mean monthly sunshine hours 161.6 156.5 173.2 171.8 164.3 129.3 132.0 147.2 107.5 128.8 144.4 158.9 1,765.9
Source 1: Japan Meteorological Agency[3]
Source 2: 気象庁[4]

DemographicsEdit

Per Japanese census data,[5] the population of Nakanojō has declined steadily over the past 30 years.

Historical population
YearPop.±%
1920 19,941—    
1930 20,866+4.6%
1940 22,038+5.6%
1950 27,014+22.6%
1960 26,838−0.7%
1970 23,389−12.9%
1980 22,618−3.3%
1990 21,627−4.4%
2000 20,389−5.7%
2010 18,214−10.7%

Neighborhoods within NakanojōEdit

HistoryEdit

During the Edo period, the area around Nakanojō was part of the hatamoto-administered territory within Kōzuke Province.

With the creation of the modern municipalities system after the Meiji Restoration on April 1, 1889, the town of Nakanojō was created within Agatsuma District of Gunma Prefecture. The villages of Isama, Sawada and Nakuta merged into Nakanojō on April 15, 1955.

On March 28, 2010, the village of Kuni, also from Agatsuma District, merged into Nakanojō.

GovernmentEdit

Nakanojō has a mayor-council form of government with a directly elected mayor and a unicameral town council of 15 members. Nakanojō, collectively with the other municipalities in Agatsuma District, contributes two members to the Gunma Prefectural Assembly. In terms of national politics, the town is part of Gunma 5th district of the lower house of the Diet of Japan.

EconomyEdit

The economy of Nakanojō is heavily dependent on seasonal tourism primarily in connection with its onsen hot spring resorts.

EducationEdit

Nakanojō has two public elementary schools and two public middle schools operated by the town government, and one public high schools operated by the Gunma Prefectural Board of Education. The city also has one private middle school and one private high school. Gunma Prefecture also operates one special education school for the handicapped.

TransportationEdit

RailwayEdit

  JR EastAgatsuma Line

HighwayEdit

Local attractionsEdit

The main draw of tourists to Nakanojō are the onsen (natural hot spring) resorts. There are two major hot spring resort areas within the town. The larger and more famous one is Shima Onsen, located in the mountains to the north of town. The name means "forty thousand", and represents the 40,000 ailments the water is supposed to cure. The other resort is called Sawatari Hot Springs.

Festivals and eventsEdit

Nakanojō has three main festivals during the year. In winter, there is the Tori-oi Matsuri. This involves pounding on large drum all around town to scare birds (for good crops) or demons (for good luck) away for the new year. In summer, there is the Nakanojō Matsuri in August and the Ise-machi Matsuri in September. The Ise-machi Matsuri features the Yagibushi Folk Dance.

Melody roadEdit

When an automobile drives at 40 km/h over a special melody road section of Japan National Route 353 passing through Nakanojō, the vibrations will sound the tune "Always With Me" (Japanese title: いつも何度でも, Itsumo nando demo) from the feature animation Spirited Away.[6]

Notable people from NakanojōEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Nakanojō Town official statistics" (in Japanese). Japan.
  2. ^ Nakanojō climate data
  3. ^ "中之条 1981-2010年". Japan Meteorological Agency. Retrieved August 20, 2017.
  4. ^ "中之条 観測史上1~10位の値". Japan Meteorological Agency. Retrieved August 20, 2017.
  5. ^ Nakanojō population statistics
  6. ^ The effect can be observed here: 113icecream Japanese Fireworks (Jun 24, 2011). "Always With Me (with lyrics) while traveling on Route 353 through Nakanojō" 【歌詞付】いつも何度でも【メロディーロード】群馬県中之条町国道353号. YouTube. Retrieved June 10, 2020.

External linksEdit