Tochigi (city)

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Tochigi (栃木市, Tochigi-shi, Japanese: [toꜜtɕigi]) is a city located in Tochigi Prefecture, in the northern Kantō region of Japan. As of 1 June 2023, the city had an estimated population of 151,842 in 66,018 households,[1] and a population density of 458 persons per km². The total area of the city is 331.50 square kilometres (127.99 sq mi). Because the city escaped war damage during World War II, many historical temples, traditional shops and kura (Japanese traditional storehouses) remain in the city center. The city was awarded the "Utsukushii-machinami Taisho" prize from the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism in 2009.[2]

Tochigi City Hall
Tochigi City Hall
Flag of Tochigi
Official seal of Tochigi
Location of Tochigi in Tochigi Prefecture
Location of Tochigi in Tochigi Prefecture
Tochigi is located in Japan
Coordinates: 36°22′52.8″N 139°43′49″E / 36.381333°N 139.73028°E / 36.381333; 139.73028
First official recorded40 BC
City SettledApril 1, 1937
 • MayorHideko Ōkawa (since April 2018)
 • Total331.50 km2 (127.99 sq mi)
 (June 1, 2023)
 • Total151,842
 • Density460/km2 (1,200/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+9 (Japan Standard Time)
- TreeJapanese stuartia
- FlowerJapanese azalea
Phone number0282-21-2224
Address7-26 Irifune, Tochigi-shi, Tochigi-ken 328-8686
WebsiteOfficial website
Traditional kura (storehouses) in Tochigi

Geography edit

Tochigi is located in the very southern portion of Tochigi Prefecture, bordering on Ibaraki Prefecture and Gunma Prefecture to the southwest. The city is located in the northern part of the Kanto plain, with a mountain range extending in the northern part of the city. The Tomawa River runs through the city center, the Oshigawa River runs through the eastern part, and the Watarase River runs through the southern part. At the confluence of these three rivers is the Yanaka Reservoir, which is used for sailboating and windsurfing. It was designated a Ramsar Site in June 2012.[3]

Surrounding municipalities edit

A point site of Tochigi-Gunma-Saitama prefecture border

Tochigi Prefecture

Ibaraki Prefecture

Gunma Prefecture

Saitama Prefecture

Climate edit

Tochigi has a Humid continental climate (Köppen Cfa) characterized by warm summers and cold winters with heavy snowfall. The average annual temperature in Tochigi is 14.2 °C. The average annual rainfall is 1325 mm with September as the wettest month. The temperatures are highest on average in August, at around 26.5 °C, and lowest in January, at around 2.9 °C.[4]

Demographics edit

Per Japanese census data,[5] the population of Tochigi has remained relatively steady over the past 50 years.

Historical population
1920 110,209—    
1930 117,833+6.9%
1940 120,583+2.3%
1950 156,029+29.4%
1960 147,499−5.5%
1970 152,125+3.1%
1980 168,423+10.7%
1990 174,717+3.7%
2000 171,755−1.7%
2010 164,033−4.5%
2020 155,549−5.2%

History edit

In the Edo period, Tochigi prospered from its location on the Uzumagawa River, which connected with the Tone River to Edo. Envoys using the Reiheishi Way sent from the Imperial Court going to Shrines and Temples of Nikkō stayed at the lodging area in the city. Most of the area was formerly tenryō territory controlled directly by the Tokugawa shogunate; however, the minor feudal domain of Fukiake Domain was located within the borders of modern city of Tochigi.

Following the Meiji Restoration and the creation of Tochigi Prefecture, Tochigi Town was the prefectural capital from 1871 until its relocation to Utsunomiya in 1884. On April 1, 1937, Tochigi was elevated to city status.

On September 30, 1954, Tochigi absorbed the villages of Ōmiya, Minagawa, Fukiage and Terao (all from Shimotsuga District). This was followed by the village of Kōō (from Shimotsuga District) on March 31, 1957. Tochigi hosted its first film festival, the Kuranomachikado, or, "Eizo Film Festival" from October 5, 2007, to October 8, 2007.

On March 29, 2010, Tochigi absorbed the towns of Fujioka, Ōhira and Tsuga (Shimotsuga District). This was followed by the town of Nishikata (from Kamitsuga District) on October 1, 2011, and the town of Iwafune (from Shimotsuga District) on April 5, 2014.

Government edit

Tochigi has a mayor-council form of government with a directly elected mayor and a unicameral city legislature of 30 members. Tochigi contributes four members to the Tochigi Prefectural Assembly. In terms of national politics, the city is divided between the Tochigi 2nd district, Tochigi 4th district and Tochigi 5th district of the lower house of the Diet of Japan.

Economy edit

Tochigi city is a regional commercial center, and has a mixed local economy. Food processing, automotive parts and light manufacturing dominated the industrial sector. Isuzu has maintained a factory since 1961. In 2010, the city ranked first in the number of farming families in the prefecture.[6]

Education edit

Transportation edit

Railway edit

  JR EastRyōmō Line

  Tobu RailwayTobu Nikko Line

  Tobu RailwayTobu Utsunomiya Line

Highway edit

Local attractions edit

Tochigi Autumn Festival on November
Tochigi Ginger Museum

Sister City relations edit

Notable people from Tochigi edit

References edit

  1. ^ "Tochigi city official statistics" (in Japanese). Japan.
  2. ^ [1] Japanese Ministry of Land, Transportation and Infrastructure (in Japanese)
  3. ^ June, 2012.
  4. ^ Tochigi climate data
  5. ^ Tochigi population statistics
  6. ^ Tochigi city official home page (in Japanese)
  7. ^ "100 Soundscapes of Japan". Ministry of the Environment. Retrieved 8 December 2015.
  8. ^ "Sister Cities International". Archived from the original on 2006-12-29. Retrieved 2006-11-20.
  9. ^ Yuriko Handa
  10. ^ Ryoji Isaoka.

External links edit