Saito, Miyazaki

Saito (西都市, Saito-shi) is a city located in Miyazaki Prefecture, Japan. As of June 1, 2019, the city has an estimated population of 29,262 and a population density of 66.7 persons per km2. The total area is 438.79 km2.

Flag of Saito
Official seal of Saito
Location of Saito in Miyazaki Prefecture
Location of Saito in Miyazaki Prefecture
Saito is located in Japan
Location in Japan
Coordinates: 32°7′N 131°24′E / 32.117°N 131.400°E / 32.117; 131.400Coordinates: 32°7′N 131°24′E / 32.117°N 131.400°E / 32.117; 131.400
PrefectureMiyazaki Prefecture
First official recordedearly 3rd AC
City SettledNovember 1, 1958
 • MayorShuichirō Oshikawa (from February 2017)
 • Total438.79 km2 (169.42 sq mi)
 (June 1, 2019)
 • Total29,262
 • Density67/km2 (170/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+09:00 (JST)
Postal code(s)
City hall address2-1 Seiryo-cho, Saito-shi, Miyazaki-ken
BirdCettia diphone (ウグイス)
Japanese Bush Warbler
FlowerAzalea (ミツバツツジ)
TreeMyrica rubra (ヤマモモ)
Japanese Bayberry
Hitotsuse Dam (1976)

The agricultural products of Saito include green peppers, cucumbers and sweet corn. And the Saito is famous for its eel from Hokita and the Saito Baru Burial Mounds.


Saito is the 5th largest city in the Miyazaki prefecture. 70% of the city is mountainous, and a river cuts through the city from northwest to southeast. Many other smaller streams cut through the valleys in Saito. Much of the city is covered by mountains and forest (approximately 80%). It is bordered by Kijo Town, Takanabe Town, Shintomi Town in the East and Sadowara Town and Kunitomi Town in the South, and Nango Village and Shiba (椎葉) Village in the north.

  • Mountains: Higuchi Yama (樋口山), Soubugaku (掃部岳)
  • Rivers: Hitotsuse gawa (一ツ瀬川), Sakura Kawa (桜川)
  • Lakes and Marshes: Komeryoujinzouko (米良人造湖), Chigokeike (稚児ケ池)
  • Dams: Hitotsuse Dam (一ツ瀬ダム, Hitotsuse Damu)


The Kojiki is an ancient manuscript which tells many creation and origin stories which attribute to different traditions and in Saito.

The myth of the all night Kagura dance in Shiromi goes thus: When Amatsuhiko-Hiko-Hononinigi-no-Mikoto (Hononinigi) descended from heaven onto the peak of Mt. Takachiho in a place called Himuka of Tsukushi, with him came many servants and gifts received from the sun god Amaterasu, among the gifts were a sickle, a sword and a mirror.

When he met Konohana-no-Sakuya-Bime (Tree-Blossom-Blooming-Princess), a beautiful princess he asked her father for her hand in marriage and her father agreed sending with her many gifts and her sister Ihanaga-Hime (Eternal-Rock-Princess), Ihanaga-Hime's father wanted to endow Hononinigi's children with long life like that of a rock.

However Hononinigi found Ihanaga-Hime so ugly he sent her back to her father and then proceeded to consummate his marriage with Konohana-no-Sakuya-Bime, which was the first marriage between a deity of earth with one of heaven. On returning home Ihanaga-Hime bemoaning her misfortune threw away a mirror reflecting her own image in its glass, the mirror fell in Shiromi. So the Shiromi shrine is dedicated to Ihanaga-Hime.[1][2]

Festivals and TraditionsEdit

Saito City Flower Festival

  • Date: 31 March ~ 8 April
  • Time: 10am - 10pm daily
  • Location: Saitobaru

The Flower Festival is a chance to enjoy Saitobaru's 2000 sakura trees as they flower for the short time at the end of March and beginning of April. Saitobaru is also full of canola plants (菜の花, nanohana).

'Kofun Matsuri'

  • Date: 27th - 29 August
  • Time: 10am -10pm daily
  • Location: Saitobaru

Summer matsuri (festivals) are a regular occurrence and popular summer event all over Japan.

Places of interestEdit

There are many places of interest in Saito. These include shrines, temples, museums and buildings of architectural or historical interest. Saito is perhaps most famous for Saitobaru which is a National Special Historic site and historical research site. Other notable places include Saito's Sports Center, Concert Hall and Irifune Eel Restaurant.


Saitobaru kofungun is a collection of 9 clusters of tumuli comprising 311 burial mounds which lay on a plateau roughly 4 by 2 km in size, making it one of the largest collections of burial mounds in Japan. It was designated a Special Historic site by the Japanese government in 1952.

Tsuma Temple


Tonokori Castle Ruins


Local SchoolsEdit

Elementary Schools

  • Tsumakita elementary 妻北小学校
  • Tsumaminami elementary 妻南小学校
  • Sanzai elementary 三財小学校
  • Minoh elementary 三納小学校
  • Yamada bunko elementary 山田分校
  • Chausubaru elementary 茶臼原小学校
  • Shirokami elementary 銀上小学校
  • Tonokouri elementary 都於郡小学校
  • Hokita elementary 穂北小学校

Junior High Schools

  • Tsuma JHS 妻中学校
  • Sanzai JHS 三財中学校
  • Minoh JHS 三納中学校
  • Shiromi JHS 銀鏡中学校
  • Hokita JHS 穂北中学校
  • Tonokouri JHS 都於郡中学校

High Schools

  • Tsuma High School 妻高校
  • Saito Commercial High School 西都商業高校



Year Month Day Event
1924 April 1 Koyugunshimohokita Village (児湯郡下穂北 ) became Shimohokita( 下穂北) Town.
1924 August 1 Koyugunshimohokita Town became Tsuma Town
1952 March 29 Saitobaru Burial Mounds appointed a special historical place
1953 July 22 The Hibi (日肥) line (Hitoyoshi – Tsuma National Railway bus) opened to traffic。
1958 April 1 Koyogun—Saito Town, Sanzai Village and Tonokori Village were abolished and replaced by Saito City.
1958 September 1 Saitobaru and Sugiyasu gorge were appointed as prefectural parks
1958 November 1 Koyugun—Saito Town became Saito City (And the city was founded).
1962 April 1 Saito City, Sanzai Village and Higashinishimera village amalgamated.
1963 January 24 A large fire on Heisuke (平助通) Street damages 100 houses, injures 418 and kills 4 people.
1963 June 4 Kyūshū Electric Company's Hitotsuse plant completed.
1964 October 27 The Shimozuruusu Taiko Dance appeared in a folk art public performance at the Tokyo Olympics.
1966 November 17 The Fuudoki Hill (風土記の丘) Project began, a project to turn the Saitobaru Burial Mounds into a public park.
1971 October 8 The Shimozuruusu Taiko dance was appointed a national cultural asset
1979 October 16 The Emperor visited Saitobaru
1981 March 10 Ohae kagura was appointed a prefectural cultural asset
1984 November 30 National Railway's Tsuma line closes after 70 years in service, leaving neighbouring town Sadowara to the west as the closest station on the JR Railway.
1988 July 1 Sugiyasu River Nakashima Park Opened
1994 November 28 Mokuzo Yamaji Bishamonten appointed as a prefectural cultural asset
1995 May 29 Construction began on the Saito-Kiyotake link of the Eastern Kyūshū Motorway
1995 June Saitobaru burial mounds selected to be part of a national large-scale project to preserve remains
1996 November 1 木喰上人造仏五体 appointed a prefectural cultural asset.
1998 October 1 Ceremony to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the foundation of the city.
1998 October 12 Maintenance of the Saitobaru Burial mounds and surrounding area selected as part of the Ministry of Home Affairs Reading Project.
2000 September 6 The ruins of Tonokori Castle were appointed as a National Historical place.
2004 April 25 55th National Tree Planting ceremony held in Saito city.
2006 November 20th Saitobaru Kofun Festival takes place.

Translated from the Saito Homepage[3]

Mayors of Saito CityEdit

First Name Last Name In Office From
1st 武男 (Takeo) 落合 (Ochiai) November 1958
2nd 武男 (Takeo) 落合 (Ochiai) April 1962
3rd 守 (Mamoru) 岩倉 (Iwakura) April 1966
4th 重美 (Shigemi) 中武 (Nakatake) April 1970
5th 重美 (Shigemi) 中武 (Nakatake) April 1974
6th 重美 (Shigemi) 中武 (Nakatake) April 1978
7th 重美 (Shigemi) 中武 (Nakatake April 1982
8th 重美 (Shigemi) 中武 (Nakatake) April 1986
9th 昭 (Akira) 黒田 (Kuroda) February 1989
10th 昭 (Akira) 黒田 (Kuroda) February 1993
11th 昭 (Akira) 黒田 (Kuroda) February 1997
12th 光幸 (Mitsuyuki) 日野 (Nichino) February 2001
13th 和実 (Kazumi) 橋田 (Hashida) February 2005
14th 和実 (Kazumi) 橋田 (Hashida) February 2009
15th 和実 (Kazumi) 橋田 (Hashida) February 2013

Notable PeopleEdit


  1. ^ "The Palace of Japanese Myth". October 26, 2005. Archived from the original on November 17, 2006. Retrieved February 14, 2007.
  2. ^ "Mythology of Miyazaki City" (Press release). Miyazaki City Tourism Association. 1 October 2005.
  3. ^ "西都市の歴史". Archived from the original on February 4, 2007. Retrieved February 15, 2007.

External linksEdit